Industry News, Trends and Technology, and Standards Updates

A Successful SEMICON West 2019 is in the Books!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Jul 18, 2019 11:19:00 AM

SEMICON West_BS_RGB_vert-187776-editedSEMICON West 2019 has come and gone! The annual trade show and technical conference was held this year at Moscone Center in San Francisco and turned out to be a very busy time for the Cimetrix team. The trade show lasted three days and filled two halls, including the newly renovated South Hall. We had many meetings with current clients, met with new potential clients and even made a few new friends along the way.

Team-semicon-west-1This year has been an interesting one, with the semiconductor capital equipment industry seeing a downturn. In January at ISS, the consensus was the trough for semiconductor capital equipment makers would be Q2 with growth returning in Q3 and Q4. Now, the consensus is the recovery in the chip memory market and manufacturing expansion may not happen until mid-2020. However, people also say the visibility is only for the next 3-6 months, so this could change. Many of our customers are affected by this downturn – the severity varying by their customer base and territory. Customers that are focused solely on semiconductor 300mm wafer fabs with a strong exposure to memory, have been hit the hardest with declines in revenue up to 50% from 2018 levels. Customers that have more diverse product lines and sell to semiconductor back-end or electronics markets are doing much better. While this downturn is affecting our customers to varying degrees, we had many executive meetings with virtually all of them expressing continued satisfaction and appreciation regarding the high quality of our products and technical support.

Brian-speaker-1-1We also had two speakers at the Meet-the-Experts tech stage within the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion. Brian Rubow, Director of Solutions Engineering, spoke on how to get the most out of the GEM standard, including following what the standard says and fixing implementations using sound software practices. You can view his presentation here. Alan Weber, VP of New Product Innovations also spoke on Addressing Connectivity Challenges of Disparate Data Sources in Smart Manufacturing, addressing the road to the smart, digital and connected factory. You can view his presentation here.

 

Cimetrix continues to strengthen our relationship with SEMI by our global leadership and participation in SEMI standards meetings as well as our sponsorship of the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion. We sponsored a kiosk in the Pavilion where we connected our new Sapience platform for Smart Manufacturing to a BTU reflow oven, which generated quite a bit of excitement.

SEMI Standards meetings continue to be a priority for Cimetrix. We are well represented at the standards meetings by chairing/co-chairing various committees and attending/participating in others. The following are some of the areas of significance.

  • The DDA task force continues to develop EDA Freeze 3 standards with adoption of cutting edge gRPC technology to improve performance.
  • The Fab & Equipment Computer and Device Security (CDS) Task Force received approval for two SNARFs (Standards New Activity Report Form) - "SNARF: Specification for Application Whitelisting" and "SNARF: Malware Free Equipment Integration". The SNARFs were created by the CDS task force and approved by the Information and Controls global technical committee which Brian co-chairs.
  • The North American Information & Control Committee at SEMI established a new task force Advanced Backend Factory Integration (ABFI) to define and update standards to meet the needs of the semiconductor backend industry. Brian Rubow from Cimetrix, Dave Huntley from PDF Solutions are two of the task force co-leaders.

During the SEMICON West show, an article was published, written by Cimetrix VP and GM, Smart Factory Solutions Ranjan Chatterjee and Dan Gamota, VP, Manufacturing technology and Innovation for Jabil. The article called “Smart Manufacturing Roadmap: Data Flow Considerations for the Electronics Manufacturing Industry” can be found here. This article identifies technology gaps and needs, and offers recommendations to guide the electronics manufacturing industry in realizing the benefits of smart manufacturing and is sponsored by iNEMI. Mr. Chatterjee and Mr. Gamota are co-chairs of the new smart manufacturing chapter of iNEMI.

The Cimetrix team was excited to once again be an exhibitor and sponsor of the SEMICON West show. This is always a great show and we were very pleased to attend once again. We are already looking forward to SEMICON West 2020!

To view the presentations from SEMICON West, and many more, click on the button below.

View Presentations

Topics: Events, Global Services, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

Standards Made Simple #1 – GEM (Generic Equipment Model)

Posted by Ranjan Chatterjee on Jul 10, 2019 10:54:00 AM

Ranjan-Chatterjee-2017-industriesIn this our first standard overview, we look at GEM. At its history, its application and its suitability for use in the smart factories of today and the future.

