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Sherry Hess is vice president of marketing at AWR, bringing with her more than 15 years of EDA experience in domestic and international sales, marketing, support, and managerial expertise. For the majority of her career Sherry served in various positions at Ansoft Corporation including director of European operations and later as vice president of marketing. Before joining Ansoft, Sherry spent two years with Intel Corporation, where she worked in the ASIC Group and developed relationships with companies such as Bell Northern Research and Northern Telecom. Sherry holds a BSEE and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. www.awrcorp.com.
To comment or ask Sherry a question, use the comment link at the bottom of the entry.
December is the time for lists in my house. Dear Santa lists and New Year Resolution lists. So perhaps I’ve been preconditioned to take note of others producing lists as well?
This one caught my eye with its headline:
“Engineers spend 60-80% of work time changing designs.”
We spend that much of our work life “changing,” “reusing,” “repurposing,” “recycling” existing/past/legacy work? Wow. Even if its 50%, that’s significant—so I read on to find out what PTC had to say.
(Perhaps this applies to any type of software…you be the judge)
- Easy-to-use doesn’t have to mean dumbed down.
I read this to mean software and technology have come a long way over the past three or so decades. Easy-to-use no longer means “it’s a toy”…but, now-a-days, with Apple’s success, if it isn’t easy to use, it won’t get used. Dumbed down? Tell that to Steve Jobs. I’d love to see his reaction. In software, and with other things as well, the easier something is to use, often times the more elegant it is underneath and the more hours and hours of hard work that went into it.
To take us away from software, think about writing an article or a report or even a well penned letter. Isn’t it true that the more time /edits that go into it, the better the end piece? Easy to read doesn’t mean dumbed down either.
But likely what PTC was trying to infer is that the market windows of opportunity today are too narrow to spend a lot of time learning a piece of software, while at the same time, today’s complex designs require tools that are powerful, technology-rich, and intuitive. I couldn’t agree more here. This is AWR 100%. Our novel user-interface in the world of high-tech design got us noticed back in 1998 and, complemented by our powerful underlying and innovative technology has kept us growing over the years.
- Designs should be both robust and portable
What you design must, of course, work—preferably the first time. Being able to refine, reuse, repurpose is also important and should be straightforward…not cause you to throw the baby out with the bathwater. This seems obvious enough, but if the software isn’t built with this in mind, its possible that it could be easier to start from scratch than to try to reuse something that was built prior with so many tricks, tweaks, fudge factors etc. Learn to work around bugs in the software in order to be productive? Short lived.
- Shouldn’t make changes hard to deal with
PTC has a different spin on “changes” than I do but instead of just thinking about changes made possible within the tool itself, what about enabling co-simulation / collaborative design with tools that are complimentary with your software?
Software that has been developed with flexibility and open integration in mind can readily grow/adapt to your changing/evolving needs without requiring a large time investment in changing the design. AWR’s charter is to provide seamless integration with third party tools in order to make you more productive and successful.
- You shouldn’t have to hit a functionality ceiling
What’s the next gotcha in your design complexity? Maybe you don’t have good visibility into it but you sure need to know that the tool vendor is thinking this through for you and will be there for you, providing you with the functionality you need today but also in the near and longer term.
AWR’s software is built by microwave engineers, so we know what engineers need, and we’ve got them covered. We are tuned in to our customers’ needs, and we innovate constantly (look at our recent innovation of multi-rate harmonic balance (MRHB) and AXIEM planar EM) in order to provide the technologies needed to solve this year’s challenges, as well as next years’ and the year after that.
- Maintenance shouldn’t break the bank
Keep up-to-date and current with the latest releases of your software as well as provide access to solid technical support – this is part and parcel of the software business these days—particularly EDA software. This one is so self-explanatory I’m not going to expand J
For all you out there, thanks for reading my blog these past seven months on the MWJournal site. I’ll be ending my place here come the New Year but hope you’ll find me again on AWR’s own website in 2010!
All my best,