Electronic Design

Comments From ED's Survey

"Good analog engineers require mentoring. The best are the guys who fooled around with electronics on their own before they went to college."

"Since I am the only ‘analog engineer’ and we cannot afford to buy another one, I spend about 10 to 20 hours a week handling the analog design tasks."

"There isn’t a high demand for just analog engineers. I’ve noticed that most industries now want an engineer who knows both analog and digital."

"Analog and RF engineering has very high overhead and many companies would rather buy off the shelf, rather than design it, which is extremely shortsighted."

"Design times are short so cookie-cutter analog circuits are used. Most analog engineers are too slow for current design cycles."

"Analog circuits are now the province of ‘designers-in-silicon’ rather than regular small-company engineers."

"Analog is being recognized lately as being important for product success. Five or 10 years ago, many people in management were led to believe that everything could be solved with software."

"I was hired to replace an analog engineer that will be retiring. As much as possible, I have worked with him to learn as much as possible before he retires."

"Analog is hard. That’s why it’s interesting."

"Choose fresh engineers who really want to learn analog design and provide on-the-job training... My experience says that it takes about six to eight months to train, and from then on it’s up to the person to take \[it\] on."

"The new kids out of school can’t solve resistor divider problems... We interviewed nearly a dozen candidates to find one that could understand an inverting op amp."

"\[I\] do the work myself. It’s hard to find EEs in the U.S. who are knowledgeable in power electronics. Europe and China have EEs experienced in power electronics."

"To get a signal-integrity engineer recently, we had to sift through a dozen preselected resumes and got only one to interview because all the others had been snapped up."

"In-house training... If the MBA, non-engineering types would keep the old-timers around to mentor the young ‘simulators,’ then we would not have these problems."

"Most of this engineering has been moved overseas. The market for engineers is huge. Therefore, it is hard to keep them from moving to a new company for more money. Turnover tends to be about 30% a year."

"\[The problem is\] not being addressed. Analog work is not well understood by management, and the efforts and program risks in analog work are greatly underestimated... Much of management is now oriented toward a software development mentality, a hack-it and ship-it and fix-it-later mentality, causing enormous risk when that same mentality is applied to analog hardware laid out on a board. Management seems unattuned to the idea that the physical electronics can’t be fixed by shipping a software update disk out to the field!"

"The university system fails miserably in teaching what is required to design analog circuitry. We prefer to grow capability internally through mentoring."

"Finding good qualified engineers among all the professionally written resumes is part of the problem. We often hire by trial contract before permanent offer."

"Analog engineering requires synthesis, abstract or mathematical reasoning abilities, and non-structured thinking. Only a few students have analog and mathematical thinking."

"Employers discard older engineers in favor of younger salary bargains... Younger engineers are more likely to have been hooked on engineering from computers and video games as opposed to ham radio, Heathkit, and DIY electronics."

"I believe that analog design aptitude starts young, borne of natural curiosity and working with the hands. This is not something that is easily bestowed in post-grad courses, and it requires a lot of effort to run effective lab programs (one of the first casualties of university cost-cutting in the 1990s)."

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.