Electrical Engineer In A Startup That Makes Hardware Design Tools
Job Title: Senior Consulting Engineer
Type of Company: I work for a small company in the EDA (Electronic Design Automation) space. We do software for hardware companies.
Education: B.Sc Electrical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Israel
Previous Experience: I started working for Motorola Semiconductor (now Freescale) as an ASIC (a class of computer chips) design engineer, then worked as a senior design engineer for a different company, before I got my current position as a senior consulting engineer with my current company.
Job Tasks: My official job is to work with our customers - I train them, and support them on their projects. I help them use our tool set and be more productive. But since I work for a small startup, I wear many hats at work: I do a lot of pre-sales and post sales work, and I also do a lot of marketing.
My main job is customer training, support and applications; this means that I start a typical day by answering some customer emails in the morning (I usually have to work in order to reconstruct any problems the may have encountered, or write some examples which show proper usage of our tools). The rest of the day often involves customer visits, calls, and often working on my own projects (PowerPoint presentations, demos for trade shows, and such). Every so often I also have to conduct training. This is usually done at a customer sight, so I have to travel for about a week. The basic training is about three to four days, and I usually stay a day or two to get the customer started in the right direction.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the people. Both inside and out: I work with extremely smart people, very bright and innovative, which is always a pleasure. Also while training - I get to meet so many people from different backgrounds solving different problems, so it's always very interesting.
The worst part is probably the lack of job security, which is not surprising in a startup company.
1. I think it's important to try to expose yourself to many types of designs and methodologies as early as possible in your career.
2. At any job you do - try to learn something from it; It's a great opportunity.
3. Always ask yourself "Is there a better way to achieve the same thing?"; check for QOR - you might find big differences.