How was EDA-2007 in Terms of Hiring
As someone who deals with most of the major EDA start-ups, and talks to, on a regular basis, numerous Principles and Senior management in EDA, I can clearly say it was FANTASTIC! (Or as Peter Paul and Mary might say, a DRAGON of a year).
My firm EDA-Careers placed more engineers giving more good people new and better opportunities than in any year since I have been doing this (sans 2001). Virtually everyone I talk to at the various companies I work with think that this was a strong year, and hiring was quite robust.
Next month I will talk about this in greater detail, but a few years back I heard a keynote speaker at DAC say (virtually) the following
The future of EDA sits in the hands of the start-ups. They are the ones that bring emerging technologies to the forefront. (Go figure.) The excitement almost always starts at the "start-up" level. (Is excitement really the right word?) He went on to say (and this was the big But) but start-ups need to change their business models and ideologies and become successful "on their own merit". They need to go from a ramp-em up, fill the seats, write some code and sell fast (these are my brilliant words, just in case you could not figure that out for yourself)) to a model where they run a business like a REAL business. That means real product, real management, real sales, and real income. That means managing expenses and bringing in the best people to help take you to the next level. IT MEANS running a business so that the business can survive on its own inertia, and maintain itself through its own resources. It means good people, making great product, and bringing it to market. It means having actual revenue to sustain itself. It does not always mean selling quickly. But it does mean a future for the staff.
And this equates to the reason 2007 was a better year. Many successful start-ups are actually surviving on the revenue they are bringing in. Sure, raising fresh capital is essential for expansion, and certainly necessary to seed the company, but the smart start-ups that actually run their business right are doing great. Strong and experienced engineers continue to be easily place-able at these companies. There is a hefty demand for the right, for good solid engineers, and If you have the skill sets that a company needs, companies will talk to you regardless of the economy.
The stock market is all over the place, interest rates are being dramatically cut, a major stimulus package is supposed to stimulate the economy, and all this means nothing when it comes to hiring in EDA. The fact is Companies are hiring, they are expanding, and they are demo-ing, and hopefully then selling real innovative niche product, EDA companies for the most part are doing well. And when the time comes to consider a Merger or Acquisition, or as is possible for a few, IPO, they will have a real and thriving company to do that with. And that means a strong return to all the people that decided to invest their lives in a start-up. And that is why 2007 continued its upward momentum and hiring was so strong and robust. And it is my belief regardless of the economic news, that after listening to those that are the ones that allegedly know, 2008 will continue right in the path of 2007.