- Six new component vendors
- Enabled consignment to the 10-day manufacturing service
- Exciting update for the platform as it will help address supply chain issues everyone is facing in the industry
- Better part availability and more flexibility!
- Written by Nick Poole
- Max mouse bite width
- Hakko CHP DP-2
- Parker’s only complaint is that the method of measuring breakaway torque was not mentioned
- Component proximity
- Total number of bites
- Panelization Talk
So You are New at your Job?
- Building off our series of resume, interview, and interviewee podcast topics.
- You just started a new job – what should you do first?
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 2 00:10
Welcome to the Mac fab engineering podcast, a weekly show about all things engineering, DIY projects, manufacturing, industry news and mouse bites. We're your hosts, electrical engineers, Parker, Dolman.
Host 1 00:23
And Steven Craig.
Host 2 00:24
This is episode 324. So to start off the podcast McWrap, we have an update a platform update. And actually interesting is it's not on our blog yet. It's actually a press release on Yahoo. Finance. So moving up in the world, right,
Host 1 00:46
Nice. They're getting to it before you even can. Exactly. Exactly, yeah. News travels fast.
Host 2 00:54
Yeah. So we have six new component vendors that you can that we aggregate part, supplies from on our platform now. And we did enable, we just enabled consignment for a 10 day manufacturing. So that was like, you know, 10 day normal. And then like, the budget class stuff. It used to be consignment was not enabled for 10 day. So we have that enabled. And basically, it's just going to be, I'm really excited about this update. Because one of the biggest problems we have right now is what we've been talking about for like what last eight months supply chain issues. And so hopefully, this will address a lot of people's problems by having more vendors available. And if you do have components on hand for your prototypes, you can still get those 10 days with those consignment parts, and not have to worry about supply chain issues for your your quick turn prototype PCBs.
Host 3 01:59
Yeah, I can see that being really useful. Because as an engineer, you might have a reel, or even just a bag full of parts. So being able to ship that in and say like, Hey, you know, I'm shipping these parts in, can I get these? These turned around quickly? In 10 days? Like, yeah, absolutely.
Host 1 02:17
You know, I heard something interesting. Or I was talking with one of our employees at work today who worked at a contract manufacturer previously. And we were actually just talking about consignment earlier today. And I heard some nomenclature that I had never really put a piece together. And I thought this was kind of cool. I mean, I'm, I'm a dork. So of course, I think this is cool. But back when I was working at macro fab, we used to say any part that you didn't put on a board, we would call it DNP. Which means do not populate, right? Which was, you know, that's fairly standard industry. Nomenclature, well, when I came over to where I'm working, now, they use D and I do not install. So okay, great, like whatever, like, sure. Like they they mean the same thing, we do not populate, do not install. Well, this, the person I was talking to today, said that they worked at a contract manufacturer that use both of those to mean different things. Where do not install meant, do not install it, and don't buy the part. But do not populate, meant. Don't install it, but buy the part and supply it to the customer. Which is a pretty cool way of like differentiating on the on the bomb, because maybe the customer wanted those parts, but they were going to figure out how they got soldered and stuff like that.
Host 2 03:34
Yeah, it could be a configuration thing or like a fuse cap holder to or maybe like a jumper, like a shunt jumper that you don't really want installed, but you need it. Because it's like it's configured as like a Buildbox thing.
Host 1 03:49
Right, right. And if you're doing like quick turn stuff, and you know, you have all these different configurations, you can just have macrophages, or whoever, like supply all the parts for the configuration. Because maybe in your office, you don't have like an entire, you know, office worth of parts and stuff. So I thought that was pretty cool. I like that because I've used DNI and DNP interchangeably. But but I'd like the idea that DNI means one thing and DNP means another.
Host 2 04:16
Yeah. Couldn't be a little confusing, I think. Okay, so now we have to start getting to where you have to have like a glossary of terms in your your bill of materials.
Host 1 04:25
You're right, right, right. Yeah. Yeah, cuz you might label DNP for all your parts that you don't really want and then send it off to this company. And then you get all these bags of parts covered with
Host 2 04:39
Your stuff. Exactly. I guess you just see that in your quote, though. You'd be like, Why is this quote higher than it should be? Get
Host 1 04:46
Way higher? Well, that's cool. Okay, so Yeah, six new component vendors. So that's, that's awesome. And those are those are like, automatically lumped in when you do quote, right. Yeah. When
Host 2 04:58
You do the quote automatically It's through the Microsoft platform. Yeah. So yeah, better Part Availability and more flexibility with quick turn, you know, with consignments?
