Being an Engineer

S2E32 An Engineer Who Sold His Engineering Podcast | Filip Valica

July 23, 2021 Filip Valica Season 2 Episode 32
Being an Engineer
S2E32 An Engineer Who Sold His Engineering Podcast | Filip Valica
Show Notes Transcript

Filip Valica is a mechanical engineer, product line manager, and former co-host of another wonderful podcast you should know about called The Product Startup podcast, where they specialize in talking about taking ideas from invention to shelves. Filip no longer co-hosts the podcast, because he sold it, but he shared valuable insights from his personal experiences interviewing dozens of inventors he had on his show. It would be very valuable for us to bring him on our show to ask him questions about trends in R&D, engineering, inventing, and more.

The Being An Engineer podcast is brought to you by Pipeline Design & Engineering. Pipeline partners with medical & other device engineering teams who need turnkey equipment such as cycle test machines, custom test fixtures, automation equipment, assembly jigs, inspection stations and more. You can find us on the web at www.teampipeline.us.  

Co-Host, Rafael Testai

Presenter:

The Being an Engineer Podcast is a repository for industry knowledge and a tool through which engineers learn about and connect with relevant companies, technologies, people, resources and opportunities. Enjoy the show.

Filip Valica:

And I think that was a sad realisation on my part, I think that there's a finite amount of time in the world. And you have to allocate your time accordingly and you can't be good at everything. And so, what do you choose to work on? What do you choose to specialise in?

Rafael Testai:

Welcome to the Being an Engineer Show, your co host, Rafael to stay today have a precious guest Filip Valica. But before we get started with the show, I wanted to give a quick shout out to That Engineer Guy 14, who left us a five star review on Apple podcasts. That engineer guys said, 'Aaron, and the Being an engineer and team do a great job of bringing in relevant conversations for engineers at any stage of their career. A great listen. So thank you That Engineer Guy 14, and everyone that leaves us reviews, we really appreciate it. And that's our way of getting feedback. So we know we're doing the right thing. So this might have sound like a very similar intro to Filip Valica that we have here on the phone on as a guest, because actually learned that from him. He used to have a podcast that he now sold, and the podcast is called The Product Startup Podcast. And he used to do a similar intro to his podcast. Filip Valica is a product line manager. And in the former podcast I just discussed, this specialise in talking about ideas from invention to shelves. He no longer co hosts the podcast, but he shared valuable insights from his personal experiences as a mechanical engineer with inventors that he had on his show. So I thought it would be very valuable for us to have him on our show to ask him questions about trends in R&D, engineering, inventing, and more. Filip, welcome to the show.

Filip Valica:

Thanks, Rafael. Happy to be on.

Rafael Testai:

Of course. And the first thing I said when you join the call, I said "The Voice", because I've been listening to your podcast recordings for the past two weeks. So I'm extremely excited to have you on the podcast. My first question is going to be something that you mentioned before we started the recording, which was that you sold your podcast to somebody else. And they continued on? Could you tell us a little bit more about what it's like to sell a podcast. I never heard that before.

Filip Valica:

Sure, honestly, it was something that I wasn't looking to do. The Product Startup was a labour of love for me. So it wasn't it was more of a hobby, a passion project that I really enjoyed. And so I wasn't really looking to do that. Kevin from Mega Design reached out to me, and was interested in and taking it on and wanted to put his own spin on it. At the time I'd been, the podcast was marinating for about a year two, I had some life changes, and a couple kids and some changes in work. And I wasn't able to get back to it and to give it the justice that I wanted. And Kevin had some solid plans for it and decided to take it on. And then negotiations went from there. And he ended up getting all the IP rights to the podcast and website and articles that I wrote, SEO and all that good stuff.

Rafael Testai:

So how do you sell IP rights to a podcast isn't as easy as giving someone the logins and that's it?

Filip Valica:

Yeah, I mean, in some ways, I think it's probably no different to any other IP, right? I think if you're an engineer, and you've been involved in patents or things like that IP gets transferred all the time. And there's contracts for all sorts of things, including selling websites, and a website was pretty similar to a podcast. And that's the template that we went off of.

Rafael Testai:

I see. Well, for all of our listeners, if you haven't a podcast, this is good news. It means you can also become a millionaire one day selling your podcast.

