Things I Wish I'd Done Differently Building a Niche Job Board

Wed, May 25, 22

I’m closing in on a year - a whole dang year!! - of working on RTLjobs.com. It’s a job board for FPGA and RTL engineers. (If you’re an FPGA engineer, and looking for a new gig, I’d love it if you signed up for our mailing list.)

Ten Lessons from a Decade in Engineering

Mon, May 09, 22

I recognized last week that it’s been ten years since graduating from Montana State University. I have learned a vast amount in the field that I never learned in school. Here are ten things I’ve learned from a decade working as an electrical engineer.

More notes on writing web scrapers

Fri, Feb 25, 22

I got a lot of great feedback from my first post about writing a web scraper for RTLjobs.com. The months since then have produced a ton more work, and a ton more learning about web scraping. Here’s round two of what I’ve learned about scraping and indexing web results.

I Think I Know Why You Can't Hire Engineers Right Now

Wed, Jan 12, 22

It’s always been hard to hire engineers, but it’s only gotten harder in recent months. Read any publication that cares about business, from the NYT to the Wall Street Journal, and you’ll see a ton of hand wringing about The Quittening, and the accompanying talent shortage. An equal amount of ink has been spilled about how red-hot the hiring market is. It’s a seller’s market for talent. This represents a huge potential opportunity for engineers of all stripes. Many engineers could pick up a five figure raise by switching companies right now. In spite of that, it doesn’t seem like many engineers are choosing to make the jump. Why is that?

Growing Your Mailing List By Being Helpful

Thu, Dec 09, 21

I’ve been working on www.RTLjobs.com, a niche job board for HDL engineers, for about three months. My biggest challenge, by far, is getting people who need it to know that it exists. Reddit has become one of my primary channels to get the word out about www.RTLjobs.com. It’s netted the most mailing list signups by a country mile; I would guess that about 70% of the mailing list signups have come from Reddit users.

Some guidelines for writing web scrapers

Thu, Dec 02, 21

I’ve been working on www.rtljobs.com, a job board for RTL and FPGA engineers, since September. Right now, RTLjobs is an aggregator. We index open FPGA/RTL roles at a number of companies, check them for relevance, and post them to our site. I’ve already written two job scraping systems to help ease the work of indexing jobs. Here’s some general rules I’ve come to hold for writing web scrapers and other ETL systems.

Creating dynamic mailto: links in Flask

Tue, Nov 30, 21

I’ve spent the last month working on www.rtljobs.com, a niche job aggregator for logic design jobs. Our first scraping pipeline had some warts, so I wanted to be sure that the site had was a way to report bad job links. That way, if a user clicked on a job link that was no longer active, they could alert me that one of the job postings was taken down.

Improving SFDR in a Python Direct Digital Synthesis Model

Mon, Sep 20, 21

A first pass at digital frequency synthesis is relatively easy to pull off using some simple tricks in Python. It’s not rocket science to string together a basic accumulator and a sine lookup table to make a sine wave output. However, we left off noting some spurious output in the synthesized sine wave. What can we do about that?

Engineers, Don't Start Your Career at a Startup

Tue, Sep 07, 21

Hardware engineers: it’s a bad idea to start your career at a startup. I’ve cautioned this in private several times, to several different people, and I’ve decided that it’s time I release this hot take to the world.

Simulating a Direct Digital Frequency Synthesizer in Python

Thu, Aug 26, 21

I can’t seem to crack my obsession with Direct Digital Synthesis. I had to learn rather a lot about it as part of working on bFunc last year. Even though I’ve sort of decided to not build a second version of bFunc, I still find the concept of digital frequency synthesis really interesting. It’s a fun little mix of analog and digital signal processing. So, with that, I decided: why not try and build my own direct digital synthesis engine? I’ve got nothing but time on my hands, a Jupyter notebook, and an open source VHDL compiler. You can find my efforts thus far on GitHub.