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Design007-Jan2020

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JANUARY 2020 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 29 Holden: Yes. Unfortunately, I have around 15 other secrets that I won't divulge now. The problem is that I don't have the energy to de- bate with you. All I can say, "Test it. Build it, and then find out." Watson: But we are building on the founda- tions that you put there for us. I have a copy of Printed Circuits Handbook sitting on my desk, and it's a guideline for everything I do. My real hope as we build on the foundation of what you've done, Happy, is that we develop new designers; that's part of my career as I fade into the sunset, and that's the main purpose of AltiumLive. The most exciting thing has been seeing young people's energy. Spend a few minutes with the Hyperloop racing team, and you'll catch it. Matties: That was going to be one of my next points: You're dedicating a lot of your time to sharing your knowledge with the Hyperloop team and other young designers. Watson: I am. I was one of the Hyperloop tech- nical advisors last year, and I have the honor of doing that again with the new team. Each year, a new team comes on, and they asked me if I would be willing to do it again. My answer was, "Absolutely." Matties: What advice would you give to other designers who want to follow that path and get involved with young people as a mentor or in some other way? Watson: Put yourself out there. Everyone has something to offer. We're all at different lev- els in our knowledge and techniques. Anoth- er great thing about Altium is they give you a platform to work from; that's Altium's mental- ity for developing a community of designers that can then start meshing. The one great thing I've seen at every sin- gle AltiumLive is a few hours into the event, people start opening their laptops. You'll have a group of people from all different ar- eas and levels around the computer, cranking their necks to get the view of the screen, talk- ing about things, and meshing together. That's what I envision and would like to see with the community of developers; novice or expert, we can all come together and share each experi- ence, knowledge, and discuss challenges and issues we're facing. Matties: What knowledge are young people looking for right now? Watson: It varies. I came from the streets of de- signing, and I say that because I did not come through the conventional way of PCB design; I came in as an electronic technician. I then be- came interested in PCB design. I am not an EE, but I've worked my way up through the ranks. Once a lot of young people get out of school, they realize they haven't learned everything they need to know. Then, you start learning the street knowledge and learning the facts of life. Matties: The facts of a designer's life. Watson: Yes. It's not like what they might have told you in school, and you begin to learn the street knowledge that's out there. Many de- signers have worked their way through this. For example, maybe you don't want to know how to fully analyze something and or all the intricate details of everything, but how do you get from point A to point B? Companies are interested in if you can give them a PCB that works; they don't need all the intricate details. Matties: Thanks for your time, John. Watson: Thanks for the opportunity. DESIGN007 Once a lot of young people get out of school, they realize they haven't learned everything they need to know.

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