One of the more common parts of my job is to figure out why something stopped working, or why it is suddenly producing different (namely worse) results than before, when "nothing's changed". Things like
- Why is the synthesis tool crashing now when it ran fine before?
- What changed so that I'm not making area/timing any more?
- Why is equivalence checking failing now?
For all of these sorts of things, I end up comparing logs, netlists, scripts, etc. I am the tkdiff master! With my eagle eye and understanding of the personalities of EDA tools and companies, it's a sleuthing challenge to find the culprit.
If I tried to explain this to a layman, I'd have to say that part of my job is playing the grown-up version of one of my daughter's favorite games, Spot the Difference. Yes, that's what I went to all those years of college for. :-)