MS243, nice to see you over here Bill hope you are doing well as is the family.
Fortunately I now work for a Co that does not Micromanage but listens to the employees, what a novel idea huh.
After 21 years at my last job, having designs torn apart and nickle and dimed by incompetent managers and then having the overworked, over stressed worker bees being told to fix the nickle and dimed mistakes, typically with a deadline of less than 1 day, well I finally saw the light and moved on to greener pastures.
There is nothing more frustrating than showing a board designer a working 8 layer reference design, and having management twist some thumb-screws, and end up with a marginal 6 layer board to head into qual with --
Often this is a judgment call. You could see the attraction of outsourcing from Management point of view but if it does not work out, it can lead to major problems indeed. Not every manager performs a proper risk analysis involving ALL stakeholders (engineers, financial officers etc.)
Micromanaging and not having faith in employees by employers never ceases to amaze me as to how much money is waisted.
If I didn't know better I would say that Jason works for a compamy that I'll call them HamCob Electronics out of the UK. (In the spirit of not embarrassing this company anynmore than they already do to themselves I changed the letters in the name around but you can rearrange the letters to get the true company name) They did similar ridiculous things to their engineers at an avionics design facility in Prescott Arizona.
It was so bad in fact that the entire line of seasoned engineers, some who had been there for over 25 years, either resigned, left, retired basically anything to get away from stupidity.
I think Jason was saying they hired someone transcribe his schematic and layout ideas into the capture and layout program. They were paying him to interface with the service bureau and paying the service bureau to save the cost of software. It probably made Jason feel like they doubted his ability to lay out boards.
If I were in this situation, I think I'd buy my own software, do the layout, and see if that made them want to a) fire me, b) start having me do the layouts, or a+b) watch me become on a contractor and do some of their layouts and other layouts as needed.
A manager once told me to plant only enough decoupling capacitors to "make it work and pass radiated emissions testing".
Another manager (who should have known better) stated that because the clock was only 20 MHz we did not need to worry about radiated emissions above 30 MHz. Of course the product failed at the emissions test site.
I lost an argument to place a shield over a low-level analog optical receiver on the first PCB spin. I won the argument later when we had to re-spin the PCB with a shield added.
It is good that Jason Bowden has written his experiences, but these kinds of errors are quite normal in a multinational or large company environment. Normally since the entire vertical will be involved in the decision making of a wrong process, generally it does not come out or get published. Thanks to Jason Bowden for writing such an eye opening article, unless and until you speak, actions will not be initiated in those environments that is also a fact.
One I saw was that one company, lets call them blottodesk, put out major yearly upgrades. Our contract states we get these upgrades free. Unfortunately, that free upgrade meant a day or two of chaos every year getting it installed, then a learning curve on whatever they changed... each year for no benefit to our product.
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