2014 was an exceptionally busy year, and it seems 2015 is offering more of the same-and off to a great start. EDA is robust and contrary to the negative prognosticators, we are still around and doing quite well. Hiring is strong but as difficult as ever, as companies are increasingly picky, and it is harder and harder to get good people to leave, even for seemingly much greener pastures. The numbers are out from EDAC and to no one’s surprise, EDA did amazingly well, AGAIN.
Now, on to the myths, the legend: I want to continue discussing my down-to-earth interview with Mentor’s CEO and dare I say, the most recognizable name and face in EDA, Wally Rhines. It seems abundantly clear that the mentality of the boss (he would hate that characterization), permeates this company at almost every level. In my 18 years in EDA I have seen many a start-up come and go, each having a flavor distinct to that company. For Mentor the flavor does not vary, nor does the culture. Wally classifies Mentor as a bunch of startups under one roof, and from what I have learned through the years by talking to so many of my Mentor friends, that is seemingly a decent characterization. He feels that way because they allow a lot of independence, sometimes even forcing competing products to develop in two different divisions. As he tells me, this practice can sometimes cause the developing product to be inconsistent in look and feel—but that’s OK, because in the end, the product is measured by its success and not necessarily the look and feel. Sometimes, selling into a Synopsys flow is more important than selling into a Mentor flow for a particular product. The viability of the tool is the metric by how it is ultimately judged and, I would add, probably the bottom line even more so.