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Engineering Leadership at Arm Budapest with Gergely Kiss

What is your role at Arm, and what does it entail? 

I'm the Engineering Director for system IP engineering at Arm Budapest. In this role, I lead a team close to 70 engineers in Budapest and two in Germany. My journey with Arm started in its early days when there were only a handful of us. In 2015, I took on the role of team manager, and since then, our team has grown significantly, presenting us with a myriad of diverse challenges.  

The products at Arm require various components, including interconnects, memory management, security and other IP products to complete the system, along with CPU and GPU integration. Currently, we're overseeing three different product lines that typically involve 1-2 years of Project development cycles, and their complexity makes it essential for the team to collaborate effectively. It's not just about having the skills; it's about breaking down complex elements into manageable parts and crafting a cohesive story. 

Tell us about your journey in tech and where it began. 

My journey into tech began during my high school years. My uncle was an electrical engineer, and his captivating stories about state-of-the-art technology deeply intrigued me. I began learning programming at home and even created a games at the age of 16. As I ventured into programming and computers, I delved into the world of algorithms, which I later encountered during my university studies. My curiosity and passion drove me to learn how things worked. While I spent many evenings at home writing code, I also had a fondness for playing music and engaging in sports, to exercise both lobes of my brain as well as my body.

How did you first hear about Arm, and what led you to joining the company? 

My introduction to Arm was quite eventful. After completing my studies, I ventured to the United States and got involved in a research project focusing on FPGAs and digital signal processing in Colorado. I spent a year there, then returned to Budapest to complete my Ph.D. However, I hadn't finished my doctoral journey when an opportunity led me to France, where I worked as a contractor. This experience introduced me to application processors, Cortext-A9 based Soc if i remember correctly, while collaborating with Texas Instruments, providing valuable insights. Another opportunity beckoned, and I returned to the U.S, where I spent three years working on a research project. But the desire to raise my family in Hungary brought me back. It was then that I learned that Duolog was being acquired by Arm, which prompted my return in July 2014. 

Arm's uniqueness and the fact that they were establishing a presence in Hungary immediately caught my attention. No other organization in Hungary could compare to Arm, but I didn't quite know what to expect in terms of work after the acquisition. The Budapest team was assigned to work on IoT IP matching CPU developments (Cortex-M33 and Cortex-M23) at the time. 

I started at Arm as a Staff Engineer and was promoted to Principal Engineer within a year. When a new group was formed, I applied for an engineering manager position, becoming one of the two managers needed—one for Systems IP and Sub Systems. 

What kind of growth opportunities did you seek throughout your career at Arm? 

Throughout my career, I've always sought work that goes beyond monetary gain. It's about doing something meaningful that has a positive impact. Money isn't the sole motivator; I've even moved from the U.S. back to Hungary because I consider the quality of life to be more precious.  

I want to ensure that every day I spend at work counts and has a positive effect on others. 

I find it frustrating when a job lacks the opportunity for a sense of accomplishment.  

With Arm, you never know what's going to happen, so you have to constantly adapt and learn. I'm responsible for getting the next projects and play a role in shaping their definition through collaboration with the team. My role includes ensuring that the team has a clear path forward and that they remain engaged. I constantly look for ways to create opportunities within the team. Fortunately, our initial years at Arm allowed several of our engineers to trail themselves as technical and verification leads which we benefit ever since. Our significant growth on the past few years also creates opportunities for long time employees and new starters as well.

What do you think about the growth and development opportunities at Arm? 

Arm has given me the space to grow and develop. I particularly appreciate the soft skills trainings and the opportunity to coach the team. When I first became a manager, I had no idea how to lead a team, but Arm provided valuable workshops in Cambridge. These workshops brought together peers running teams in different departments, fostering the exchange of ideas and experiences, ultimately creating a strong network and spirit of collaboration.  

Arm treats all its offices and employees equally, and that's a strong attraction. At Arm, we have the chance to work on the latest technologies that define the industry in the coming years - regardless of which Arm office you work at.  

What is Arm's culture like? 

Arm's culture is built on mutual respect and trust, and as long as these values remain intact, Arm remains Arm.  

Throughout the years, the company has weathered numerous changes, from shifts in leadership to the IPO, but these two core values have always been upheld, as they are the bedrock of what Arm stands for. 

Could you tell us a bit about some of the benefits offered by Arm? 

Arm offers a wide range of benefits, including rewards and sabbaticals, as well as parental bonding leave. These benefits are unique, and not many other companies offer the same benefits or the same length of time for taking leave. Arm's approach to flexibility, ensuring individuals have the time they need for their well-being and mental health, is particularly commendable.  

Working at Arm is a perfect fit for my life, especially with my four children. The flexibility Arm provides is incredibly important to me. The work we do is also very fulfilling, and I genuinely believe that it makes a difference in shaping the future of our world. 

Find Out More About Life at Arm

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