Design007 Magazine

Design007-Nov2021

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18 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2021 ies, templates, and every- thing else in your design. at has really broadened the team that you can work with. Now you can have contractors and other indi- viduals who come in, maybe work on your library, and they don't have to be sit- ting next to you. It has really expanded the para- digm for us. Karnazes: Yes. I built my company on Altium 365. At the start of COVID, we were working on this small ventilator project, and we just wanted to make an open-source ventila- tor. We wound up sponsoring the project with some licenses and because we were managing our data in the cloud, we were able to go from one license that we were just sharing amongst our team to eight licenses being shared with 20 different designers around the world. With cloud-based storage, if you're not working on defense stuff, it works well. Nolan Johnson: at's fair. What happens when you're working in a design team and the processes don't work? For instance, a major automotive company PCB designer would oen use our tool to get certain things done because if he used the normal process at his employer, he was going to miss the cutoffs for getting that functionality into a particular model year. He had to go rogue. How do you manage that? Karnazes: It's my philosophy that if your engineers need to go rogue, your manage- ment has a problem they need to address. If an engineer is being forced to go through an impossible process and must violate a busi- ness's standard practices—that take a lot of time to develop, a lot of manpower to create, and are there for a reason— that's a failure of manage- ment, absolutely. But there are some cases where there is a speed element that must happen. At Bissell, we have an advanced development group and we're released from some of the restric- tions on following all those procedures, but the trade- off is that we don't touch the production stuff. All our projects are concepts. ey're meant to be revis- ited and that allows us to explore that technology and do so in a safe sandbox area where we're not going to be interfering with anything that affects the company's bottom line. Watson: Is it the engineers' responsibility to be communicating that upward? Karnazes: Absolutely. en it comes down to the company's culture. You don't want to be the naysayer: "I've been given this impossible task, and I'm not going to be able to deliver." No one enjoys saying that. Some cultures are tolerant of it, but others are not. To John's point, a great way to tell when a company is dead in the water is when they stop listening to their engineers. Watson: I would also mention the new tools. One of the biggest tools that we've added into our cloud structure here is a version control system with a Git repository or some- thing like that. Now, that has redefined the roles of a PCB designer because you can have an entire team working on a PCB layout. ey're all working on the exact PCB at the same time. But the key is communication. A PCB design is not a static thing. It's a living, breath- John Watson

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