Host 1 05:08
Well, and, you know, with with macro fab, of course, those have all been vetted. And those are all, like, official and, you know, good component vendors. So
Host 2 05:19
Correct. Yep. So after that? Yeah. So we have a, there's a white paper that SparkFun came out with, written by Nick Poole. And it is about mouse bytes, which you might not think is an interesting topic, but is something that at least I deal with, like on a daily basis at macro fab four. So I read this, I think it's like 12 to 13 pages long. I wonder you call
Host 1 05:55
Yes. Mouse bites, I deal with him. Probably weekly, myself. I mean, I part of my DFM process is taking a board and prepping it for being able to run on our machines. So that means I get some kind of rectangular board outline or something like that, well, I got a massage a bunch of it and add mouse bites and all that stuff. Yeah.
Host 2 06:20
Basically, what this white paper is about is different kinds of designs of mouse bites. And going over the rigidity of the mouse bite and how easy it is to the panel, the board with and without tools, bunch of considerations for that. And one thing they do mention is an IPC. Like you would think there'd be like a classification that would cover like, these are the industrial standards for the penalisation stuff. No, no, it's so an IPC 7351. It's a that's like the general umbrella about like PCB manufacturing, like specifications and stuff. And it's like on one like page, there's like a diagram for mouse bites. And Nick Poole, like goes into details about it. And so he tests that and the test some other versions. The main thing with mouse bites, and let's just say D penalisation. Is you want to reduce how much work it is to remove to D panel. Like these scores, honestly, the easiest. Like, usually just you have this big pizza. I mean, you can like snap your fingers. But we'll get more into why that's not a good idea later. But you have this like big, like Diamond Coated pizza cutter, like it legit is like a disc with diamonds on it that gets, like sandwiched onto your board and then like zips the parts apart. It's kind of actually crazy how quick and clean that tool works. But of course, V scoring only really works on boards that have straight edges, like one two edges straight,
Host 1 08:11
Right? Yeah, you can't hurt V scores.
Host 2 08:15
Technically, you can. Technically,
Host 1 08:19
Technically, they run it through a CNCS. And so no, it's not
Host 2 08:26
Host 3 08:27
It can be I know ours does. So it can be anything. So there's a lot of technically here, but if you if you test the waters on this, you're probably going to get your board kickback. Yeah.
Host 2 08:41
Technically, it's a CNC V group. There's a lot of times I'll put this way though, in most mass production boards. It's actually just a machine that they just that just has a wheel cutter. Oh, yeah. No, it's like a long slicer thing. Yeah, long slicer. So you can't do a curve. Technically, you can do a curve, if you do it on a CNC with a V bit. They're not gonna do that for you, though. And obviously, how you snap that, I don't know,
Host 1 09:11
You'd have to have like reliefs cut in it. So it has to be milled and V scored. Yeah.
Host 2 09:17
So usually on the curved parts of a PCB, you either have a route on around it, and if it's big enough, you have to support that edge. And you do so with mouse bites, which is just a tab going from one basic across the V groove or across the slot, the slot or the route outs, and then it has holes drilled in it to kind of like make it easier to fall apart or snap apart.
Host 1 09:46
Right there's just stress points that can be broken, physically cracked,
Host 2 09:50
Yeah, physically cracked apart. And they're the the whole point of That is to reduce how much work it is to on the D penalisation. is how much work the CM has to do to D penalize your board. Whereas, so depending on where you place those holes, like the more you play some inbound, the PCB, the more flush the edge that PCB is, is when you break it. But that eats up board real estate and you have to have more copper push back and that kind of stuff. Whereas if you put the holes on the outside of the PCB, well, you can break it and then you could well that leaves like a jagged edge on the outside of your board. And then the seam has to come in with like basically a sand sandpaper and sand it smooth. So you can imagine like if you do enough for like a couple 1000 boards, you know, someone they're just sanding boards all day.
Host 3 10:50
Isn't it amazing that as the designer, you have some choices that are like these holes that I put near the edge of my board, if I move them a 10th of a millimeter up that could add hours of work for my cm hours, like days, depending on the quantity, right, it could add Yeah.
Host 2 11:14
And so Nick pool in this white paper goes through all like these different tests. He mainly tests like breakaway strength and then like how good it looks like how much cleanup you would have to do and that kind of stuff on the mouse bites. And I thought was really interesting is he has like a whole section on like, why a certain width is standardized for mouse bites, I think is like what point one three inches or something like that. I can't remember the exact number. Anyways, it's because mostly penalizing nibble tools are like that throat depth. Right? They'll desire mouthful. Yeah, so you have like a, a cutter that actually either pulls straight down or collapses and can pinch that mouse bite apart. And he actually calls out a basically, it's an industry standard tool that like almost every cm has. And it's the haco CHP, DP two and I'm like, oh, yeah, I've got like, hundreds of those things lined up macro fed. Because that's for like small boards is like that's what we use. And then we have like a pneumatic you panelizer to which also the pneumatic one does the best job because it actually pulls straight
Host 1 12:32
Down through it and it does it very rapidly.
