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Re: Use of foreign engineers

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Seems this thread has gone around a few days.  I have read most of the posts 
and the arguments appear valid for foreign or or Non-foreign engineers.

The things I run into daily that are the hardest to deal with are:
1.  understanding a Client's needs and wants
2.  communication in general
3.  having people understand that all engineering work in this country can 
become legal work for someone else.
4.  getting true "number-crunching" engineers to understand the need to 
maintain some kind of time-frame.  To me a number cruncher is that group that 
does not like the Client interface portion of this business but enjoys the 
technical aspect of it

With that in mind, it becomes difficult to work with US engineers or college 
grads that do not understand these 4 basic daily problems I encounter.  If 
you factor in using foreign engineers, some of these basics get harder.  
Communication gets more difficult.  Working in different buildings in the 
same city is difficult, making it different countries adds to this problem. 

We use so much slang and take it for granted in the US.  In addition to this, 
while speaking to a person who has English as a second language, sometimes we 
are into our 2nd or 3rd sentence, while they are still processing the 1st 
one.  I personally do not have a 2nd language, but can imagine that I would 
process info slightly slower if it was not my native language.   You can have 
a problem with any American that does not have a good command of the language 
and writing skills.

The legal aspect is very serious to us, but some countries may not feel so 
compelled to worry about it if their country does not follow the old American 
motto " a car in every garage and a lawsuit for everyone"

The time frame ALWAYS appears to be an issue with number crunchers.  If they 
prefer doing the technical aspect, but not the Client/business end of 
engineering, they may not be so easy to work with on timeframe.  This appears 
to be true regardless of which country someone comes from.  So by 
predominantly hiring foreign labor for this task, it may make them appear 
harder to work with.  In fact, they are no harder to work with, but you have 
hired 100% of them for that task.   Maybe you have hired only 50% or 60% of 
Americans for the same task.

Incidentally, I am non-US born but my father was military.  I moved to US 
when I was 5 or 6.  

Ron Martin
Tuscaloosa, AL