Filip Valica:

I don't know about a millionaire but maybe maybe your podcast, dear listener.

Rafael Testai:

What are the what are since you've done this before, you've been a host of podcasts. What are some tips you could give us that we run our podcast? We really put our best, but it seems like it's hard to gain or gain traction with an audience. What can we do?

Filip Valica:

I think you you might be asking the wrong person. I did it three, five years ago and I feel like an old man now, the technologies ramped up so quickly. And there's just so much more noise out there than it was even during that time. I do agree that it's a bit frustrating. So as a host, I think as a as an audience, what you don't see from the host side is that a lot of the conversation is one directional. And you don't get to have that feedback. Other than, obviously, when you have a guest, but with your audience, you don't tend to have that feedback, you don't have that interaction. And so, as hosts, we're always looking for that interaction with audiences. And like you mentioned early on, when you introduce the show, giving shoutouts to people that leave you reviews, how I would get emails from time to time, maybe three, 5 million emails a week. But it's, compared to, the 1000, or whatever downloads that you get per month, you'll see a fraction of a percent of engagement. So I think that's the hardest part is forming that group and having engagement in your podcast. So you can get some of that feedback and tweak what you're putting out to make sure that it's resonating with the people that are listening.

Rafael Testai:

Absolutely agree with you. I guess I want to tell our listeners, this is a great opportunity to please contact me on LinkedIn or send me an email to either me or Aaron, I always leave my LinkedIn link in the description of the episodes. And please let us know, what are you enjoying about these episodes, for my particular focus, when I have guests on the show, I like to ask them questions that's gonna make us or make me a better mechanical design engineer. That's one of my focus. Aaron has all kinds of different engineers when he does his interviews. And, yeah, please let me know if the questions I'm asking are good ones. And if you're enjoying the show, let's see it says that you are a Product Line Manager? Could you explain what that means?

Filip Valica:

Yeah, and I'll explain what that means, relative to the company that I'm at now, because that that means something different. And depending on the industry, and depending on the company you work to, in general, I'd like to think of myself as, as a orchestra director, where you are working in all with all sorts of departments, it's a cross functional role. Engineering, sales, production operations, making sure in general, so to me, the, the main, the most important part of the role is that you're able to translate the customer, the voice of the customer, and translate that across the organisation. Because there's many decisions that are being made at all levels of the organisation, you have supply chain, through engineering, through sales through everybody that touches the product on and keeping the customers perspective, that that pain point and what you're really trying to solve, front and centre is very important.

Rafael Testai:

Understood. You said that you because I read through your entire LinkedIn profile, you engage proactively with clients to identify their needs, voice and pain, their concerns, any tips for doing this detective work you do?

Filip Valica:

Yeah, and I guess I'm going to preface everything that I say today with this is what works for me, and may not be the best way of doing things. It's just how I've stumbled into things. I never really had a mentor or somebody that taught me some of this stuff. I've just picked it up, cross functionally based on other, if you look at like the IT industry, they do a really great job of capturing like software requirements and functional specs, for example. So for me, I like to dive into the details. And I like to experience their problems that my customers are facing. And in general, as an engineer, I've had the opportunity to work on the OP side to go work in the field or to go work offshore or to, in some cases even go back to prior companies that I worked at, and pitch and sell work to them. And so being able to step into their shoes, makes things a lot easier because you're able to communicate to people in their own language, and also address some of their main points and things that they consider really important.

Rafael Testai:

You said that you never had a mentor and learn things on your own as you progress as an engineer, maybe one or two specific things that you learned that became substantial, making you a better engineer. I really put you on the spot, I know.

Filip Valica:

No, no, it's good. It's a good question. I think so I'll and I'll I might temper a little bit what I said I did have mentors in specific areas, and especially if there's engineers listening that are, like, heavily into analysis, for example, or are subject matter experts. It's probably easier to find a mentor and that. And so listening to those people that are good at things, I've always appreciated learning from other people, even people, engineers and other disciplines, I'm a mechanical. And so learning from the double E's and learning from the software people and learning from the either hydraulic, which is a parallel path there. I would say just being inquisitive and having an open mind and, and testing what you know, and asking the why, from some of these people that have been doing it for a long time, the seasoned veterans? I think that's one, one key. I think you asked a second, what was the what was the...