Overview

The GEM standard defines a software interface that runs on manufacturing equipment. Factories use the GEM interface to remotely monitor and control equipment. The GEM interface serves as a broker between the factory host software (host) and the manufacturing equipment’s software. Because the GEM standard is an open standard, anyone can develop GEM capable host or equipment software.

The GEM standard is published and maintained by the international standards organization SEMI based in Milpitas, CA, USA. SEMI uses the standard designation “E30” to identify the GEM standard with the publication month and year appended as four numbers to designate a specific version. For example, E30-0418 identifies the version of the GEM standard published in April of 2018.

The GEM/SECS-II standards are protocol independent. Today, there are two protocols defined by SEMI: SECS-I (E4) for serial communication and HSMS (E37) for network communication. SECS stands for ‘SEMI Equipment Communications Standard’ and HSMS stands for ‘High-Speed SECS Message Services’.

Not surprisingly, most systems today are using the HSMS. HSMS does not specify the Physical Layer. Any physical layer supported by TCP/IP can be used, but typically everyone uses an Ethernet network interface controller (NIC) with an RJ45 port. When using the SECS-I standard, the messages size is limited to 7,995,148 bytes (about 8MB).

The GEM standard is built on top of SEMI standard SECS-II (E5). The SECS-II standard defines a generic message layer to transmit any data structure and defines a set of standard messages each with a specific ID, purpose and format.

History and Adoption

GEM was developed by the semiconductor industry to allow fabricators to connect and manage multiple machines in billion dollar facilities all around the world.

GEM is the adopted technology by factories worldwide because it is mature and supports all the features required now and expected in the future. GEM allows the same technology and software to be used to integrate multiple equipment and process types, independent of supplier.

The GEM standard is used in numerous manufacturing industries across the world, including semiconductor front end, semiconductor back end, photovoltaic, electronics assembly, surface mount technology (SMT), high brightness LED, flat panel display (FPD), printed circuit board (PCB) and small parts assembly. The adaptability of the GEM standard allows it to be applied to just about any manufacturing industry.

All semiconductor manufacturing companies including Intel, IBM, TSMC, UMC, Samsung, Global Foundries, Qualcomm, Micron, etc., currently use the GEM standard on all manufacturing equipment and have for many years. This includes 300mm, 200mm and 150mm wafer production.

GEM was successful enough early on that SEMI developed and currently uses several additional factory automation standards based on GEM technology. These additional standards are referred to as the GEM 300 standards, named because of their widespread adoption by the factories dedicated to the manufacturing of 300mm wafers.

In 2008, the photovoltaic (solar cell) industry officially adopted GEM with SEMI standard PV2 (Guide for PV Equipment Communication Interfaces) which directly references and requires an implementation of the GEM standard. In 2013, high-brightness LED industry created a similar SEMI standard HB4 (Specification of Communication Interfaces for High Brightness LED Manufacturing Equipment). Recently, the printed circuit board association has followed in the same path with ballot 6263 (Specification for Printed Circuit Board Equipment Communication Interfaces). All three standards similarly define implementations of the SEMI standard that increase GEM’s plug-and-play and mandate only a subset of GEM functionality to facilitate GEM development on both the equipment and host-side.

Several additional SEMI standards have been created over the years to enhance GEM implementations and are applicable to any industry and equipment. E116, Specification for Equipment Performance Tracking, defines a method to measure equipment utilization as well as the major components within the equipment. E157, Specification for Module Process Tracking, allows an equipment to report the progress of recipe steps while processing. E172, Specification for SECS Equipment Data Dictionary, defines an XML schema for documenting the features implementing a GEM interface. E173, Specification for XML SECS-II Message Notation, defines an XML schema for logging and documenting messages.

Flexibility and Scalability

GEM requirements are divided into two groups; Fundamental Requirements and Additional Capabilities. Any equipment that implements GEM is expected to support all the Fundamental Requirements. Additional Capabilities are optional and therefore are only implemented when applicable. This makes the GEM standard inherently flexible so that both a simple device and a complex equipment can implement GEM.

