The Three Engineers




A mechanical engineer, a systems engineer, and a software engineer are in a car driving down a steep mountain road when the brakes fail. The driver desperately pumps the brake pedal, trying to control the speeding vehicle around cliff-edge bends, while the passengers do their best not to panic. As the car hurtles towards an impossible corner the driver spots an escape route into a hedge and a haystack beyond, where the car eventually grinds to a surprisingly safe stop. The three engineers all get out, shaken, relieved, and take turns to assess the situation.

'Hmm,' says the mechanical engineer, "It looks like a brake line was leaking. Let's repair the split, bleed the brakes, and we should be able to get on our way."

The systems engineer thinks for a while and says, "Maybe we need to contact the manufacturer and the dealer to confirm exactly what the problem is."

The software engineer slowly climbs into the driver's seat and, gesturing for the others to join him, says, "How about we get back on the road and see if it happens again?"


This is a humorous example of different problem solving styles.

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