Rafael Testai:

Yeah, maybe two things, but if you only have one, that was a really good one.

Filip Valica:

I think, yeah, I mean, obviously, learning from the people that you have around you being exposed to them is huge, taking advantage of what you have access to, and in participating in your industry functions and all of that, to the degree that you're interested in, right, not forcing yourself to go to stuff if you're not interested. But naturally, allowing your inquisitive mind, I think a lot of us became engineers, because you want to understand how things work, how they operate, make them better, allow that to guide you, right. And I was never a deep knowledge person where I was never a heavy analysis type of engineer, for example, and I always admired people that do that, really well. Instead, I went broad with my career, and I touched on a lot of different foundations across the functionals spaces, again, electrical software, mechanical, hydraulic. And to me, that was more interesting. So.

Rafael Testai:

So what you're saying is, you're, you're good at basically a lot of things, but not especially, is that one thing, right?

Filip Valica:

I would like to say I'm okay at a lot of things.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, how, because I want to dive into some more specifics of this, I wouldn't want one to maybe become like, just very mediocre a bunch of things like how does one actually become? I know, you're very humble, you say, okay, you're probably very good at a lot of things. How does one become like good at a lot of things, any tips?

Filip Valica:

I don't know, I think eventually, it becomes a question of how much time you can dedicate to something right? Like, maybe you can ramp up and be, go from zero to 50% capable, in six months, and something pretty quickly, right? But then get it and then the next 25% might take you another six months, but then getting that last 25% might take you years, or the last 10% might take you years of being the forefront of somebody, there are people in our organisation that are principal engineers in certain fields, I think it'd be pretty tough to emulate and be the best at a variety of things, there's a whole reason that they're the expert in that right, they've experienced a lot of failure, and we because we all learn from failure, hopefully. And, and, and you only get that by experience. And by doing things, and I think it's you, I think you hit a threshold of, you're only able to do so much during the day. And so and I think that was a sad realisation. on my part, I think that there's a finite amount of time in the world. And you have to allocate your time accordingly, and you can't be good at everything. And so what, what do you choose to work on? What do you choose to specialise in? How do you make that decision of that I want to be an expert in this versus a generalist, for example.

Rafael Testai:

How do you come to that decision? As the same question, you just asked a rhetorical question, how do you know when to become an expert at something versus a generalist? And another thing?

Filip Valica:

That's easy for me, I was never a good expert. I would get to 80% or something like that, and I would lose interest. I wouldn't care about the other, 10-15%. I mean, not, care is a strong word, it wouldn't. The amount of work needed to get to that last 15% and be really good at it, to me wasn't worth forgoing the knowledge in the other areas because I found learning. For example, we work in controls in subsea, understanding how the electrical guys make their decisions, and what prompts, what drives their design helps me to be a better mechanical engineer, because I can work hand in hand with them. Same thing with software, same thing with all the other groups. And so for me, I appreciated the impact of all the groups and what they made, and I want Understand that at some base level, rather than go really deep at my level. And that's the reason that I ended up going into into management as well, is because I saw a lot of projects get derailed further up the lifecycle of the project closer to where it gets sold.

Rafael Testai:

So interesting. And tell us a little bit more about that last part, you mentioned that products get derailed. Could you clarify what that means? And what are some of the common things that happen?

Filip Valica:

Yeah, I mean, building the wrong thing, right? solving a problem that's not there throwing, throwing technology, throwing R&D, and engineering at at things that we have, right, you might create a new technology within the company, and then try go and go out and find applicable solution or problems that the technology fits instead of the other way around. I think. Yeah. And also on the commercial side, as well. Right. So if you have any sales responsibilities, there's a lot of commercial decisions regarding the the who and the when type of questions right, as engineers, we answer the what? And the how. And with management, you get into the who, and the when of the project, who gets involved? When does it is it due? Who gets, what are the other partners and other people that that are involved in the project to help make it successful? And even on the Y side, which is more even more strategic, more removed from the sale side? Why should the company even do this product? Is it the long in the long term benefit of the company? Or the technology to do that?