Host 2 12:35
Yeah, very rapidly. But so it doesn't. The problem with the haco CHP DP two is it like doesn't sure in motion, it sort of rotates. Yeah, it rotates on an axis through the the panel, which can leave basically like, it will first start the crush before it starts to shear. Whereas the pneumatic ones, like it's just a straight shearing action straight through the board, which leaves a much cleaner. Mouse bite remains, I guess. mouse droppings, right?
Host 1 13:09
I guess I'm calling it that.
Host 2 13:12
Yeah. And my only complaint with the white paper is the there's like breakaway torque, like how much force it takes to break the mouse bytes and stuff. He Nick doesn't actually like explain how he is measuring it. That's honestly like when I read these kinds of papers have I always good like how they test it? Like, can this be replicated? That's the whole point of like these kinds of papers and stuff is is that kind of learning and
Host 3 13:45
Yeah, like do you clamp was the board clamped to like a straight edge of a table and then a weight held from the end and progressively increased until it cracked you know? Like how was it actually performed?
Host 2 13:58
Yeah, that would be my only complaint I did like how he actually compared V score breakaway but the thing about the V scores he I don't think he actually specify what kind of V score he used because V scoring between PCB fabricators varies greatly, like at macro actually has we have our own own V score specification that we send out. That's like you must meet this. Because some people some board manufacturers do it really light some people do it really deep, like V scoring isn't there's there's an offset V score actually. Some only do one side, we'd like we do double sided on on access. So like both fees like lineup, but some some manufacturers like doing offsets. It's,
Host 3 14:49
I think the way you do it with both V's on axis, but not incredibly deep leaves a really nice clean edge to a board. That does Yeah, And what's nice is it also helps, like, as long as they cut it, will you get good dimension and dimensional accuracy on your accuracy? Yeah,
Host 2 15:07
Yeah. So he Nick doesn't cover that. But he actually does compare like a V score, like how many mouse bites per inch? Right? Do you need to replicate the V score strength? Because the benefit V score is you have a lot of rigidity, because it's a continuous, like connection,
Host 1 15:30
You get you get rigidity in the axis that is perpendicular to the cut. That cut is incredibly weak, actually,
Host 2 15:37
Yes. Yeah, the cuts incredibly weak. Yeah. And I think it was like a mouse. Whatever mouse bite he was using per like, every, like 33 millimeters, which is like what an inch and a quarter around that area is like ideal, like it's the same strength in terms of like breakaway torque, which is bad. What we find too is around that. I think we do like a mouse by per inch. Because usually you err on the side of too much board support than to less board support. Because the worst thing you can do is start manufacturing. And then like your board support, start snapping because of excess weight or something like that, or not enough support. Yeah, yeah, like too thin of mouse bites or too many drill hits, or that kind of are these cores cut real deep, or viscose cut real deep. Yeah. And of course, this all changes when you change like the thickness of the boards. The great thing is with macro five, you don't have to worry about that we will do that. Most mostly this is on the contract manufacturer side. Designers generally don't have to worry about this. There is one thing to worry about, though, for designers. And that is component proximity to the board edge. And this is where I was talking about like snapping the scoreboards where I've seen like videos of people just like snapping them on like YouTube and stuff. And I'm like, That is a great way to crack your ceramic capacitors.
Host 1 17:07
Yeah, especially if the long direction of the capacitor is in the length of the bend of the board of the bend. And, and it, you'd be surprised how much technique it takes to actually do this yet. Because like, say you have rectangular boards that are skinny and long. If you're holding those boards from the opposite rail that you're trying to crack, you're gonna bend the living bejesus out of those boards. And I promise you, you may be fine if you do one for 10 of these boards, but try doing 100 Try doing 1000 You're gonna get Fallout just from you breaking the rails off.
Host 2 17:45
Exactly, yeah. And the same thing with mouse bites too, because if you snap them by hand, which is kind of what they're designed for, you will get like chipping of solder mask or like, or over breakage into your board like it will like jag into like you I've actually seen exposed coppers. layers that way, too.