GEM easily and inherently scales to the complexity of any system. A simple device need only implement the minimum functionality to serve its purpose. Whereas complex equipment can implement a fully featured GEM interface to allow the factory to fully monitor and control its complex functionality. GEM also allows multiple host applications to connect to an equipment.

The requirements in that the GEM standard only apply to the equipment and not the host. This means that equipment behavior is predictable, but the host can be creative and selective choosing to use whichever features from the equipment’s GEM interface to attain it goals.

Our Seven Point Checklist

Remember our simple seven-point checklist for connectivity from our original article:

  • Event Notification – real-time notification of activity & events
  • Alarm Notification – real-time notification of alarms & faults
  • Data Variable Collection – real-time data, parameters, variables & settings
  • Recipe Management – process program download, upload, change
  • Remote Control – start, stop, cycle stop, custom commands
  • Adjust Settings – change equipment settings & parameters
  • Operator Interface – send & receive messages to/from operator

Put simply GEM succeeds in each of these areas and you can find more detail by downloading our white paper or watching the videos on our website.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a tried and tested standard that can be applied to any smart manufacturing ecosystem, no matter how large, it’s hard to beat GEM. The semiconductor industry is one of the most demanding and expensive industries in the world and they have done the work for everyone else at great cost and over many years. Industries like PCB fabrication are adopting this standard rather than developing their own for good reason, they need something that can be applied quickly, reliably, economically and at scale.

Forgive the pun but, we believe GEM is the gold standard for standards. We’ve been working with it successfully for decades in the semiconductors industry and more recently in PCB and SMT facilities. In some cases, we have deployed GEM at the request of OEM customers to drive greater control and traceability in their supply chain.

GEM White Paper

This blog was first posted on EMSNow.com.

Topics: Industry Standards, SECS/GEM, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

It's Only One Week Until SEMICON West! Cimetrix will be there, will you? Join us at Booth #1644

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Jul 3, 2019 10:51:00 AM

SEMICON West_BS_RGB_vert-187776-editedSEMICON West is almost here and we’re excited to once again be participating this year as both an exhibitor and as a sponsor of the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion! Visit us any time at our booth 1644 in the South Hall, at our kiosk (#1364) in the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion, or at the Meet the Experts Theater which will feature Cimetrix speakers on Tuesday and Wednesday.

SEMICON West will once again be held in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA, USA from July 9-11. The theme this year is “Insight, Innovations & Intelligence: Our industry – and the world – is moving beyond smart.” We couldn’t be more excited about the momentum of the semiconductor industry. As Industry 4.0 and the demand for Smart Manufacturing solutions have become more prevalent, we’ve seen our market expand beyond the equipment manufacturers to encompass all phases of the electronics manufacturing process and corresponding elements of the supply chain. To achieve a smart, connected factory, you must first have equipment that can communicate effectively, which is where Cimetrix has always excelled. Our well-known and award-winning products enable every semiconductor manufacturer in the world to connect their equipment to the factory information and control systems. SEMICON West has always been an important event for meeting with current clients, making new contacts, collaborating in the SEMI Standards community, and developing relationships with thought leaders across the manufacturing spectrum.semi-west-jesse

The rapid and continuous growth of manufacturing data is now driving demand for new analysis technologies that can further leverage its value. The Smart Manufacturing Pavilion is a great place to see some of the breakthroughs that are creating smarter processes and spurring innovation across the industry.  The pavilion once again includes a Meet the Experts Theater, and Cimetrix has two opportunities to address the audience. Brian Rubow, Director of Solutions Engineering, will speak on “Getting the Most from the GEM Standard” on Tuesday July 9 from 1:30 – 2:00 pm. Alan Weber, VP of New Product Innovation, will talk about “Addressing the Connectivity Challenges of Disparate Data Sources in Smart Manufacturing” on Wednesday July 10 from 3-3:30 pm.  

The Smart Manufacturing Pavilion and its Meet the Experts Theater are in the South Hall and we hope to see you there! Or, as always, you can visit our booth 1644 any time during the show.

Schedule a Meeting

Topics: Events, Global Services, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

New SEMI Standards for Flow Manufacturing Automation Demonstrated at JISSO PROTEC!

