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32 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 by Judy Warner ALTIUM Let's get right down to business. Most of you know what IPC Designers Council is, and per- haps where your local chapter holds meetings, but have you ever been to one? If so, have you ever considered volunteering? No judgment here—I had the largest chapter in the country in my backyard for years and I never darkened their door until fairly recently. Why? Well, although I've worked alongside PCB design professionals for the entirety of my professional life, I didn't think I belonged at a DC meeting. I'm not a board designer or an electrical engineer. After all, I was busy and wasn't confident I had anything to gain, much less contribute. Thank goodness for the persistence of my friend Scott McCurdy of Freedom CAD who has been running the largest IPC Designers Council chapter in the country for over 15 years, Orange County. He consistently invited me, and I finally attended my first DC meeting a few years ago. At that first meeting, I realized how much I had been missing. For this reason, I'd like to do my best to dispel three myths about the Designers Council and help inspire you to get involved in your local DC chapter. Myth #1: The IPC Designers Council is exclusively for PCB designers. Well, yes and no. The chapters are primarily designed to provide learning and networking opportunities for PCB designers. However, if you are a material provider, fabricator, or EMS provider, you will learn so much about current challenges the design community faces and how you might better serve them. You can also provide a talk or speaker who can help inform on issues related to designing for performance, reliability, manufacturing, etc. We often com- plain about working in "silos" in this industry; this is one place where we can all step out of our silos, open up highly valuable conversa- tions, and make connections. Myth #2: DC meetings take too much time out of my busy schedule, and they won't benefit me anyway. You have to eat lunch, right? So why not do it at a DC meeting where you can get some education and do some professional network- ing at the same time? Most meetings are in the lunch-and-learn format that provides lunch for attendees for a nominal cost. Do you have a design challenge that's hanging you up? Where better to get some advice from fellow designers Why Should You Join the Designers Council?

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