Host 1 18:12
You know, we ran into a problem at work the other day. And this was totally a design issue that luckily, it just happened on a prototype that were able to fix, we placed a mouse by just a hair too close to a pad of an LED. And when we broke the mouse bite off, we did it in a proper manner. But the solder mask cracked because they're smart solder mask, pull away from the pad of that led that was close plus solder mask pull away from the mouse bite that was nearby. And it caused the top layer of the FR for to shear. And that ended up pulling a chunk of the LED pad off. So the proximity of your mouse plates to components matters quite a bit, you need a pretty hefty. Basically, Route, no route zone. So don't put any copper there. Don't basically don't put zero anything there. Because it's going to pull away. And the amount is maybe I don't know if you can get away with say, five times the diameter of whatever mouse bite you're using. That's probably a decent rule of thumb to think about. Because here's the thing about mouse bites. There's no standard in terms of how many to use, what the diameter of them what they are and how far apart they are. Now you might google it and somebody says like well do this. This is the standard but like out there, there's not like an explicit standard. And in fact, we ran into that ourselves for for about a year and a half. We've been using mouse bites. I think we were using half millimeter drill hits and one millimeter spacing for our mouse bites and that had been working fine. But our PCB manufacturer made some changes to their process and they're like this half millimeter Drill hit. We don't we don't want to do it anymore. So they asked us to go up to one millimeter drill hits. Well, that changes a lot about our boards. Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's
Host 2 20:08
A, that's a big,
Host 1 20:10
That's a really big jump, right. So we had to, we had to make some some changes to things on that. And that's fine. So that's just keep it in
Host 2 20:19
Mind that supply chain issues getting half millimeter drill bits. That's what
Host 1 20:23
We were thinking because they've never complained about it. And we'd probably run a few 1000 boards with half millimeter drill heads. And then and then it all change. And this is, you know, supply chain issues and PCB issues, all of these things add together for that. So, you know, just keep in mind that like this thing that might feel like a standard ends up not being a standard. So that also brings up one, one of the things I've, I've found what works like mouse bites for me, I have a specific way that I draw them. In fact, when I start a new project, most of the time I I draw my board outline, I plop down my fiducials, and then I put down mouse bites, I do it in that order, such that I know my fiducials are in a place that they're good, I know that my mouse bites will not interfere with my fiducials. And I know my board outline is fine. Because those things I put a high priority for my board layout, such that all of the things that I lay out now have to conform around those items. And I usually don't have problems by doing those things. First, I have made the mistake of not doing those things first, and then the rest of the layout screws up those things. And I have fiduciary in weird spots. And then I have mouse bites that are odd. And and that usually doesn't turn out very well.
Host 2 21:37
Yeah, you have a unique position as you're designing production boards for your own company that also will produce them.
Host 1 21:48
Correct. And I kind of walk over to my my production people and say, Hey, how did this go? And they're like, it went well, or that did not go well change it and like I can make changes in five minutes.
Host 2 22:00
Yeah. Because most most designers don't have that luxury because they usually design something, then goes talk start talking to CMS.
Host 1 22:07
Well, we have talked 150,000 times about if you're starting to design something, that's when you should start asking questions. Start asking questions you're seeing about this is stuff that's that would that would help out in the day. It's one of those
Host 2 22:23
I started thinking about like part overhangs and that kind of stuff too of how much part overhangs increases costs. Because you might be like trying to shrink your board down and that you have a part overhangs your board while you're actually gonna be paying for that overhang.
Host 1 22:40
Yeah, that that makes your board
Host 2 22:42
Bigger, bigger square inch wise.
Host 1 22:45
We I remember running into that a lot, especially USB connectors, those are the worst
Host 2 22:50
USB connectors. So at macro fab, what we do is if there's a part overhang, that edge is always mouse bites, because it's a flat edge. If you V score it one if that part overhangs you can't run your pizza cutter over the penalize it so you have to do like the bad bending method. Right? And you can only bend in one in one direction. And if that's a kind of a part like a USB micro B connector, where it has a lip that hangs down over the board, it's going to be lifted
Host 1 23:28
Up now. Unless Unless there's just magically a slot routed under it. Yeah, but never happens. Of course. No, no. And imagine, imagine the designer who has two USB connectors. And they're on both sides of the board.
Host 2 23:42
Yeah, both sides. Yeah. I'm sure. Yeah, so part overhangs is something to think about on your on your costs. Try to minimize those within just talking to your CMM cm about how far parts need to be pushed back from edges, so they can run their D penalisation. Tools. That this is what first of all, will increase your reliability, especially if it's around for cat passengers because they won't be bending your board to D penalize. Because if you have parts right on the edge, or you have an overhanging part, that's like all over V score, that they have no choice on the penalizing, they're going to have to bend it
Host 1 24:29
And that doesn't make him happy. No.
Host 2 24:34
And it won't make your customers happy either when your ceramic capacitors start failing two or three years down the road or just right out the gate. And because usually when they crack they fail shorts, which is a lot of fun to try to solve. Trying to think of anything else I want to talk about penalisation
Host 1 24:54
Well, okay, so with mouth bites. One thing I think is important is How many mouse bites you have in terms of the actual drill hits? How many do you put in each chunk of bites? Is it one?
Host 2 25:09
Is it five? Is
Host 1 25:10
It 50? I personally have found that five works really well, five at half, half a millimeter does pretty well. If you have to go larger, like we've had to to one millimeter, you can reduce it to three or four. When you start going lower than that, like one or two, I've actually done it before and it works. But it doesn't come out as clean. The fewer number of holes you put on your mouse bites, the more jagged your edge ends up being. Because you end up like, you're not like breaking up on the SharePoint, you're just like, breaking the board at that point.
