Screaming Circuits: December 2008


Top-Ten Ways to Get Through a Lousy Economy

So the word in the news is that the country's been in a recession for a year now. Hmmm. We built a 800px-Gdp_real_growth_rate_2007_CIA_Factbook whole lot more boards in 2008 then we did in 2007. If that's a recession, then maybe recession isn't such a bad thing. I know the tough times have hit in a lot of places though, but we built a lot more boards because you folks needed a lot more boards built. I think we'll keep doing that.

Okay. What do you do if you have been hit. What happens if you've lost your job or lost some of your support staff? What happens if your technician is gone or your documentation clerk is gone now? Well, first, in all seriousness, I offer my condolences. I have been laid off in the past and I know it's not fun. But I also know that I did survive. I survived and ended up with a great job in an awesome company (I'm talking about ending up in Screaming Circuits, in case that's not clear). So let's wish a great rebound for those who have been let go and focus on getting through to better times ourselves.

Here are my suggestions for the top-ten things to do to get through the lousy economy:

#10. Is it still politically correct to say "get drunk"? I probably shouldn't say that. I think that's bad form these days. So, don't do that - but if you do, make sure you can walk home or get a cab. And if you do walk home, wear a warm coat. Mythbusters proved that while alcohol may make you feel warmer, it will actually help your core body temperature drop really fast. That's not a good thing. Especially in Minnesota.

#7. If you were one to be laid off, use the time to refresh some skills. Learn a new language. Practice Octal math. Study up on new design techniques.

#6. Become a marketing guy. You've heard the line: If you can, do. If you can't, market. Well, give it a shot. It's not so bad. Scott Adams isn't right about all of us. Just remember to keep telling the truth and you'll be just fine.

#5. If you're a pure digital engineer, get some analog and mixed signal knowledge. The West all but abandoned analog back in the '80s and '90s but it's coming back with a vengeance. Get some skills here and make yourself more marketable.

$3. Eat some chocolate. Maybe some ice cream too. It's the world's most perfect food, you know. Need I say more?

#3. And like #5, if you don't do firmware - start. Almost everything's got a little MCU in it now. Learn how to program the little PIC things or Atmel jobbies. That's a good place to start. Maybe you can be really ambitious and look at the new ARM32 processors. Whatever. Just learn to do some software/firmware.

#2. (Warning! Company plug coming up) If you find yourself with the same workload but less help, send your prototypes to Screaming Circuits and have us do a turn-key build for you. We're offering a 35% discount off our standard price for parts and PCBs for turn-key orders through December 31. We'll get your boards from Sunstone.com and parts from DigiKey and just deal with the whole thing for you.

#1. And the number one thing we can do in sucky economic times: Just do what you did the last three times it was the end of the world.

Duane Benson
Breath. Breath deep...

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