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Learning & Teaching

In our recent survey, we asked you about learning and teaching. We wondered whether you were done with formal education and whether you were still learning informally. We also looked at whether you were dispensing knowledge.

We received 75 responses to the poll, which was set up to permit multiple selections. Hence, the answers selected add up to more than 75.

The top two choices are quite interesting:

1. Are you getting your knowledge online (like from Planet Analog)? 44 respondents or 58.7 percent.
2. Are you self-taught? 33 respondents or 44.0 percent.

From this we can conclude that a lot of engineers are self-taught (they don't have a bachelor's degree) and they continue to learn (which is pretty much mandatory as an engineer). Coming to this site should be quite useful.

Related to “self-taught” is mentoring. Thirteen respondents or 17.3 percent said they were being mentored at work. And 21 respondents or 28 percent were doing the mentoring. This is always good to see — it's good news (and probably good karma) when we see one group of people willing to help another.

Some of our respondents are quite new at engineering — 15 respondents or 20 percent said they are still in college, so all the more reason why they should keep coming back to Planet Analog to round out their education.

One category that's perhaps a bit sad: Are you the only engineer, so there is no one else to teach or to learn from? 17 respondents or 22.7 percent fit into that one. In engineering, it's best to have others around to bounce ideas off of and clarify one's thinking. To those folks, we're here for you. Keep checking back with us and feel free to post any questions in the comments section of this or any other blog. You can also start a completely new line of questions/comments by clicking on the “Start a Board” link.

Then, just add a topic in the “Subject of Your Post” box plus your post and you're done.

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88 comments on “Learning & Teaching

  1. David Maciel Silva
    September 30, 2013

    Knowledge not shared, it helps the technological advancement, imagine if they had died without great inventors share their ideas?

    Nothing that we have today would be possible.

    Whenever I can help I will do so, count me in!

  2. Brad_Albing
    September 30, 2013

    Thanks Maciel

  3. SunitaT
    September 30, 2013

    From this we can conclude that a lot of engineers are self-taught (they don't have a bachelor's degree) 


    @B_Albing , I am not surprised that most of the engineers are self-taught. I think they are getting very good knowledge from courses like mitx, coursera etc. Sites like planetanalog, allprogrammableplanet etc are also helping the engineers to learn about the subject indepth.

  4. SunitaT
    September 30, 2013

    Nothing that we have today would be possible.

    @Maciel, I totally agree with you. I believe learning and teaching related. If we teach we learn better because teaching what we know to others helps us understand the things better. 

  5. goafrit2
    September 30, 2013

    >Knowledge not shared, it helps the technological advancement, imagine if they had died without great inventors share their ideas?

    Good point. One man noted that if Pythagoras had patented his theorem and made it a trade secret, trigonometry might have not grown as it did. Sharing knowledge is very important for innovation to stay healthy.

  6. Vishal Prajapati
    October 1, 2013

    @BA, Sir, this is just an idea. Is it possible that when someone starts a new board and someone posts a new message to that board, we get an email notification? This idea came because most of the time comments posted outside blogs are generally remains unnoticed, at least for me. Email notification should be given as an optional choice to every user, because not every one likes notification every now and then.

  7. Brad_Albing
    October 1, 2013

    @VP – that would be a good idea – but sadly, the way our system is set up now, the only time an email is generated is when someone comments to a posted message. So if you post a comment and I post a response, then you get an email. I'll ask to see if there are any plans to change this.

  8. Scott Elder
    October 1, 2013

    @goafrit2 – <>

    That's why, at leat in the US, you can't get a patent on mathematical theory.

  9. RedDerek
    October 1, 2013

    It is quite a challenge to be an Only Engineer at company. My position is unusal since I work at a company that makes aircraft parts such as helicopter tail booms, etc. (essentially a sheet metal / CNC machine shop). As the only EE, I do get swamped with work that the owner brings in and we hire outside consultants. I have been working with one in San Diego for over seven years – he is 84 and does this for fun. Though the only one at the company, I do work closely with him to bounce idea and concepts off off. He reciprocates as well since he is a consultant / one-man shop with tech to support.

    So, being an only engineer does not necessarily mean no one to bounce ideas, but just the position. I hope we all have resources like fellows and PA to refer to.

