I have always been a big fan of learning but not always a big fan of school environments. I have attended a couple colleges, American River College and University of Phoenix. I will say UOP had teachers that were in their respective fields and they were a bit more attuned to the materials, whereas ARC really wasn't a good experience for learning.

Before I went to college, I learned much of my knowledge about programming by reading books/manuals and applying the knowledge with practice. After many, many books regarding web development and programming, I wanted to take a couple classes to expand. I came across Udemy when a colleague of mine went to work for them.

I was excited to learn more about PCB design outside of simple tutorials I found online. There is a large selection of programs to use so it was hard to start at the “best place”. If you ask someone "what is the best program to use?", it is generally been whatever program they started with. There is Eagle, Dip Trace, Circuit Maker, Proteus, and plenty others. After researching, some programs do not output Gerber files until you run a couple boards with their services, which I didn't like. I personally like Dip Trace because you can output Gerber and it is freeware for smaller projects.

I looked to Udemy for classes regarding PCB design and found a highly rated one hosted by Andre LaMothe. André LaMothe is a Computer Scientist, Author, Embedded Systems developer and Game Programmer, and CEO of Nurve Networks LLC. I know his designs from the Hydra Gaming systems to have top-notch function and look great, so I signed up for his class. His class is titled Crash Course Electronics and PCB Design, and I highly recommend it if you are new to electronics or would like a refresher and get some fantastic habits and practices. His attention to detail and acknowledging the importance between mathematics and electronic components, is far better than what I got from teachers at the college level. I was also really impressed with his excitement for the material and passion for teaching. Overall, A+.

Udemy offers a huge selection of classes, many I signed up for. I believe this will be a good resource that I will use to build skills and learn new ones. They offer classes and certification for many of their classes. Some classes are basics, but others have well over 100 hours of class material included. All the materials are included with classes and the prices are great. You can learn at your own pace and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that option. All and all, Udemy is a resource you can easily invest in yourself and build knowledge you can take into your profession.

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