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AUGUST 2021 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 31 Feature Article by Tamara Jovanovic HAPPIEST BABY, INC. I remember the first time my boss asked me to design a PCB for some in-house testing. It was wintertime and we were in a meeting room with a few other co-workers. Someone suggested we design our own PCBs for testing to mitigate issues from the set-up with devel- opment kits. My boss agreed, and everyone turned to me, an electrical engineer. Immediately, anxiety started spreading through my entire body. I could feel my palms sweating and my heart rate increase as reality hit me; I had never designed an entire board by myself before. Until then, I had read books, blogs, magazine articles, and Altium support pages on how to use their tools. I had watched countless YouTube videos, done some of the sample projects on my own, and retouched some of the existing designs. However, I had never designed an entire PCB on my own from start to finish. I felt like there was still so much I needed to learn, and I was terrified I wouldn't be able to deliver. Despite the panic setting in and my legs shaking from anxiety, I blurted out, "No problem. I can do it." Everyone in the room nodded at me and we moved on to the next topic. I barely remember what was discussed dur- ing the remainder of that meeting. All I could think was, "How am I going to pull this off ? What in the world am I going to do?" I was trying to calculate in my head how many hours it would take for me to thoroughly read the 1,500-page Printed Circuits Handbook by Happy Holden and Clyde F. Coombs. In that moment, it didn't matter how small or straight- forward the PCB was supposed to be, I felt like I wasn't prepared enough to do this on my own. But there is a reason why some parents effectively teach their kids to swim by throw- ing them into the deep end of the pool and let- ting them figure it out on their own. When I calmed down a little bit from the initial shock (of being asked to do my job), I remembered that I had designed circuits and complex electronic systems before. I realized that I had the knowledge and the resources to complete this task, and all I needed to do was implement it into a new application. I My PCB Design Education: A Continuous Process Tamara Jovanovic

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