The previous edition of this post was incomplete - sorry about that, I tried
to save it so I wouldnt loose it and sent it by mistake - it's Wednesday. js
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Golly gee, six munths ago i cuddent evn spel enjinner, now i are one.


I think someone wrote this for you, "Did you run out of your meds?? You
really are nitpicking now."

Please see below,


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Karavidas" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 12:43 PM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Top Notch Talent for Troubleshooting.

> Jami, you really are becoming quite offensive and at the same time
> showing your ignorance. I looked at what you viewed and you're obviously
> talking about Denzil Crasta.

Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony, please, please, please, please, just relax . . .

My mere existance offends some people, but beyond that, I do not mean to be
offensive, or more particularly, I specifically do not mean to offend
anyone, and I apologize if I have.

But please take a step back and try and put things into perspective.

It is not a question about a particular individual or individuals and
whether or not he is a nice guy or they are nice people. It is a question
about one EDA Product which we all use and another EDA Product that we are
all being "sold" in one way or another, and the problems with those two EDA
Products and whether or not the company behind those products really knows
what they are doing, from many different perspectives. From an EDA Software
perspective. From a Technical perspective. From an Electrical Engineering
perspective. From a Programming perspective, and most importantly, from a
Printed Circuit Board Design perspective.

Let's look at Altium and Protel 99 SE and Protel DXP for just a moment. If
you look back in this forum over the last year at the "endearment
thermometer" on Altium, and problems with Protel 99 SE , and the failure to
deliver Protel DXP anywhere near on schedule, to monumental problems and
design blunders when it first arrived, to the point where things appear to
be possibly turning around and looking up, that thermometer fluctuates all
over the place. I mean it has been Hot and Cold and Hot and Cold and Hot and
Cold all over again all over the map.

Please remember that just one month ago this very day, the whole Protel user
community had revolted and was up in arms to the point that Altium was
forced to abandon ATS and apologize to the Protel customer base. How soon we

Some of the primary questions in the forums in the past year have dealt
specifically with whether or not Altium was technically compent enough to
deliver on DXP and now that it is here, whether or not they can fix the
beast and make an honest product out of it.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, they are making real good progress in the
past few weeks, and this latest service pack is really great, and blah,
blah, blah, blah . . .

I mean one day they can't write software and the next day they are the

I mean look at the archive, look at your own posts. I mean I am not the only
guy out here pointing out problems by a long shot. One day people are happy
with Altium, and the next day they are not.

How soon you guys forget the problems of last week, or last month, and are
so  easily placated and pacified like a puppy when they throw you a bone or
two or some little scrap. This forum is a very moody bunch of people, but I
would also say very malleable, in that it doesn't take very much to make you
forget the problems of yesterday and make you a happy and faithful Altium
supporter again.

Ever since I called Altium in San Diego as a brand new customer, on a new
brand new seat of Protel 99 SE less than a week old, with a system that
crashed continually, and was told in essence to "go pound sand" by someone
who I am sure is a very very nice person once you get past the fact that
they were totally incompetent technically, and should not have been allowed
to try and answer technical questions (a problem which Altium has since
remedied), I have always had the question in the back of my mind of whether
or not all the people at Altium are really qualified to do what they do,
from a technical perspective, and also from the perspective of Engineering

Please note that there are some very good and very qualified Technical
Support people at Altium, and I have dealt with some of them, but
unfortunately, I do not believe that that level of competence and
qualification is universal.

Please note that this thread was started by me when I saw an employment ad a
week or so ago for Technical Consultants at Altium in San Diego, and
needless to say it hit a nerve, and yes I did post it here in a sarcastic
sense, making an issue of the total lack of any real qualifications required
for the position in terms of knowledge of Engineering Design Practice, or
EDA Software Applications Experience, or even knowledge of Electronics in
general. I mean duh! What's a Printed Circuit Board? What's a Schematic?

I mean forgive me for being sarcastic, truly, I am sorry, but I need to be
able to talk to someone in Tech Support who can understand my questions, and
can understand Electronic Design, and can understand what I am using Protel
for and what I am trying to do with it, so that he can understand why the
problem is a problem, and more importantly he can understand what needs to
be done to fix the problem.

So nobody responded to my original thread, but we had a hell of a related
conversation in a parallel post here in the last couple of days concerning
the qualifications of "two year wonders" and whether or not the people
at Altium (and elsewhere) really are qualified, from the perspective of
Electronic Design Experience, to be making "rules" about what a schematic
diagram should or should not be allowed to contain.

That is not to say that there is no one at Altium that has this type of
experience, but is does raise the question of whether or not there are
enough people at Altium with this type of experience. What good does it do
to have one person at the top of a company who understands Engineering
Design when he is obviously too busy running the company to direct all of
the individual detailed efforts going into his products.

For years and years and years, virtually everyone in our industry (and I am
sure that includes almost everyone in this forum), has been complaining that
all of the software is written by people who do not know the first thing
about Electronics or Electronic Design. This is a recognized industry wide
problem, and it didn't begin with me.

With this "problem" fresh in my mind, I was cleaning up my email when I came
across my earlier post and a thought struck me (which happens occasionally)
and I wondered just what kind of qualifications Altium required of its
programmers, which prompted me to repost my original post with the new
question, which had a reply which lead me to the website at Altium, and to
the quote that I quoted.

Well, needless to say, just as expected, Altium doesn't require much.

