In response to MarkAtMicrochip’s post about going down the rabbit hole that is helping FAEs. My story comes from the other side of the spectrum, a factory apps guy helping a field apps engineer. It’s definitely one-sided, biased, and not at all constructive but without further ado…
If you help an FAE
He’ll want you to provide a slew of measurements
If you send him off a the data
He’ll want to test the specs himself
If he goes off and tests the specs
When he’s finished
He’ll ask you some questions
That of course need answers yesterday because else the part won’t sell
When he gets your answers
He’ll notice the part suddenly doesn’t seem so competitive anymore
So he’ll probably ask you to bend the spec.
When he’s finished asking you to change the spec (again), he’ll need more input from marketing
He’ll start emailing
He might get carried away and promise things like pulling in schedules and higher sales
He might even demand a silicon spin
When he’s done, he might even want to change the specs again!
You’ll have to CYA in the email thread with talk of ways this will actually blow out the schedule and any potential issues that could arise
He’ll dig in, and demand some measurements you’ve already given him (twice)
He’ll probably tell you a story of being designed out
So you’ll spend days in the lab sweating and swearing and redesigning the circuit so it’s on the bleeding edge
When he sees the circuit he’ll get so excited he’ll want to show it to the customer. He’ll ask if you can reduce the BOM costs again though while still improving margin.
He’ll travel to the customer and test alongside them
In a lab
Then they’ll have trouble reproducing your results
Which means they’ll need
A detailed How To
He’ll take the detailed How To and throw it in recycling
When the board doesn’t quite work just right
He’ll have to try to troubleshoot it
He’s failed at this in the past!
He does his “best” to make it work but it’s not his specialty
And chances are he can’t find time to finish the job
So he’s going to want you to help him.