PCB Industry Recruitment Through Gamification!
On my now forgotten holiday, I remember reading an article about PCB design and its potential PCB training through gamification. I researched this when I got home, and interestingly enough, these is a mobile phone app called “Free Flow” described as
“Connecting matching colours dots with pipe to create a Flow. Pair all colours, and cover the entire board to solve each puzzle. But watch out, pipes will break if they cross or overlap!”
Now the interesting bit is, This games has had over 100 million downloads, a rating of 4.6/5 rating from 1.54 million reviews ! yes read those numbers again !
WOW!, so the concept of turning the intricate process of routing printed circuit boards into a game for PCB training has intrigued me. After all, who would have thought that connecting dots and lines could be so enjoyable – yes this is why I have been doing it for over 30 years (OMG) ?
The world of PCB design is about connecting the dots, commonly referred to as pads or vias, while the lines are known as traces. It’s a task that involves connecting these dots with lines, for power and data to which the complexity of these connections in real world design can be quite challenging.
For the uninitiated! it’s a real balancing act when it comes to those PCB tracks! If we go too narrow and too close, it’s like inviting shorts to a party they shouldn’t be attending, causing unwanted chaos! However if we swing too far to the other side and make the tracks too wide and far apart, we end up with a PCB that’s like a wide-open desert, and costing a lot in materials and not fitting in the design of the product. Finding that sweet spot between track widths and spacing is the key to success, and requires quality training in PCB design.
Now, if we do find ourselves in a situation where we need more tracks and space is at a premium, we can call upon our trusty sidekick, the additional planes! The layers of these powerhouses come to the rescue, ensuring our PCB design can be routed to perfection. It is like finding the Goldilocks zone of PCB design. Not too narrow, not too wide, but just right!
This is where I really do think a game, or a “PCB training simulator” could help get younger people interested in the world of PCB design. A key topic addressed by Sue Critcher at this year’s (2023) ICT Annual Symposium stating the significance of developing fresh talent and facilitating an easy transfer of knowledge”
Imagine a world where routing printed circuit boards is a thrilling adventure not just a humdrum task. Picture yourself as a master of connections, weaving lines and dots together like a digital spider weaving its intricate web. Forget about the drudgery; it’s time to embrace the exhilaration of PCB design training!
So maybe some industry leaders should get together, and consider this as a gateway to help get younger people aware and interested in PCB design !
If you are interested in the game you can hopefully still find it on the this link – Free Flow : Bridges Flow Free: Bridges 4+ Fun and Relaxing Brain Puzzle Big Duck Games LLC Designed for iPad