So what has changed in EDA hiring?... Is my wild prediction coming true?... How might Mentor play in all this?...

Is my wild prediction coming true?

Rarely are WILD and EDA used in the same sentence... perhaps that is what is missing in EDA. Maybe we need a little fun like some of the new demo videos that have recently surfaced…those were fun! But that is not what I am writing about. I am writing about the fact that my wild predictions that I made in my column last month seem to be coming true, even faster than my wild imagination could have predicted. Thankfully so many of you email me directly every month with your comments and thoughts and fortunately mostly are in the affirmative. My Wild Prediction column received some very interesting comments from both C-Level clients as well as the greater EDA community. Virtually all agreed that things are picking up nicely, hiring is happening, and (this is the key piece) the pool of DECENT candidates is shrinking.

The single most compelling factor in all of this, (and the one that showcases my clairvoyance the most), is that for the first time in a long time I am getting calls from folks working in the bigger EDA companies who, up until now, were afraid to make a move. As the industry continues to significantly stabilize, (most would even say recover), many are saying that now is finally a good time to start looking again at Start-ups. For sure I am thrilled, as all I've heard over the last 3 years is how risky a move out of the big-boys would be. But that has seemed to wane and a renewed interest in Start-ups seems to be picking up steam.

So as the pool of candidates diminishes and perhaps some folks that were not looking decide to test the waters, some key changes in hiring could very conceivably start taking place. As I see it, companies are starting to feel the pressure of building key positions with the right people. As growth continues to manifest itself, it gets harder to fill those key positions that are necessary to maintain the growth (and btw I mean all areas: R&D, AE's, or Sales and Marketing) and that could mean different decisions on who gets hired and what they get paid.

Another interesting situation in our little "shtettle" (a small pseudo village) we call EDA is the Mentor one…you know the one where Carl wants to (how do I phrase it delicately) dump in some way, shape, or form Mentor. Think about the future implication of a change to the overall EDA industry and even the overall jobs market. As for the industry, it could be pricing models/bundles or the effect of the duplication of similar tools (albeit more or less tools) and even ultimately how the other big boys would be affected (depending who or how the change happens). The implications could be very far reaching, and how and this affects the candidate pool and open positions, no one can possibly know. You see, I think (as even I have started to see) more and more Mentor folks will start looking for new opportunities as the rumors increase. Mentor employees in the past were loyal, and when you worked at Mentor, you stayed at Mentor. Obviously Wally set up a culture that made people want to stay…just like Cadence…JUST KIDDING! As the risk of significant changes loom in Mentors future, I think I will be getting more and more of those calls from the Mentor teams to check out what else is out there before the proverbial "doo-doo" hits the fan.

All of this makes for a refreshingly different and quite interesting hiring scenario for 2011. Like I said in my last column, cycles in hiring are constant, shifting from more candidates and less jobs to more jobs and less candidates, which is exactly what is already starting now. As the hiring pendulum starts its swing the other way, companies that took months and months to make a decision or low balled a candidate because they knew he/she was desperate will now be lucky to get a lesser qualified candidate, and at perhaps a higher price than they could have before. (Isn't KARMA a bitch?)

SO to all those that were reading eulogy's for EDA, all I can say is Nana nany nu nu (excuse me for being so immature). NEVER COUNT OUT EDA, THE VEHICLE THAT DRIVES THE ENTIRE WORLD OF ELECTRONICS.

EDA is not going anywhere, and when everyone wakes up and realizes the full POWER AND EARNINGS potential of this business, everyone will make more and the industry will get that much stronger…AND HOW NICE WOULD THAT BE!!!

Review Article
  • EDA Brain Drain February 23, 2011
    Reviewed by 'Gary Dare'
    "... the pool of DECENT candidates is shrinking." I would agree but not because the Big 3 has been adding staff (as well as a few smaller players). I have seen a lot of people leaving the EDA sector for electronics firms (become or return to being EDA customers), Web 2.0 (from start-ups to Google) and management consulting. Higher pay, more opportunity, greater challenges were cited by my contacts. And most of them won't be coming back if you send a recruiter to lure them back (no offence, Mark! But do let us know if you find otherwise).
    As for startups, investors (from Angels to VC's) have had their expectations changed due to Web 2.0. In Portland, Oregon a company called Urban Airship was founded at the start of June, 2009 and at the end of July, 2010, they secured $5.4 Million in Series A funding, and just moved into smashing new offices in the Pearl District. Even if someone were willing to do an EDA startup with 'bootstrapping' (self-funding), it would be hard to see it matching the sort of timeline of Urban Airship.

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