Building Community to Deliver Great Engineering Through the Cardinal Peak Book Club

At Cardinal Peak, we’re passionate about participating in personal growth and delivering engineering services that reduce the risk of outsourcing an engineering project. That’s precisely why our staff has organized a weekly book club.

Due to the highly technical connected product design work that we do, it can be easy to get stuck in a particular area in terms of technical knowledge. To help address that, the Cardinal Peak book club provides the opportunity to dig deeper into specific product engineering topics, refresh knowledge in areas our staff might not have investigated in a while and explore subject matter in which other employees are experts.

Connecting the Dots

Among our talented team of 100-plus engineers, we have a range of practical knowledge — everything from experience with medical devices to work in the defense industry. That varying expertise not only opens the door to a myriad of differing perspectives on the same topic, it also engages club members to share real-world examples related to projects we have already accomplished, are currently working on or might tackle in the future — either with Cardinal Peak or at another company.

Regularly during book club discussions, people detail examples of projects they’re currently working on (while respecting the privacy of our clients of course!) or concerns they’ve witnessed throughout the course of their career to connect the dots and bring everything together.

The Book We’re Reading

We tend to select books based on topics we’re particularly interested in and themes that are relevant to current projects within our company.

Right now, our book club is focused on “Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces.” Also known as OSTEP or “the comet book,” this piece of academic literature focuses on three conceptual pieces that are fundamental to operating systems: virtualization, concurrency and persistence.

These systems programming concepts center around the work that we do when it comes to embedded platforms. All of the concepts the book focuses on are ideas we leverage on a daily basis to bring innovations to market quickly.

Academic Vs. Professional Mindset

As professionals in the product engineering space, many of us have been out of school for several years, but our collective thirst for knowledge often remains unquenched. Consequently, the book club was developed out of interest in maintaining that academic, always learning mindset.

Ultimately, book club members are interested in learning and growing professionally. Reading these higher-level academic books allows attendees to get back into an academic mindset as they get a feel for unfamiliar concepts or refresh their grasp on notions they learned about years ago. By approaching these concepts from an academic point of view, the book club allows attendees to consider concepts in a new light, unlocking the learning part of the brain that helps us solve those challenging engineering problems.

A Collaborative Learning Environment

Almost like continuing education, book club members band together to stay up to date and learn about new concepts, linking what we read to real-world applications that are more directly relevant to the work we do.

Having skill in something is one thing, but being passionate enough about it to put in time outside of billable hours to learn more illustrates that our team cares about our work and aims to always do it better. Plus, the book club meetings provide time for attendees to interact with their colleagues on a more personal level, which helps build more positive interpersonal relationships.

Not only does the book club help break the ice, so to speak, it also enables members to discover where other individuals’ expertise lies so they can leverage that resource when the moment arises. At each meeting, we interact with our colleagues, but it’s not very often we get to share knowledge outside of normal business context. Reading these books helps to spark conversations and allows us to view fellow employees in a different light. At the end of the day, the book club enables an open exchange of ideas with colleagues, creating a collaborative learning environment.

From growing together and building community to delivering great engineering, our core values serve as the backbone for everything we do. If you’re interested in learning more about the Cardinal Peak way or joining our team of problem-solving builders create the cutting-edge technology solutions of the future connect with us!