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Theoretical/Textbook calculations knowledge usefulness ?

cBegue , 01-13-2022, 09:48 AM
Hello there,
I find myself wondering how much are textbook calculations useful for an hardware engineer doing schematics, layout and hardware validation.
I am thinking about refreshing my knowledge but also wondering if that time would be better spent on more practice. For example do you think calculations from bachelor electronics courses (analog circuits) should always be fully mastered by hardware engineer ? -> Being able to easily study any circuit with analog components.
In general are there topics in which you think it is particularly good for the job to be able to do textbook calculations ?

I always make use of datasheet and application notes but sometimes I wonder if I am missing things by being too reliant on them. (when designing SMPS from chips for example)
qdrives , 01-13-2022, 10:10 AM
So say: "application notes should be assumed wrong, until proven correct". So relying solely on application notes and datasheets is not always good.
How many textbooks do I have on electronics design: 0
The kind of textbooks or courses depends on the topics that have your interest. If you are mostly working on (high speed) digital circuits, a course on analog circuits may not be as useful.
Doing and being critical maybe better. The best way to learn is from your mistakes.
robertferanec , 01-14-2022, 08:18 AM
Design, Design, Design and you will learn on the way. When you will be designing, you will be searching for a content related to what you are doing.

I like learning from the interviews I make, but it is a lot about understanding something I was dealing with before. I think, learning after having some practical experience is much better then just learning - for example what I learned at University I could not really connect with reality without the real work.

So if you already have a lot of practical experience, going back to learning may be beneficial. But without practical experience I am not sure.

Link to the interviews:
cBegue , 02-08-2022, 10:28 AM
A little late: Thank you for your answers, When I have time I'll go back a little to textbook circuit analysis and see what I gain from it. Things make more sense after needing to dimension component or design blocs at least once. I like to watch those interviews and lectures targeted toward professionals on best practices too.
binayak , 02-15-2022, 08:47 PM
For circuit functional design aspects, engineering textbooks are useful.
For PCB design, signal integrity, and power integrity - you will need to study books by industry experts like Howard Johnson, Eric Bogatin, Lee Ritchey, Istvan Novak, Steve Sandler, etc. They give you a correct perspective on how you should look at things when you are physically laying out the circuit components.
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