Twenty minutes is how much time commercials fill in an hour-long TV show. Why not take 20 minutes a day to increase your value as an engineer.
In my latest quest to improve your abilities as an engineer, I explained how to create prototype circuits at home. As I was developing my own prototype, I went through my storage unit to pull out some of my parts and reference boards. This encounter produced some gems from my past that inspired me to write a blog about increasing your overall value as an engineer.
My goal is to increase your value in only twenty minutes a day. That is the amount of time that commercials take in a one hour television program. So instead of advancing forward with the DVR or going to the fridge because that food commercial triggered your hunger to go get a snack, here’s the second best thing you can do besides an abdominal workout or throwing dumb bells around.
Bettering your engineering skills involves both the physical circuit evaluation and solving equations. As it turns out, you can probably do both for an investment of under $100. Really? Is this guy nuts? In this world of surface mount, highly integrated silicon, expensive software, and sophisticated test equipment, how can that be? Well, relax folks. I’m a power engineer. I’m expected to 100% efficiency at no cost. Of course you’ll settle for high efficiency at some cost. However, I’m a cheap skate when it comes to investing in my business. I look for deals that allow you to build a lab at minimal expense.
Solving equations is a great way to improve your value. The time spent designing in most engineering jobs is 5-10%. Or at least that was my experience at larger corporations. That number increased at startups but not much considering I developed web pages, marketing plans, business plans….etc. With such a little amount of time invested, you can quickly lose your skills. This happened to me when I decided to go back to graduate school after three and a half years in industry.
In order to refresh my knowledge, I went down to the college bookstore and bought a book titled “Schaum's Outline of Electric Circuits.” Continue reading on EE Time's sister site, Planet Analog.