In the current gig-economy world, it is hard to imagine a 30-year career with a single employer, but that is exactly what Kaveh Nasri has had with Intel. Kaveh reflects on joining the company, “when I got started, Intel wasn’t the household name that it is today.” An internship with Intel brought a young college student from Pennsylvania to the great Northwest, and he has thrived here ever since. Now, Kaveh shares with us more about his exciting career as a software developer, and what’s kept him here all these years.
What made you want to stay at Intel for so long?
The biggest thing that got me to stay here is that Intel is not just one project or one type of project or one type of work. I’ve had the opportunity to work on lots of different projects during the time I’ve been here. I’ve told people, it’s almost as if I worked at six different companies. The breadth of the projects that I’ve worked on are rarely available at any other company. I’ve worked on platforms to servers and desktops to tablets and phones and everything in between. There aren’t very many companies around the world that you can stay at for several decades and have the opportunity to work in these areas.
As you’ve grown your career, what motivates you today?
I like to be at the forefront of technology. I run a team that does the kind of software that very few people get to do around the industry. It’s a very specific skillset required—we are at the very leading edge of getting as much performance out of our processors as possible through the technology of overclocking.
How does what you do benefit Intel’s customers?
Gamers are a typical customer of our software, and they like to be able to tweak their systems to get as much performance as possible. To them it’s more frames per second on a game. It is being able to have a lot lower latency as they move around, for example, that they’re not waiting for things. They get an edge on people they’re playing against because they can do things faster in competition mode, faster maybe than their competition. And if they’re just playing the game alone, they get a much better experience on their platform than they would with slower processors or processors that they can’t overclock. So we push the boundaries of performance of whatever platform you have and we’ll give you more for your money.
What would you say to someone seeking advice on career growth and development?
Understand where you are and how you’re delivering business value to your company—and do the best job at that as you can. Ask yourself, what is the value of what you’re doing? If you look at it that way, it helps you make the right decisions when you have forks in the road. If you don’t think you’re delivering a lot of business value, look for an opportunity to go somewhere else where you can deliver better value to the business, because that’s what it’s all about. If everyone does that, then the company as a whole is more successful, and you will have more opportunities to grow in your career.
What would you say to a software engineer who doesn’t see Intel as a company where they can have a great software career?
I would tell them I’ve been doing software for Intel for over 30 years and there’s a lot of software that Intel does. I would point to pieces of software that they may not be aware of that come from Intel. And I would compare Intel to the scale of well-known software companies, companies whose business is software, there’s a number of mid-sized software companies. I would say, “Hey, Intel is like 3X the size of that company.” I think those things will help people understand the scale at which they can do software at Intel.
Do you think Intel is going to continue to provide opportunities for software people to do cool stuff?
Yes. I see a lot of innovation. I think Intel’s new platforms will greatly help us bring a lot of new, cool stuff to our users in the near- and mid-future. Everybody’s excited to see that. It provides a lot of challenges, but we’re going to be doing things that nobody else has done at all, and nobody else is going to be able to do. We’re working on technologies you won’t believe.
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