Couldn't post images in the comment to +Matthew Griffin
's post below, but I'm +Kevin Townsend
, Lead Engineer @ +Adafruit Industries
. My job basically consists of messing around with overpriced toys all day, endlessly wondering when the kind folks at Adafruit will wise up tell me play time is over and to get back to the classroom.
1. Are you working on a project right now?
There's probably a half-dozen neglected projects somewhere on my desk staring back at me accusingly -- looking right now there's an LPC4357 board I want to get USB working on (personal weekend project), a few BT LE boards that I've almost tortured into playing nicely with each other, and a webcam+LCD+SD-card Arduino mess-of-wires I've almost but not quite tamed (avoiding debugging that that with this post right now).
2. What are your go-to, grab-at-hand tools for making what you make?
Oh, yikes. Really depends. I kind of hoard test equipment just because everyone needs an expensive hobby, but a lot of it is kind of specialized and doesn't get used all the time (Electronic Load, Function Generator, etc.). Hard to over-estimate a good bench-top power supply (Rigol DP1308A), a decent DMM (Agilent 34410A and U1253B both sitting on my desk) and a good oscilloscope (Agilent MSO-X 2024A here), I also pull out my Saleae Logic pretty regularly, and couldn't imagine writing SW without it. Being half-blind, I'd never get any work done without a stereo microscope for soldering and inspection, but that's just my miserable eye-sight. There's a Weller WX-2 hidden back there beside the scope, and it's overkill but I love it. I don't use the SMT tweezer things all the time, but no regrets splurging to get them.
3. What's on your bench that you'd really like to fix?
The marital discord between this web cam and the LCD would be a good start (VSYNC and HREF on the scope now), but if it's on my desk it inevitably isn't working so just about everything. But then ... that's half the fun of working in electronics: If you don't enjoy solving odd problems, you might want to find another line of work. :)
What I'd really like to fix is all this disorder! It always feels like mission impossible to keep my small workspace clean and well-organized since tools and wires build up pretty quick. :(