Rafael Testai:

I just had a question pop up in my head. And I'm all about optimization and efficiency. Do you think there are any books or resources that could teach a mechanical engineer that wants to go into the role of management? What are the decisions that drive the design for electrical engineers and software engineers? Basically, what you learned in your career? Is there a resource that I can read up on that?

Filip Valica:

Not that I know of, I think I think just understanding those systems at a base level, again, having that exposure on those projects, being the guy that volunteers to say, 'Oh, I want to work on this cross functional project that works with these other groups,' or, or volunteering to take on custom projects, I focus on custom projects almost exclusively now. Right, the high risk, low reward set, in some cases, types of projects.

Rafael Testai:

Sounds like a lot of fun.

Filip Valica:

It is a lot of fun. It's a lot of stress. Yeah, that's a double edged sword there, that fun stress knife that you walk on, because it's exciting, and you're learning a lot. But then it's also there's a lot of change. And there's also a lot of learning a lot of things that can go wrong.

Rafael Testai:

Why do people develop the wrong thing? Like how can they not tell that this is not something that people need? It's not a problem that solving?

Filip Valica:

I think, I think it's actually pretty easy that by asking the wrong questions, right, you go up to your friend is is scuba diving in Costa Rica, and he goes with his dog all the time. And he says, 'Well, I need you to build scuba diving gear for my dog.' And if you don't ask why, well, why why do you want to take your dog with you? It's not because he wants to the dog to experience good scuba diving, it's because he doesn't have a dog sitter. So maybe you need to build, a dog sitting service on the beach instead of scuba diving gear. But if you don't dig deep enough to understand that point, and ask that why there's a book, I think it's five why's or something like that, you have to really, really understand it at a deeper level other than just taking the customer's word for it and say, 'Yeah, I just need scuba diving gear, please.'

Rafael Testai:

This actually really reminds me of my past life. When I used to have a software company that I sold, it was called Event Key and it was a mobile app. And yeah, I've come across this before when interviewing customers or potential users, you got to ask why like 100 times to get to the real reason of what they're trying to do. It's a whole conversation as a manager, do you have those conversations with potential users?

Filip Valica:

Yeah, I mean, I'm at the forefront I it's my job to go out there and develop business and go out there and sell work. And so I think I lean on my engineering background a lot, but then also field experience and then also just listening, right? having those conversations with clients and having them talk it out and then rephrasing it. It just going back to the basics, rephrasing what you heard and and making sure that it's clear and then also maybe using some really basic tools to help prioritise the effort. So you're not working on the jewellery or the, the the dressing, the icing on top rather than the the core issue.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, so we talked about your past about the podcast about your mentorship. And I want to focus more on the present. Now, as we talked in this last couple questions. Looking at your LinkedIn is said that it says that you lead Forum Subsea in launching new custom products. So number one, could you define Forum Subsea? Tell us about the company and number two, tell us about some of the custom products you've been working on please?

Filip Valica:

Yeah, I can probably get into a little bit I'm not sure what I'm trying to say, could speak about the company officially. So that I can say that we, we work in oil and gas in the subsea space and, and subsea, there's their vehicles that work underwater that do construction and maintenance type work, they're called. So they've got observation class vehicles and world class vehicles and those vehicles that use tools, and are there specific equipment subsea, and it's, you're working three, four or 5000 metres above the surface. So it's exclusively done through robotics and remote control. And so the tools that you use the did the developed to do stuff now accordingly.

Rafael Testai:

So it has nothing to do with scuba diving gear for dogs.

Filip Valica:

That's right. Now, that's an untapped market, by the way. So there's any listener out there that's like, 'Oh, I'm gonna jump on that.' I haven't done the the IP searches yet though. So you might have to do some due diligence.

Rafael Testai:

Alright, this seems like a good place for a quick pause to share with our listeners that team pipeline.us is where you can learn more about how we help medical device and other product engineering or manufacturing teams, develop turnkey equipment, custom fixtures and automated machines to correct arise, inspect, assemble, manufacturer and perform verification testing on your devices. We're speaking with Filip, with Filip Valica, and I wanted to ask you about all those calls, and interviews that you have with inventors. What are in your pocket in your former podcast? What are some trends you may have seen with inventors of tangible products? That will be useful to know too. For some of our mechanical design engineers listen to the show who may want to launch their own tangible product inventions.

