Welcome to EE!

If you’re new to EE, welcome!

This page is my crash course to what your professors wont (but should) introduce you to in EE.


IEEE (Eye Triple E) stands for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Its the organization that makes most of our technology work together. How? They develop the standards for commercial electronics – Ever wonder why your Apple, Dell, Samsung, or Sony computer’s WiFi works with Cisco’s routers? They all follow IEEE’s standard for WiFi communications. The standard is located in IEEE’s rule-book, section 802.11 a, b, g, n (Wireless G or N sound familiar?).

C [ode] (Lab Reports)

When you take a programming class, your professor will often have you include your code in your lab report. Don’t copy and paste! Seriously, nobody will look at unformatted code in a lab report. Instead open your code in Notepad++ and use Plugins-> NppExport->Copy Html to Clipboard. Then paste :)  Hint: Don’t select all.  notepad


If When you need to diagram something, use Visio. Its produced by Microsoft, and works exceptionally well. You can create beautiful diagrams within minutes that you’ll love. The only other software that comes close is yEd Graph Editor; but see my page on software costs (to be published). After you get the hang of Visio, search “Visio ShapeSheet” and be even more amazed.



Schematics are what I have found to be the most difficult software decision in college. There are a plethora of EDA suites available, but they each have their own perks and quirks. Ideally, your schematic software would look beautiful, simulate easily, draw PCB boards and be affordable. If you’re not interested in starting your own company, don’t worry about the affordable part, but otherwise take it into consideration before investing too much time into learning the software.

(Table still in the works)

Clean Schematic Simulation PCB Price Personal Price Commercial
P-Spice  Great  $$$$
LT Spice Great  No  Free
Altum (Protel)
KiCad  Yes  None
NgSpice  Poor
Eagle  None
Circuit Lab  Yes  Yes  No