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The Informal does the formal

You study a subject formally, (maybe in a degree program), and end up not touching it for the rest of your life. On the contrary, some skill which you never quite studied, but which you acquired from work .. ends up giving you bread, butter and maybe some jam.

I guess the above applies to all of us, I am simply presenting a personal case! The Informal, in my case, is Embedded Systems. Never studied it formally. Extremely relevant for me, atleast today.

As I think of why the formal skills which I learned in college have not yet come up in the work I do, I am reminded of March 2013, when we were working on Matsya 2.0's control systems. I was in a mood to implement a kick ass controller for the vehicle! => I studied some quite sophisticated state space controller techniques. After around a month or so, we ended up implementing the good old PID controller (PID almost always does the job .. I sometimes hate PID just because it is a big demotivator for studying advanced control systems!) One could have implemented the PID controller even without attending a semester long control systems course!

And hence my case: I have not yet felt the necessity to study (or maybe restudy), formal EE subjects taught in college. My informal skills, as of now, are good enough for completing the job. Hopefully, in a few years, I would come face to face with real engineering hurdles which necessitate the understanding of the formal. I would be the happiest man on Earth that day .. I would have found the motivation :)


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