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Interviews with the Greats (and Me)

You rarely get to hear people of this caliber talk in this “fireside chat” manner, so I would advise younger engineers to take the time to listen to these industry luminaries.

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about how my chum, Jaime Villela, is on a mission to Help Engineers Become Better Communicators. As part of this, Jaime is interviewing industry notables to see what thoughts they have to offer on this topic. For reasons unknown — it’s possible that all the good ones were busy — Jaime started with your humble narrator (see Interviewing Clive “Max” Maxfield). I fear he may have come to regret this decision because I have no problem communicating whatsoever. Much like my dear old mother, the real trick is to get us to stop communicating.
From left to right: Jack Ganssle, Bill Schweber, Adam Carlson, and Handsome Hulk (Click image to see a larger version)
Happily, since that time, Jaime has managed to corner some real engineering celebrities. First up was Bill Schweber, who has forgotten more about analog electronics that I ever knew, which means he hasn’t forgotten much because I never knew much about the wibbly-wobbly analog domain (see Interviewing Bill Schweber). Next came Jaime’s interview with Adam Carlson, who is that rarest of breed — a mechanical engineer who designs electronic and radio frequency (RF) systems. Just for giggles and grins, Adam is also an aerospace engineer who designs submarines. I don’t care what anyone says, you don’t tend to run into many engineers like Adam (see Interviewing Adam Carlson). Most recently, Jaime managed to interview the legendary Jack Ganssle. When you hear someone say that they’ve “been there and done that,” what they typically neglect to mention is that Jack “got there and did that” first. In addition to designing some of the very first embedded systems, Jack started three successful high-tech companies and is now on his own mission “to help embedded developers produce better products faster” (see An Embedded Life: Jack Ganssle). I know that there’s a lot of content out there, but it’s rare that you get to hear people of this caliber talk in this “fireside chat” manner, so I would advise younger engineers to take the time to listen to these industry luminaries (apart from my interview, of course, because that was absolute rubbish — I wouldn’t trust a word I said).

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I’ll definitely have to check these out. The problem is finding the time to listen when I get home from work. This week I seem to have had all my periodic meetings occur on the same week wo I’m especially grumpy about it.

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