Robert Feranec on How to Implement The PCB Design Process

Judy Warner
|  Created: July 24, 2019  |  Updated: February 5, 2021

In this episode, we talk with Robert Feranec, a familiar name to many of our listeners. Apart from being a popular YouTuber, he’s also the founder and CEO of FEDEVEL Academy where he teaches PCB Design to people around the world. Robert shares what it takes to be a popular YouTuber, the work it takes to produce all the great content he creates and as a special bonus we’ll discuss Robert’s Keynote that he will deliver at AltiumLive PCB Summit this October in San Diego

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Show Highlights:

  • Robert considers himself lucky to have started working on complex boards almost immediately after university. This early start provided much experience and he soon began freelancing.
  • As a freelancer, he did whole-board design i.e. specifications, schematics, layout, as well as testing and firmware. 
  • He found he often couldn’t remember everything when using Altium Designer® and started doing YouTube videos, at first for himself, but soon garnered a following and today he has 24 000 followers.
  • As he became more popular, he received many email questions daily, which was very time consuming and he decided to create a forum where he offered a course, and the rest is history. Robert teaches Altium Designer but also CAD-independent content.
  • What goes into creating a video tutorial? Lots of preparation, a half-hour video takes almost two days to create. One hour of video training takes a week to create.
  • AltiumLive Topic: How Other Companies Implement Their Hardware Design Process. Many people ask about how other companies implement hardware design, create and use libraries, collaboration (design flow) and working faster.
  • Why do so many people only use a small percentage of their tool’s capacity? Most don’t need all the features. Many are nice to have but not always a necessity. Also, people learn to use the tool in a specific way and adding new features could interfere with an established workflow.
  • Robert’s talk at AltiumLive will provide insight into libraries, creating new components, component lifecycle, creating new symbols as quickly as possible, ensuring correct footprints, and more. 
  • What are the challenges around collaboration? Communication between different types of engineers and how to manage several engineers working on the same project.
  • What about versioning and backup? Most companies will do both in the same way.
  • Document releases are very complex, there are too many emails back and forth. Robert will talk about ensuring correct documentation and release procedures.
  • What attracts people to your training? The different levels of the courses, the variety, and junior designers love them to upskill and get better jobs.

Links and Resources:

Learn, connect, and get inspired at AltiumLive 2019: Annual PCB Design Summit

About Author

About Author

Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry for over 25 years. She has a background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing, focusing on Mil/Aero applications. 

She has also been a writer, blogger, and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, PCB007 Magazine, PCB Design007, PCD&F, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and an active board member for PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association). In 2017, Warner joined Altium as the Director of Community Engagement. In addition to hosting the OnTrack Podcast and creating the OnTrack Newsletter, she launched Altium's annual user conference, AltiumLive. Warner's passion is to provide resources, support, and advocate for PCB Design Engineers worldwide.

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