  10. Brad_Albing
    October 1, 2013

    @ResDerek – you're lucky to have someone like the consultant you mentioned. He pro'ly has tons of experience and some good stories too.

  11. David Maciel Silva
    October 1, 2013

    One important thing I have observed over the years and that even a person with an excellent academic training, she has a chance to get too crude to the labor market, in my view capacity development takes place in accordance with what we in our day to day

    So the less theory and problems passing a future engineer, the better your ability to solve problems.

    Soon my point of view intelligence is something that develops with experiences …

    So we can say that we do anything after that really do …

  12. Davidled
    October 1, 2013

    Combination of theory and experience would be best. All experience are based on learning from school. Therefore engineer will apply their knowledge to work place with experience. Also, they would learn from experience.

  13. Netcrawl
    October 2, 2013

    @Daej yes you're right a combnation of theory and experience would be the best tool but for me experience from works still the best learning tool it gives you a much bigger view of everything that you need to know. The reality is some of the problems that we encounter in our work are new to us, this is could provide a  great opportunity to learn new procedures and techniques.

  14. Netcrawl
    October 2, 2013

    @Scott, Do we need to get a patent for mathematical theory? mathematics is free, I think its not patentable.

  15. goafrit2
    October 2, 2013

    >> So if you post a comment and I post a response, then you get an email. I'll ask to see if there are any plans to change this.

    Leave it as it is it now – it works. The way you have made it ensures anyone that comments and someone follows up is notified. That is the way it is supposed to be. Leave it as it is.

  16. goafrit2
    October 2, 2013

    >> That's why, at leat in the US, you can't get a patent on mathematical theory

    Which is unfortunate because all engineering constructs are based on mathematical theories. They just have winners and losers because the theories bring the innovation

  17. goafrit2
    October 2, 2013

    >> So, being an only engineer does not necessarily mean no one to bounce ideas, but just the position.

    That sounds really intriguig that an aircraft parts maker is having such a staff issue. How can you be the only engineer in a company in such a technical sector? It does not make a lot of sense unless it is an IP firm that you win the contract and then outsources it.

  18. RedDerek
    October 2, 2013

    @goafrit2 – I am the only electronic engineer. There are many mechanical engineers. I have generated quite a bit of IP and the work that comes in is sporatic and does not support a large staff of EEs. We do contract out for support as mentioned earlier.

    Things are getting busy whereby the potential of adding another EE is impending.

    As for general electronics assembly, we have staff for that category already in place. We do have one EE tech person that is really great and I use to check many of my newly generated schematics to ensure I did not miss anything from the original schematics.

  19. fasmicro
    October 2, 2013

    >> Soon my point of view intelligence is something that develops with experiences …

    Most agile firms do not look at domain expertise, they value the ability of an individual to learn. It is safe to say that one that can do well in accounts can be trained to do well in operations if the brain power is there. Looking at experience means we forget most times you do not need a lot of it in a changing market. 

  20. fasmicro
    October 2, 2013

    >> Also, they would learn from experience.

    That has been the understanding in the business world. The problem that most industries are created by people with no experience in them. Social media – Mark, ICT, Bill Gates, Enterprise software, Larry, Logistics – Dell, etc

  21. fasmicro
    October 2, 2013

    >> The reality is some of the problems that we encounter in our work are new to us, this is could provide a  great opportunity to learn new procedures and techniques.

    That is why the emphasis should be on making sure the person is capable of learning new things. If you hire someone based on experience and he cannot re-learn, when markets change and you have to move him, problems will come.

  22. fasmicro
    October 2, 2013

    >> @Scott, Do we need to get a patent for mathematical theory? mathematics is free, I think its not patentable.

    Because mathematicians do not have good lawyers – that is why it is free. If software can be copyrighted, why is maths not having the same treatment? What is software? Mathematical models in a nice packaged format!

    Nothing is free until you have a great lawyer. Software used to be free before Bill Gates told us that you buy a software and you must be paying yearly license to continue to own it even when you have no interest in upgrade or support. If you refuse to pay, Police will visit you for “stealing”.

