The 12 Days of an Electrical Engineer’s Christmas

As we approach the holidays, I wanted to spice up my blogs with a little fun and a song. As you read through the song, maybe you can see some things that relate to your career. It's all for fun and some exaggeration.

On the first day of Christmas, HR gave to me a gift card to Walmart and a company ornament for my Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my marketing manager gave to me a brand new concept to design with 100 new features, but it has to be cheaper than last year's design.

On the third day of Christmas, my engineering manager gave to me a schedule for this brand new design, which is needed in three months and takes nine months to complete.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my accounting manager gave to me an approved budget 30% less than what is required for the design.

On the fifth day of Christmas, the sales rep gave to me 12 design kits, five supplier brochures, a box of homemade chocolate chip cookies, a free ink pen, a calendar, and a coffee mug.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my PCB manufacturer gave to me nine prototype PCBs, instead of the 10 I ordered, with seven partially assembled.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my lab tech gave to me a 20-page test report of 200 tests that were performed on my design, with only about half the tests passing.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my purchasing engineer gave to me a list of parts with extremely long lead times, a cost reduction proposal, and a letter stating why he wants to switch all my suppliers.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my manufacturing engineer gave to me a list of reasons why the PCBs and wiring cannot be assembled, along with recommended last-minute changes to the work instructions.

On the 10th day of Christmas, my codes engineer gave to me a request to provide 20 more assembled PCBs, because the first lot of PCBs blew up during the unrealistic testing that was performed on them.

On the 11th day of Christmas, our customer gave to me a request to pull in production two weeks, so the product can hit the market before shopping season begins.

Finally, after all the stress and headaches and long days and nights, on the 12th day of Christmas, I walked into the store and saw the product on the shelf, with smiling customers buying a part of my hardwork. I smiled with joy and pride as I realized it was worth it. As I walked out of the store, I prepared to start all over on the first day of Christmas.

Hope you enjoyed the 12 days of an electrical engineer's Christmas. After all your hard work dedicated to your designs and projects, I hope you too can smile on the final day and be proud of your — and your team's — accomplishments.

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6 comments on “The 12 Days of an Electrical Engineer’s Christmas

  1. Davidled
    December 18, 2013

    Always, I got frustrating for the connectivity of all LED in the Tree.  All wires are checked with juggling all bulbs making blinking. Once bulbs are blinking, there is no wire issue after spending a few hours. I wonder anyone make any diagnostic tool to check many LED and controller.

  2. samicksha
    December 19, 2013

    This is interesting Jason, watching your design and hard working becoming true and practically usable for users. You are right Daej, even i thought for a couple of minutes if we have any diagnostic tool available for LED check, keeping the fact in mind that LED performance largely depends on the ambient temperature of the operating environment and must be supplied with the voltage above the threshold.

  3. Netcrawl
    December 19, 2013

    @Daej its a great idea! making a diagnostic tool to check LED  and controller, how about a simple probe set that can be used to reduce the time you spend fixing series lights, by using this tool we can able to find bad bulbs much easier and faster.The most common problem here is the string fault, then another one is the fuse fault, thedse are all fixable using simple method.    

  4. Vishal Prajapati
    December 25, 2013

    Jason, I would completely agree with your song. And I think lot of other designers out there would also agree with your song too. The smile and satisfaction on the face of end customer is most precious moment you crave for in every product design. Because that determine your monetory benefits you get after that 😉

  5. Victor Lorenzo
    December 25, 2013

    12 days? Soooooo loooooong? What about 7zip it to 6 days? Of course, lossless compression, not like in mp3 😉

    Like @Vishal, I agree on your point, @Jason.

  6. jkvasan
    December 25, 2013


    These lyrics , though are funny, highlight the plight of a designer.  The brighter side is about the customer's smile.

    Tough lyrics for a composer yet they bring the smile.

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