The Engineering Disciplines
While it is arguable which race first devised the science of engineering on Azeroth, there is little argument as to which races are the main proponents of it in modern times: the gnomes and the goblins. Their dedication to engineering as a collective whole has not only fueled fantastic inventions in what is arguably a magical Age of Invention, but it also fueled their intense racial rivalry. Nowhere is this more evident than in their divergent disciplines.
The gnomes as a race tend to excel in the design of items intended to manipulate and control the world around them. While they maintain a cursory understanding of explosives and weaponry, gnome engineering focuses instead on items that quite literally try to make life easier and more accessible. It is a discipline of theoretical possibilities made reality through gnomish know-how. Some possibilities, however, are never fully realized.
As a race that finds itself as neutral in almost every conflict, goblins have taken great steps to turn science into profit. They embrace the practical applications of engineering, as evident in their radical designs of explosives, firearms, and machinery. Goblin engineering only maintains a passing interest in engineering theory; their inventions usually don't have the issue of not working, but rather working too well. It is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Gnomes and goblins protect their knowledge from each other to such lengths that it is nigh impossible to access both sets of disciplines simultaneously. Each race, regardless of political affiliations, keeps the knowledge of these disciplines available only to those who agree to forgo pursuit of the other's discipline. If a student chooses to embrace gnome engineering, for example, then no knowledge of goblin engineering will ever be made available to them.
The previous section highlighted an important point about the two engineering disciplines that must be reiterated for the sake of education. A decision to engage in either of the two disciplines means that the opposing discipline's schemata will not be available for study. While such finality may be daunting to the layman engineer, the seasoned one understands that gnomes and goblins guard their secrets with complete fervor; some knowledge is always better than none.
"You want to know about goblin engineering? Try asking one of their best and brightest engineers about it - I think his name is 'Nubby Stumpfingers'. Want to know why he's named that? THAT'S goblin engineering."
-- Ringo Tragediction, gnome engineer
"Say what you want about us goblins, but I will tell you this: WE HAVE EXPLOSIVES!"
-- Yazz Nitrospork, goblin bombardier
"Know that feeling you get when you finish making something and turn it on for the first time to experience the power and joy of invention as your device springs to life? Gnomes don't."
-- Nixx Sprocketspring, Master Goblin Engineer of Gadgetzan
"Engineering is about taking fantasy and making it fantastic!"
-- Rovis Mc
Crankenspank, gnome inventor