Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
DAC Austin, while seemingly not as busy as last year, was one of my best DACS in YEARS. I left DAC with several new clients and job reqs, so from my perspective it was terrific. However, while my ego thinks I am important and the best judge, others may not, so let’s talk about what I heard talking to so many for three full days. DAC is still the place for us in EDA to come together to do business. Yes, it has lost a bit of its allure as the place for the good ole boys of EDA to come together, but as I notice more and more every year, there are not as many good ole boys left.
As a 20-year veteran, I am considered by many to be an old-timer (which I hate thinking about; how about you just call me a long-time veteran much younger than most)! As always, those that knew the right people, saw the right people. Most booths were busy and several people I know well were locked in meetings consistently…that is the real criteria. All in all, DAC 2017 was a success with decent attendance (though I doubt they broke any attendance records this year, we shall know soon enough) and contrary to the beliefs of some, DAC will be around for many years to come.
As for the future of EDA, I doubt it is a secret to anyone to learn that EDA is not the first choice on new grads’ agendas and that many quality engineers have migrated out. Careers in IOT or similar spokes on the proverbial wheel of Internet programming and functionality are, as some would say, a bit more exciting. The reality is that no one ever claimed that EDA is the most exciting field in the business, though those that go to DAC and see the endless magicians and parties might somewhat disagree. (Most of them don’t get out much).
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
First let me remind some of my newer readers that I write the ONLY non-technical column (and Videos) in EDA. Simply stated, you will not hear much about anything overly technical. You will learn about our industry from an insider’s perspective, hear from some of our major leaders and learn how to maximize your chances, not only learning about how jobs are trending but how to maximize your success at achieving them. EDA is not the most interesting of industries so a little fun is sometimes warranted and you will find that in my writing and Videos.
So DVCON16 got off to a great start with a nice cocktail party the night before and a standing room only kickoff with Keynote Wally Rhines, CEO of Mentor Graphics. Wally, (I can be so informal when referring to him because I interviewed him and we are best buds now, um, even though he never calls) is one of the most knowledgeable EDA Executives we have. An enlightening speaker, presenting basically boring bits of information in a relatively interesting manner. He did a short presentation on the history of verification that almost took my breath away…well not exactly but I did learn a hell of a lot. The guy makes the mundane, magnificent.
Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
Every year around this time (actually even earlier), I start getting flooded with calls asking if this is a good time to look for a new opportunity. My answer in short is: it is the BEST time to look, as many projects are wrapping up, the year is coming to an end, and a mild short-term break is on the horizon.
Starting a job in January is probably one of the best times to join a company. Everyone is fresh (sort-of) and coming back from some well-deserved time off. Spirits are high, as is the conversation and camaraderie, as everyone shares their holiday stories. At the same time, all are trying to get back into the routine of work again for another year. It is a rare bit of social time right before the year starts its long grind, and a good time to meet and fraternize with new soon-to-be colleagues.
Monday, October 5th, 2015
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.
Thursday, August 6th, 2015
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.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014
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…
Friday, September 19th, 2014
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.
Thursday, July 31st, 2014
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!!!!
Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
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. (more…)
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
I talk to many of you often about the challenges facing our start-ups. From CEO’s and top management, to those considering joining a Start-up, the chorus of concerns and frustrations about the complexities of dealing with Start-Ups is not uncommon, rather, it is something so many of you voice frequently. Be it growing a Start-Up, to going to a Start-Up, the recurring theme it seems is, “how do we compete with the Goliaths” (my word not yours, writers get to choose their words) that make it so difficult for smaller companies to succeed.
Start-ups start with a dream…for EDA it is slightly different as the product is a more industry-focused tool or IP or such, with a specific solution that, for the most part, has a very exacting targeted usage. Granted, things can change as development progresses but in EDA, we know where it should fit, how it will be used and who must be brought on as a partner for it to work. This is what differentiates us from most of the other Silicon Valley Start-Ups…they get an idea and they are out to change the world. So many kids (by kids, I mean big kids) today have these somewhat crazy ideas, and start a new company with the belief that they will significantly change how something is done, or change the convention if you will, from old to new with amazing implications on the future, making them a overnight million or even billionaire.
This is what differentiates us from them…While I am getting slightly off track, this is a problem our community faces…the ability for an amazingly successful exit strategy. I do think that those that have chosen the field of EDA have a different outlook than most other tech businesses, as we see the success of the “concept” as the glory and are not quite as motivated by the money. We seem to see the broader range implications of the actual development, and marvel at what we create.
Anyway, back to my initial point. An EDA start-up faces quite different obstacles than most others in that whatever you do, for the most part, must work within the Big Boys (or as I previously called them, the Goliaths) existing flows, for the most part. This forced cooperation presents very specialized challenges as some start-ups are building totally new dimensions in flows, others are trying to build a better way of doing something someone else sort of does, but no matter the project, all of them need to work with the Goliaths. The exit strategies have been (for the most part) a sell-out to these Goliaths, either because it was the best option available or the legal challenge made it -shall we say- simpler.
So where am I going with all this set-up. In my discussions, many a talk has been had to building stronger partnerships within the smaller company communities by coming together and sharing, joining forces, and cooperating more. The result is to make each company’s flow more important and allow it to cover more ground by working in tandem. Even stronger mid range companies benefit from this as they can better compete for their little piece of the pie and keep the Goliaths more at bay. Some start-ups find other Start-Ups to compliment what they are building by helping each other gain traction in their area…we have seen this done successfully over and over. This type of partnership, collaboration must continue and even escalate. The logical next step is similar to what Ansys did with Apache; find other companies that can acquire or join forces to better compete with the Goliaths. More companies need to find common ground to merge, and while I know that VC’s are throwing up reading this, we must not ignore the bigger picture, which is to grow and build a better infrastructure around the Start Up EDA community. This should ultimately net better results when selling. We have the companies, the brain power, the technologies and long term, this can prove to be the best and most profitable solution for these small companies, allowing for an even stronger value proposition on exit than if they relinquish separately.
On another good note, EDA industry rose by 6.8% for Q3 2013 when compared to the same quarter the year before. Q3 was 4.2% ahead of the previous quarter while comparing the last 4 quarters to the same previous 4 quarters and showed a nice increase of 5.8%. Stable, steady, and I think reassuring…no records broken…just nice clean and hopefully sustainable growth. Now may it only continue for my /our 401k’s.