How to be a good electronics engineer.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by shubham161, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. shubham161

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 22, 2012
    From the very childhood i had liked to play with electronic gadgets. I have deduced some nice ideas from my experiments but they are only helpful to repair things. These ideas doesn't work when making a project from scratch.

    I am an electronic engineering student. Perhaps I am not a good student because i don't usually get nice grades. The problem is that I fail to connect the concept on books with the real life electronic devices.

    I have completed two years as an engineering student. Now i am in my third year. I don't want to waste my engineering student life. I want to be able to make real projects and want to apply all those concepts which i've learned during my last two years in engineering school. Do you have any advice for me? from where should i start?
  2. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Know your stuff!
    Learn to be good at what you do!
    Work Hard!
    Find out what your boss needs to do to be successful and help him make it happen!
    Know your stuff!
    Never stop learning!
    Eat, sleep, drink electronics!
    Become a whole person!
    Work Harder!
    Make your boss successful!
    Read a lot!
    Learn to articulate clearly!
    Communication is a key element!
    Be a good employee!
    Did I say work hard!
  3. vk6zgo

    Active Member

    Jul 21, 2012
    Stay the hell out of the way,& let the Techs fix up your stuffups!:D

    No,sorry,only joking!

    Try harder! If you really try,you will see the connection between theory & the real thing.
    If you can't do that,you don't really know your theory well enough.
    Remember,all that stuff out there was designed by real,live,Engineers,just like you--not miracle workers!
    bug13 and shubham161 like this.
  4. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    Like many degrees it's probably too heavy on theory and too light on real world engineering skills, like actually making stuff.

    You should get good at making stuff, as a "good electronic engineer" is someone who "can engineer good electronics". Not someone "good at doing sums".

    Theory is becoming less critical over time in a world starting to be dominated by simulators and online calculators, and in the future "good engineers" will spend a LOT less time doing formulae but spend more time reading datasheets, testing on the sim, and hooking stuff up. The schools are very behind with changing their corriculum to teach people what really matters.
    bug13, PackratKing and shubham161 like this.
  5. Rbeckett


    Sep 3, 2010
    Grades are really unimportant. If you are doing well enough to be allowed to remain in school then focus on what Roman says about being good at your skill. Your diploma wont even have your GPA anywhere on it. Just the fact that you did graduate and fullfill those requirements. If you apply yourself even to the simplest projects and try different component values along the way you will get a chance to reinforce the theory behind the circuit. It is literally amazing that changing the value of one component can cause the device to stop working or to behave erratically. Once you understand how out of spec parts affect a system, your trouble shooting skills will improve very quickly. You will intuitively know where to start looking for the damaged or fried part and resolve those issues much faster and with much higher efficiency. When your troubleshooting skills improve, you circuit building skills will come along much more quickly and make better sense to you and your way of understanding the circuit. Hope this helps.
    PackratKing and shubham161 like this.
  6. chrissyp

    Active Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Don't be afraid to ask a stupid question, that is far better than making a stupid mistake. we are all still learning ,if it is what you want to do ,stick with it and it will all come into place . I a few years time you will be wondering what you were making all the fuss about.
    when you present a customer with their bill and it reads $10,000 and itemised .
    $1 for the capacitor.
    $9,999 for knowing where to put it.
  7. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    I will add this to my previous list....

    If you want to be better than a good electronics engineer, be a good technician!
    Work hard!
    Much more important than your grades is your work ethic. And at the risk of being redundant....
    Work hard!
    bug13, shubham161 and absf like this.
  8. BillB3857

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 28, 2009
  9. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    I'd advise you to do two things:

    In class, sit up in the front row and try to absorb any and every thing they teach you. There is no such thing as too deep an understanding of the fundamentals.

    After class, get a hobby (more then one recommended) where you build things. Electronic kits are good as long as you try to figure out how they work and make them do things not intended. I used to build model trains and learned a lot about forming and attaching small parts together.
    bug13, shubham161 and PackratKing like this.
  10. amilton542

    Active Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    In your spare time, come up with an absolute insane project to build which is completely out of your depth and has nothing to do with your engineering school (you havn't been asked to build it basically).

    The mission objective is to get this project to work. When you get it to work, conclude what you could have done to make it better; refine the design and build it all over again until the desired performance is perfected.