Filip Valica:

Yeah, I think so the main reason that I started the podcast is because as an engineer, I was interested in how people that had no engineering background launched their own products, and so I interviewed like Shark Tank winners and other people just out of pure curiosity to say, 'Okay, how does your brain work as opposed to mine?' because, obviously, with engineering, we get indoctrinated into doing things a certain way. I think one common thread that I noticed is number one is that they take action, and they're more risk tolerant than in general engineers are. And I'd say in general, because we're, we're rewarded for being risk adverse, right, we have to catch everything, it's our responsibility to make sure nothing breaks, no one gets hurt, no environmental impacts. And so by nature, I think we, we are funnelled to be risk adverse. And a lot of the people that launched products didn't know better. And what I mean by that is that there wasn't a barrier in their way. They had no, nothing to fall back on to say I shouldn't do this. For this reason. It was more of 'Well, I'm just going to go out and do it and see how it goes.' And I think adopting that mindset, that exploratory mindset really is really helpful, and then along that line, they went out there and got feedback from their customers almost immediately, they would be putting something out that wasn't even at 50% capability. And in many cases, they would start at 20, and then start getting feedback. So by the time they hit 80, 90%, they're really refining what they're shipping. They've already established this community and a network and a way to get their feedback

Rafael Testai:

Interesting. What are maybe some some technical skills that mechanical engineers out of college don't necessarily have that would be very useful for them to have to launch their own tangible products.

Filip Valica:

I think experience on the supply chain is not taught enough in schools. And what I mean by that is at least my undergrad, we definitely got hands on manufacturing experience where you got to go to the machine shop and, and work on designs definitely, obviously heavy in the analysis side. But on the front end, it was basically like, so first of all, you always get a word problem that's perfectly formed. And that's never true in real life. Right? Sally needs three apples and go calculate what the fall falling speed is that she's holding three apples or whatever. But, and that's, that's never true. Because you just you don't know what questions to ask up front in the real world. So I would say, that's that skill is to figure out what questions are important and which aren't. It just comes with experience and maybe working with other people. And then also, having some exposure to the supply chain to say, well, stuff doesn't just appear, it comes from somewhere, and there's an impact and making all of those decisions. And usually it comes from completely different places. And so it turns into a more complicated problem to design something because you have to rely on all sorts of things, logistics and supply chain stuff and quality and other variables that that whereas in engineering, we're oftentimes we live in a perfectly known world, hard requirements. It's a there's a box around everything.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, this actually leads me to the next part of the conversation since you're on the engineering managing side. From my experience, sometimes it's maybe difficult. I don't know if I'm another perfect wordsmith, most eloquent person, but how, how do you convince an engineer that's convinced that their ways the right way, and you want to help them open their mind that there may be other ways to solve a problem? How do you initiate that conversation?

Filip Valica:

I mean, it depends on on their specific attitude. And by the way, I actually hire for attitude not skill set, for part of that reason, right. Because it's a bit, it's a bit difficult to take people on. And ask them to do things differently than than they've done before. Unless they already have that mindset of being open to new experiences. But, but I would say, had putting them on a team with someone that does things differently. I've allowed people to fail in the past. And I mean, that in the best way, obviously, it's for things that are recoverable in areas that it's not going to be detrimental to life property, a huge amount of money. But, uh, and then maybe, sometimes, you as the manager might even learn something as well, because maybe it does actually succeed. And you and so you might realise that you've been propagating this myth, or this this stance, and maybe it's not always true in 100% of cases. And it might force you to think things and look at them differently. And it's all pretty difficult, right? I think we as humans, have to usually learn by going things instead of by just being told.

Rafael Testai:

You mentioned you do the hiring. So how do you get a feel of if you're, if the person you're interviewing does possess the quality of being open minded, like you just mentioned, because really a job interviews? Anyone can say anything? Because they may they know what you want to hear. So they're gonna say like the right response. So what do you use to detect if they're a right fit?