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Jun 26, 2019 10:59:00 AM

Jisso-ProtecCimetrix attended the recent JISSO PROTEC exhibition (June 5-7, 2019) at the Tokyo Big Sight International Exhibition Center to see the latest developments in SMT (Surface Mount Technology) manufacturing… and witnessed a truly compelling demonstration of the new SEMI Flow Manufacturing communications standards in action.

Jisso-1The new suite of standards is named SMT-ELS (Surface Mount Technology-Equipment Link Standards), and includes SEMI A1/1.1 as a lower-level messaging standard with SEMI A2 SMASH (Surface Mount Assembler Smart Hookup) defining the content of the messages required to configure an SMT manufacturing line and automate the material and information transfer among all equipment in that line. This is depicted in the figure below.

Jisso-2

The demonstration itself included placement equipment from 4 large equipment suppliers—Fuji, JUKI, Panasonic, and Yamaha—as well as load/unload stations and a bar code reader at the beginning of the line (see picture below). Each of these companies had implemented the “horizontal” (machine-to-machine) communications according to the SMT-ELS standards. The demonstration consisted of an operator scanning one of the stack of input boards with the barcode reader, placing it on the loader conveyor, and then watching as each piece of equipment automatically adjusted its internal conveyor to accept the board, run through its part placement recipe, and pass the board to the next equipment in the line, finally arriving at the unload station conveyor after a minute or so.

Jisso-3

Jisso-4

Before a fully automated multi-vendor production SMT line can be implemented, more work on the standards is necessary, especially in the area of error handling and recovery. In addition, the suppliers of other (non-placement) equipment types must adopt this approach. However, given the factory benefit of mixing equipment from multiple suppliers to optimize line performance for a specific set of products, this is only a matter of time.

If you want to know more about the status and outlook of these standards, and how they can be implemented in your equipment or factory, please contact us.

Contact Us

Topics: Industry Standards, Events, Global Services, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

Resources Round-up: Ebooks

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Jun 19, 2019 11:23:00 AM

Resource Center-1The Cimetrix Resource Center is a great tool for anyone who wants to learn more about industry standards including Equipment Connectivity and Control, data gathering, GEM (SECS/GEM)EDA/Interface A, and more. These standards are among the key enabling technologies for the Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 global initiatives that are having a major impact on many industries. Manufacturers and their equipment suppliers must be able to connect equipment and other data sources, gather and analyze data in real time, and optimize production through a wide variety of applications. The free eBooks listed below provide in-depth coverage of the some of these concepts.  They have been written by technical experts who have participated in and led the standards development processes for more than two decades.

Be sure to stop by our Resource Center any time or download the white papers directly from the links in this posting.

Resources

Topics: Industry Standards, SECS/GEM, EDA/Interface A, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Programming Tools, Photovoltaic/PV Standards, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

Meet the Front Office Team: Jake Strong

Posted by Cimetrix on Jun 12, 2019 11:30:00 AM

cimetrix-jake-strong-controllerIt's time to meet the folks that keep Cimetrix running - our Front Office team! Meet Jake Strong,  Cimetrix Controller. Read on to learn a little bit more about Jake.

How long have you worked at Cimetrix?

I've been at Cimetrix for 4 years and 4 months.

What is your role at Cimetrix?

Controller

What drew you to Cimetrix originally?

I was coming from a company where my role was highly specialized and I was looking to work for a company where I could have a more involved and comprehensive role in the accounting department. Cimetrix provided me with that opportunity. In addition, once I had my first interview, I was immediately drawn in by the friendliness of the admin team and impressiveness of the executive team.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

I really enjoy the people with whom I work. I also enjoy that my position enables me to work with all of the other departments within Cimetrix; that gives me the opportunity to work with nearly every employee and to be involved with all aspects of the company.

What do you find to be most challenging about your job?

A result of working in a role that touches so many other parts of the company is that I frequently come up against projects that are unrelated to any of my previous work experience. However, this has enabled me to gain a lot of valuable exposure to areas beyond just accounting and to develop critical thinking and research skills that will serve me in all of my professional life.  

What are your top 3 favorite books and/or movies?

