EDA Careers Corner and News
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 »
The Must-Read Interviewing Guide For Candidates and Hiring Managers…How Both Sides Can Win In An Interview!
October 5th, 2015 by Mark Gilbert
This is a crucial column that every candidate and hiring manager should read so they can each wisely get the most out of the interviewing process. First to the candidates…
Acing an interview these days is incredibly difficult. Sometimes, your technical abilities are simply not enough. Knowing how to interview and how to be prepared is CRUCIAL if you want to get to the next round of interviews. Your primary goal should always be exactly that– to get to the next round. Here are some thoughts to make that happen…
First and foremost, be prepared before you interview! There is quite simply nothing more important than knowing as much as possible about the prospective company and their tools. I have had candidates ask their interviewer things like, “So, what problem are you attacking”? This is usually followed by two phone calls: the first is from the candidate saying, “I think I did pretty well”, and the second is from the hiring manager saying, “he/she did not even know what we were doing, so that was the end of that”. Interviewing smart is crucial and this is precisely why I always prep my candidates for their interview and make sure they study the company’s website and read a few white papers and do a little digging. Bottom line, be prepared before the first call or visit. Some candidates take it a step further by going above and beyond and they prepare a presentation to show just how much they know and how proactive and serious they are about their craft and their desire for the position. This approach can of course vary by the types of positions you are interviewing for, but showing what you have done, what you know, or even what you can potentially accomplish, should always bode quite well and make you stand out from the pack.
August 6th, 2015 by Mark Gilbert
EDA, Electronic Design Automation gets its share of getting kicked around. After all, since the Internet boom (or some might say bust), the Social Media boom, Analytics boom, and Big Data boom, several alternatives to EDA have had significant impact on hiring. This has forced upon us numerous challenges because these skills are in demand and plentiful. The mere impact of such world changing technologies cannot be understated. EDA has always had some of the most brilliant minds imaginable; creating technologies that only a select few could possibly understand. Who, just a few years back, could have possibly imagined a tiny (and I do mean tiny) chip doing the billions of functions it does today? Who could have ever imagined that we could build on a computer screen, detail all the functionality, and design chips (we will use “chip” as a generic word to make my point)? Furthermore, who could have imagined that we would build devices that use to take a building to compute, would now work in the palm of our hands?
EDA is at the epi-center of all devices Electronic, which is why I coined the phrase, “All Electronics Starts With EDA”. (Use it EDAC, just give me the credit). With that level of intensity, comes a dynamic work space that few can possibly step into because of the incredible complexities and needed education/training. The good news is, once in, EDA could be your home for life. Now I get it, many that grew up in the Start-Up world, I guess even the big 3 were once start-ups, know that the environment has dramatically changed and over the last few years, or dare I say, matured. Yet, EDA is still going strong and achieves quarter after quarter of profitability and growth.
My 18th DAC, Let’s Talk; Just Look For The White Sport Coat…What Is Going On In Hiring These Days… Atrenta leaves us
June 7th, 2015 by Mark Gilbert
I guess I am getting older as the number of DAC’S I have attended is mounting and becoming a little frightening…this will be my 18th. I remember when walking DAC, was a tiring mission and I am not talking about walking the streets of San Francisco. It was quite large with isle after isle of booths taking up a huge footprint, and so many of them were Start-Ups. Well that was (as the song goes) yesterday and yesterday’s gone. I watched as each year, the big 4 took up more and more of the floorplan and one by one, the companies I did business with disappeared. I also watched as Startup after Startup grew their footprint and realized incredible growth which led to their acquisition. Now, here we are, so many years later and DAC is quite a different place. To add validity to what I am saying, one of the last of the mid tiers (some might say THE last) was just acquired. Atrenta, one of the oldest Start Ups will now join the ranks of so many before them and leave the floors of DAC to the likes of Synopsys.
Where Might Technology Be Taking Us, I Get A Little Crazy with Mentor’s CEO, Part 3 of My Amazing Must Read Wally Interview… How Was DVCON
April 13th, 2015 by Mark Gilbert
DVCON was, well, DVCON…nothing out of the ordinary; it was as always well-attended with good traffic, perhaps even more than I have seen previously. The one good thing I noticed, and this is technically very important: the food and drink is getting better and more plentiful each year.
Anyway, for the most part, my sources had similar comments; they picked up some nice leads and met some of the customers they were trying to meet. In reality, that is all a trade show can hope to accomplish for its vendors.
Similar to DAC, I don’t write about the seminars etc.–my meetings are done on the exhibitor floor. Two good things did happen for me: I did another video, which you can see on EDACafé with the other DVCON interviews at http://www10.edacafe.com/video/Video-Categories-2015-DVCon-Video-Interviews/10418/category.html, and I finally met Peggy, who like Oprah needs no last name mentioned. I was impressed as she was quite lovely.
