I reflected on some of the higher-level things I learned the hard way over the past few years in hardware engineering. Some of the key things to keep in mind are:
- School/College/University only teaches you the basics. The other 95% is self-taught, on-the-job learning (like many forms of engineering).
- Mistakes are where you learn. They are so incredibly valuable. Keep a journal of when you goof and what you’d do differently next time.
- Every problem has a solution. When you can’t figure out why something’s not working, remember this fact. You may not like the solution when you discover it, but it exists.
- Be very careful with power supply debugging. You can damage your board as you debug, which changes the very thing you’re trying to debug.
- Practice soldering!
- Teach someone else what you’ve learned.
I wrote a post with more actionable steps for each of these tips.