Ever since streaming TV took off I have been watching fewer and fewer movies. So, I’ll give you my top 3 TV series: Seinfeld, Game of Thrones and VEEP.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to be outdoors as much as possible. During the summer I spend a lot of time at the pool or paddle boarding at the lake with my wife and 3 kids. We also like to camp, hike and explore all of the amazing state and national parks that Utah has to offer; in the winter I snowboard while I wait for summer to start again. I also like to gather around good food and sporting events with my family and friends.

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Cimetrix Company Culture, Meet Our Team

Cimetrix Book Club: "Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams" by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory

Posted by Morgan Kap; QE Engineer on Jun 5, 2019 10:30:00 AM

Cimetrix-book-club-1Today we are introducing the Cimetrix Book Club on our blog. Our employees are always striving to develop their skills, share information, and keep up to date with the industry. Part of this effort includes an employee book club that involves many of our team members each month. We will cover some of their favorites from time-to-time here on our blog!

Today's book is called "Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams" by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory, two of the industry’s most experienced agile testing practitioners and consultants. The book review is by Morgan Kap, a QE Engineer based in Salt Lake City, UT, USA.Agile-testing-bookclub-1This book on agile testing is a great high-level explanation of how testing fits into an agile development team. The focus of this book is on how to successfully transition a team to an agile methodology, or to create a new QE/testing team in an agile methodology. While our team was already practicing agile before we read the book, it had quite a bit of valuable knowledge that led our team to make changes in how we tackle daily testing tasks.

One of the main changes we made immediately was to slightly restructure our team, and we have become a more effective team as a result. This book on Agile Testing is full of real-world stories of testing success and failures. These stories show the importance of techniques and tools, outlined for easy understanding in the book, for developing an efficient and complete testing process.

Some of the major focus points include being test driven during development and the many benefits this can create for all types of projects. Another focus details the many ways a software product should be tested; from security to usability. There is even a chapter focusing on how an office’s culture can have an impact on testing. This topic led to our team to try a few new things to make our culture more fun and interesting. This now includes having rubber ducks on every desk - that's a long-story, but we love it.

Overall, "Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams" by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory, is a great starting point for those quality engineering teams that searching for ideas and way to improve and understand many of the important aspects of testing software. 

Topics: Cimetrix Company Culture, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Book Club

Cimetrix had a great showing at SEMICON Southeast Asia!

SEMICON-SEA-Asia-2018Cimetrix just finished exhibiting at SEMICON Southeast Asia for the first time. And a grand entrance it was. Located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this is one of the regional SEMICON shows put on by SEMI, a global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the electronics industry. Southeast Asia is a hotbed for semiconductor backend and PCBA (SMT) industries. With our new employee Raymund Yeoh located in Penang, Malaysia; combined with our distribution partner Electrotek based out of Singapore, Cimetrix now has a strong presence to support Industry 4.0 adoption in Southeast Asia. 

semicon-sea-post-1-1By working closely with SEMI, Cimetrix had a new booth in the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Pavilion and an impressive demonstration in the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Journey.

Our new booth emphasized (1) our global reach as the world’s largest supplier of equipment connectivity and control software, (2) our new SapienceTM factory side platform which has beta installations at select major EMS and electronics manufacturing sites, and (3) our new EquipmentTestTM connectivity tester designed to make equipment connectivity easier than ever before.

booth-semi-sea-1Our booth was extremely busy the whole time with demonstrations of Sapience and EquipmentTest. We gave out vouchers for free copies of EquipmentTest to booth visitors which generated excitement and will increase learning for GEM connectivity in Southeast Asia. It was interesting to see the number of factory engineers and managers who visited us seeking help with getting their equipment connected for traceability and OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). And we had the answers. Right next door to our booth was the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Journey which had guided tours demonstrating the use of Industry 4.0 throughout the electronics manufacturing supply chain. Our job was to demonstrate data collection using standards from live equipment in real time displaying OEE charts and data for each tour to witness. Setting this up can take months in a factory. Our Smart Factory Business Team is out to turn this problem upside down. They connected to all 4 live equipment in one day and were ready to go at the start of the show. And we are ready to do that in factories too. 

mike-semi-sea-tourHere is Mike and Jesse giving a demonstration to a tour group. The equipment is located right behind the crowd for all to see; with Sapience displaying data and the crowd taking pictures. SEMI did a great job organizing this. We had top government officials, factories, equipment manufacturers, electronics distributors and universities come through the tours. We also exceeded expectations by adding artificial intelligence to the demonstration. Amazon Alexa was integrated into Sapience which allowed us to ask Alexa which factory was most productive last week. Alexa and Sapience analyzed the data and gave the answer to the tour crowd.