Filip Valica:

I'm not going to tell you, man, I'm all my secrets now, then I won't be able to hide any less. No, I mean, honestly, it's, I think you just have to get a feel for that, from the interview. In general, if there's if people are talking in absolutes all the time, this must be this way. This is always done that way. This is never true or always true. It makes me think that they are more rigid. I think it's, it's tough to pull that out, though. I think you just have to get a feel for what they can bring to the table what their past experience was, and then maybe put some scenarios up during the interview process and say, hey, how would you handle this? What are your thoughts on that? And then see how many questions they asked during the process or how their thought process works. And it's very, it's very linear. Like, this is how it's always true versus if it's more exploratory. You know?

Rafael Testai:

Okay, that's reasonable. If you could wave a magic wand and make one change through daily routine, what would it be? Hmm.

Filip Valica:

There's a lot of talk about starting your morning off the right foot and waking up early and making sure that you've got time to whether it's meditate or to pray or to think about what the day and plan your day accordingly. So you take control of the day, I think I would want to make that change. Instantly, I'm pretty bad and forming new habits. And I also have two young kids and they, they dominate the morning sometimes. So that would be my one change.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, reasonable. Is there something that I haven't asked you that I think I should ask you.

Filip Valica:

No, I think we're good. I mean, what are some of the challenges that you're hearing from your side from listeners or from other engineers or other people that are wanting to improve their careers or, or do something different even?

Rafael Testai:

Speaking for myself, I started mechanical, this mechanical engineering career about three years ago, I actually have a degree in molecular biology and genetics. And I did a software startup before this. For me trying to break into the field, it's, it's hard to know which skills to learn to pick up because there's so much information out there. And I really want to learn the core things that are needed to become a more valuable team member to my team. So it's hard to filter through.

Filip Valica:

Yeah. So actually, that made me think of two points to talk about. One, I'll answer your first question. So what do you learn? Or what do you what what should you learn? I think that's always hard. I think you've, for me, I've always let my what I've been interested in guide that. And so I've changed positions and roles and companies, just based on things that I was curious about always wanting to get more experience in the chain. So for example, working for a large company that does a lot of their own everything, design integrated design, build test, ship, working for a supplier to them, and then working for the client to them. And then so I'm able to get that perspective, through the whole value chain, from the top tier client, that's, sending out billion dollar projects, to down to the small supplier level where you're working on a small shop, with 20 employees, I think, to me, I valued that experience, and it helped me understand what I like more. And then that experience, let me dive deeper into the topics that I needed to learn that I thought you needed to be successful. Obviously, there's a bank of skill sets that you need to do well. And I think you're probably going to hit them one on every job. It's going to be like communication and making sure that you're hitting your deadlines and being detail oriented and you know all that basic type of stuff, right?

Rafael Testai:

Absolutely. I actually forgot to mention this, but I'm a writer and content creator for SolidWorks. And I tear apart products and show how their inner mechanisms work on CAD. Everyone feel free to follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn, Rafael Testai. But I only say this, because I saw that you're fascinated by the way things work. What fascinates you about the way things work?

Filip Valica:

Yeah, I mean, as a kid, I was taking stuff apart. I just like, how stuff works. I just like looking into something and saying, Oh, that's, I wouldn't have never imagined. Yeah, this type of mechanism to do that type of motion. Translating, like, rotational totally, like, linear motion early on. I was like, Wow, that's so crazy. Yeah, how do they do that? And, and it's almost like some, like, it was just really interesting to look at, like, early on patents even to say like, wow, these a lot of people were like, so innovative. And, and going from, like, in the Iron Age early on, like, like the early machines. And to me, just all of that. It's just really fascinating. And now, as we're evolving, everything is just getting smaller and tighter and faster. And so you're squeezing more and more out of less. And that's just always interesting to me.

Rafael Testai:

Absolutely true. It has there ever been maybe you know how it works. Or maybe there's something that you wonder about how it works internally, something that relatively simple, in, in a device that you want to know how it works inside, mechanically. And the reason I asked you this is because as I said, I'm making these videos as to how things work internally. And I'm always looking for the next gadget or device that I should tear apart. Any recommendations?

