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Engineers lacking in flash storage firms

Posted: 19 May 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SSD  flash  engineer  firmware 

Companies are scrambling to recruit and hire more engineers as the solid-state drive (SSD) business boomed in the previous year.

However, it is not proving easy.

"We are seeing persistently more open positions than qualified candidates to fill them," says Jon Haswell, senior director of firmware development at Micron Technology. "At Micron, we are aggressively recruiting top talent at our own events, industry conferences, and through social media."

Thousands of engineers are working in flash lithography, firmware, and solutions design around the world. But IHS reports that SSD shipments climbed 82 per cent last year. That increase—coupled with the 50 per cent rise IHS forecasts for this year—is fuelling an insatiable demand for even more talent.

SSD growth

SSDs have experienced explosive growth over the past two years, and that trend is expected to continue. (Source: IHS)

Haswell says Micron alone has thousands of engineers working in flash, but some internal teams are growing 30 per cent to 40 per cent a year.

The job candidates most in demand are engineers at all levels who have deep embedded experience in firmware and hardware, along with a working knowledge of flash and non-volatile memory techniques. For engineers without this background, getting embedded experience first can lead to a career in flash.

Fight now, qualified candidates have lots of options. A recent search for "Flash Engineer" on the career site Glassdoor.com returned more than a thousand job postings.

"Right now we are hiring flash engineers with controller hardware and firmware design experience for several offices in the US"—Milpitas, Calif.; Longmont, Colo.; Boise, Idaho; and Minneapolis—"as well as abroad in Shanghai, China, and other locations," Haswell says. Micron's website has a list of open positions.

It may be hard to say exactly how many flash engineers will be needed five years from now, but no one believes that the demand is going to fall anytime soon. And that's very good news for the engineering community.





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