Tim's Takeaways: A Job Worth Doing


Reading time ( words)

My dad used to say, “A job worth doing is worth doing right.” I had no idea what that meant at the time; I just knew that I was sick and tired of hearing his constant anecdotal phrases. This was only one of many that I heard while growing up, and after a while, I would turn a deaf ear to them. But as I got older, all of these phrases—especially this one—began to make sense. As much as I am loathe to admit it, I may have even repeated them a time or two to my children as time went by. As they say, what goes around…

The point is that I learned not only from my father’s stories but also from the example he set in life. If you are going to do something, then make sure you do it right. Spend the time, be thorough, and complete the task to the best of your abilities. That was the lesson that my dad tried so hard to teach me, and it has proved itself to be very solid advice over the years.

The question then becomes, “How do I do this?” You might be thinking that you already are working as hard as possible to get the job done and you can’t work much harder. Rest assured that I know exactly what you are saying. We who design PCBs for a living tend to be the type of people who will work themselves into an early grave if given the opportunity.

As an example, several years ago, I came in late one night to my company’s office after swimming at a friend’s house to check on the progress of a layout that I had in the autorouter. Back then, you would put the design in overnight and check the results in the morning. But since I was in the area, I thought that I would stop in and check it out. A tweak here, a few corrections here, and before I knew it, I was doing all kinds of rerouting on my board so that it would work in the router the way I wanted it to. Then, I noticed that it was getting brighter outside and people were beginning to come in. I had worked through the entire night without realizing it and was still wearing just a swimsuit and flip-flops.

So, yes, I get it. We PCB designers are made of the kind of tough stuff where we will work ourselves to death if given the chance. But in our all of our efforts, are we really doing it right, or could we somehow be doing it better? Let’s take a moment to consider some other ways that we might help ourselves to improve.

Think Outside of the Box

I realize that I started this column whining about anecdotes, and now I’m throwing another one at you. Sorry about that, but let’s take a look at it anyway.

To read this entire column, which appeared in the January 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

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