SnapEDA: Inspiring Millennials in the PCB Design Community


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Natasha Baker, founder of SnapEDA, is part of the new breed of entrepreneurs. She manages a group of millennials who are not much younger than she is, and the company aims to change the way PCB designers use PCB footprints and schematic symbols.

Fresh off the launch of InstaPart, an on-demand delivery service for CAD parts, Natasha discusses what it means to be a manager vs. a leader, what motivates millennial engineers, and some of the changes in the world of EDA that managers have to contend with to succeed.

Andy Shaughnessy: What’s the difference between being a manager and a leader?

Natasha Baker: Leadership is about inspiring and empowering people to drive towards a vision. Management is about the operational side: optimizing your resources, and making sure things happen on a timeline.

Because we’re a startup and our team (for the most part) sit directly beside each other, we don’t have a need for huge amounts of people management. We have a roadmap and a plan, but we also have the flexibility to determine how to most effectively contribute towards the vision. 

At SnapEDA, this is the vision of making PCB design data, such as footprints and symbols, more accessible; specifically, we’re making our parts library comprehensive, interoperable, and transparent.

Shaughnessy: Your staff is entirely made up of millennials. Is it a challenge to get them interested and keep them motivated?

Baker: We’ve been extremely pleased to have a wealth of bright and experienced candidates applying. At first, this was a bit surprising, considering that CAD data doesn’t appear nearly as exciting on the surface as, say, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, or virtual reality.

But I think there are three reasons why we’ve been able to garner so much interest.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the October 2016 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

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