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There is no career in hardware

The evolution from general-purpose to application-specific requires a lot of resources. Any hardware accelerator needs chip designers, system integration testing, validation, PCB designers, firmware engineers and software people. This is good news, but not for engineers unfortunately. What does it mean for your career in hardware?

The smartest dumbass

In the old adage, we go to school, go to college and become an engineer. Success guaranteed. That is what the previous generations tell us. But who profits from the work of engineers? CEO’s, board members, senrio VP’s, ordinary VP’s, directors, lawyers (IP, hooray!), recruiters, marketing, sales, HR, inlfuencers, government, … Yes, we can see the wages of Apple, Google and Microsoft engineers on Glassdoor. In the EU you can cut that in half. And 70 to 75% goes to taxes. Add a bit of stress, reachable 24/7 even on holidays and delayed holidays and you have the recipe for a great career. By 40, your wife leaves you, that is if you ever find one because today, everything is shallow and about beauty. Engineers don’t score that high in beauty contests. Don’t lose your connection with your kids. Don’t miss their school play or the teacher-parent meetup. Feel free to look around you and do some digging yourself.

Priorities straight

When you graduate, you have no money, so you need money to enjoy life. Hence, save for retirement and then you can enjoy life. That’s not how it works, you need to enjoy life while making money. Your mood tanks if you only work a job you hate for money. All around you feel the effects. It is the beginning of the end. Companies make it sound like a great deal, work. But it isn’t. If they need to, they close a design center like that. Great employees or not. It is all about cost, R&D cost.

Bare naked truth

If you would see the employment for what it is. You gain experience, get paid for your hours and that is it. You are not there to make friends (ever left a company?), you are there to learn as much as you can and move on once your learning is no longer progressing. Job hopping? No, it is called learning. A person with a career usually does something in a certain niche market and never learns anyhting outside that market or outside that company. But other companies and other markets are different, do different things. When you broaden your horizon, you build a valuable skill set. The only thing you can take with you to another job is your expertise. Your title is not going to mean much to anyone. And you salary is not going to guarantee the same or a higher salary elsewhere. But expertise, that is your value and that value can be translated into money.


The only healthy view for an employee is the skill set view. A fish is food for a day, but knowing how to fish is much more important. This is the same for a salary, you will always be too expensive for a company. Better to have the correct relationship with a company, don’t believe the recruitment BS. You can’t get disappointed if you are focussing on yourself.

Something related to this: why good employees always leave.