> -----Original Message-----
> From: JaMi Smith [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]] 
> Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 7:57 PM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Cc: JaMi Smith
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] Top Notch Talent for Troubleshooting.
> 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.
> Tony,
> I think someone wrote this for you, "Did you run out of your 
> meds?? You really are nitpicking now."
> Please see below,
> JaMi
> ----- 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 . . .

I am relaxed. (Except for this pain in my shoulder)

> 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 forget.

Who forgot? Not me. I'm glad they dropped ATS. Thanks for leading the
battle Jami.

> 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 greatest.

Who says "one day they can't write software and the next day they are
the greatest"? We are just complaining about bugs (as we should) and
presenting scenarios to Altium so they can fix the problems.

> 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.

I think you have been the largest emotional rollercoaster on this list.
Most people just document their complaints, but you get really nuts
sometimes. Don't deny it! ;)

> 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 Design.

Well if someone told you to "go pound sand", they should be fired. That
is not acceptable. However, if you provoked them, (which doesn't seem
out of this world) then I would certainly understand their reaction.

> 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?

Maybe they needed a body to fill a spot. Someone that can accurately
document a user's problem, pass it along to engineering, track its
progress, and get back to the user, is better than no one at all.

> 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.

One person at the top give a company direction and vision. (If they are
good) It doesn't mean they are know it all, see it all types, but they
have a definite outcome on the products. When they wrote DXP they didn't
talk to me or many other people on this list until beta time. I'm not
sure where the impetus for DXP originated, but it has definitely changed
over the past few months during the beta period.

In my own product design (which I know a LOT about) I still get feature
requests from users and testers for stuff I never thought of. Everyone
just thinks differently, and will use a given product in a different
way. A spec can be good and complete, but a user might offer input to
make the spec great. 

> 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 individuals.
> 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.

Not all programmer are designers. As your example goes, the person you
describe isn't a designer either, he is an electronics draftsman.

> 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.

A LOT of code is written like this. There are thousands of programmers
that are given specs for subsections of devices (and even for security
reasons) do not know what their code will be connected with. They code
to a spec, and that code is tested (to the spec). It could be to launch
a missile, process some medical data stream, whatever. I've seen first
hand GOOD programmer write code for products they know nothing about.
They are handed a spec for a module (Your input stream looks like
this... You need to perform this function on that input stream... Your
output format is like this...) and sit down and start coding. IF they
are good, the code will integrate as it was intended.

> 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.

I disagree. It's the vision from above him that would be the problem.
They are having him work on the wrong things if the app is not doing we

> 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).

Maybe they didn't intent for that 4-way to drop like that. Maybe it's a
bug and not a design decision that was rescinded. You're assuming they
didn't know what they were doing and put that 4way problem in there on
purpose. So much of your writing is based on assumptions, and they can
be very wrong at times. His role in the DXP development has not been
stated, so you're assuming an entry level programmer is screwing up the
code. Well if he really IS screwing it up badly, he will probably get
fired. There are a lot of smart people out of work right now, especially
in my area. (Silicon Valley) I'm sure if the pay was reasonable, they
would be willing to work.

> I am truly sorry if I offended anybody, because that is not my intent.
> JaMi
> * * * * * * * * * *
> > > -----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:
> > > >
> > > > http://www.altium.com/careers/co_aust_se.htm
> > > >
> > > > 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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