5 Best Engineers who inspired and influenced my career

As I get close to two decades of experience in my career and if I look back, I can recollect a lot of learning moments, great people and experiences at multiple companies.

Here I list five of the best engineers whom I had opportunity to work with and why I found them to be best, what I learned from each of them and how it helped me shape what I am today.

  1. Radhakrishnan Mahalikudi – He was my first manager at Intel, a highly energetic, very technical, detail oriented and people friendly manager. As a young engineer who ended up in validation/verification with no career goals and knowledge, he gave me several opportunities with completely new challenges and right support. I learned the importance of taking up opportunities and delivering above and beyond goals, which builds credibility and opens up plenty of new opportunities.
  2. Scott Taylor – He was a Principal Engineer at Intel back in my early career. I had the opportunity to work with him in my first few years at Intel (around 2002–2006). I was so impressed with his technical knowledge and a never-give up attitude to problem solving. We once had a debug session on a simulation failure that I remember went for a long day from morning to late night with no breaks. I hardly understood all details, but his persistence and logical analysis was very impressive. That day long debug was root caused to a gcc compiler bug. As verification engineers, I realized the importance of debug and the need to be persistent with a never give up attitude from then.
  3. Warren Stapleton – I had the chance to work with him at a startup (Montalvo systems) where he was a verification architect and highly respectful. He was always coding back then even with 25 or more years of experience (and even now) , bringing up methodologies, process improvements, verification infrastructure and many more, almost by himself. I realized that there is a never ending opportunity to learn and keep improving in verification and there can be a career to stay long term technical without worrying about hierarchy, growth and other nonsense.
  4. Josh Scheid – Another Verification engineer whom I got to work at Montalvo Systems and again in my previous job at Applied Micro. His DV code was so solid back then that any failure he finds was always RTL bugs. On the contrary, I was owning DV for a related module and always had bugs in my code to resolve before finding any real RTL bug. I realized the importance of strong coding quality and importance from this experience. He was also inspiring as he grew to a verification expert and then expanded his skills into software, system and architecture.
  5. Jayanto Minocha – He was another verification engineer, I got to work with at Montalvo systems and again offered me a job at Applied micro at end of Intel stint. He is both a strong technical person and an excellent manager. He had lots of emphasis on quality in everything and taught me the need for DV engineers to be paranoid in everything to find all the bugs out. He used to review almost every code from all team members and push for continuous improvement. It has helped me to instill a similar attitude and look for constant improvements in myself and to never take short cuts.

I am sure there will be many more excellent engineers out there, but these were some of my best moments and which has helped me a lot.

Hope this gives some motivation to a few engineers !

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