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JULY 2021 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 25 PCB Design is Not Just About Me I'm really embarrassed to even admit to this one, but sadly it's true. As a junior designer, I tended to look upon the input of other mem- bers of the design team as being more of an annoyance than the collaborative partnership it should have been. Now, it is true that the working relationships between team mem- bers need to be managed appropriately, and not everyone can get everything in a design to be the way they want it to be, but I was com- pletely out of line in my earlier days when it came to design change requests. "Move this part closer to that one? No way, that will mess up my beautiful routing." "What do you mean that will cause a manufacturing problem? Who cares? e design looks great." Once again, if we could just run the DeLorean up to 88 mph, I would give my younger self a good slap and convince him that the sun doesn't rise and set with how the design looks. e priority is that the circuit board must actually work and be manufacturable above all. Great Scott! Getting Your Ducks in a Row Avoids Getting All 'Fowled' Up It is amazing when I think back to how many times I rushed through important parts of a project, just so I could get into the "fun stuff." Here's one example that caused me grief on more than one occasion as a junior layout designer: "Oh I don't need to worry about all of these separate design rules, let's just set the default and start hooking up traces." Are you wincing right now just as much as I am with that memory? If I could just convince the Guardian of Forever to send me back to the first occurrence of haste in my career, hope- fully, I could change the course of history. I would tell myself that taking an extra 30 minutes up front is much preferable than the hours of re-work that I was headed for later. Relax, Have Fun, and Don't Take Yourself So Seriously And lastly, I would borrow the phone booth from Bill and Ted long enough to advise my younger self to lighten up just a little. When I first started laying out boards, I could be kind of intense, which didn't always work out very well. I would get down on myself for mistakes that I had made, while at the same time trying to manipulate people into doing what I thought was best. ere is so much joy to be found in what we do and who we work with that such a high level of intensity just isn't necessary. Plus, it isn't very healthy either. Please don't misun- derstand me. We still need to be diligent in our work, and always aim to improve ourselves just as Bert Christman did. But we don't need to kill ourselves and those around us doing it. And speaking of killing ourselves while working, my wife is in the other room watch- ing basketball all by herself, and I think that I am going to join her for a while. Keep on designing everyone, and I'll see you next time. DESIGN007 References 1. Life Imitates Art, Colorado State University Magazine. 2. Cartoonist Bert Christmas Did Not Survive War, The Daily Cartoonist, May 31, 2021. Tim Haag writes technical, thought-leadership content for First Page Sage on his longtime career as a PCB designer and EDA technologist. To read past columns or contact Haag, click here. The priority is that the circuit board must actually work and be manufacturable above all. Great Scott!

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