A key characteristic of the engineering culture is that the individual engineer’s commitment is to technical challenge rather than to a given company. There is no intrinsic loyalty to an employer as such. An employer is good only for providing the sandbox in which to play. If there is no challenge or if resources fail to be provided, the engineer will seek employment elsewhere. In the engineering culture, people, organization, and bureaucracy are constraints to be overcome. In the ideal organization everything is automated so that people cannot screw it up. There is a joke that says it all. A plant is being managed by one man and one dog. It is the job of the man to feed the dog, and it is the job of the dog to keep the man from touching the equipment. Or, as two Boeing engineers were overheard to say during a landing at Seattle, “What a waste it is to have those people in the cockpit when the plane could land itself perfectly well.” Just as there is no loyalty to an employer, there is no loyalty to the customer. As we will see later, if trade-offs had to be made between building the next generation of “fun” computers and meeting the needs of “dumb” customers who wanted turnkey products, the engineers at DEC always opted for technological advancement and paid attention only to those customers who provided a technical challenge.
Edgar H. Schein (2010). Dec Is Dead, Long Live Dec: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equiment Corporation. p. 60