     

  23. Karl Wiklund
    October 3, 2013

    At my job, I'm currently the only engineer.  It can be enormously frustrating both since there are areas where I really do need the advice (or additional work) of people experienced in whichever particular area I'm not experienced / trained in.  This is especially true in developing requirements and validation schemes.  I know *how* to do a lot of things, the trouble often is knowing *what* to do.  There has been a lot of on-the-job learning for myself, which has been good, but being responsible for everything from DSP algorithm design, firmware development, as well as client/server applications and user-application software gets old after a while.

  24. WKetel
    October 10, 2013

    I have been an engineer for a lot of years, and while my degree is in electronic engineering I have done a lot of mechanical designs, several pneumatic designs, and a couple hydraulic projects. In those areas I am mostly self educated, although I have also traded services for education at times. And I have always accepted every project that I could reasonably hope to be able to complete it satisfactorily. So there has been a wide realm of projets as a result, and a great deal of experience filed away in my knowledge banks. Unfortunately, organic chemistry has eluded me with it's incredible complexities. I learned a lot from asking machinists questions, and now my mechanical design drawings also include the dimensions that the machinist needs to make the part, not just the dimensions of the part. That feature reduces errors and speeds production, and often lowers costs as well.

    I am always willing to explain things to other engineers who ask questions. That has made me a valued member of quite a few product development teams, and the benefits to our employer are good for the career path on many occasions.

  25. Brad_Albing
    October 10, 2013

    @WKetel – just to your one point about dimensions on drawings – I've done that exact thing also when preparing a drawing to get a part made – put a few notes on there so the machinist knows for sure what you meant. Avoid ambiguity.

  26. goafrit2
    October 14, 2013

    .. There are many mechanical engineers. I have generated quite a bit of IP and the work that comes in is sporatic and does not support a large staff of EEs.

    Thanks for the explanation. I was truly concerned that a firm in the aviation and aerospace will have on EE in its engineering. At least sensors and some other control systems will require some EEs.

  27. goafrit2
    October 14, 2013

    >> At my job, I'm currently the only engineer

    I think this is one of the problems of working in a small firm. Yet, there is also the huge benefit that if you are a star you are noticed immediately. The best deal is to see the best part of being the person that knows what others do not know.

  28. RedDerek
    October 14, 2013

    It is one way to have job security, yes.

  29. etnapowers
    October 21, 2013

    There are a lot of engineers that don't have a backelor's degree, that need to learn from technical sites like The Planet Analog. I think that this is really a good way to share knowledge and to connect technicians, to achieve a real innovation in the electronics engineering field. I have a master degree and every time I visited these sites I found many information and useful blogs.

  30. etnapowers
    October 21, 2013
    @Brad, I fully agree with you:
     
    “it's good news (and probably good karma) when we see one group of people willing to help another.”
     
    I think that mentoring is the real strenght of a company,in this way  knowledge links to knowledge and  the added value of a company increases accordingly.
  31. Netcrawl
    October 21, 2013

    @etnapowers I agree with you, its called self-taught engineers, or people who learn and get their knowledge from their own experience or self study. PlanetAnalog is a great example of site where you share and learn more ideas and knowledge. This is exactly the place if you're looking for some good technical conversation, or need some advice about certain technical topics. The site allows you to connect to some important links and answers some of youir technical needs.

    Its a place for sharing new ideas and meeting new people, learning new knowledge and solving problems.

  32. Netcrawl
    October 21, 2013

    Wow that was great! this also mean that the main focus is on you, especially if the company is having some tough time in dealing with its engineering issues. Its an edge or strength, because you know something that someone doesn't know.

    Being the only engineer in a small firm give you a first class status, whenever the company try to pull something like launching its own “moonshot” , you always get the big shot of taking “a leading role” in that particular job. Why? because you're the only engineer in the job, and the only one that know how this things works.

    @goafrit2 I agree with you, you really have those “superstar feeling”,where everything depend on you, you have this expectation, they're betting on you.

  33. Netcrawl
    October 21, 2013

    @goafrit2, you're right they need to require EE, aerospace and aviation are getting more digital and much more sophisticated, with EE playing a big part in the continous evolution of the entire aerospace and aviation industry, where a sensors and advanced communication systems are making a big presence. Aerospace will  need a large staff of EEs, they need for their sensors and advanced systems.  

  34. Davidled
    October 21, 2013

    Experience with mentor, team leader could not be learned from Online or Self study in most cases. Also, we get lesson learned from other team member during the project. Personally, I got a great experience from other engineer when I worked in junior engineer long time ago.

