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Uploaded on Sep 30, 2014
Recorded: October 20, 1983
Bernard Gordon took his first job in the nascent computer industry in 1948, under Presper Eckert at the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company. Gordon describes Eckert’s managerial style and its strictly disciplined underpinnings, which included unwavering deadlines, demands of near perfection, and exacting attention to detail. While he was with Eckert-Mauchly, Gordon helped in the development of the UNIVAC I computer in the early 1950s, and he states that the computer engineering culture had drastically changed since that time. While earlier cohorts of engineering teams were generally made up of small teams capable of nearly all required project tasks, Gordon notes that contemporary computer engineering efforts consisted of a large number of team members with distinctly defined roles. This formula went against his approach to the engineering process, a procedure he adopted from Presper Eckert. Gordon claims that a prevailing sentiment of the early 1980s—that there was a shortage of computer engineers—was false, but that there was a dearth of engineers with competencies to cover a broad view of undertakings. In addition, he details what he deems the decline in productivity of electronic engineers, and Analogic's commitment to mentoring engineers with the discipline evocative of Eckert's managerial philosophy. The lecture concludes with questions from the audience.