This has absolutely nothing to do with any specific individual or group of

This has to do simply with the fact that Altium does not appear to require
any real relevant understanding of Electronic Design, which is true to form
for the industry, but which nonetheless is a problem in the industry.

While I am sure that many will say that Altium will train these people what
they need to know about Electronic Design, unfortunately, herein lies the
problem, for they will be taught the Gospel according to Altium, and the
primary question here (and also a recent topic here in the forum) is the
validity of that Gospel according to Altium.


This in fact is the problem that I am attempting to comment on.

It has nothing to do with any specific individuals and whether or not any
individual may be highly qualified as a programmer or not, and it has
everything to do with the real question of whether or not the people who are
writing software applications at Altium understand what they are writing
software for.

Absolutely nothing personal to get offended about.

Anyway, let me continue and answer the rest of your comments.

> Just because he may not know DXP, or know PCB layout or SCH capture,
> doesn't me he isn't qualified to write code for those things. He has a
> boss, and his boss can hand him a spec saying "We want this feature xxx,
> do it this way" If he write his code and it performs to the spec, then
> he is a good programmer. If his output was accurate to the spec, but for
> some reason WE don't like what the app does, then the spec is bad and
> has nothing to do with this entry level programmer.

Tony, let me first answer that by rephrasing what you just said.

Just because he may not know Electronics, or know what a PCB is or what a
Schematic is, doesn't mean he isn't qualified to make those things. He has a
boss, and his boss can tell him what the schematic symbol should look like,
and how the lines should be hooked up, and what color the traces should be
in the PCB window, etc.. If he draws his schematic and it passes DRC, then
he is a good designer. If his output was accurate to the spec, but for some
reason the PCB doesn't work, then the spec is bad and has nothing to do with
this entry level designer.

There are a number of things wrong with this approach.

First and foremost, a CAD Jockey does not a Designer make.

A major problem with this approach, is the fact that in real life, unless
the boss actually looks over the guys shoulder every step of the way, then
there are mountians and mountains of work done (code written) between the
time the boss says "do this", and the time the boss gets back to check it,
and in reality it never gets completely checked.

And then there is the issue of it not being coded exactly the way that it
should be, but being coded close enough to do the job in a so so manner, and
being to much work to go back and redo it right.

I mean how much of the worlds code is written like this, by perfectly
qualified programmers, who just do not understand what they are writing code
to do.

It's not that they don't write good code, it's that they don't understand
what the code is being written for.

> The guy has two degrees, and while he is probably fairly inexperienced,
> he probably writes pretty good code because he isn't old and lazy yet. I
> would bet he takes the time to document his work properly because he is
> trying to make a  good impression.

I have tried not to get personal, and that is why I did not use any names,
and this is not meant to be in any sense a "personal" attack, but just
because the guy has two degrees, all that means is that he is not a "two
year wonder", but rather a "four year wonder", or possibly, if he combined
his work on both degrees, then he is a "three year wonder".

The whole point is that he may be the best programmer around and have 10
"Programmer of the Year" trophy's sitting on his desk, and he still knows
absolutely zip about Electronic Design, which is the problem.

What makes matters worse, he will probably never ever learn anything about
Electronic Design besides what he picks up from other people at Altium who
know absolutely zip about Electronic Design themselves besides what they
have been told in the Gospel According to Altium.

> Until you know  of his particular skills, you should shut up.

Tony, the whole issue is that according to his very own words we do in fact
know that his particular skills do not in fact include any background in
Electronic Design whatsoever, and that is the issue.

That is really the only issue I am talking about, and I believe that it is a
legitimate issue and a real problem that is affecting you and me and
everyone else in this forum who stands the chance of loosing a 4-way
connection on a schematic because the guy who coded the software, and his
boss, and his boss also, didn't know what a 4-way connection was (yeah,
yeah, I know they are going to fix that, just an example, but a real life
example that never should have happened in the first place).

I am truly sorry if I offended anybody, because that is not my intent.


* * * * * * * * * *

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: JaMi Smith [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> > Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 12:10 PM
> > To: Protel EDA Forum
> > Cc: JaMi Smith
> > Subject: Re: [PEDA] Top Notch Talent for Troubleshooting.
> >
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > That explains it all . . .
> >
> > The following paragraph was taken off of the website from one
> > of the "Graduate Stories" under "Graduate Recruitment":
> >
> > "My role at Altium is Software Engineer, which entails
> > developing new features for Altium's products. When I first
> > started, I spent a week becoming familiar with the software
> > and after that began developing straight away. My knowledge
> > of the EDA industry was very limited at first, however each
> > new project has provided me with a new challenge as well as a
> > good opportunity to learn more."
> >
> > No comment required, as it speaks for itself.
> >
> > Thanks again
> >
> > JaMi
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "John Williams" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 11:23 AM
> > Subject: Re: [PEDA] Top Notch Talent for Troubleshooting.
> >
> >
> > > Here is one:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > John Williams
> > >
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "JaMi Smith" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > > To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > > Cc: "JaMi Smith" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > > Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 11:01 AM
> > > Subject: Re: [PEDA] Top Notch Talent for Troubleshooting.
> > >
> > >
> > > ...
> > > > The next time one of you guys or gals down under spot Altium
> > > > advertizing
> > > for
> > > > any Programmers in the local papers (or where ever they advertize
> > > > such things down under), post us a link or scan in the
> > copy, so that
> > > > we all
> > can
> > > > see.
> > > ...

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