I have been designing assays for some time now. Starting with a few oligos in graduate school, I kicked up my PCR primer design experience out of school when I went to work for a genome center. Then there was my first blunder--ordering a few hundred dollars worth of primers with the reverse primers in the wrong orientation. I broke the news to my boss, resignation letter in hand (it hadn’t occurred to me that we probably spent more than that in one week just on pizza). Later in my career, the stress level went up a few orders of magnitude when I had to design tens of thousands of probes for SNP genotyping panels. That’s when I developed my addiction to TUMS® and came to the realization that my reward for a job well done was invisibility. With assay design, people only look for you when something’s wrong.