Host 2 25:47
Yeah. And that's like, No, this is actually one thing you should talk to your CSM about, because it can help you reduce your costs, if you don't really actually have a hard edge that you need maintain on your PCB, right. So it's like going into closure. And one of the edges is like dots floating in there. Yeah, just floating in there. It has space around it. You can tell your CM to just like put a regular tab there with no mouse bites. And they just cut it. Cut it off in half. Yeah, just break the whole thing. Yeah, well, they will use the deep analyzing tools. Yeah,
Host 1 26:23
Yeah. Like like the dramatic shear. And that'll give you an edge like a nice clean edge.
Host 2 26:27
No, no, I'm saying is they can leave half the tab on.
Host 1 26:32
Yeah, if you don't care about the cosmetics at the edge.
Host 2 26:34
Yeah, you don't care about the cosmetics. That that will save you money. Basically, in the long run for high production for sure. You see that all time you open up any kind of like, appliance and look at it circuit boards. Those are, it's either that or like the worst V scoring like edge cut you've ever seen in your life? Yeah. We're like the fibers are just like hanging out of the board and stuff. Awful.
Host 3 27:04
So I think there's one other one other thing to keep in mind. If, depending on your board with how far apart should your mouse bytes be like the actual tabs. And I think the rule of thumb is, if your board is 100 millimeters or less,
Host 1 27:23
Put put basically two mouse bites and try to evenly spaced them. If your board is over 100 millimeters, or I shouldn't say the board, if the edge that you're putting mouse pads on is over 100 millimeters, just put mouse by tabs every 100 millimeters. And that's enough to keep a decent amount of rigidity. Without being so that's tricky list to break.
Host 2 27:45
See, that's way less than what we do at macro fab. And what Nick Poole recommends?
Host 1 27:51
Yeah, I don't think it's required to have as that many.
Host 2 27:56
So I've had boards break, you know, doing less. So we just do we do about one an inch.
Host 1 28:05
That's that's quite a bit that you see, that adds a lot of rigidity. But it also adds a lot of stress on the board when you break it.
Host 2 28:10
Not when you use and cheers, though. True, true.
Host 1 28:14
But if you're if you're breaking them by hand, that's that's
Host 2 28:16
If you're breaking them by hand. Sure. But your your CM should not be breaking in by hand. If you do it yourself, sure, but I would just pick up some some haco CHP DP TOS if you're doing it yourself.
Host 1 28:32
Let's just put it this way. I don't think that mouse bites should be separated by greater than 100 millimeters. Oh, for sure. I think that's I mean, I think that's a good rule of thumb.
Host 2 28:42
I would say no more than than 50. That's my opinion, though. Yeah. Okay, anything I'm trying to think of anything, because I operations at Mack crab and engineering, like always complain about penalisation and trying to use anything else I want to talk about.
Host 1 29:04
I guess. There's one one thing I'll add on that is mixing V score and mouse fights, doing both processes. There are some situations where I think that can work.
Host 2 29:19
Now that's I'll pose right that's like, almost the default at macro fat.
Host 1 29:23
Sure. Yeah. Well, okay. But but but one thing macro Feds doing well, I guess are you talking about in macro Feds large panels. Are you talking about Mac FETs production? Production? Okay. Yeah, so sometimes we do both at a WMD where an individual board and its rails, or an individual board is connected to its rails by mouse bytes, but parallel boards side by side are v squared apart such that say if we had like an array that was five boards wide, we could break it down into 1234 or five and they would still end up going on a conveyor if needed be and they break via vertical V scores, but they're held to the rails by horizontal mouse bites. And that so we
Host 2 30:11
Do basically depends on the PCB itself of the configuration. If it has, if it's a straight edge with no overhanging parts, it's a V score. If it's got a curve in it, or it's got an overhanging part, it's got to be announced by this the only way to basically manufacture it. So you got you we sometimes have boards that have three edges V scored and one edges mouse bite.
Host 1 30:37
Yeah, right, right, right. I forgot you just mentioned the like overhangs equal mouse bites and vn it has
Host 2 30:43
To be two, yeah. I have started playing with like a route out, like for the connector, and then a V score there. The problem with that is you still can't run your pizza cutter. So you have to still panel, the panelized it by bending it basically overhanging parts has to be mouse bite is really the only way to do it. You know? Okay, so
Host 1 31:06
That brings that brings an interesting point. And, and I don't, I don't remember, or I shouldn't say remember, I don't know how Microsoft does it now. But if you have any part that exceeds the envelope of the outside of your board outline, so in other words, that means overhang. Even if that overhang doesn't extend beneath the board, like a lip on a USB connector. So let's just say you have something weird like an Ethernet connector that is L shaped and it goes up off the board. And then it overhangs that should be indicated to your contract manufacturer somehow, or here's a good one here to
Host 2 31:43
Recognize that customers told us that we have a process to identify those. It's hard, though, it is hard because you have to look at pretty much every single new part and figure out if it's a overhanging part or not.