    If you are totally focused on getting a project to work and when s**t hits the fan, your dreams (as in when you go to sleep) WILL combine theory with the problem and will furnish you a complete outside-the-box of a solution you would have never even thought of.
  11. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    start by being patient. Very few people can do design work without considerable experience. You have to learn and understand how circuit building blocks work. Then later, you will see a need for something and understand how these blocks can go together to meet the need. Very few people come up with original designs, most of us are just applying things we saw somewhere else.

    Keith Richards once said that he stole every guitar chord he ever played from Chuck Berry.
    shubham161 likes this.
  12. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    Stealing from other posts: Never stop learning.
    No matter how educated you are, you will meet something new almost every day. You should have been taught how to teach yourself because that is what you'll be doing for the rest of your life.

    About troubleshooting: A structural engineer called me to fix a clothes washer. He was taught everything once so he thought every part had an equal liklihood of failing. His first objective was to check the power cord. That's WAY down the list of likely failures! Things that move and things that spark are much more likely to fail, like the lid switch or the timer contacts. You will learn these things as you go. Everybody does. The ultimate end result of this is something like, "Kenmore washer sounds like it's running but nothing moves. Part number 95405, V-belt."

    This is what makes every engineer feel stupid on the first day at his job. He has no sense of what is likely. There. That's a focal point you need to include in your thoughts.
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  13. vk6zgo

    Active Member

    Jul 21, 2012
    I would like to Add:
    Look at equipment made by reputable firms:ask yourself,why do they do things in a certain way?
    Just simple things like how a PCB is mounted,or what you have to do to open the thing up to work on it,what types of connectors are used,in what way are the connectors used by Agilent or Tektronix superior to those used in "El Cheapo" stuff,etc.

    Then,look at some cruddy equipment,try to see where they went wrong.

    Don't be afraid to recycle good designs----As bountyhunter says,

    "Very few people come up with original designs, most of us are just applying things we saw somewhere else."

    "Innovative thinking" is the current buzzword for any stupid idea that becomes trendy.
    Remember,the EEs that designed your competitor's stuff are not stupid,they may have tried your new idea & rejected it as not offering the same level of performance as a more conventional design.

    You can get away with a fair bit of garbage with consumer goods,(like the "Telefunken" TV which changes channels when you turn the volume down too far),but Broadcasting & Industrial equipment is expected to work properly for around 20 years,so you will get found out,& your Company's name will be "Mud"!
    bug13 and shubham161 like this.
  14. ramancini8

    Active Member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Read your texts prior to attending class, and attempt to do the problems. By reading the lesson first you will know what you don't understand when you get to the class, so you can ask the right questions.
    shubham161 likes this.
  15. JMac3108

    Active Member

    Aug 16, 2010
    Don't stress over the fact that what you're learing in school does not seem to be preparing you for designing real stuff. Yes, some of this stuff you'll never use again, but its all preparing you in one way or another for what you'll eventually do.

    Do your best and learn as much as you can academically.

    If time permits, work on small side projects to teach yourself some practical skills while you're still in school.

    Once you get a job be alert and observant and look at how the engineers that came before you did things and learn from them.
    bug13 and shubham161 like this.
  16. regularjoe

    New Member

    May 7, 2013

    I guess by now you already made your choice or perhaps not yet. At any rate, I'd like to give you an example, of me.

    Unlike you, I never like Electronics, never have intention of become an electrical engineer, never thought I would go this route. I pick the profession merely because of its name, "engineer."

    I graduate from University with a 2.6 GPA. Took me three years to get an engineering job. Most of my colleagues are with a GPA of at least 3.6

    Now I'm a engineer who work on big project, with a professional engineer license, I write standard and procedure for all the new technologies, I manage projects with junior engineers working for me, and getting pay $100k+ per year.

    The moral of the story is:
    1. Don't be discourage about how well you do in school. 4 years of school only help you so much. When you get a job, try to focus on it and made it better at work. You will be successful because even if you don't like what you are doing at first ... it's a mean to another mean. You do a good job, you will be doing something else that you might like.
    2. GPA might means a little bit at first. But at the end of the day, your experience, confidence, honestly, and integrity counts most.
    3. Develop your communication skill. When you speak well ... you will be well.

    After all, become a successful engineer has nothing to do with being on top of your class or having the passion for it.

    Best of luck.
    bug13 likes this.