Software Bytes: The Hiring Game

It’s all about who you know. And you’d better know that!

I would be surprised if anyone reading this doesn’t know this one major principle of hiring: Whether you’re hiring or looking for a job, nothing happens unless you know the right person.

In my experience at Intercept Technology, the best way to find new staff is by asking current staff for recommendations. This tends to be a successful approach because someone already on staff doesn’t want to make himself look bad, so we can be fairly confident in whoever he recommends. This also helps morale and team-building because a new hire who can be introduced to the team by someone who knows and respects that person creates instant credibility among the entire team.

When this doesn’t pan out, the next best thing is to return to the stack of resumes sent in when we were not hiring. So many people in the EDA industry know one another that very often we will have resumes submitted from people we already know, former customers, even people who evaluated our software whose management selected the bigger software vendor just to cover their own backs in the face of the designers’ clear choice for our software. So, when one such valuable contact has inquired with us, we keep their information on file. A lot of times these people have moved on into new positions by the time we make contact, but it always makes sense to start with the top picks.

The next option is to contact anyone we know who we would love to have the job. It is a sad fact that if you are already employed, you are more desirable as a candidate because no questions have to be asked about why you are not employed. This is a cold, unfair fact for those of us hard-working folks who have been laid off.

But I have experience hiring people who were “laid off,” only to find that they were actually fired for cause. Many employers try to avoid friction at the end by filling out the papers as though an employee were laid off, which covers up the truth when there is a problem employee. This is essentially kicking the can down the road, causing a very expensive, painful problem for every subsequent employer who is duped into hiring this person only to experience the truth first-hand.

To read this entire column, which appeared in the May 2017 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

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2017

Software Bytes: The Hiring Game

06-14-2017

I would be surprised if anyone reading this doesn’t know this one major principle of hiring: Whether you’re hiring or looking for a job, nothing happens unless you know the right person. In my experience at Intercept Technology, the best way to find new staff is by asking current staff for recommendations. This tends to be a successful approach because someone already on staff doesn’t want to make himself look bad, so we can be fairly confident in whoever he recommends. This also helps morale and team-building because a new hire who can be introduced to the team by someone who knows and respects that person creates instant credibility among the entire team.

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How Selling EDA Software Has Changed…or Not

01-13-2017

Prior to the boom in digital devices, print was the overwhelming vehicle for getting one’s name out there. Every vendor competed for ad space. Sales and marketing fought over ownership of such ad space, and large amounts of sales revenue went right back into funding the designing and displaying of these ads. Good ads and bad ads generated industry conversation. (Who remembers the Bunny ad campaign?)

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2015

2015: A Look at Moving Trends

01-26-2015

You know that feeling of excitement after the holidays are over? Getting up with your alarm, digging out clothes that are a little (or a lot) tight after the holiday binge, staring at the bags under your eyes as you brush your teeth, getting into a freezing cold car, and driving in to work for the first time this year? Sure you do.

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2014

The Qualities of Great Bosses

12-17-2014

Is your boss a great boss? After reading an article on LinkedIn, columnist Abby Monaco realized her boss was, in fact, great. If you're a manager yourself, are you one of the great ones? Monaco says it's never too late to strive for greatness.

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Corporate, Schmorprate: Let's Get Down to American Business

09-04-2014

American businesses are often accused of selling out their customers in the name of profits. Are American companies really losing their soul? And more importantly, is your company? Abby Monaco reflects on the status of American businesses.

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EDA Mythbusters - Time for a New Era

05-07-2014

Like many communities, the EDA industry has its share of myths. But rather than quoting statistics and studying the issue, Columnist Abby Monaco thought she could share how her own experiences in EDA have debunked such myths. She imagines that many of your experiences probably have busted these myths as well.

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2013

Corporate, Schmorprate: Let's Get Down to American Business

09-04-2013

American businesses are often accused of selling out their customers in the name of profits. Are American companies really losing their soul? And more importantly, is your company? Abby Monaco reflects on the status of American businesses.

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Sexy Software Sells: User Interface Ranks Higher than Functionality

02-27-2013

How times have changed. Years ago, PCB designers actually bragged about being able to use awkward EDA tools. But now, consumer applications such as Apple's iPhone and iPad are influencing our software expectations in the workplace. For today's PCB designers, software functionality must be presented to users in an easy-to-use fashion, or that functionality might as well not exist at all.

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2012

Software Bytes: A View of EDA from the File Format Standards Perspective

05-30-2012

Sometimes, specifications drive standards; other times, standards develop because something is adopted by a large majority of users. To truly examine standards and specifications pertaining to the PCB, CAD/CAM/CAE, and EDA communities, it is necessary to first take a look at how these industries were born, how they evolved, and where they are today.

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The Customer-Driven Company

05-16-2012

What is the reward for those of us lucky enough to work for a customer-driven company? For me, it's gratitude. Thank you so much to our customers who say nice things about us, and thank you to the ones who complain! We need you to make us better at our jobs, so that we can give you the best possible tools to do your job. You help keep us on our toes.

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The Year 2011 in Retrospect

01-11-2012

Yes, 2011 was a year of dizzying ups and downs. I'm ready to start a new adventure. Whether we have a new president in 2012 or a steady uptick in the stock market, I don't really care; I'd even take a calm, uneventful year over this last one! But the fight goes on.

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2011

Software Bytes: NI-AWR a New Merger Paradigm?

10-12-2011

Remember the incessant snapping up of smaller EDA firms between 2000 and 2005? It was a crazed whirlwind, and it often left users in the lurch. But National Instruments' acquisition of AWR Corporation offers the rest of the industry an example of how companies should merge: No mass layoffs and no devaluing of EDA products, with both companies coexisting. Will future mergers follow this pattern?

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2010

Software Bytes: Don't Call My Baby Ugly!

10-06-2010

You know how other people's kids just aren't as cute as your own, but you say nice things about their little darlings anyway? You don't want to call the baby ugly. Well, an EDA product manager gets the opposite treatment. Software users are definitely not afraid to call my "babies" ugly!

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Software Bytes: The Reality Behind Customer Support

09-01-2010

We live in a service-driven society. It's a big market out there, and we can accept or reject products or services as we see fit. So, it's really darn important for a company selling a product or service to provide customer service at a standard that meets (or exceeds) the consumer's expectations.

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Maintenance: A Team Partner or Black Hole?

07-28-2010

If you're on software maintenance, you're really paying for your software vendor to be your team partner, 24/7/365. But if your support call gets lost in a black hole, you're left wondering, "What's the point of paying maintenance anyway?" Let me walk you through maintenance, from a product manager's point of view.

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Software Bytes: Do You Read Your Release Notes?

02-17-2010

PCB designers and design engineers often complain--and rightly so--about software tool companies that ignore their customers' problems. But when your tool vendor provides a fix for one of your problems, do you take advantage of it? Here's to reading your release notes.

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Young People Can Revive a Mature Industry

01-06-2010

Youngsters can bring much-needed change to this very mature industry--the key is communication.

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2009

Software Bytes: A Tool Vendor's Inside Scoop

12-02-2009

Welcome to Software Bytes, an inside look at EDA board design from the viewpoint of a software vendor. As an EDA product manager, I know what you're going through. I may even be partly responsible. Instead of yelling at your monitor when the software doesn't work right, why not vent at me instead?

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