In Japan, showing effort is often more important than working effectively. In Japan (and probably in many other countries), many engineers like doing whatever technical things that they like rather than contributing as a team member. Those attitudes often results in doing innovative work, but it is rare. And now it puts me in a difficult situation in the current job. Some Japanese engineers came to my work place. They are supposed to supervise Canadian workers, and I am supposed to translate what they say to give instructions to Canadian workers. But some of those Japanese geeks prefer working by themselves to sweat and cannot give instructions to Canadian workers. First of all, working without work permit is against the law; they landed in Canada as supervisors. Second of all, they do not fulfill their duty at all; they do not supervise Canadian workers and do not let me do my duty. This irritates me a lot.
They may be good engineers. But are they good professionals? No. Good professionals should understand their role and fulfill their duty.
If I understand correctly, this is one of the biggest differences between product engineer and product designer. Correct me if I’m wrong; designers should have a holistic view point and work as leaders in a development team, while engineers focus on technical details and work by themselves. This is what I am aiming at. Form does not follow function. Engineering follows design.