Element14 allows Sneha Nidhi to continue a lifetime of learning
A family history led to a career she’s pursued for 10 years across three countries
Sneha Nidhi always comes from a community of engineers. Her first was her family.
“All the kids of the house would spend all my summer holidays solving trigonometry, solid geometry and doing mini scientific experiments with my grandfather,” Sneha said. “Fixing light fixtures and repairing the radio by us was a common scene around the house.”
When she was 16, Sneha discovered that she enjoyed working with electrical currents, which led to a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering in India and a master’s in electronics systems engineering in Spain. One year of building biomedical positron emission tomography systems and one marriage later, Sneha got a unique opportunity to work on detector electronics being built for the world’s first X-ray free-electron laser—in Germany.
While working with analog electronics for detectors gained prominence in her work life, the element14 community gave her a nice break from everyday work from its technical articles to its new product reviews.
“I’d known of (Premier) Farnell for about 10 years since my bachelor’s,” Sneha said. While she joined the element14 community for research at first in 2013, she started writing and contributing fully in 2016, driven by strong feelings about the importance of an open source hardware community.
Sneha’s been involved with many online communities and electronics forums, but says that element14 is different due to the depth of knowledge of its members and suppliers with special focus on analog electronics.
“Communities are the best place to learn and share, especially when you are starting out or eager to explore a new domain within your area of work,” Sneha said. “Element14 is one of the best out there. It’s very well organized. It’s very well moderated. And you see a lot of suppliers who are actively contributing to the forums and interacting with the community members.”
She also highlighted the fact that it’s a focused community where you can get a lot of information about less well-documented parts of engineering—all in one place.
“If you want to do, say, programming in MATLAB, there’s a lot of options out there. But analog is a real challenge. Usually, you need a good teacher, many good books and time. Element14 can really accelerate your learning,” Sneha said.
The learning community on Element14 helped her dive into emphases both in her comfort zone and outside of it, spanning instrumentation, medical, power management and robotics. Now, she diving into full out road test reviews of power modules and designing her dream PCB board.
“You need to keep exploring because electronics is a vast field. The complexity of modern day systems extends beyond the borders of one engineering domain. And engineering has become multidisciplinary,” Sneha said. “In element14, there’s a real opportunity to discover new things by working with new people.”