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A Peek into SparkFun's Quality Control Team

Meet the newest member of QC!

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Hello! I'm the newest member of the Quality Control team. I have been with SparkFun for five years, and in my current position for almost a year. I started out in our Kitting department then was hired as an Assembly Tech (both are within the Production department), and now I work in Engineering.

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Hard at work in Production

There are three members of the QC team, and our specific title is Test Developer. Duties require that we work closely with the engineers here at SparkFun to develop testing equipment and testing procedures. We test all the boards designed and manufactured in house.

On a daily basis we are challenged with new products, to make sure each one functions properly and is ready for you to implement into your project. Whether it is a breakout board, a sensor or microcontroller, figuring out how to make a product fail and covering all scenarios to ensure it works has proven to be interesting, to say the least.

I’ve worked in several different lines of work, from Crew Chief for a moving company in Boston to bartending in nightclubs in Vegas, and each job was extremely dynamic. Everything in life requires a plan, and my current position requires planning unlike anything I have done to this point.

I’m not classically trained in electronics, and my previous work required a different approach to decision making - my brain worked in a much different capacity. Here I have time to be more methodical and deliberate in my actions. The service industry was very quick-paced and loud, and moving required Tetris-like decision making while loading a moving truck as boxes and furniture are coming at you. I’ve needed to retrain my brain to be effective in a much calmer environment. I have enjoyed this process and this switch has been welcomed as a new way to “work.”

What is your story? How have you had to adapt in new environments?

Comments 1 comment

  • Hi Tron!

    Thanks (a) for the nice write up, and (b) for the work you're doing! I find that QC often doesn't get the recognition they deserve -- and all too often are considered as an afterthought, or even as an annoyance.

    I've been doing electronics since the mid-1960s, and have been "doing" computers over half a century. About 40 years ago I got an Engineering Degree in what is today called "Software Engineering", and although now retired, I spent most of my carreer working in testing at one level or another. (FWIW, every Intel Pentium chiip ever made [as well as a LOT of other chips] was tested on a machine I helped design.)

    I can say that the majority of the stuff can be done with a fairly rudimentary knowledge of electronics (and these days, programmig), though you need to apply that knowledge correctly AND know your limitations and when to ask for help from more knowledgeable folks (and don't be afraid or embarassed to ask for that help).

    I trust that you don't have to do the heavy physical lifting that you did with the moving company, nor do you have to deal with the intoxicated folks you did in Lost Wages! ;-) Thanks to my physical handicap I can't do much lifting or much standing, so could not do either job...

    You asked about adapting to new environments. I'm having to adapt to being a (parttime) "caregiver" for an Alzheimer's patient. Accepting help and advice from those who have done it before is critical.

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