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42 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2022 tance of communications and the need to understand the people, processes, materials, and equipment used in PCB engineering and manufacturing. is positive traction has been gained in part because of PCB design aware- ness programs such as the CID and CID+ cur- ricula offered by the IPC. However, not all PCB designers have taken the opportunity to be exposed to the workflows and capabilities of their stakeholder counter- parts through such programs as these. Design data continues to show up on the doorsteps of production fabricators and EMS providers with inaccurate or missing elements of design for manufacturing (DFM) data. An aernoon spent in the office of a CAM engineer or an EMS provider's program management lead will convince any observer that many PCB designers are still basically going it alone. ey simply do not associate their design practice with the requirements of the other stakehold- ers in the design and manufacturing cycle. Yes, their boards are routed. But their manu- facturing disconnects are, in essence, "unter- minated leads" which were never conceptually connected to the workflow requirements of the PCB fab, test, and assembly team counter- parts in the first place. As the battle of good vs. evil plays out in Hollywood blockbusters, we may have to con- cede that along with all the good PCB design- ers, there may be a contingent of dishonorable counterparts. is is the designer who refuses to recognize the needs of others. I believe there exists a dark place—a vacuum—within which a few PCB designers with narcissistic tendencies consciously choose to operate. Within this vacuum, requests for improve- ment from others are never heard. By choos- ing to work in such a vacuum, a headstrong, vain, stubborn, downskilled PCB designer could feel empowered to create PCB layouts solely to claim their own glory without being bothered by supplier feedback or other project stakeholder constraints. ese PCB designers avoid teamwork but still feel comfortable tak- ing credit for the work of the team. Behold the design narcissist! It sounds like a great title for a Jerr y Bruckheimer movie, doesn't it? Narcissism is a human condition that affects 100% of the population to one degree or another. One statistic I read pegs the more serious condition of "Narcissistic personality disorder" to between 2% and 16% of the clini- cal population. e last time I checked, PCB designers are still human, so it makes sense that during our PCB engineering careers there is a chance we could cross paths with a full-blown PCB design narcissist. But how do you recognize one and what can you do to improve such a situation? Spotting the Potential Design Narcissist We should all be on the alert for design narcissists. One may join your design team or be your company's next new hire. As members of an engineering community, we should be aware of the traits of the design narcissist so we can respond with an appropriate action, up to an all-out stakeholder intervention. Here's what to look for: • Avoids checking in with fellow stake- holders, preferring to work in a vacuum. Lacks understanding and empathy for fellow stakeholders working on the same project. I believe there exists a dark place—a vacuum—within which a few PCB designers with narcissistic tendencies consciously choose to operate.

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