Job advice for breaking into the field


#1

@ChrisGammell and anyone else who wants to jump in.

I’ve been looking for some electronics jobs doing schematic/PCB/embedded design and would like some advice. My main question is, how would someone with (I’d say) basic/limited knowledge find a job in the hardware design field? Due to personal reasons I haven’t had time to design boards / research topics that would be helpful in the job hunt. But I would still really love to do this even though I don’t have much experience.

What are your thoughts? Anything would be super helpful.

Thanks a lot for your time!


#2

Sorry for the delay on responding to this!

I’d say the first part is have low expectations on getting paid much at first. Not that you should do it for free, but you should be willing to accept a lot of potential offers as you build up your portfolio. I would also stipulate that I be able to publish about them in some capacity for a much reduced rate.

I think that finding people who need help usually requires that you go where people are doing lots of interesting work. A hackerspace is a good starting point. But also taking on a hobby you enjoy outside of electronics and seeing if there are people that might benefit from a piece of hardware. Unfortunately in the hardware field it’s not free, so having someone with a commercial venture in mind might be more willing to pay you/pay for parts than someone who is completely pro bono.

You can always put your name on upwork.com and offer a low price, but that really is a crap shoot.

I always refer people to this document, recommend you read through it: http://www.unixwiz.net/techtips/be-consultant.html


#3

Thanks Chris, no worries on the delay, I understand that you are a busy man.

So to break it down and make sure that I understand what you are saying is that the best thing to do is to just make boards if finding a role isn’t possible while doing other work. Maybe even breaking into the contract/consulting space if I don’t find anything long term but after I have other boards under my belt.

The issue I’m having now is that being in London (UK), I’m not having much success finding companies that are close, although there are some it seems but they might be out of my range. How would you go about looking for roles?


#4

Are you attending meetups like the Boldport meetup? That’d be a good place to find people who are doing other projects and might have extra work they are willing to part with. Or occasionally people who are looking for help making a board.


#5

I haven’t been doing meetups just yet. Just got here about 3 weeks ago and have been focused on settling in and regular job searching. It’s something that I have been thinking of doing (although more when I was already set up).

I’ll definitely keep all of this in mind though. Basically, make more boards!


#6

That’s the long and the short of it…but also publishing about those boards and talking to people. Those are the non-intuitive pieces that are pretty important.