How One Engineer Is Growing His Expertise And Leadership Skills At Intel

Danny LernerAs an SoC design engineer focused on Pre-Silicon verification, Danny likens his job to solving puzzles. Learn more about his work finding and fixing design flaws – and the collaboration and community he’s found here.

At the start of any given project (which often spans years), Danny Lerner spends a lot of time learning and reading. He reads about architecture specifications and design, trying to understand everything the chip is ultimately supposed to do. After that, it’s time to design his test plans, outlining the kinds of tests he’ll need to run over the course of the project. From there, Danny runs those tests, debugging when the tests have failures. “That is the most challenging and interesting part of the job, when something goes wrong. You have to figure out what happened and how to fix it.” Discovering and fixing issues, whether they are issues in the test or in the actual chip design itself, is the ultimate goal. “Either way, it is rewarding when you get to the bottom of an issue like that.”

This kind of problem solving takes collaboration across an array of areas. His SoC team is split into groups by domain, each including a few important IPs and a communication network to talk with the rest of the chip. “We each focus on being experts in one of these areas, but ultimately when we test, the flows go across the chip through all of the different domains.” This means interacting and communicating with other experts on the team when something is wrong with a block, trading advice and exploring different areas.

This has allowed Danny to grow his expertise in the three years he’s been here – and offered opportunities for him to demonstrate leadership skills. “At this point I am comfortable leading specific areas and taking ownership of parts of the test plan and supporting people when they are looking for advice about my area of expertise. This is common for engineers that have been on a project for a few years, and it is very cool to be able to do that here.”

Outside of his team, Danny found an additional source of growth and community with Intel’s Next-Gen employee resource group, which offers a variety of opportunities for career development, social events, community service, and health and wellness initiatives. He was introduced to the group by one of his teammates who was serving as the group’s president at the time. “They were looking for new board members, so I joined. I was a general board member helping out for about a year, then I took the president role.” This quick step up in leadership helped Danny connect with the broader Intel community – and feel a sense of impact and recognition. “It is great to see email responses to [Next-Gen] events from some of the most important people at our site. It is awesome.”

And that sense of connection and impact goes beyond social events. Next-Gen regularly organizes volunteer events throughout the community. “We’ve volunteered at a local farm to harvest crops in the summer which are donated to those in need. We also do river clean-ups in the area. And we’ve participated in a few Hudson Food Pantry events, helping them stock up for the holiday time when they have more visitors.”

While in-person events are on hold during the pandemic, Danny says he looks forward to continuing to help colleagues across departments make meaningful connections, grow their expertise, and continue to do something wonderful – inside and outside of Intel.

 

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