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32 SMT007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Nolan Johnson and Ben Jordan discuss the convergence of design data, manufacturing, and the cloud as an interchange infrastructure. While design environment centric, this con- versation provides insight for manufacturers as Altium aims to create a platform for all the stakeholders, not just design. Nolan Johnson: Ben, how long have you been with Altium, and what do you do in your cur- rent role? Ben Jordan: It's funny that you ask because I've been at Altium 15 years exactly today. Johnson: Congratulations! Jordan: Thank you. I started as an applica- tions engineer. I have an engineering degree as a background, but I've been interested in electronics and PCBs since I was eight-years- old. Joe Grand was one of the keynote speak- ers at AltiumLive, and he wanted to see a show of hands of people who had etched their own boards using ferric chloride; he shared a similar story, and I've done those things too. I made my own boards when I was a teen- ager using ferric chloride, burning holes in my parents' concrete, and disposing of it in non- thoughtful ways because I didn't know any better. I am deeply technical at heart. And PCB design is an interesting job because, on one extreme, it requires absolute focus and flow. I understand how designers get into the process of designing a circuit, and routing a board puts you in a state of flow. If it's something that you're going to do in life, it puts you in a state of absolute concentration. Now, I work in Altium's corporate market- ing team with Lawrence Romine, who is quite popular and famous around here. However, I don't have a real title, which I don't think is important. I've been at Altium for so long as a technical person who helps with messaging, creating videos, and putting together produc- tions. My role, the way I see it, is to commu- nicate the value of what we do and how users can get more from the software to become bet- ter designers. I look forward to announcing what's coming up, including the future of what we're doing, the problems we want to solve for designers and the design industry, and how it goes beyond PCB designers. Altium's Roadmap: Beyond PCB Design Ben Jordan

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