  35. etnapowers
    October 22, 2013

    @DaeJ:you're right when you say that experience cannot be learned from a website or from a self study, but I think that in a site for technicians , like the Planet Analog, you can find a wealth of experience that you probably won't learn during your daily activity. Do you agree?

  36. goafrit2
    October 22, 2013

    >> There are a lot of engineers that don't have a backelor's degree, that need to learn from technical sites like The Planet Analog.

    The big question is this: when is someone entitled to use that description Engineer” in the job title. Personally, I struggle to see a high school graduate as an engineer in the hi-tech environment despite any number of years in experience he may have.

  37. goafrit2
    October 22, 2013

    >> I think that mentoring is the real strenght of a company,

    Sure – companies must have that network of strong mentoring system. It is the backbone of any organization. You need to have the pros to support the newbies. The problem with this, though, is that some pros are afraid to mentor because of job security.

  38. goafrit2
    October 22, 2013

    >> Its a place for sharing new ideas and meeting new people, learning new knowledge and solving problems. 

    PlanetAnalog is a great environment – an absolute platform for idea sharing ideas on analog design. I have picked some skills and knowledge base here.

  39. fasmicro
    October 22, 2013

    >> Experience with mentor, team leader could not be learned from Online or Self study in most cases. 

    Excellent comment – the best of MIT is not the courses but the ecosystem where you receive those instructions. It is naive for people to think that we attend college just for the classes. There are things that cannot be replicated by online programs. Imagine asking your lab mate questions on your research – that is not possible when you are studying alone.

  40. etnapowers
    October 23, 2013

    @goafrit2, in most cases you're right , I found some exceptions, some people have the skills and mental attitude to be called engineers although they don't have a backelor's degree.

  41. etnapowers
    October 23, 2013

    @goatfrit2:I agree with you that the job security is a blocking factor to mentoring , and, in addiction to this, the knowledge sharing between the various organization has to be guaranteed and it's not always true. Do you agree?

  42. etnapowers
    October 23, 2013

    @goatfrit2:I fully agree with you, The Planet Analog is an excellent example of technical and experience knowledge sharing for electronic engineers, I'd like to have many of these sites covering  the different aspects of the electrical engineering(for example medical,aerospace,security…)

  43. etnapowers
    October 23, 2013

    @fasmicro:you're absolutely right, expecially in an excellent background like  the MIT ecosystem that you mentioned , where many excellent persons with a wealth of experience can show the way to excellence. The strenght of a college course is not only its contents but the experience of persons who utilized those contents into real applications.

  44. etnapowers
    October 23, 2013

    The students can find here on  the Planet Analog many experience done on the field and learn the way to apply what they are studying at college.

  45. etnapowers
    October 23, 2013

    I realize that it can be enormously frustrating but the only engineer at a group of work can also contribute to the planet analog  by sharing his experience, often a lot of experience, with the engineers bloggers and moderators of the Planet Analog site.

  46. yalanand
    October 31, 2013

    PlanetAnalog is a great environment – an absolute platform for idea sharing ideas on analog design.

    @goafrit2, I totally agree with you. I think this is best place to learn about Analog concepts. I really hope more and more people in Analog domain take advantage of huge amount of knowledge which is present on this site.

  47. SunitaT
    October 31, 2013

     The problem with this, though, is that some pros are afraid to mentor because of job security.

    @goafrit, but such pros should realise that best way to learn things is by teaching it to others. We learn many things when we try to teach it to others because sharing of ideas and discussions helps us to understand the concepts better.

  48. SunitaT
    October 31, 2013

    The students can find here on  the Planet Analog many experience done on the field and learn the way to apply what they are studying at college.


    @etnapowers, not only students but even professionals can learn many new things  and new concepts from this website. I think this is the best place to share and learn about analog design aspects.

  49. SunitaT
    October 31, 2013

    The strenght of a college course is not only its contents but the experience of persons who utilized those contents into real applications

    @etnapowers, I totally agree with your opinion. I think one more major factor is how much importance the college is giving for actual implementation of the design. I think many colleges just impart the theoratical knowledge and very few colleges have tie-ups with industry and fabs.

  50. yalanand
    October 31, 2013

    there is also the huge benefit that if you are a star you are noticed immediately. 

