September 14

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Interviewing Clive “Max” Maxfield

By jaime

September 14, 2020


I recently launched a companion YouTube channel to this blog and I am thrilled that my very first guest is a person whom I admire and who’s work I’ve been following for many, many years.

I first discovered Clive “Max” Maxfield when I was doing Programmable Logic design. Even though I don’t do that anymore, I still follow his work, mainly because he is extremely humorous. Imagine. An engineer with a sense of humor!

I was able to sit down with max for almost a full hour and we discussed everything from his father’s adventures in WWII to how Max wound up in Alabama. I won’t spoil the video for you but I want to give you the top 3 take-aways from his interview:

  1. Practice writing: “being able to write and publicly speak opens doors to you”. Being an expert on a topic does not guarantee career advancement. Max knows an engineer who has been sitting at the same cubicle doing the same thing for years. He says each year the “cubicle gets smaller and smaller and further away. The cobwebs mount as you approach them.”
  2. When giving presentations, don’t do “death by bullets”: Max uses predominantly imagery in his presentations. The picture “is more an aid to memory” so Max remembers what he’s going to talk about. The picture may not be what the audience expects but, as he talks about it, the picture begins to make sense in the context of the presentation.
  3. Master the basics of the English language: at the very least learn the difference between “its” and “it’s”. Join an organization like Toastmasters where you can practice public speaking.

You can find Max at either https://www.clivemaxfield.com/ or hop on over to his channel at Hackaday.io and check out his excellent introduction to electronics and micro-controllers.

About the author

I'm an engineer and, sometime, public speaker.  I believe technical presentations don't have to be boring.  I believe the world will benefit when engineers become better communications.

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