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The DesignTools project website and program documentation expects the reader to already be knowledgable regarding the various tools, processes and jargon used in the hardware engineering field. The approach of expecting essential knowledge saves time for the working professionals most likely to use the project software but unfortunately, it leaves all the new and the curious people in the dark.

Though there is cerainly a need to document essential knowledge for people new to the field, there are a few problems facing the DesignTools project regarding providing such instruction:

  • The primary goal of the project is to provide free, open source software for people to use, so anything that takes time, including the content creation and maintenance for this website, slows down the software development process.

  • The project currently does not have the human resources necessary to take on the task of writing instructional material. If you have the skill and would like to write instructional material, please contact the project.

  • Hardware engineering is neither simple nor easy and you can realistically expect to spend the rest of your life learning about it. There are many schools of thought regarding how to put various electrical theories and associated technologies into practice. In other words, you can expect to find conflicting views and opinions on the "right" way to do things.

  • The most troubling question is whether or not you should be trying to learn the basics of hardware engineering from the DesignTools project? There are many people who are far better qualified to explain the basics of hardware engineering as well as the associated tools and processes.

Like all specialty fields, the world of hardware engineering has it's own unique industry specific language. Just understanding the terminology used is the required first step to understanding the topics discussed. With it's limited resources, the most the project can do is start slowly by simply providing definitions for the industry specific jargon. Though a dictionary is not a complete answer, it's a step in the right direction. If time permits, expanding on the definitions to provide general descriptions the various engineering topics where the projects programs operate might be possible.

If you are a hardware engineer and can think of terms which are not normally understood outside of your field, please feel free to email them to the project for inclusion.

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