Unfolding Altium’s Design Education Platforms


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For this issue on PCB design education, we knew we had to speak with Judy Warner, director of community and industry engagement for Altium. Judy has been heavily involved with Altium’s educational programs, including the technical presentations for their annual conference, AltiumLive.

The I-Connect007 Editorial Team asked Judy to discuss Altium’s educational plans going forward, specifically AltiumLive’s transition back to live, in-person shows soon to be offered in a new hybrid format. 

Andy Shaughnessy: Great to talk to you, Judy. We’re discussing PCB design education and training. Would you give us an update on the next AltiumLive show?

Judy Warner: For AltiumLive, we were planning to go 100% virtual again this October, but for a variety of reasons, we did not do that. We’ve pushed AltiumLive out to January 2022 and we’ll be co-locating the show with IPC APEX EXPO in the San Diego Convention Center.

Shaughnessy: That’s a smart idea. It makes it easier for media to cover both shows.

Nolan Johnson: Definitely. I can’t help noticing that IPC has been looking for a way to include designers in this whole conversation. You bring a critical mass of designers, and this addresses one of the larger issues we often discuss of getting designers to really understand what happens on the manufacturing floor.

Shaughnessy: Judy, how would you describe Altium’s philosophy toward design education? How does this tie in with AltiumLive?

Warner: Overall, design engineers are at the heart of this work. Obviously, our end goal is to create and sell powerful software solutions that help design engineers to succeed. If they’re not fully succeeding, then we need to step up as industry leaders to fill those gaps. We can create the best tools in the world, but if we don’t empower designers with educational resources to effectively leverage those tools and offer training in solid design principles in an intelligent and effective way, then it’s an incomplete solution.

The more that we can be an empowering solution and resource provider, the more we allow them to not just succeed with our tools but help them successfully navigate the requirements of all their stakeholders and partners. This all happens within a connected industry ecosystem that provides both tools and complementary educational content. By co-locating AltiumLive at IPC APEX EXPO, we will be able to help connect designers to that event’s manufacturing ecosystem. This is designed to be a physical manifestation of the digital ecosystem we are building on the heels of Altium’s introduction of our cloud-based platforms Altium 365 and Nexar. We’ve had a tagline for AltiumLive for four years now: Learn, Connect, Get Inspired.

To read this entire conversation, which appeared in the August 2021 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

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