We have many new opportunities to follow up; and we will be working with SEMI on how to help companies in Southeast Asia learn and adopt Industry 4.0.

Following the show, our team spread out to visit the rapidly growing Cimetrix customer base in Penang, Korea, India and China with support from our local teams. See you next year in SEMICON Southeast Asia!

Buy EquipmentTest Today

 

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Events, Global Services, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Cimetrix Products

Do you need help with GEM Testing?

Posted by David Francis: Director of Product Management on May 22, 2019 11:21:00 AM

A few years ago, I went through the process of building a new house. It was exciting to work with the architect to design the house and imagine what the finished product was going to be like. The architect created a 40-page set of drawings detailing all the components that would go into the house, like the electrical, plumbing and flooring. I thought everything was covered. I was a little surprised when things didn’t go exactly as detailed in the drawings. There were exceptions! However, having the detailed drawings made it easier to identify where things went wrong and helped clarify what needed to be done to correct the problems.EquipmentTest-Software-Control

Communication standards like GEM are like a set of architectural drawings for how to connect equipment to factory control systems. They define what needs to be communicated, how the communication needs to take place and provide a great roadmap for getting there. But like building a new house, there are usually a few surprises along the way. A standard, consistent way of testing the interface that can be used by both the factory and equipment manufacturer, greatly reduces the unknown and simplifies the process.

The new Cimetrix EquipmentTest™ product is the fastest way to achieve GEM Compliance for factory acceptance testing of new equipment. Whether you are an equipment manufacturer or factory, making sure the equipment interface is GEM compliant is critical. Having an easy-to-use testing solution to determine if the equipment is GEM compliant is critical.

There are two versions of EquipmentTest depending on your needs. The EqupmentTest Basic version is ideal for both Smart factories and equipment manufacturers to quickly and easily test the basic capabilities of an equipment’s GEM interface. EquipmentTest Basic includes a simple testing scenario, called a plugin, to evaluate the equipment’s ability to connect to a GEM host and communicate events, data and alarms. This version also includes the ability to send/receive individual messages to/from the equipment for discovery or diagnostic purposes. With the messaging functionality, you can also create macros to send and receive groups of messages.

For more complex testing, there is the EquipmentTest Pro version. In addition to all the features of the EquipmentTest Basic version, EquipmentTest Pro includes a full, rigorous GEM compliance testing plug-in and an operational GEM compliance testing plugin. The Pro version includes development tools to allow you to create your own custom tests/plug-ins using .NET languages. The GEM compliance plugin generates a GEM compliance statement that shows the areas and level of compliance to the GEM standards. There are also other tools only available in the EquipmentTest Pro version that allow you easily test and interact with the GEM functionality on the equipment.

As with all our products, Cimetrix supports the industry connectivity standards so you never have to wonder if your equipment is keeping up with the rest of the industry.

You can purchase either version of EquipmentTest directly from our website and download the software immediately. You will need to provide a valid Mac ID and email address for licensing purposes. You will receive your license agreement no more than 48 hours after purchase. Be sure to learn more and get your EquipmentTest download today!

Buy EquipmentTest Today

Topics: Industry Standards, SECS/GEM, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Cimetrix Products

Getting Your Software Engineering Resume Noticed

Posted by Brice Laris MPC, CPLP; Human Resources Manager on May 16, 2019 10:30:00 AM

Show your Talent card with colorful background with defocused lightsAsk ten different people and you will be told ten different ways to write your resume. Some people say education should be up front, others say to focus on your job history, but the reality is you need to write your resume for those who are going to read it. Your resume isn’t a story about what a wonderful and diverse person you are, it needs to provide information quickly and concisely about your ability to do the job. As a software engineer, the temptation is to write your resume for other engineers, which you should, but you also need to think about everyone who will see your resume. There are three people you should keep in mind when writing your resume:

  1. The Human Resources person who will initially look at your resume
  2. The Hiring Manager who will ultimately decide who to interview and hire
  3. The Potential Co-Workers on your team, who may contribute to the hiring decision and be involved in the interview

The Human Resources person will most often be the first person who will review your resume. That person will be looking to see if you meet the minimum requirements for the position, such as:

  • Do you have the required education?
  • Do you have the years of experience?
  • Have you worked in this industry before or something similar?