Host 1 31:54
I think the biggest biggest component that makes that or that is a problem with it is probably 90 degree hitters, where they're placed right at the edge of the board, they go up and then they stick out. And then if you have boards that are parallel, not parallel, but just next to each other, analyze next to each other, they interfere with each other. I've certainly made that mistake before where it's like, oh, I didn't even think about it as the designer. And then you have to go in and add space between boards for this is we have
Host 2 32:25
A process of recognizing that through orders. And figuring out that's actually one of the reasons why we look so closely at overhanging parts is to make sure for sure makes the penalisation a lot easier. Because now you you put less stress on the board when you do penalize when you do with mouse bites for an overhanging part. But making sure you can actually build the board with those parts and not have to leave parts
Host 1 32:47
Off is huge. Yeah. All those DNPS
Host 2 32:52
That was the MPs are D and I's.
Host 1 32:55
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I remember having to do that sometimes in the past where you hit up the customer and say like, Hey, you know, sorry, we can we can install these in a secondary process. But if you need them really quick, we can send you the boards and the parts and you can solder them and yeah, those are always fun.
Host 2 33:11
Yeah. Okay, next topic.
Host 1 33:16
So yeah, I recently at work, I had somebody started yesterday at work, so on a Monday, and and it kind of brought up a topic like, in no way am I saying it? Did I am I bringing up this topic, because things are going well, this this individual is actually doing really, really fantastic. I'm super happy with them. But it got me thinking about a topic we could talk about here is so you're new at your job. What do you do? Like how do you handle being new at a job and this is sort of building off of this series that we've been talking about with like resumes and interviews and and how to interview on the podcast so I'd love to just like chat a little bit about like, you know, you got your interview you you got the job offer you show up? What what do you do as a new employee at a job?
Host 2 34:08
One you show up on time? Yeah,
Host 1 34:11
Yes, absolutely. Yeah.
Host 2 34:14
And that's the most important thing is on your first day you show up the interesting thing is I've had I think 123 Like four jobs my entire life that includes macro fab all my other ones are like either been self employed or like something else like that. And I honestly actually only three are like actually like new jobs. Because like macro fab was like, church was like, Hey, you want to go like start another company? And I'm like, Sure. And that was like it
Host 1 35:03
Yeah. Didn't have day one in a way didn't really have
Host 2 35:06
We, we had a day one. But yeah, it was more progressive. back five was, whereas like, okay, so I guess for engineering actually only have two is two for that at least then. So yeah, I wanted to show up on the on time. And usually it's like, depending on the industry, one job was like, a whole week of safety training.
Host 1 35:33
Host 2 35:34
So it was, yeah, yeah, orientation, or the other one was just like, getting locked into a room and being told, like design stuff, make things
Host 1 35:45
Happen. I'm gonna I'm going to add a quick caveat. When we say on time, that means don't be there, like, two hours early. Also, no,
Host 2 35:55
No, no, no, no one's gonna be there at Right. Right.
Host 1 35:58
Right, like, okay, so everyone else there is not probably as excited as you to start that day. So like, Yeah, show up on time. And that means, like, the time they told you, if you're there super early, go drive to the coolest coffee shop around and get yourself a coffee and just hang out and think about what you're going to do that day and then show up at whatever time until you
Host 2 36:20
Show up to your supervisors office three minutes before? You're supposed to.
Host 1 36:28
Not five, not four, not three
Host 2 36:30
Minutes. They're great. Okay. And, yeah, I would say, most time, it's gonna be orientation. You got to be talking with HR lot signing a lot of paperwork. Yeah. And then I think basically, like, when does when does the actual job start? I guess is,
Host 1 36:55
Yeah, maybe maybe we go like, let's say you've gone through orientation. And like, yeah, you're now like, you're in the engineering teams office, and there's like a handful of other people there. And you sit down at your desk? And, you know, let's say they haven't given you like a thing to do yet, you know, yeah,
Host 2 37:14
I would say go to your go to your supervisor or your team lead depends on how you're how the company is structured. And you just got to about hey, is there an ask this way? Hey, is there a, something I can work on? That I can do without any knowledge of any other systems or something like that? Yeah. Is there a self contained task that I can complete in the next couple of days? Just to get started? Yeah. And because you're gonna have to, so if like, this is like, the big thing where like software developers coming into, like, let's just like a code base, write a code base, like you haven't learned that entire code base? Yeah. So is there a project or like, let's say you coming onto a design team, right? That's doing like, this is a board layout, and they're in the middle of the design, middle of the design? Is there something that you can, because if you just jump into that team, you're not going to have any idea what's going on? It will take you weeks to actually even get any kind of productivity. It asked if there's something that you can do that you can complete with your current skill sets. And a couple days, yeah. If it's an internship, that usually doesn't work, because your skill set is nothing at that point. Yeah. Your interns or Tagalog. Yeah, yeah. In terms of taglines, like, you're building your skill set with an internship. That's actually one thing. It's important. Be interesting. We should hit on there is internships. Internships aren't supposed to be free, aren't supposed to be you building value for the company. They are for you to learn. As as the as the internship, II, I guess.