2014 WAS A STRONG YEAR, EDA CONTINUES STRONG…MENTOR’S WALLY RHINES PART 2, THE MYTHS, THE LEGEND, THE HISTORY…
January 27th, 2015 by Mark Gilbert
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.
Start Looking Now For Jobs Next Year… Mentor’s Wally Rhines…Why Is Mentor So Different, First Of My 3-Part Interview..
November 20th, 2014 by Mark Gilbert
THE Following is an intriguing and insightful look into an EDA industry icon, Mentor’s CEO, Wally Rhines. Since our talks were so insightful, leaving me so much to write about, I will quickly give you my thoughts on considering a year-end career change first, followed by my interpretation of “The Man From Mentor”.
The cycles for finding a job have changed immensely over the past year, plus it can take months and months just to find the right opportunity, and then more to go through the interview process. Even though it is clear that the advantage is, (for now), on the Candidates side, make no mistake; the process can still be long and arduous. Even knowing how hard it is to find good people, companies today continue to be so picky and take so long to pull the trigger on actually hiring. Starting your search now, and I mean now, is the smartest thing you can do. You should know that almost assuredly, you would start after the first of the year, even if the process goes quickly. The New Year creates a great time to leave your old company and join a new. Starting at the beginning of the year allows you to be part of annual kick-off meetings and everyone getting back to work after the holiday break; it is a simply a perfect time to fit in. Call your favorite recruiter (hopefully ME…is there anyone better?) to discuss the possibilities and your particular situation. I will help walk you through the process. Together we can both develop a strong comprehensive plan on how to best approach the next stage of your career. On to Wally…
THOUGHT PROVOKING…Can See Into the Future Of What You’re Helping To Create Today? …Will Future Development Jobs Be The Stuff Science Fiction Is Made Of?…
September 19th, 2014 by Mark Gilbert
In my DAC interview with Wally, (a name you can use in EDA like Oprah, Sting, Madonna), one of the things we discussed was how the technologies his tools are giving the power to develop, could ultimately be used in ways that could, well for a lack of a better word, (adding dramatic effect)…destroy the world as we know it. You will hear more of his thoughts when I finish writing my interview, but I thought this would be a good precursor to play with and it’s an issue I think about a lot; I’m betting many of you do as well. I will address Wally’s thoughts when I write the column, but for now here are mine.
Like me, many of you love science fiction, especially when it deals with the future. I cannot help but think, when watching the beautiful Halle Berry in the science fiction series Extant, how many of you out there are in some way embarking on a path that will make parts of that show… a more automated future…a reality. More so, I cannot help but wonder how many development engineers will be visionary enough to see into the future they are helping create, and ensure that the right path is taken, as we move Moore’s Law forward and increase the role of technology in our future. You see, all of you engineers are creating tiny pixels of a much bigger picture and you rarely get to see the end product or even the implications of what you are allowing to be developed. I do suspect however, that a few of you do realize, and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Engineering jobs, especially for computer and electrical engineers, have so many faces and complexities. So often many of you are partaking in a limited role of a much bigger project, which you know little about. Analogous to a good script with a far off plot, the actors read their lines never knowing what the writer’s, developers are actually planning. I cannot help but wonder how that similarity might play into the world we live in, how what we are developing today will be played out in tomorrow’s scripts.
The subject of jobs is at play here, as all of you are for hire and many of you may one day be faced with a decision that makes you ponder your future or the implications of your development. Money is a powerful tool that convinces people to do things that might not always be on the up-and-up…after all, what is a hacker but someone who took a different programming career path than most of you. How many of you would change your path if the money were right? How many would stand up to something they thought could spell trouble one day, especially if the money was right?
We know that the vast majority of development is done with good and right intentions, but money is a very powerful motivator and makes it easy to justify what might otherwise be questionable. If you think about it, so much of what we read in a book or watch on a screen eventually does come to life. My mom looks at the highways being built today and says that she saw those types of interchange structures in books when she was a kid; she’s 93. She said Ralph Belemey wrote a book in the late 1800s about how one day we would turn on a light by touching a wall. The future is built on creative imagination. Creative imagination and brilliant programming are a powerful combination. Which of you will see the possibilities of your brilliance being used for measures that might not be in the best interest of our futureand stand up and say “No”? How do we maintain an ethical use so that HAL (2001: A Space Odyssey) does not take control of this ship? How do we prevent a Darth Vader-esque future, and is that idea so radically crazy? Can we not see a future world of good and bad automated machines? After all, look at how things are shaping up around the world. How might those factions look in the future as technology further permeates our existence? Are some of you working right now on what might very well lead the way to those possibilities? Will money lead you to do things you can see having negative future potential?
Sorry for the tangent, but I think about where we are going and how the good will be used by the bad. It has me thinking, and dare I say, mildly concerned about where this might all lead, and what control we have to shape it and secure it for good. Just look at the hackers stealing… that is all technology that we are developing right now. Is controlling power grids, air traffic, banks, defense, etc. not a real possibility? I wonder, which of you will be the ones that protect us and ensure it is not…Wally?????
