I Think I Know Why You Can't Hire Engineers Right Now

Wed, Jan 12, 22

It’s always been hard to hire engineers, but it’s only gotten harder in recent months. Read any publication that cares about business, from the NYT to the Wall Street Journal, and you’ll see a ton of hand wringing about The Quittening, and the accompanying talent shortage. An equal amount of ink has been spilled about how red-hot the hiring market is. It’s a seller’s market for talent. This represents a huge potential opportunity for engineers of all stripes. Many engineers could pick up a five figure raise by switching companies right now. In spite of that, it doesn’t seem like many engineers are choosing to make the jump. Why is that?

Growing Your Mailing List By Being Helpful

Thu, Dec 09, 21

I’ve been working on www.RTLjobs.com, a niche job board for HDL engineers, for about three months. My biggest challenge, by far, is getting people who need it to know that it exists. Reddit has become one of my primary channels to get the word out about www.RTLjobs.com. It’s netted the most mailing list signups by a country mile; I would guess that about 70% of the mailing list signups have come from Reddit users.

Some guidelines for writing web scrapers

Thu, Dec 02, 21

I’ve been working on www.rtljobs.com, a job board for RTL and FPGA engineers, since September. Right now, RTLjobs is an aggregator. We index open FPGA/RTL roles at a number of companies, check them for relevance, and post them to our site. I’ve already written two job scraping systems to help ease the work of indexing jobs. Here’s some general rules I’ve come to hold for writing web scrapers and other ETL systems.

Creating dynamic mailto: links in Flask

Tue, Nov 30, 21

I’ve spent the last month working on www.rtljobs.com, a niche job aggregator for logic design jobs. Our first scraping pipeline had some warts, so I wanted to be sure that the site had was a way to report bad job links. That way, if a user clicked on a job link that was no longer active, they could alert me that one of the job postings was taken down.

Improving SFDR in a Python Direct Digital Synthesis Model

Mon, Sep 20, 21

A first pass at digital frequency synthesis is relatively easy to pull off using some simple tricks in Python. It’s not rocket science to string together a basic accumulator and a sine lookup table to make a sine wave output. However, we left off noting some spurious output in the synthesized sine wave. What can we do about that?

Engineers, Don't Start Your Career at a Startup

Tue, Sep 07, 21

Hardware engineers: it’s a bad idea to start your career at a startup. I’ve cautioned this in private several times, to several different people, and I’ve decided that it’s time I release this hot take to the world.

Simulating a Direct Digital Frequency Synthesizer in Python

Thu, Aug 26, 21

I can’t seem to crack my obsession with Direct Digital Synthesis. I had to learn rather a lot about it as part of working on bFunc last year. Even though I’ve sort of decided to not build a second version of bFunc, I still find the concept of digital frequency synthesis really interesting. It’s a fun little mix of analog and digital signal processing. So, with that, I decided: why not try and build my own direct digital synthesis engine? I’ve got nothing but time on my hands, a Jupyter notebook, and an open source VHDL compiler. You can find my efforts thus far on GitHub.

Fixing Power Supply Noise in Guitar Pedals

Sun, Aug 22, 21

Works with many audio circuits that arent guitar pedals, too.

How to Drive LTSpice Simulations with Wav Files

Wed, Aug 18, 21

I’ve had a lot of fun over the past few years using LTSpice to analyze guitar effects pedals. One request that’s come in with relative frequency has been: “Can you use an MP3 or WAV file as an input to the simulation to see how the pedal would sound?”

Why there probably won't be a bFunc Version 2

Wed, Aug 11, 21

I spent a few weeks last year working on bFunc, a design I made for an open source function generator. I actually got to the point where I built, brought up, debugged, and sold copies of this first board version. I’ve considered making a second version that fixes some of the original issues, adds features, and generally makes it a more complete product, but I don’t think I will. Having done this once already and fallen on my face a bit, I’ve come to realize that the business incentives in the Engineering Test Equipment space are kind of stacked against me.