Host 1 39:03
You know, and totally, absolutely agreed, I think even with an internship, but regardless of how far you are along in your career, or what you've worked at, I think, perhaps one of the one of the best things is like to ask, where do I go to learn? And where do I go to, like, investigate and like figure things out. And the way to like try to be really directed with your learning as opposed to just like clicking around in this new system. You because like every company you go to is going to have some kind of a system that they've put together. I think one of the best ways of of putting this together is say like, this is what I've done in the past. And you're asking yourself this, you're not saying this to someone else. Ask yourself like, okay, like me, I worked at McAfee macro fat had a system I show up at WMD and I have to learn a whole brand new system. I'm impairing my previous knowledge of a system to this knowledge of a system. And so I knew at macro fab, oh, I need to know how to go find a part. And I And here's how it did it macro fab? Well, I know I'm going to need to go find parts at this new job, how do I do that same kind of task, but at this new job. And like all of those little things, I think those are sort of the first things that make make it really like, like will will level you up very quickly. Like, I need to order a part. What kind of process is exist for me ordering a part? Do I need to go make friends with the purchasing manager? Or do I need to look in the system? You're already thinking
Host 2 40:41
About greasing the wheels.
Host 1 40:47
But like, and do as much as you
Host 2 40:49
Can bring the procurement person doughnuts, I get a free skill scope. Hey,
Host 1 40:53
You know, I'm not saying that's a bad idea, you know, the, but like, take your previous knowledge of things that you knew worked well at other companies and see how this company does it. And I
Host 2 41:07
Would say, good doing it through a project that's self contained, is the best Wait, at least that's how I learned stuff. And that the previous companies that I had to have first days or first weeks, this is more like a first month, kind of Yeah, I think at this point is, is that's how I did it. And I don't know if that's the correct way or the best way. But that's just how I did it. And it seemed to work the best because after that first project, you kind of get in the groove of things. And then you start to become integrated more on to the team and value. And yeah, yeah, for sure. Trying to find a or asking your supervisor or team lead for a mentor. If you can follow along, especially if like there isn't any, like small projects that you can just work on figure out, shadowing somebody shadowing someone trying to figure out like, what they are doing, how they're managing their day, that kind of stuff. Oh, manage your time. This is more like like Billy's first job, I guess at this point. But managing your time is very important. I would use like Google count a calendar, like Google Calendar or something like that. And even if like it's a spur of the moment thing, put it on your calendar that you did from this time, it's just for you. So you can look back a couple days later, and see what the do spend time doing. And that might be a good thing to bring up with your manager at like after, like the first week, like most companies, you have like a weekly meeting. That's just like an update meeting with your manager or your team lead. Bring that up with him and or her and be like, This is what I did. Is this what I shouldn't be doing. What do I need to do difference?
Host 1 43:06
Yeah, yeah. should things be different? Kind of like a journal? I guess? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, actually, to expound upon that. And this is funny, because we're talking about like, you just started a job. And I'm gonna mention something here that's talking about another job. But that you'd be surprised. This is super important, in my opinion. Anytime you accomplish anything, I don't care how big or how small it is, in terms of like, an like a large accomplishment. What I mean by that is, like Parker just mentioned, hey, is there something I can accomplish in a few days, like that, that would constitute this. Write a good a note thing on your phone or start a Word doc or whatever, write that down somewhere, just write it down that you did that any accomplishment you've ever done at that job, write it down. Because if you ever leave that job, and you need to fill out your resume for something else, you have a list of all the big things you did. It's so convenient. Um,
Host 2 44:07
I don't do that specifically. Well, you never think I believe microphones I do look at a do look at JIRA because which is our our ticketing system and I put everything in tickets like almost everything Yeah, and whenever so whenever you get everyone gets this by the way, or I think almost everyone gets this is one of the things you're going to experience as a especially an engineer, like especially if you're doing like design stuff. Is is imposter syndrome, like you're not good enough to be doing your job. Yeah, having that document and looking at your past achievements just as refreshing your brain is such a huge motivation boost of like, no you're you've done this stuff, right are good.
Host 1 44:57
You're good enough. Yeah, yeah, yeah, because anxiety is crippling? Yeah. And yeah, it'll. It's it kind of sucks because it's circular like, you get anxious. Oh, yeah.
Host 2 45:09
Going on drain? Yeah, yeah, it's
Host 1 45:11
Circular like you get anxious so you don't perform well. So you get more anxious so you don't perform well. And then, like, you get canned. And that's just like, because not because you let it happen, but because like it got to you, let's just put it that way. And
Host 2 45:27
That's just human nature to everyone. Almost everyone will experience that.
Host 1 45:32
Yeah, it's the I'm not good enough mentality. Yeah, just, we've all been there.
Host 2 45:39
Especially once you get on a very long term project, or you get stuck on a problem for a long time, that will totally get you to writing down your achievements, either in a journal, or just like I honestly, I just like, sometimes I'll just pull up like my JIRA history for like, the week end of the week. And also, I do that too, to make sure like, did I keep like, how much stuff that actually get done this week, I always like to figure that out, too. And just looking at it and be like, Yeah, I did a shitload of stuff.