As for what to expect for Q3…I feel like it will be another robust quarter and hiring will remain strong. Here is what I do know. It continues to get harder and harder to find the right fit for the overly-exact specifications that exist today. People are not leaving quite as fast as in years past and that makes it harder to recruit them out; harder but not impossible. Comps seem to have gone up, though I cannot say by how much, but that shows the market is strong. Now back to my very long interview with Wally that I must finish before he writes a program to destroy me. See you at ARM, end of October.
Where is the Value Proposition In Using A Recruiter And Who Benefits Most, The Candidate or The Company…The State Of The Job Market…Coming, My Amazing Interview with CEO Wally Rhines…
July 31st, 2014 by Mark Gilbert
The answer to the first question might surprise you: both sides benefit equally. A good recruiter does all the follow-up for both sides splitting his/her loyalty down the middle so both sides are represented fairly and everyone feels that they got a fair shake…something that’s so important in a small start-up environment and the best way to start the relationship.
The clear value proposition for the company comes from eliminating the mountains of bad resumes a company deals with, since a good recruiter only submits appropriate qualified resumes (which incidentally, should not be many). For the candidate, it means finding appropriate fits to their background, getting their resume into the right hands, and then those hands having the relationship to follow-up and discuss the candidate. VALUE PROPOSITION-CASE IN POINT…I just placed a candidate at a company that initially did not want to look at him. In fact, they looked at the three other resumes (and interviewed the candidates) before proceeding on to him. The CEO told me he did not seem to have the right background…I disputed his thinking, as he had 80% of what the company wanted, and further had the right type of personality so necessary to be a successful AE. So I pressed him to at least talk to him, and talk to him he did. He was in for a technical interview two days later and a job offer a few days after that. Had the candidate sent his resume directly, he would have never been given the time of day…what made the difference was the belief that the company had in my knowledge of EDA (as it should be with any good recruiter), and the faith the candidate had in me to get him into the right hands. That is VALUE PROPOSITION AT ITS BEST!!!!
Read the rest of Where is the Value Proposition In Using A Recruiter And Who Benefits Most, The Candidate or The Company…The State Of The Job Market…Coming, My Amazing Interview with CEO Wally Rhines…
My Post-DAC Report: How Long Before a ONE-AISLE DAC? Is Being in Senior Management Really What You Want? Coming…My Amazing Interview with “Wally”
June 16th, 2014 by Mark Gilbert
As I was walking the aisles of DAC this year (as I have done so many times over the past 17 years), I could not help but wonder: how long will it be before DAC is but a single-aisle exhibit? After all, as we all know, one-by-one, start-ups are disappearing and new ones are not rushing in to take their place. (Check back soon to see how the CEO of Mentor, Wally Rhines, responded to that issue in my interview). After the recent plethora of acquisition announcements, one cannot help but wonder if the tide is irreversible. Like the recent announcements about the icebergs melting in Antarctica that claim we are past reversing the effects of global warming, I cannot help but wonder: is that also the case for EDA? Are EDA start-ups simply melting away, leaving behind only the more rock-solid icebergs? (Not that any of the big-3 icebergs will be melting away anytime soon).
Two More Long Timers Gone, We Must Build A Stronger Mid-Tier Base, Think WALMART Competition? …DAC Is Back In SF…
May 13th, 2014 by Mark Gilbert
Well, “BYE-BYE BDA” (sung to “Bye Bye Birdie”) and “Jasper”, (sung to “Casper the friendly ghost’) because of how they too have disappeared) and HELLO to “how long before there are no more Start-ups in EDA” sung to (you better not laugh, you better not cry).
So, how does the smaller guy compete or even more importantly, how does EDA build a more sustainable mid-tier bridge to offer reasonable alternatives to the Goliaths. By “alternatives”, I do not only mean as an exit strategy, but as a reasonable competitive alternative to just going to WALMART, (yes I said WALMART). Let’s face it folks, the world has shifted and we are in this ever-evolving big- company world environment in virtually every segment of business. Somehow, small companies need to learn how to better compete with the Big-Boys…in our case the Big 3, no names needed. Indeed it is difficult, because the current exit strategy (for most start-ups) is to sell out to these Big-Boys and so it happens, the big gobble the small, thus making it very difficult for all the rest to compete. Using the WALMART analogy…they come to a town and slowly cannibalize most of the businesses in the town. They do this by offering a really good price (quality does not always matter, nor does service) and making it easier to choose them for a variety of reasons, like one-stop shopping, more things that fit in your cart at one time, etc. Slowly the smaller mom and pops (now called Start-Ups) have a decision to make. Either join forces with someone a little bigger or close the doors. The “little bigger” is our answer. Read the rest of Two More Long Timers Gone, We Must Build A Stronger Mid-Tier Base, Think WALMART Competition? …DAC Is Back In SF…