From the department of "Walt's getting philosophical again..."

Dec. 7, 2006
I was thinking, as I'm getting ready to leave Dallas and go back home, that this user group conference, probably more than any other that I've attended this year emphasizes the differences in the way we've worked as automation professionals up to now, and the ways we will be working in the near future. It is not going to be enough to be instrument engineers. It isn't going to be enough to be "automation professionals." We need to be interdisciplinary generalists (wow, there's a mouthful for you...
I was thinking, as I'm getting ready to leave Dallas and go back home, that this user group conference, probably more than any other that I've attended this year emphasizes the differences in the way we've worked as automation professionals up to now, and the ways we will be working in the near future. It is not going to be enough to be instrument engineers. It isn't going to be enough to be "automation professionals." We need to be interdisciplinary generalists (wow, there's a mouthful for you) that can do field devices, final control elements, loop control, advanced process control, networking and IT, cybersecurity, safety instrumented systems, plant security and after we master all of that, we're going to find that it still isn't going to be enough. On top of all of that, we're going to have to be the ones who truly and once and for all re-engineer the business processes so that the optimization technologies we've created can actually have the effect of making businesses run properly and under optimized control. Do you think we can do all that? Is that exciting enough of a career for you?