Host 1 46:12
This is gonna, this is gonna sound a little awkward and off, but But hear me on this, I have a friend who does that very religiously, like writes down what they have accomplished, they don't write down what they're currently doing. But like, once they finish something, they write that down. And they provide that to their boss in a an Excel spreadsheet every Friday, the boss never opens it unless they need to. And because there there has been times where like, the CEO will walk by and be like, we pay a lot of money for this person to have a job like, what do they even do it because like the and I'm being mean about it, and then that guy can pull up all the Excel spreadsheets and be like, this guy works his ass off. And this is all the proof of it. And like, nobody should have to prove their work like that. So like, frankly, that's not a good situation. That's not a good CEO.
Host 2 47:03
But it's not it's actually a very good manager. Yeah, to do that for his team.
Host 1 47:08
Well, and the friend of mine who does that, like just knows he works at a place where like, things are not fantastic when that can happen. And so
Host 2 47:19
DJ has a really good quote there. What would you say you do here?
Host 1 47:27
I got a meeting with the Bob's in five minutes. Yeah, if your management starts using words like synergy and things like that, like, yeah, start writing that resume and get out of it. Yeah, I don't know. Like, be be, Be humble. Be humble. For a while, at your first job. Like you're trying to get your sea legs at the at the new jobs, you're trying to do things. So in other words, like don't come in like arms flailing, ready to change everything. Don't be like trying to implement new processes. Unless that is your job. Unless that is your job, right? But like, if it's not your job, don't go in there and be like, everything sucks here. I know the best.
Host 2 48:17
And the best way that if you have those, you're going to have those thoughts too. That's always a thing. Yeah, is talk to your integrate onto the team first before you bring that stuff up.
Host 1 48:28
Yeah, that's a great way for the rest of the team to not like you if you come in and be like you guys are doing everything wrong. Because
Host 2 48:35
I was always when you come on date, let's say it's day one. And you say that you don't know, everything that's going on that that caused those other processes to be implemented?
Host 1 48:45
Correct? Correct. It's impossible that you know that. So be a little bit humble, learn everything. Once you learn everything. And you can, once you can speak intelligently about why those processes might not work. And you can present to people why those processes might not work, and why yours would work. That's probably the best time to bring those up.
Host 2 49:09
And to build on that it's a if the person there that is still working there. Ask that person who implemented that have. Maybe there's like a document that shows why that process was put together like there's a proposal than like a plan of action, that kind of stuff. See if you can get that stuff because it might be either one thing they overlooked or you might actually just read the reasons why that exists. And you go, Oh, that's why and I didn't think of that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Because that happens a lot at at McWrap. Sometimes where like, people were like, Let's change this process. And then I'm like, wait, let me go find that Google doc from like six years ago. Of like, why we do it this way now and see if it's still relevant. Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes that that reason is not relevant. anymore go okay, yeah, let's go change it. And then sometimes like, no, that's still a problem, we got to keep it this way.
Host 1 50:07
Systemic problems might be systemic in your mind and not for the whole rest of the company. So keep that in mind. I remember one of the first things I did when I started my very first engineering job is I was reviewing some schematics. And I saw that some of the symbols that were drawn were polarized electrolytic capacitors in a schematic, and they were backwards. And the way they were presented in the schematic was wrong. And I guarantee you, they're still wrong today. And the very first thing I did was I brought it up, and I went to the lead electrical engineer, and I was like, Hey, I noticed this. I was like, these capacitors are backwards. And he's like, oh, yeah, they've been like that for 20 years, or whatever. And he's like, the amount of work we would have to do to change. This is unbelievable, and it would cost a bunch of money, so we're not changing that. And that's his answer. Even though it upset me because it was like, this should be right like you suddenly these things are not battles worth fighting. Like, okay, great. So what I needed to teach myself is like in this situation, those were wrong. Everyone knows they're wrong. It would be better if they were right. But it would also take a lot of work to make them right. And that's something you have to be okay with sometimes.
Host 2 51:27
And that was the macro engineering podcast for this week. We're your hosts Parker Dolman
Host 1 51:33
And Steven Gregg.
Host 2 51:34
Host 1 51:37
Note Oh, take it easy. Yeah.
Host 2 51:48
Thank you Yes, you our listener for downloading and listening to our podcasts if you have a cool idea, project or topic or experience first day on the job. Let Steven and I know Tweet us at McWrap at Longhorn engineer or at analog EMG or tweet us Tweet us, email us. Email us at email@example.com Also check out our Slack channel is Mac fab.com/slack. And we live stream Tuesdays at six o'clock central time at twitch.tv/mac Fab yes I still don't have a macro URL for it are yet for that yet. What do you want from me?
Transcribed by https://otter.ai