    @goafrit2, agreed. One more advantage of working in start-up is that we get to work on many challenging projects because you find very few experts in start-up's.

  51. yalanand
    October 31, 2013

     If software can be copyrighted, why is maths not having the same treatment? What is software? Mathematical models in a nice packaged format!

    @fasmicro, agreed. I think the only reason why Mathematical theory is not patented is its very more basic whereas software is derived from this theory.

  52. fasmicro
    November 1, 2013

    >> I found some exceptions, some people have the skills and mental attitude to be called engineers although they don't have a backelor's degree.

    That is true but in some countries, you must have a BSc to be recognized as an engineer irrespective of your talent level.

  53. fasmicro
    November 4, 2013

    >> I found some exceptions, some people have the skills and mental attitude to be called engineers although they don't have a backelor's degree.

    In UK, I am not sure you have a chance of getting any engineering job without an engineering diploma. In Nigeria, getting a diploma does not even help you, you need to be “society certified”. It is only in America that engineering professors will work for dropouts because the dropouys create all the industries and then jobs. Without Bill Gates, I am not sure we will have CS expansion in colleges as we do today.

  54. fasmicro
    November 4, 2013

    >> The strenght of a college course is not only its contents but the experience of persons who utilized those contents into real applications

    There is data to support that. Some of the best products and innovations we see in technology are created by some students exposed to some cutting edge lab environments. If those students have focused on reading Wikipedia, they might not have developed the depth that helped in their innovations. Academic environment is a good factor in ability to think outside the bx.

  55. goafrit2
    November 4, 2013

     We learn many things when we try to teach it to others because sharing of ideas and discussions helps us to understand the concepts better

     

    Very good point except that capitalism does not work out that way most of the times. It is survival of the fittest. I can tell you that when I finished from college and worked in the banking sector, the best way of losing your job is to have a very capable subordinate. Because he is paid lower, you can be expensed. What you need to do is to make everyone around look silly so that your boss can keep you. It is not a universal policy but in banking when layoffs come, it is not last-in, first out. It is first in, first out because the first-ins cost more.

  56. goafrit2
    November 4, 2013

    . I think many colleges just impart the theoratical knowledge and very few colleges have tie-ups with industry and fabs.

    Colleges are doing that sparingly but that is what online education and MOOCs do as a strategy. There is no lab for students to practice and suddenly everyone has to depend on memorizing theories and constructs to be successful. As we pivot to the online domain especially the MOOCs model, the quality of technical grads will begin to fail.

  57. goafrit2
    November 4, 2013

    start-up is that we get to work on many challenging projects because you find very few experts in start-up's.

    I wish the opportunity is evolving in America to take more risks. When you graduate with so much student loans, the window of starting something closes as the lenders have no grace period before they move to collections. Notice that paying debts weights heavily to start a company or not. That means, few can afford to do that upon graduation.

  58. goafrit2
    November 4, 2013

    why Mathematical theory is not patented is its very more basic whereas software is derived from this theory.

    No – mathematicians do not have lobbyists and do not generate revenue to fund political campaigns. Whereas software companies do. Your answer offers no clarity in the distinction. I have a theory on gradient dissent, you make a GUI on it. You patent the GUI while I cannot patent the theory which you used.

  59. fasmicro
    November 6, 2013

    There is always the argument which company is the best fit – startup or established firms. You can make money in startups if you are lucky that the company does not collapse. You can also make money in big companies if you make it to the top. The key in busines is moving north in the career ladder. But which one is the best depends on the individual.

  60. fasmicro
    November 6, 2013

    It coud also be that mathematicians do not see themselves as a protected field or area that requires special certifications thereby making is easy for their outputs to be used. I have rarely read that someone was sued for infringing on mathematical model (I mean no plagiarim on maths). When you borrow words from someone without attribution, you are in trouble. Do the same in maths, not an issue because it does not exist as a problem

  61. etnapowers
    November 25, 2013

    @SunitaT: I agree with you, let me add that professionals can learn and contribute at the same time to the Planet Analog site and this is very important for college students.

  62. etnapowers
    November 25, 2013

    @SunitaT: The design experience is really important for students because the students should learn the issues to face when they have to implement a design in a real silicon based system.

