"Check the obvious things" sign

Hi all!

I haven’t popped up on the forums yet, but I started at Glowforge a couple weeks ago on the software team. Since I finally made something at this past Laser Thursday, I thought I’d post here. Previously all I had done are some draw and print on acrylic (as Glowforge encourages people to do at trade shows like CES recently). This is the first draft of a sign I hope to make very fancy (this picture was taken straight off the glowforge):

I’ve had a simple paper print out of this slogan – “Check the obvious things first. Did you check the obvious things? No, really, check the obvious things!” – by my desk for almost six years after a particular incident at my previous company where I spent a day debugging it. If I’d not dismissed the obvious thing first, I would have saved myself a lot of frustration!

Once I knew I was going to be going to Glowforge, I started thinking about a classy wood version of this sign. Of course, between changing jobs and ramping up here, I hadn’t spent any time designing it. Laser Thursday came up way too fast but I fired up Inkscape anyway. I don’t know Inkscape (or Illustrator) so it took a while to just figure out how to put some text on the page or understand what size it was going to be. The resulting SVG was pretty sipmle. My partner had a pile of random materials he’d stashed for projects some day, so there wasn’t really much cost in just printing it even if the design can’t really be called much of a design. The result is better than I expected, but I think that’s because wood is very lovely when laser cut – even just plywood. The next version will probably have some emphasis on the word “obvious”, be cut out in a more interesting shape than a rectangle and probably some accent marks (and maybe thumbtack or nail holes!)

Since this is my first post here, a bit about me: I’ve been working in software either for fun or professionally since before college. But after college I’ve mostly been working in what we call “backend” (or server-side) software, in fields like telecom, finance, and online retail. This will be my first job that has a physical device so immediately important and that was a big part of its appeal to me professionally. That it’s also a product to enable everyone to make things for themselves clinched the deal.

Well and obviously: LASERS! :smiley:


Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on joining Glowforge
Great “slogan”, I look forward to seeing V. 2!

I missed another critical detail: my husband and I also pre-ordered a glowforge before I even decided to interview! So while I do get to play with one at work, eventually I’ll have one all to myself, err, and my husband!


Welcome Rachel. Eagerly awaiting the outcome of your work at Glowforge. Wish you the best. Hey, you get to put “staff” by your forum handle. Use the perks since you got them.


Perhaps a picture of the “On” button would be in order for the new improved sign? :slightly_smiling:

Welcome, Rachel! Great to meet you. :smile:

Welcome! Now back to work peon, @dan 's hopper is full and requires emptying. Otherwise he will sick his robot turtles with freaking laser beams after you. Or as I understand from these forums .

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On the one hand… I love writing code.

On the other hand… I know that software development is the single most likely position to suffer from being berated by the general public because they “know what is possible” and wish you would just do your job “right” by their sole definition.

Hopefully we aren’t like that with you :smiley:

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You’ve got it backwards: my job is to keep busy making sure @rachael and her team have everything they need to keep being awesome.


Sort of related question: I’m guessing that those darkened spots can be removed with some sandpapering, right?

So far everything I’ve seen from the forums makes me think I chose a really good company to work for if it can attract such great customers. :slight_smile:


Yes, they very much can! I did maybe… 20 seconds of light sandpapering on one of my projects that came out like this and all the smoke marks came right off! It does kinda add a nice quality to the piece though. :slight_smile:


The darkened spots can be removed with a bit of sandpaper or so I’ve been told (which I haven’t done yet). I kind of like the look though! Also, using contact paper on top when cutting helps as well (which I also didn’t use). But I’m really, really new to laser cutting anything so no doubt someone who knows better than me will elaborate.


Welcome @rachael! Pleased to meet you.
Wonder how many other @staff will have a personal forge at home?

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That’s an enlightened managerial attitude - nice!

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Hi @rachael!! Love the sign- reminds me of the laser cutter room back at my school, covered with laser-cut slogans! Can’t wait to see what else you’ll make! :grin:

It’s off topic but, yes, it’s the employees doing the work that make things happen directly (individual contributors creating hardware and software), managing does not directly make money. Managing should be supporting employees and guiding only when needed/requested, rarely directing efforts.
At least, that’s always seemed to lead to success in my experience.

I do think I’ll inject some humor and use “Check the ovbious thigns!”

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You’ve no idea how many times I re-read this before printing despite it being low risk and just a quick thing to dash off. Because that’s exactly the mistake I would have made.

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@rachael and @dan @bailey @Rita I sent you an important forum message. Love all the hard work that all of you do! Seriously!!!

Can’t wait for my Glowforge!