Andy Johnson: EDA a Great Field for Young People


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At the recent AltiumLive event in Munich, Germany, I sat down for an interview with Altium’s Andy Johnson. Andy is just a few years out of college, so I asked for his thoughts on working in this industry and what we can do to draw more young people into the PCB design community.

Andy Shaughnessy: Andy, you’re one of the newer hires at Altium. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you ended up working at Altium, and how you got into marketing?

Andy Johnson: Sure. Thanks for having me. Technically, I’m a content writer, which is how I got my foot in the door at Altium. But that’s now a very small aspect of what I do here. I’m certainly new to the organization and the industry. I do come from the technology side of things, but more in the software sector, so the hardware industry is new to me. In my previous role, I was involved in everything under the sun in terms of marketing, which is really where my experience came from; I managed operations, and then took on events as well and really a lot of marketing in general. It was a natural transition into Altium’s marketing department, but a brand-new industry to me, which has been just amazing so far. It has been about six months, but I’m constantly learning things, participating in events like this, meeting customers, and getting to experience a world that I had not been involved in before.

Shaughnessy: How old are you?

Johnson: I’m 25.

Shaughnessy: Well, we certainly need more 25-year-olds in the industry.

Johnson: I’m trying to start a wave here.

Shaughnessy: So, what made you get into marketing originally?

Johnson: That goes way back to college. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say “way” back. My father was always involved in global marketing, which is what initially piqued my interest in it. Freshman year, I took a couple of introductory classes and stuck with it. I studied marketing the whole way through and got my first job out of college at a very small company—a hole-in-the-wall marketing agency in San Diego. You could fit maybe four or five people in the office, and there was no A/C, so it was burning hot, but it allowed me to move from Wisconsin to California, so I wasn’t complaining.

That was really my first experience with marketing, and I loved it. After that, I transitioned into a bigger company still in the startup world. I always stayed in the smaller startup world at first and found that I could move around and get a lot of different experience within one organization very quickly. That helped me tremendously when I was building my career early on and led me to opportunities like Altium where it’s a much bigger, global organization, and I get to apply a lot of the things I learned in that startup space on a larger level.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the March 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

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