Code 72

Meet the real-life MacGyvers who engineer life-or-death solutions while the clock ticks.

By Lee Zlotoff

Imagine for a moment you’re an engineer, and the top brass where you work call to say, “We’ve got a problem in the field — and you’ve got 72 hours to solve it.” And by “solve it” they don’t just mean think of an answer, they mean design it, build a prototype, test it, get user feedback, work out the bugs, retest it, and get it into production so it’s on its way to the customer — all in 72 hours.

Wait, it gets better. Imagine now the company you work for is the U.S. military, where the top brass really are top brass, there’s enough red tape to choke a Clydesdale, and your customers are soldiers in the field whose lives actually ...

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