Judge Spotlight: Dave Jones


This week’s Judge Spotlight features [Dave Jones] who posted a video reponse to our slate of questions. If you’ve spent much time around here chances are you know of [Dave] quite well. He is the man behind the EEVblog and also hosts The Amp Hour podcast along with [Chris Gammell].

It’s great to pick [Dave’s] brain a bit. He’s seen a lot during his career, with insights on professional engineering from the point of view of job seeker, employer, job interviewer, and more. His time with the EEVblog and Amp Hour have furthered his experience with looks inside of all manner of equipment, adventures in crowd funding, and interactions with a multitude of hardware start-ups. Check out his video, as well as a list of the questions with timestamps, after the jump.

We’re sure you know by now, he’s judging The Hackaday Prize which will award a trip to space and hundreds of other prizes for showing off your connected device built using Open Design.

Here are the questions:

  1. 0:32 – It’s our understanding that you had a full-time engineering job when you started the EEVblog. How did you manage to fit in the time to pioneer the show?
  2. 2:30 – Often you give a great piece of advice for engineers: bring something you built to every interview. Do you recommend taking on builds related to the type of work you want in order to serve as these interview showpieces or can it be anything?
  3. 3:30 – We have started to hear about extracurricular hacking activities at small firms; kind of like mini-hackerspaces where employees can build stuff for fun. What do you think about this, and would you like to see it become a more widely exercised practice?
  4. 5:45 – You have mentioned that it is unlikely you’d ever join a Hackerspace since you have a formidable home lab. But obviously you do collaborate with others via your forums, etc. Would you consider this a type of virtual hackerspace? Do you have any advice on how people can connect with others to collaborate or just to exchange ideas?
  5. 7:59 – You’re known for being highly animated — your excitement for electronics is infectious! Is this a persona that comes out mostly when filming or do you have this kind of passion in your daily life?
  6. 10:12 – Tell us about your non-engineering-related hobbies.
  7. 12:16 – What else is going on in your life?
  8. 13:18 – Why does Open Source matter to you and what are some stories of Closed Source hurting your progress as an Engineer? What are some stories of Open Source helping your progress as an Engineer?
  9. 17:16 – What kind of projects really tickle your fancy and make you screaming with delight?

23 thoughts on “Judge Spotlight: Dave Jones

  1. Just throwing this out there, but a transcript would be pretty nice. Saves downloading a couple hundred megs of data in order to receive the same information as could be sent in a couple KB of text.

  2. Bring your handy work to a job interview works well up to a certain point in your career. It not let them low ball you if you don;t have real job experience. Once your work experience is beyond your hobby stuff or what you can do given the limitation of equipment/budge in a hobby, that wouldn’t be too useful.

    It does let you control the topic/focus of an interview for most interviewers as they have other things to do before your interview and only read your resume 10 minutes ago. They are happy not having to make up questions to ask. Some places are well prepared as they gave me a test on a print out, so props don’t work for them. Hopefully, you are the real McCoy for those situations.

    1. I want to say it was a Gould 4072 (probably wrong), 4 channel digital scope with programmable pre-trigger and 4 color PEN plotter (yes…PEN plotter), back in the day, $28,500 a pop. As soon as they were under 30k they were not long term capital equipment.

      Chances of getting them out of the building for the weekend to take home? ZERO. Chances of using them on site after hours? 100%. This is just one example. HP used to make test equipment built like a brick chicken coop. So heavy that the chances of getting them out of the building? Zero, due only to weight, well that and you would have to re-seat all the tubes…LOL.

      400 for a digital scope with USB? Yeah, I have been doing this 27 years and 25 years ago, it was an engineers wet dream. Watch the AMC show halt and catch fire if you were born after 1980. I paid $295 for a 16k ram module for my Atari 800 and it could have up to 48k. As in kilobytes. You yungins don’t know how good you got it.

    2. Yeah 400 is a lot, but if it’s your main hobby, it’s affordable. I see average people with average jobs dump tons of money on car parts, truck parts, ATVs, golf clubs, computer parts, etc. Its still a big purchase, but not unreasonable.

    3. I did video once were I went though old magazines looking at test gear and test gear prices. Even back in the “old days” (70’s & 80’s, and 90’s) it was *double* that price ($700-$800 not even accounting for inflation) for a basic entry level 20MHz dual channel scope. The prices have stayed pretty much consistent until the Rigol DS1052E came along, but even that started out at $800 retail when released. So to get the phenomenal capability you can get these days in a scope half that price, yes, it is great value compared to the old days.
      It’s always been the case that if you can’t afford a new unit like this this you hunt around for cheaper used solutions.

  3. Dave is so nice to watch, i love his teardowns, dumpsterdivings, repairs and his basic tutorials. Also his emotional rants or likes are very much fun to listen to.

  4. He hit a nail on the head, something that was drilled into me when I first started out. A mentor of mine kept telling me, “A great engineer does something for a quarter that any engineer does for a dollar”. More important than ever. I have two designs that are designed and assembled in the USA that are driving the Chinese crazy, because the can’t copy them and get them to function long term. They burn up. They can’t figure it out. Then again, and no I am not against China, they are a civilization more ancient then the USA, but we have Mars rovers that are working for years and their moon rover died after 3 days. You have to be creative and smart and think outside the box.

    Oh who am I kidding…USA USA USA…LOL.

    1. China only sent a bot. The fact that they demonstrated that they can land a payload on the moon on their first try. I doubt that their government is cutting back on funding into space. So they’ll make another bot and send it up.

      Not like there wasn’t a few accidents in space flight history.

      US got German scientists to worked on their rockets. China got Russian space technology. So neither did all their original work.

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