  63. etnapowers
    November 25, 2013

    Some sofware licences of design tools are free like LSPICE , this would allow the students and professionals to simulate what they want to implement on ICs.

  64. etnapowers
    November 25, 2013

    @fasmicro: Yes, that's true but I think that it should be different, because many talented people who did not have the chance (for many reasons) to get a backelor's degree are not considered as engineers.

  65. etnapowers
    November 26, 2013

    @fasmicro: really good point, the students have the creativity to imagine new routes for electronics. Many times it happens that professionals have no time to create, because they are under pressure for turn into reality the business opportunities , so the students can be really useful when they're linked to companies research and development teams.

  66. fasmicro
    November 27, 2013

    >> Many times it happens that professionals have no time to create, because they are under pressure for turn into reality the business opportunities 

    Increasingly, most firms are finding ways to help designers have some free windows to think and positively innovate. Google gives out free 20% and some other tech firms are doing same. It makes a lot of sense – your best time to think about your work is when you are not overly focused on that work!

  67. etnapowers
    November 27, 2013

    This is a great idea, however  I'm not surprised  about that. The designers are key figures in this creation process, but I think that also application people and technical marketing people should have the possibility to create and innovate being free from stringent timelines or demanding projects scheduling.

  68. goafrit2
    November 27, 2013

    >> The designers are key figures in this creation process

    One major problem these days when employees can freely post their resumes on LinkedIn with no consequence. Imagine the age when you are fired for getting your resume seen somewhere. Now, that is not the case. It is available on the web. That said, if you do not have time control, some of these guys can use your company paid time to create companies and zoom off one day with no benefit to you. Having order is not a bad strategy in anything including design and creativity.

  69. goafrit2
    November 27, 2013

    >> Some sofware licences of design tools are free like LSPICE , 

    Yes, LTSPICE is a great product. It is the defacto in many colleges now to teach IC design in developing world where Cadence is yet to expand with academic licenses. In our industry, there are many of these products that can do professional grade work. Yet, LTSPICE is a tool, only a good teacher can educate on how to make chips. That is beyond tools, it is an art some have special talents for.

  70. Victor Lorenzo
    November 28, 2013

    @goafrit2: During the creative process there's something more to take into account when talking about time. What about the 'non-payed time' that creative people and design engineers dedicate to investigate and search for solutions to problems found during 'payed time'?

    I've never been able to switch off my brain and stop thinking, studing, learning, practicing, experimenting… and talking during my non-payed time. And there are many engineers in that same situation, it's part of the skills developing process.

  71. Victor Lorenzo
    November 28, 2013

    “Increasingly, most firms are finding ways to help designers have some free windows to think and positively innovate”

    Unfortunately those are just a minority, execeptions I would say. But it is common to find non-rigid timing for work time, you have to 'make your hours', but you have a time window for moving your enter/leave times. In fact it is a trap, you know approximately at what hour you'll start working, but you'll hardly know how late you'll be out.

  72. Victor Lorenzo
    November 28, 2013

    Every one should take part in the innovation process, not only engineers. Marketing and managing people should dedicate more time to identify possible areas of inovation and possible and new innovative value added products.

  73. etnapowers
    November 28, 2013

    “LTSPICE is a tool, only a good teacher can educate on how to make chips. That is beyond tools, it is an art some have special talents for.”

    That's absolutely true! Moreover a good tool can enhance your ability to design chips but you have to be a good engineer to understand how to implement a particular function or block and how to make an IC that is reliable, producible, stable, etc…

     

  74. etnapowers
    November 28, 2013

    “Unfortunately those are just a minority” Yes, it's true but those exception are excellent companies like Google, I think that this will lead to a new way to organize the working hours of such important figures like designers , who have to be free to create.

  75. etnapowers
    November 28, 2013

    “Every one should take part in the innovation process, not only engineers. Marketing and managing people should dedicate more time to identify possible areas of inovation and possible and new innovative value added products. “

     

    I agree on this point. I think that sometimes it's difficult for people having different backgrounds to share a common vision of the new innovative products. The communication have to be effective, this is not always easy.

  76. goafrit2
    November 28, 2013

    >> What about the 'non-payed time' that creative people and design engineers dedicate to investigate and search for solutions to problems found during 'payed time'?

