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How do i get a job in the US or UK

Johnnyjax , 04-14-2020, 02:44 AM
i live in nigeria, in africa and i've taken your learn to design your own boards course and i'm currently taking the advanced pcb design course. I really love the high speed digital design course and plan on designing some of my own processor boards when i'm done with the course and also some FPGA boards. I've also been working with VHDL for a while and have done some personal projects in it and designed some of my own microcontroller simple boards. My problem is that there's barely any hardware jobs in Nigeria and definitely no jobs that require high speed digital design or FPGAs so i can't even have any work experience that might help in securing jobs abroad. Is it still possible for me to get a job in a country like the US or UK without any real work experience whatsoever? because i watched your video on youtube where you talked about how your work experience was really the deciding factor that helped you in securing a job in the UK. Do i just give up on hardware and maybe focus on software? How will i go about getting those jobs if its possible. Thanks in advance.
robertferanec , 04-15-2020, 08:17 AM
You are doing what I would do - designing your own processor board or FPGA. I would maybe try to contribute to an open source project or I would start my own project. That may not grantee anything, but it is still better than nothing.

Also, FPGA, VHDL may be a good field - you can even buy an FPGA development board and create your own firmware for that board - it could be easier, faster and cheaper than developing your own CPU board. There are not many good FPGA engineers - but go for a challenge e.g. image processing, PCIE data transfer, ethernet etc. Simple stuff may not be enough.
Johnnyjax , 04-15-2020, 10:58 AM
Thanks a lot for the response. You don't know how much i really appreciate it and it has given me an idea of what to do now.

I have 2 quick questions- I've done stuff like write sram, ps2 keyboard and mouse and vga controllers, audio codec controllers using VHDL on an altera DE1 FPGA development board and done a couple of projects like building a ping pong and breakout game, a voice recorder using the audio codec, uart terminal, a simple VGA logic analyzer and some other vhdl projects. The question i have is how do i move from doing things like these to doing pcie, ethernet, hdmi and some advanced concepts. Ive looked around for books and even courses and i cant really seem to find any that teaches really advanced concepts like the ones you mentioned and all i see a beginner books and courses on VHDL.

Another question i have is what do u think about soft core processors like the nios 2 processor for altera and also using IP Cores. I've done a little with the nios 2 processor before and wrote c programs for it but i felt like it was kind of cheating and that companies would use vhdl and verilog instead so i stopped using it and stuck to learning VHDL. Do you feel i can implement the ethernet, PCIE, HDMI and other advanced interfaces using IP Cores and maybe also with the nios 2 processor or will that be considered cheating and i should go the hard way and learn the interfaces and write the entire interface in VHDL? Thanks in advance for the response.
robertferanec , 04-16-2020, 08:08 AM
- Even with what you know now you can try to send your CV to some companies working with FPGA.
- I do not know any course about Advanced FPGA stuff (but I have not been looking). Maybe that could be one of the reasons why these engineers are so rare and wanted
- Playing with processor cores can be interesting. But I have seen more requests for designs with different interfaces - usually it is like Ethernet + PCIE + Data processing + DDR3/4 memories + Storage. These kind of boards are used in servers or image processing or something like that. However, I am not really exposed to many FPGA projects, so I am not sure what is popular there.

Maybe someone else can help? What is popular in FPGA world?
Johnnyjax , 04-16-2020, 08:33 AM
Thanks for the response. I have access to a terasic DE5-Net stratix V fpga development board from my school which has Ethernet, PCIE, DDR3, SATA and some other advanced interfaces you mentioned but i've always ignored it because it looked so complicated like something used in servers and i wasn't sure i'd be able to even get it to do anything and it's just abandoned in my school because no one knows how to use it but i'll start researching on how to get it to work and learn about the advanced interfaces with it. That will be fun.

Since i'm also currently taking your advanced PCB design course, i should soon be able to design complicated FPGA boards like that so that will also be fun to do. I really hope i'll be able to get a job after all these and i'll send my CV to companies once i graduate from university next year but if i cant, i'll try applying for my masters in universities aboard and hopefully that should help.

Thanks again for the response. It has really given a lot of insight into what to do next. I really appreciate it.
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