I am sure you all remember the line Darth Vader said to Luke Skywalker DAC IT IS YOUR EDA DESTINY! (Anyway, that is how I remember it). Another quote, (maybe more down to Earth and more Zen) might be ”you, and you alone are in charge of your destiny, your future, your career”. Being educated about and knowing your industry, is one of the best ways to advance your career.
Having said that, DAC is NOT the place to (specifically) look for a job, and definitely not the place to bring or hand out your resume! BUT, it is the place to gain knowledge of the types of opportunities and companies, (and learn about new start-ups) that are available in your area of expertise or interest. So here is how I suggest you work DAC, to take full advantage of the multitudes of opportunities that might be available to you. But first understand a very simple premise, just because a company is involved in (for example) P&R, Verification, Embedded, Simulation, etc, it clearly does not meant they will have a current position or need for you. No matter how much of a significant contribution you THINK, KNOW you could bring to their team; the BOTTOM LINE is, they must have a current need for what you offer.
SO how do you find out, and how do you proceed?
DAC should be used the same way you would use any information portal. You look, study, analyze the various company’s (information), and the space they are targeting. You can ask questions and learn, but never directly pitch yourself. That is all done after, either by you direct, or through an established recognized recruiter, that understands the space and knows the company(s). Remember, DAC is 5 days of demos, discussions and lots of hand shaking, and becomes a blur to all that work it. When DAC is over, everyone wants to work the “customer leads first” to maximize the business side. For the most part, hiring is usually not the Number One priority. But it does remain a priority to be tackled at some point, and you or your facilitator needs to stay on them.
I also said above, that just because a company is in your domain, it DOES NOT mean they will have a current position for you. A good recruiter knows how to call the company, (usually the top layers of management) and sell a strong candidates ability to significantly contribute. So many times, so often, I have convinced management to consider talking or better, meeting a candidate. Sometimes they find that a particular candidate could offer an immediate contribution, and is worthy of consideration because of that skill set, even if not immediately needed.
One more important thing to remember when talking to someone at DAC the person you initially talk to, may not know what needs are available throughout the company, or maybe even worse yet, might consider you a potential threat to his or her advancement. These are a few things to consider before making the initial approach on your own.
There are clear exceptions to this rule, but all and all, DAC should be a place to gain information. The follow up should be POST DAC, either by yourself to your contact, or through an established EDA recruiter, that can make the presentation to the right people, and work in your best interest. SEE YOU AT DAC ;)