Back view of modern programmer sitting and writing code in dark roomSometimes the HR person looking at your resume will be familiar with a few software engineering terms, but their degree is often in a non-technology field. So, the easier you can make it for the person to determine the answers to the above three questions, the better. If your degree is in computer science or a related degree, put that before your job history. This is often an easy hurdle that HR uses to determine who is qualified and who is not, so get it out of the way immediately. As part of your education, list the programming languages you studied and which ones you are proficient in. You might even put in a sentence or two about how any class projects relate to the position you are applying for. 

BS – Computer Science, Westminster College                      Graduation Date: 6/1/2018
              
Proficient in: C++, C#, Java
               Studied: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Visual Basic
               Completed class project with C# to create an application to manage multiple devices.

Notice in the above example that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is spelled out. Don’t assume your HR person knows all of the common abbreviations in the industry. Spell them out on first usage with the abbreviation in parenthesis. Then you can just use the abbreviation going forward. 

Now it is time for work history on the resume. You will want to demonstrate the experience you have that is related to the position. Your job as a stock boy at House of Fabrics when you were a teenager can be left off. When listing job history put the name of the company, years worked, a short sentence about what the company does, and three or four bullets that illustrate experience you obtained that qualified for the position you are applying for. If you are struggling with how to describe the company, look it up on Wikipedia.com. They will often have a one sentence description written for you that you can borrow.

SK Hynix - Software Engineer                                                     January, 2001 – March, 2016
               Semiconductor supplier of dynamic random access memory chips and flash memory chips.
               - Developed C++ application that laser measures the drill depths of holes in circuit boards.
               - Worked on a team to create a database of company products that could be accessed via AWS.
               - Interacted with customers on installation of support software products, customized in C#.

Finally, if there are particular projects, applications or accomplishments that speak to your ability to perform the job desired, list those in a heading called “Accomplishments.” Remember, the HR person doesn’t care if you were an Eagle Scout, Student Body President or Employee of the Month three times in a row. They are looking to see if you can do the job. Look at the job description and determine if any of the accomplishments you have achieved relate. If so, include them in a couple of sentences.

Accomplishments
- Served on the board of directors of semi.org, and worked with 14 companies on implementation of Generic Equipment Model (GEM) standards.Above view of young consultant shaking hands with her client

The second person who will look at your resume is the hiring manager. They are going to be focused on can you do the job required. While the HR Person may understand in general terms what the job does, it is the hiring manager who is closest to the job and can make the judgment call as to who can do the job. The hiring manager is going to be looking to see if you have performed similar work elsewhere of if dissimilar work could actually be translated into similar skills at the new employer. You might illustrate this by putting adding another bullet that illustrates this.

IKEA – Computer Support Technician                                      March, 2016 – June 2018
Designs and sells ready to assemble furniture, appliances and home accessories.
- Provided technical support for store operations employees with desktop and Point of Sale (POS) software.
- Developed enhancement in C#, to POS software, to allow for the automation of the credit card reconciliation process on a nightly basis. This software was required to operate with no user intervention and pull the databases of over 100 stores across the world.

So, while the software enhancement above didn’t make microchips, it did demonstrate your ability to create software with no user interaction, automation, via networking, authored in C#. If you are applying outside of your industry, these explanations become critical so that the hiring manager still considers you a viable candidate.

As with the HR Person, don’t assume the hiring manager was an engineer. Some companies will promote people who are good managers, but not necessarily skilled in the area they are managing. If you can demonstrate your ability to clearly communicate to a layperson, this will be another point in your favor.

Learn about all the career possibilities at Cimetrix!

Careers

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Cimetrix Company Culture