Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Merger Musings

"EDA Peggy" Aycinena has written a thought-provoking analysis & commentary (dare I say synopsis?) of Cadence's bid for Mentor Graphics in EDACafe Weekly : The Summer of Our Discontent: War Games in EDA.

She's rather cynical on the motivations of some corporate management. I think there's a good dose of truth here. How many mergers are done to appear to be "doing something", even though there's a good chance it won't ultimately create value.

But inquiring minds want to know, will some CEO be able to buy oodles of Ferragamos with the bonus from the merger?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Interview Do's and Dont's

So I'm recruiting for a design methodology engineer and have been screening resumes and doing interviews. This experience leads me to want to share some advice that not everyone seems to know.


  • Send your resume in PDF (Acrobat). I know that .doc (Word) is the de facto standard, but I've seen some really strangely rendered resumes coming across in Word. In PDF, it really is what you see is what you get.
  • Check spelling and grammar carefully. I mean, duh! For a document this important, isn't it worth the extra effort? You should also have another person (preferably an English major :-) proofread it.
  • Keep it concise. As you go describe long-ago experience, you don't need to detail everything you've done. The classic guidance is to fit your resume on one page. I know that's difficult, but once it gets to three pages or more, you're probably including too much.
  • In an interview, pay attention to your "talk/listen ratio". I just made that term up. It's important to make sure you understand the question and get periodic feedback that you're on the right track before launching into a soliliquy about all that you know.
  • Assume the (first) interview will be non-technical. Some companies interview easier than others. But for the case where you really get grilled, you better have done your homework. Better safe than sorry.
  • List project specs or customer names (non-public information) on your resume. I'm pretty sure this is technically in violation of some employment agreement or NDA. I'm surprised at how specific some resumes are, listing the customer name, content and specs of chips they've worked on. You can "sanitize" this information and still convey the complexity of what you've done.
  • Make incredible claims for your contributions. I understand that you want to put your best face forward, and maybe even puff up things a big. But when I read that you "architected, developed, and implemented" a major feature of a tool in eight months, ...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

10 Great Tech Books

There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more.

Morrissey, The Smiths

I love books and "top 10" or "must read" lists, so IEEE Spectrum: 10 Great Tech Books is irresistable.

Which are your favorites?
Which ones were missed?

I've only read two of them: The Design of Everyday Things and The Soul Of A New Machine. The latter one in particular I found enthralling and ample motivation for my college computer architecture design project! Nowadays it must seem like a history book, since it concerns designing DEC-compatible minicomputers. But the thrill of design and hunting down and quashing elusive bugs is timeless.