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Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert
Mark has been involved in EDA recruiting for over 18 years. He is Founder and President of EDA Careers, but started his career in EDA as executive Vice President at EDA Jobs. Mark was also VP of Marketing and Business Development in the beginning of the Internet revolution and has been a … More »

WOW, DAC Was Better Than I Thought…BIZ Has Picked Up Since DAC….The Amazing “Peggy” Wrote About Yours Truly…

July 7th, 2016 by Mark Gilbert

Let me start by thanking Peggy Aycinena for her article.

It was nice to have the tables turned on me by one of our brightest; take a look…

Heading to DAC this year in Austin, I was prepared for a snooze fest, as the general consensus from most folks I talked to was that they were not expecting all that much this time around.  Well to the contrary, DAC was quite interesting this year and by quite interesting I mean “quite interesting for DAC”.

I am constantly asked; “SO, did you see anything interesting or exciting”? How do you answer that?  Is anything at DAC really interesting or exciting?  Well perhaps for the select few ultra brainiacs (of which we have a ton) that get off on EDA and find it exciting and kind of umm interesting, it was umm DAC!  Perhaps I could have said, “Wow, XYZ company simulator is x times faster”? That is certainly “exciting”! Or maybe, “ABC Design can verify a design in x less time”? Wow, talk about interesting! How bout, “Power at RTL is so much less with the new GHI tool”? I mean, that is BOTH interesting and exciting!

Let’s be honest, “interesting” is an interesting word not used often to describe DAC, so here is my quick AND INTERESTING recap…Attendance was reported to be up over last DAC, though I want to audit the results of the audit as the floor plan was small and it did not look all that busy. Having said that; the reality (as I have said so many times before), is that DAC IS NOT A CONSUMER SHOW, so the number of attendees does not reflect the amount of actual business being transacted or demos or meetings that are actually occurring. One good meeting can, just about, make the whole event worthwhile.  Overall, I heard very few complaints, and in fact most said it was a surprisingly decent show. Most would prefer that the show head back to Cali next year but guess what, that will not happen till the year after next, as it is in Austin again in 2017.

As for my personal gauges for success…overall it was a decent show for me.  I picked up some new business and my iconic WHITE COAT helped me land a few new companies and candidates that wanted to work together. I also did my annual must see DAC VIDEO…

So all in all I consider this DAC, like most others, to have been successful.  DAC is about the people one knows and the ability to talk to them and learn the insides of this world we call EDA. DAC is the place where old industry or even college friends meet up to either refresh existing relationships or to build new ones, and ultimately to see if there is a way to do business together.  It is about learning and about industry. That is what makes DAC so successful and it is why, year after year, so many veterans continue to attend.

I remember DAC in Austin from three years back and this seemed (admittedly, my memory is about as good as some of the tools out there) a little busier and according to the official report, DAC attendance was up, so that is good news and my observations substantiated.

As my new DAC video expresses, (but you know this if you followed the above link and just watched it) most of the C-level principles I met with had several good meetings.  I say this over and over again and of course it is even truer when DAC moves from the West coast to Austin.  Exhibitors bring far fewer employees to Austin than they do when the Conference is west.  The big boys take less space which makes the footprint (floor) look smaller.  Less booth space requires less man (and woman) power, thus leaving many to say that DAC looks significantly less crowded.  But when you dig down a few nanometers, you learn that those that worked to set up meetings, those that networked, like good biz dev/sales folks are supposed to do, had decent shows.

As long as you saw or gave demos or had the right meetings, your probability for success (if you had something worthwhile to sell) was pretty darn good.  A few good meetings can reap some really positive rewards, and that my friends has always been the real purpose of DAC.  The conferences are a whole different reality as that is what keeps people enriched with knowledge and more entrenched in our business.

As for JOBS, I have not been this busy in a while. I picked up several good job reqs and more followed when I returned to my office. I think that the reason more companies are turning to recruiters like myself is because it is so difficult to find the right talent. (Next month I will write more about that and about our profession).  EDA companies, and more specifically the BIG3, have honed in more on trying to keep the talent they have.  Fortunately, even though they have improved, they still have a way to go. It is quite common for long-termers to stagnate at their position, thusly finding little upward mobility and opportunity. Moving divisions is not only difficult but usually problematic and frustrating. So the real excitement for many engineers comes as a result of being open to creating an opportunity for themselves by trying a new and different company.  The calls I get are all somewhat similar…”I like the company but there is simply nowhere for me to go”.  So often, engineers want to tread new water, try new things, and branch out a bit, and those types of opportunities are simply not always available at the Big3.  So, they call me.  Now is probably the best time of the year to start looking as this process can take quite a while.  Making sure you have an updated resume on file with your favorite recruiter (ME of course), and with all the possible search words included that force your resume to populate in a comparable job search.  Long explanations are not all that important, but industry buzz words are, as that is what HR or recruiters look for when reviewing a resume.  Do not over complicate your resume.

As always, all my readers are welcome to call or email me anytime (as many of you often do) to discuss your resume or possible prospects.  My email is or call 305-598-2222.  Let’s talk soon.

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