T he work of a systems engineer isn’t always obvious. It’s an airplane that flies smoothly and lands without incident. It’s an automobile that gently alerts the driver when drifting out of its lane or sensing a vehicle in its blind spot. It’s a nationwide package-moving company that relies on dozens of independent software packages to move millions of parcels every day from point A to point B. It’s a rocket that blasts off into space, taking human beings and supplies to a distant space station—able to safely complete its mission and return to Earth. In fact, the success of a systems engineer might be noted more by the lack of a problem than by any fanfare or hoopla. And systems engineers like it that way. To put it another way, what is the value of a problem not encountered? David Long, CEO of Vitech Corporation, often asks this koan-like question when speaking to audiences about systems engineering. Dealing with a problem once it occurs is much more expensive than avoiding the problem altogether. Long founded Vitech Corporation in 1992. The venture which began as an undergrad project has grown to become an enterprise with a product used by thousands across the globe. It all started rather by accident.