Lessons Learned the Hard Way

T. Delbruck, I.  A. M. Elfadel, S. Muzaffar, G. Haessig, et al., "Lessons Learned the Hard Way," 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), Sevilla, 2020, pp. 1-18 [Online Article]

“Fail often to succeed sooner” is a common mantra that we are told is the secret to success. When reporting research results, however, scholars rarely write about their failed attempts and only focus on the successful ones. Perhaps the source of this disconnect between what we preach and what we do can be found in the underlying assumption that published work is meant to move the field forward and failed attempts supposedly do not. The goal of the confessions presented in this paper is to show that even failed attempts are genuine and valuable contributions to our field provided that we learn from our mistakes and correct them. The 27 confessions span from planning oversights, digital and analog design errors, misunderstanding of devices, overlooked parasitics, LVS errors, and troubles in testing.