Are engineers really bad at things they can't measure?

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Tags: engineering, society, measurement

Writing for The New Yorker, Ken Auletta offered his insights about Larry Page taking over for Eric Schmidt as Google’s C.E.O. Auletta’s article is full of the unexpected, but what surprised me most was this claim about one of the obstacles Larry Page must overcome to lead Google:

He will have to rid himself of a proclivity most engineers have: they are really bad at things they can’t measure.

It’s hard to dispute that engineers are really good at things they can measure. But are they especially bad at things they can’t?

And isn’t everybody “really bad” at things they can’t measure? (Try running through a forest with your eyes closed. Let me know how it goes.)

So what makes Auletta single out engineers for this failing? Is there a grain of truth in there somewhere?

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