The first post in the mistake series is how to avoid making mistakes. Most mistakes stem from having the wrong attitude toward what you are doing. So I want to share with you the wrong and the right attitude to have as a civil engineer if you want to avoid mistakes altogether.
The wrong attitude:
Everyone is human and we all make mistakes.
The right attitude:
Civil engineers are not allowed to make mistakes. Because when civil engineers make mistakes the public is at risk; buildings collapse, sewer lines back up, water pipes burst or houses flood. In addition, even the smallest mistake can cost someone a lot of money to fix. Therefore, civil engineers must be perfect.
The wrong attitude allows you to be lazy with your design. If you believe you are entitled to make mistakes you are more likely to make them and use the wrong attitude as your excuse.
The right attitude forces you to be careful with your work, double check your numbers and be sure of calculations, and designs before you submit them.
The right attitude forces you to do your best work the first time around.
The right attitude does not allow you to make excuses for yourself. You are the last line of defense against mistakes and it is your responsibility to weed them out.
The right attitude is what separates civil engineers from everyone else.
As a new civil engineer you must understand that we have a large responsibility to the public, our clients, and to ourselves. And that responsibility can only be upheld if we all implement the right attitude in our design.