Well, let's start with what ELFS is not:
Ok, fantastic. Then what IS it?
ELFS is a social network specifically for engineers that are looking for stuff. Read that again. It's a place that looks much like a social network, has content, and encourages communication, but not just for the sake of being social. ELFS have dreams, ELFS have goals, and even though ELFS are often brilliant, they don't always have everything they need to make those goals and dreams a reality.
ELFS is a place for engineers that need stuff. What stuff do engineers need, you ask? We tend to need all kinds of stuff, but this group is specifically to help us with side projects, blue-sky projects and entrepreneurial ideas. It's for partnerships, investors, moonlighters, design and test equipment, materials, tools, and anything else that can help a great idea turn into a reality. It's NOT for paying jobs - there are plenty of sites for that already.
Why did I create this group? Because I'm an electrical engineer that has many ideas which extend beyond my skillset. Sometimes I need a mechie to help me with a drawing or a software guy to work up an architecture document or even just a guy nearby with a lathe so I can finish a prototype. Ever try to do stuff that requires a lathe without a lathe?!? It's terribly difficult.
And just because we are dedicated to getting stuff done doesn't mean there isn't time to check out the resource library or post and comment in the fun stuff forum. So check out what others are looking for, help out when and where you can, and always keep looking for stuff!
Advertise with us:
Email info at engineerslooking dot com to find out how.
What others are saying:
"It seems that more engineers all the time are coming to the conclusion [that] social networks are, after all, a way to collaborate and get visibility into trends and topics you maybe didn't realize you were missing".
-Jean Thilmany, Mechanical Engineering Magazine, Jan 2013
"...engineers can also use social platforms to increase visibility and strengthen their reputation, helping to build a strong brand."
"...the benefits of the group are clear. Engineers want to use their time efficiently. A niche network like ELFS keeps them from having to sift through a lot of irrelevant material. And unlike general social networks like Facebook, "ELFS is not a place to waste time; it's a place to get stuff done."
-Eva Kaplan-Leiserson, PE Magazine, May 2013
"Niche social networks don’t aspire to rival Facebook...the value of these small-scale forums lies in connecting people who share professional concerns and specialized interests."
-Prachi Patel, IEEE Spectrum Sep 2012
I'm an electrical engineer by degree, and currently the engineering manager for a small medical device company. I've always had more side projects than I could handle, always more ideas than I could complete, and always more ambition than time. I'm no Edison, no Tesla, maybe not even a Branson, but I believe in the power of cooperation and collaboration to help drive things forward, if not for any other reason than being accountable to a team.
ELFS has been a labor of love since 2009. I was using an email list called Help A Reporter Out (HARO) to hook up with some media sources to promote a project, and realized that there were precious few serious resources to hook up technical people in a similar but fun way. Most forums were just a time-suck, most discussions just went down rabbit holes never to return, and most consultants cost money.
So here we are at ELFS, where I hope you can put your skills together in interesting ways and complete those cool ideas that wake you up at odd hours and prevent you from sleeping at late ones. Post an idea, a hack you want to try, and whatever advice, skills, or equipment you think you need to get there!
Rich Savoie is from NH but currently lives in Sydney, Australia with his wonderful wife and dog. When not ELFing, you'll find him playing guitar, running, hiking, and hunting for the world's best beers...sometimes all at once.