Excellent points Winderer. Even in my early engineering days in the 80s, nearly all the parts I worked with were SMDs. My close-up vision was much better in those days than now, but even back then I still needed a microscope or at least a jeweler's loupe to see what I was doing when attempting to solder or desolder a component. Through hole devices and wire wrapping are things I have rarely seen in the last 25 years, and these days, if I need to do any soldering, it often involves removing a high pin count BGA and soldering down a new one -- a process that requires an expensive machine with a vacuum picker, not a soldering iron or the skill to properly use a soldering iron.
I completely agree that students need to learn the skills that will help them in the future, not the past, and I even wonder how hobbyists will manage to continue building circuits. Look at some of today's most popular hobbyist platforms like Arduino boards. What hobbyist would attempt to build or modify something like that the old-fashioned way?
@ Max ...I don't think they offered home economics, but I wish they had...
Home Economics was probably required for the girls... My high school stopped requiring home economics for girls and shop for boys a year or so before I got there so I didn't take either. I wish that I'd had the courage to invade the male bastions of shop class but I'm not even sure that was an option.
Yes, it definitely would have been handy. Even an hour or two would have helped a lot. But, I wonder if present day liability concerns would make this less than attractive, assuming that there would be a hands on aspect to the course.
Hi Max, I learned enough on my first job to make simple changes, but it was another 10 years or so before I got back in the lab enough to figure out how to avoid the occasional cold joint. I was able to change out surface mount ICs myself as of about 5 years ago, but have lost that touch. My employers usually want me designing stuff at my desk and think the board work should be left to the techs!
I love the picture of thru hole parts. Come on. Do college students need to learn that or how to dead bug dip packages or wirewrap or how about how to work the blue print machine or make PCB layouts with tape? Ten years from now, we will 3D print the PCBs and any soldering and assembly will be done with a robot using a mouse on a computer. Kids need to learn the skills that will help them survive in the future not your past.