I debated on blogging on this site - debated for over a month. I was already doing something similar elsewhere, so why do it here? In my postings outside of Cadence, I did it because it was vendor-neutral, and I could speak my mind like an artist with no bounds, ask hard controversional questions about things about ASICs, AEs and the industry ecosystem without being slapped around. If I was going to post here, I wanted something similar or forget-about-it.
I had few questions before commiting to Tom to blog, our Cadence Community blog-master (who is a cool guy, I've found out). Here's what I asked him:
Me: Will you filter my blogs? (and I did check after my first few blog posts, to make sure no 'extra' edits were snuck in)
Me: Will you control me, like a puppet? Make me say things that give 'happy feelings' only?
Tom: Nope again. It's all yours dude to control.
Me: Will I lose my job if I type something someone doesn't like? (if I do, I think Jeff who recently posted something about "If Marketing People Lie?" would be in bigger trouble :) )
Tom: You shouldn't, but that's up to you. ;) (that's when I signed a legal form, stating that I'm responsible for everything I write, since it's not restricted)
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So far, no signs of such things to report. Everything I've written is because I chose to. No catches. Amazing.
So why write? My vision is to share 'the life as an AE' from a designer's perspective, both the good and bad things I see from day-to-day. I used to be an ASIC design engineer in a number of start-ups and a large company, only recently dabbling in the AE life, and find life on the 'other side', the EDA vendor side, both interesting and challenging. I thought it would be interesting to give some tidbits here and there, each week or two, on things that I encounter, cool things that customers tell me, things that frustrate my customers - things like that.Hopefully you find it useful, or at least somewhat interesting. :)
Cadence trusts you to improvise answers with prospects and customers, basing them on your own knowledge and information you can gain from relevant Cadence personnel. It's not surprising that they would trust you to blog publicly.
so what do you miss most / least from you design days and what do you like most / least from you new found EDA life ?
As an AE, I miss working on and leading projects as a designer (running everything I can get my hands on, from RTL synthesis to P&R + STA), delivering designs and the other data for each milestone (and all the fun heartaches that go with it, sleepless nights, although I experience that at Cadence too), having that 100% ownership feeling in stake of the process. Although I have been fortunate that a number of customers have shared their project experiences with me during setup and debugging (from RTL to tapeout, and ECO process), it is not the same feeling of satisfaction compared to when you can say that it's 'my design'. I also miss creating methodologies with tools from different vendors and setting up flows that work, so I can truly see the pros and cons firsthand and have that ownership. On the flip side, AE life has been great in giving me one that I always wanted: limitless # of accounts and project to work on (and I will work way and beyond because of my thirst to do more), see tons of flows and work closely with customers, as a team member, to refine them, hopefully with Cadence technology if it fits (and if it doesn't work, try to make the tool what the customer desires as a solution with an open ear and discussions with engineering). I really enjoy working with customers and creating strong relationships with each one through good engineering and listening.