PCB Assembly Services - Screaming Circuits: Angst and Anxiety in Electronics Design


Angst and Anxiety in Electronics Design

I've been called many things: Spock, Sheldon, weird, nerd, dork - probably too many names to list, and some not fit for print. The names aren't the point of this article, but the angst and anxiety that comes along with the reasoning behind those names is. I am a marketing person, but I have a hardware and software design background. I design things and sometimes take advantage of the fact that I work for an electronics manufacturer to get some of my boards built. I also hand assemble many of them for fun (I have hand soldered 0201 passives).

When I do have something built here, I usually use our online quoting system to place my orders. I could just walk a few cubes over and talk to a person, but I like ordering things online. I also like to know what all of you are up against when using our website. I've worked here since 2005, just a few years after Screaming Circuits was founded, and have been designing circuits and writing code for much longer than that. You would think that I have this system down pat. Right?

Well, not so much.

I make some sort of mistake every time I put in an order. Every. Single. Time. Since 2005. Really. I send in an old rev bill of materials, or I forget to double check the part numbers in the BOM. I make a last-minute change to the layout that should be of no consequence but is of consequence. I could go on, but thinking about how many mistakes I have made is giving me indigestion.

What that means is that when I hit save for the last time, I start to feel anxiety about what I may have forgotten or messed up. When I pack up my files into a .ZIP, that anxiety grows. When I log into our website and fill out the quote form, it grows more. When I submit the order, I am filled with a level of angst that should be very much reserved for people with real problems.

There are two things at the root of that fear. 1) that I have now added time to my project due to whatever mistake I'm pretty sure I have made, and 2) that I will have to ask for help from our customer service folks and I know they are really busy. I don't want to make their day worse. That is my anxiety. However, every time I make a mistake, they jump in to help me out. I can be an idiot with (apparently) no attention to detail and they make me look like I have talent or something.

I really do hope, and assume, that you are all far better at this than I am, but I know that anxiety is fairly common. I should not worry about calling our customer service people, because I know they will do everything within their power to make my day better, and you should also not worry. They are great folks and are here for you.

With that in mind, jump over to screamingcircuits.com and quote your prototype PCB assembly. And don't stress too much. We are here to help.

Duane Benson
I am a legend in my own mind
Of course, I am also a goat in my own boat (that doesn't really make sense, but it rhymes and it's late, so cut me some slack)


" I am also a goat in my own boat" - that's funny.

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