Dateline - June 6, 2003 - Still stuck in traffic on “the 5” in the L.A. Basin, but starting to make progress out of Los Angeles at last. Emerging through the smog, one can begin to see the contours of the hills that will resolve into the mountains that one has to get over in order to reach the endless highway that stretches north for several hundred miles through the dry, summertime San Joaquin Valley.
Stuck in traffic and still thinking about DAC, about the bookends, about the ideas that encased the conference from beginning to end, from end to beginning ...
If you think about it in a non-causal sort of way, Thursday afternoon's closing keynote address from Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli was a great lead-in to Monday afternoon's event, three days earlier.
That's because everything that Alberto recounted on Thursday in reviewing 40 years of history in EDA - all of those landmark breakthroughs in technology, all of those papers and conferences, all of those newly founded companies, etc. - were made possible by Real People. People who didn't live in a vacuum. People who had to have interwoven their technical work with their private lives and managed to do so with lots/some/no balance between their personal and professional selves.
How did they do it? How did they create or contribute to successful companies and/or technologies and maintain a personal life as well? It wasn't easy then and it isn't easy today. And that's where the Workshop for Women in EDA comes in. This 3-hour confab at the outset of DAC each year allows Real People to address the Real Issues that surround the dual paradigm of engineer/complex adult, manager/parent, technologist/human being.
This year, the workshop was attended by 80+ people over the course of Monday afternoon, and lest you tune out now because you presume the content of such a workshop is irrelevant to your life or simply “A Chick Event,” perhaps it would interest you to know that Dataquest's Gary Smith and Synopsys' Aart de Geus were there, as well as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cadence, Penny Herscher, who gave the keynote address.
Among the many themes that Penny touched on - how people can balance career and family (they can't), how people push back when the boss asks them to do things that aren't personally useful (with honesty and a sense of self-worth), how people self-motivate when they're not getting a lot of positive reinforcement in the workplace (by being your own best friend), how people realize that the problems they have at work are shared by many others (by keeping channels of communication open at all times).
Now, perhaps these issues aren't important to you. Perhaps you believe they're only important to women and the weaker members of the stronger sex. Perhaps you feel that Real Men never feel under-appreciated at work. Real Men are never asked to choose what's best for the company over what's best for them as an individual. Real Men don't have any problems trying to carve enough time out of a 24-hour day to ...
1 - Do a ferociously excellent job at the office - say and do all the right things for their senior management and say and do all of the right things for their direct reports, work 16 hours straight each day and every day, and be perfect at all times.
2 - Spend quality time with the children after a long, long day at the office - motivating them to be spiritual, obedient, creative, polite, innovative, well-read, highly skilled in math and science, excellent musicians, athletes, scholars so that they, too, can attend top-notch universities and pursue highly satisfying careers characterized by nothing but upward trajectories.
3 - Maintain an enriching and growth-filled relationship with a spouse or significant other by giving extra special attention to all of the spouse or SO's interests, concerns, daily needs, weekly needs, monthly needs, annual needs.
4 - Work out for an hour at the gym each day - running, lifting weights, stretching, perhaps swimming a few laps, cooling down.
5 - Pay the bills, take out the garbage, do the laundry, fold the laundry, feed the dog, pay the bills, call the aging parent(s), write the thank you notes for last year's birthday gifts, read report cards, sign permission slips, read the newspaper, read 2 technical journals and this week's issue of Time, Fortune, the Economist, and EDA Weekly - and, did I say pay the bills?
6 - Find 30 minutes for contemplative self-evaluation so that the inner soul is nurtured at all times.
7 - Fight traffic, airports, taxis, rental car shuttles.
8 - Sleep.
Perhaps you believe that Real Men do all of this with ease and nary break a sweat trying to be all things to all people.
But let's say - just for the sake of discussion - that you don't believe it. Let's say you don't believe that, male or female, anyone can accomplish Numbers 1 through 8, have it all, make it all look easy, and earn 6 figures in the process.
Then you, too, might learn something if you dipped into an hour or more of the Workshop for Women in EDA. Because it's there, and only there, that these Real Life issues are being discussed at DAC.
Go ahead - read Numbers 1 through 8, once again. Remind me exactly which one of these items is a Woman's Issue, which one of those items is unique to Women, is specific to the Weaker Sex, is easier for Men than Women.
I'll let you answer that query and, at the same time, I'll invite you to attend next year's Workshop for Women in EDA.
This year's meeting included Herscher's keynote address, a moving set of comments from Workshop Chair, Sonja Wilkerson, Vice President of Human Resources, Vitria Technology, Inc., and an extremely interesting and informative panel discussion - moderated by Denise Brouillette, President of The Innovative Edge - between Vicki Andrews, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Synopsys, Tsugumi Fujitani, General Manager at Nihon Tera Systems, Pat McCarty, Vice President of Worldwide Customer Care at Cadence, Ann Marie Rincon, Engineering Fellow at AMI Semiconductor, and Telle Whitney, President and CEO at the Institute for Women and Technology.
The afternoon also included the awarding of the Marie Pistilli Women in EDA Achievement Award to Synopsys' Director of Quality and Interoperability, Karen Bartleson.
All told, I felt lucky to be in attendance and to learn from what all of these intelligent, gifted, and articulate people had to say. Meanwhile, you really should be planning to attend next year and discover why the Workshop for Women in EDA is, indeed, the best kept secret at DAC.
Industry news - Tools and IP
Altera Corp. announced that Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics Corp., Synopsys, Inc., and Synplicity, Inc. “fully support” Altera's new HardCopy Stratix device family. Altera's Quartus II version 3.0 design software includes dual design paths, one for Altera's FPGAs and the other for HardCopy Stratix designs. The company says the HardCopy Stratix device family is supported by Mentor Graphics' LeonardoSpectrum version 2003b, Precision RTL version 2003b, and ModelSim version 5.7c, and Synplicity Synplify version 7.3.
Ansoft Corp. has joined the Synopsys in-Sync program to “improve the interoperability between Synopsys' Encore chip packaging software, HSPICE and Ansoft's HFSS, SIwave, Spicelink, and Turbo Package Analyzer.”
DFM, a third-party supplier of electronic design products and services for the Cadence SPECCTRA autorouter, introduced two new products: MakeDO E and MakeDO E+. MakeDO E performs offline batch syntax checking of DO Files for use in managing the SPECCTRA autorouter. MakeDO E+ reads SPECCTRA DSN files and extracts complete netlist, pinlist, and component data. According to the Press Release, Bob LaVeque, Lead Senior PCB Designer at CIENA Corp., said, “I use the Cadence SPECCTRA Autorouter to route complex, highly-constrained, high-speed designs with confidence. MakeDO E significantly enhances preparing DO Files that successfully manage
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-- Peggy Aycinena, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.