Filip Valica:

This is the one I'm going to flop on. I really don't just because like when I have that curiosity, I immediately Google it and like look on YouTube or like take it apart myself. Like, I need that instant gratification to know the answer. So I don't keep a running list. Unfortunately.

Rafael Testai:

It's pretty cool that you get your instant gratification from knowledge. I had a former roommate, and I always laugh when I say this because he will say Raf, my nickname. Everyone calls me Raf. I need some instant gratification now, I'm gonna go buy some sneakers. And always remember that, but yeah you get your instant gratification from knowledge. And that's pretty cool. I can relate to that.

Filip Valica:

No, it's it. Yeah, it's it's huge to be learning new things and being able to apply them, right.

Rafael Testai:

Yeah, absolutely. I agree. Okay, well, I think those are all the questions I have for today. Filip, thank you so much for being on the show. Is there any last thing you want to say to our listeners?

Filip Valica:

Um, I had one thought, as we were talking, so I'm going back to school, I'm getting my MBA. Now. I think I'm one of the throw out there a bit of caution to to people that feel like they're getting pigeonholed into a role. A lot of times, even as engineers, in my career, I've been basically, the the fixer, right, like, throw this difficult project your way, see if you can figure it out, and then move on to the next one. And pretty soon you get that type of reputation. And as engineers, I think we respond well to that, where I was proud of the work that I was doing, it was my name on the drawing, it was my name on the analysis, I wanted to do a good job. And so I kept diving deeper into taking on more and more of those types of projects. What the byproduct of that is that if you become so good at fixing and things that you may not necessarily be picked to be promoted, if that's your path, if that's what you want to do, because your value is in fixing things. And you become irreplaceable. Right? The company can't afford to lose you. So it's just a bit of caution there to say that if you're, and there's definitely nothing wrong with engineers wanting to be SMEs, and be subject matter experts and dive deep into something and be the best person. And that one topic, hey, that's awesome. I actually wish that my brain worked that way. But it doesn't. If you have the other desire, where it's like, I feel like I want to go into management one day, that's going to take a lot of reprogramming, I think, for the for the more typical engineer, because you have to operate the differently, and there's definitely nobody that will Well, not nobody, but there's very few people that I've spoken with have had the bosses that will pull them aside and say, hey, these are the types of changes you need to make in order to move into management.

Rafael Testai:

I need a little more clarification on that first, and you said that if you become too good at something, you can't work your way up?

Filip Valica:

In a sense that you will become that person. So in a lot of the companies that I've worked at, you are valued based on your ability to fix problems. And if those are technical problems, then you will be the technical fixer, you will be the MacGyver or the Mr. Fix It or Mrs. Fix It or whatever that is. That basically gets harder or more challenging problems, right. So you get more projects, less people, even even more risky, custom work. But that will be kind of the ceiling. Because you've done really well in those. So the company is an organism in a sense that it will do what is best for the for itself, not for you. And it is best for itself to have somebody like you to continue fixing those problems.

Rafael Testai:

I see. So instead of becoming an absolute specialist, that something very niche, maybe broaden your scope of competencies, is that your suggestion?

Filip Valica:

If if you do not want to be an SME, yes, there are some people that are like, hey, I want nothing more than to be the principal engineer that does blank. And that's awesome. If that's if that's what you want to do. Knock yourself out. But if you're like a principal engineer, your senior engineer and you're disappointed because you haven't been able to hit a management tier yet. It's probably because you've been focused on the wrong types of problems. And probably I suspect, need to work on delegating and also mentoring people around you so that when you leave on vacation, the whole, everything doesn't fall down.

Rafael Testai:

That's good way to put it. All right, Filip, is there any way that people can get ahold of you if they have any follow up questions?

Filip Valica:

Yeah, honestly, probably the best place now that I don't do the podcast is just LinkedIn. So F-i-l-i-p V-a-l-i-c-a.

Rafael Testai:

Amazing. It's been great having you on the show. Thank you so much.

Filip Valica:

Thanks for having me on, Rafael.

Aaron Moncur:

I'm Aaron Moncur, founder of Pipeline Design and Engineering. If you liked what you heard today, please share the episode to learn how your team can leverage our team's expertise developing turnkey equipment, custom fixtures and automated machines and with product design, visit us at teampipeline.us. Thanks for listening.