Thought Leadership

New Job Excitement

By Neil Johnson

This is my first Verification Horizons blog since joining the Mentor Product Engineering team in January. I’m excited to be working with Mentor; equally excited to be contributing to the blog. I have to say, this last three months has been a fantastic change of pace from my previous 10 years as a verification consultant. It’s turned into an interesting opportunity to repurpose my verification skills to the (hopeful!) benefit of Mentor customers. That and I get to keep writing!

As far as what I’ll bring to the blog, I’m expecting a continuation of what I’ve done in the past. If you’ve seen me on or followed any of the last nine years on my personal blog,, you’ll know that I like to split my time between big picture commentary on emerging development methodologies and proposing solutions for low level code quality. I’ve done dozens of blogs and articles touching on verification best practices in general; many more on the potential of Agile development technologies in ASIC and FPGA development. As part of turning a mild obsession with Agile development into action, my personal focus has become the growing niche of unit testing and test-driven development, primarily in supporting SVUnit, an open-source unit test framework for those creating designs and testbenches in Systemverilog. This is an area I’ll continue to focus on while here at Mentor.

Beyond the blog, I’ll be out-n-about as much as I can. Some of that will be to visit customers but I’ll get to a few conferences as well. Which takes me to my first speaking opportunity as a Mentor employee. I’ll be at the Military and Aerospace Programmable Logic Device Conference (MAPLD) in San Diego from May 21st to 23rd. I have a short talk called Remain Agile Under Pressure with Test-driven Development on the program. Admittedly, Mil-Aero is a new crowd for me so I’m a little nervous about how I’ll relate. But at the same time, with test-driven development having such a dramatic affect on the quality of my own work combined with the fact that defect prevention is absolutely fundamental in Mil-Aero, I’m cautiously optimistic.

To wrap up: great to be with Mentor and contributing to the Verification Horizons blog. If your plans include MAPLD in May and you’re curious about test-driven development, feel free to reach out at Happy to chat anytime!




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