Remember that kids' nursery rhyme LAYOFFS, FREEZES, GENERAL DOWNTURN… O MY? Here is what all this means…
While those were obviously not the EXACT words in the children's story, they are the words for all us kids working in EDA. (I think the actual words were Lions and Tigers and Bears, o my)!
I/WE have seen these conditions before, perhaps not quite this bad, but certainly in the realm. Experience tells us that this cycle too will turn around, and so we certainly hope! So let's talk about how the times have changed, and what they mean in this current era of real job concerns. But first, let's talk a little about EDA, then we'll follow that with how you can make sure you take the right steps to increase your chances of getting an interview, and more - getting hired.
EDA has endured for a heck of a long time, consistently developing the technology that helps to develop the world's most innovative products. EDA might not be the enormously growing industry some of us would like, but it sustains and continues, and the start-ups continue to be the backbone of the business.
Recently I read a terrific article published in EE TIMES by Mar Hershenson, a successful EDA start-up veteran. (Finally someone other than me is writing about the realization that EDA is viable and not going away so fast, and that there is nothing wrong with the money many start-ups are making). She starts by expressing some of the negative perceptions out there (the purpose negative talk serves, befuddles me), She said…
“More than one pundit has said that EDA offers low returns on investment, has no viable exit strategy, little growth and, perhaps, soon there will be no public companies left in this market segment. In the current economic climate, these discouraging statements are particularly worrisome for an entrepreneur intent on building an EDA company”. Now the important part…she goes on to say about EDA …
Now this is the part to pay attention to…”company executives may not want an exit strategy at all. Some have found it possible to build a successful lifestyle company”. BINGO!
And last my favorite part…”Smaller companies have more flexibility to develop a "killer product," as well as a sustainable business model. Successful EDA entrepreneurship is possible if you follow some simple guidelines: Limit the amount of money raised, and work closely with customers to understand their needs and the problems that must be solved”. WOW, isn't that the exact reason so many of you call me saying “I want to work in a start-up”!
Her best advice, and you need to hear this is…”Just do it! Don't listen to the arguments about the seeming demise of EDA. Increasing design complexity creates EDA opportunity. Seize it”. (Thanks Mar)
Now add this further validation…EDACafe expert veteran columnist Peggy Aycinena, while at ICCAD, spoke with IBM's Juan-Antonio Carballo, an expert on global tech investing, here is what he said… Carballo told her: “While the semiconductor industry is going through a tremendous transformation, with changes in the business model, nonetheless EDA is part of the economics of the industry and will survive -even if a number of players seem to be broken”.
So here is the real bottom line to these times…perseverance, those that forge ahead and make it through this, should be healthier on the other side. The ride ahead is guaranteed to be bumpy, and the end is not within sight, but do not lose hope. If you are looking for work, keep looking- keep trying. At some point (and we all hope it will be sooner rather than later, things will open up again.
Let me also state this as clearly as I can, as these are the obvious facts like it or not, (and I repeat them at least 20 times a day with my various clients)… Today there are very few jobs period. Today, there are a LOT of people looking, due in part (obviously) to the layoff at Magma, Cadence, and a plethora of other companies in and around EDA. With all this competition for the limited amount of jobs, you need to be on top of your game. Your resume needs to be sharp and spot on! Call us; we can guide you in making sure your resume is as strong as possible. Be prepared to be hands-on if you are a manager, and apply for jobs that are in the area of your expertise. This IS NOT the time to say “I kinda know back end even though I have been doing front end for the last 5 years, I think I want to change”. Or, “I have always wanted to be a manager”…Companies that are hiring have a lot of options in candidates these days, and only those that can make a direct contribution will be considered. If you truly want a job, you need to be open and flexible.
I wrote some clear theoretical advice in my column a few months back, and what I wrote is even more relevant now. I basically said that hiring managers divide resumes into 3 batches, call them A, B and C. The strength of your resume is what gets you placed in one of these piles. A is of course the pile you want to be in because B only gets looked at when A resumes are depleted, and if they did not like the A candidates, think of how they will like the B candidates. If you want the job, then stack the odds in your favor: make SURE your resume is strong, clear, easily readable and informative. Call me anytime and I will gladly send you the column on building a good resume, or give you the advice directly.
Finally, should you get the opportunity to interview, make sure you are prepared. Do your homework and due diligence; I wrote about this in a previous column which I will gladly forward, or feel free to call me personally and I will prep you for that job.
In conclusion, EDA is not going away and while these are difficult times, hiring is still taking place. I still have 14 open reqs, so be clear hiring is happening. I feel for many of you that are out of work now, but it will turn around. Work on your resume and be ready when the call comes. Best to all of my wonderful friends out there going through difficult times, and someone please read me a nursery rhyme that will make me feel better also.