    You are correcr. There are times when we spend our unpaid time to help the business. But understand that unless you are a part-time staff, it is technically not right that your company is paying you for 8 hours or so. That is why some firms will be unhappy to pay for your vacation and see you working part-time in another company. They want you to rest so that when you return, you can be effective. That means, they know you need sleep and probably will not be in office. But it will be bad if you are not sleeping and working somewhere.

  77. goafrit2
    November 28, 2013

    Sure, but in the software industry where collaboration is easier, flexible work plans are evolving. It is unlike the hardware industry where you need to work on physical things which will affect your location and timing. Google is a good example of innovation in this development.

  78. goafrit2
    November 28, 2013

    >> Every one should take part in the innovation process, not only engineers. 

    I think in most companies, everyone does. The reason why engineers are so important is that despite all the talks, they are the ones tasked to making sure that innovation comes into play. You can talk it as a marketer, but engineers must translate that imagnination into products

  79. goafrit2
    November 28, 2013

    >> Yes, it's true but those exception are excellent companies like Google, 

    There are many companies doing this. When your firm gives you smartphone to talk home, I think it is safe to think they have extended your office hours and your office location. Why?If the boss writes at 7pm, it will be ridiculous if you have to wait till 8am to reply.

  80. etnapowers
    November 28, 2013

    @goafrit2: it depends on the way your firm wants to organize your working hours. For example if your firm gives you a smartphone or a tablet to connect via remote during the working hours it's good because you can have the time to organize your ideas being outside the working place and this will enhance your creativity!

  81. fasmicro
    November 28, 2013

    >> the time to organize your ideas being outside the working place and this will enhance your creativity!

    It all depends. When you are in a party and they expect you to reply immediately because everyone knows you have read the email, I am not sure it is helping you. You assume that being out of office means you have space of time. That is not true. You can be in club, games etc and then the message pops up. You can be erratic in decision making because you are not in the work mode. There are risks and gains in these models. Each firm must find its own way of doing things.

  82. etnapowers
    November 29, 2013

    @fasmicro:

    I agree with you on this point.

    As concerns your last sentence: ”  Each firm must find its own way of doing things”

    That's the summary of my thoughts. It all depend on the policy of the firm and its statements regarding his personnel.

     

  83. SunitaT
    November 30, 2013

    When your firm gives you smartphone to talk home, I think it is safe to think they have extended your office hours and your office location.

    @goafrit2, but sometimes the firm gives such facilities because it wants you to interact with the client who is working in different time-zone. I think best way to avoid over-time is rescheduling so that employees dont have work overtime.

  84. SunitaT
    November 30, 2013

    LTSPICE is a great product. It is the defacto in many colleges now to teach IC design in developing world where Cadence is yet to expand with academic licenses.

    @goafrit2, true. Cadence is very expensive tool and is pretty complex to install compared to LTSPICE. But cadence provides very user friendly interface compared to LTSPICe.

  85. SunitaT
    November 30, 2013

    most firms are finding ways to help designers have some free windows to think and positively innovate. Google gives out free 20% and some other tech firms are doing same. 

    @fasmicro, Its a great strategy to give designers some free window to think but not many companies follow such strategy in our field. I really hope more and more companied adopt such strategy so that it helps designers to comeup with innovative products.

  86. SunitaT
    November 30, 2013

     It is unlike the hardware industry where you need to work on physical things which will affect your location and timing. 

    @goafrit2, I think even in hardward industry most of the work is computer based and hence doesnt require physical presence. I think only some teams like testing-team requires engineers to physical presence.

  87. fasmicro
    December 6, 2013

    >>  I think best way to avoid over-time is rescheduling so that employees dont have work overtime.

    Or better, hiring extra workers. That was the model in the 19th and early 20st century when workers had rights. Now, any complain, you are a bad team player. In the past companies ran shifts, so the different time zone excuses are not new. Just that they think shifts are not needed any more.

  88. fasmicro
    December 6, 2013

    @SunitaT >>But cadence provides very user friendly interface compared to LTSPICe. There is no comparison between Cadence and LTSpice. LTSpice is to help you get around. Products are made in Cadence environment. The complexity that is possible in Cadence cannot be supported in LTSpice. But whens something is free, there is no need for argument as one product costs hundreds of thousand of dollars.

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