From his initial steps as a recent graduate to his current role as a team lead, Einar Johan has navigated a dynamic path at Arm, bringing forth valuable insights into the company's culture.
Tell us a bit about your journey at Arm.
In 2015, I completed my master's thesis and joined Arm shortly after. A friend from my University days referred me to the top-level verification team and soon enough, I began working on a major project focusing on GPU input validation. Over time, I had the freedom to introduce new ideas and rework a few key areas. I explored various technologies and became the block lead for CSF verification in 2017-2018, leading to a new project and in 2021, I led the top-level verification block for a project that just concluded. This spring, I became a team lead, overseeing team expansion.
Since I joined in 2015, recent graduates like me always had a say in decision-making, and the company strives to ensure that everyone's ideas are heard.
What led you to choose Arm initially?
It was my friend that initially referred me to the opportunity. I was also more interested in low-level hardware, which was somewhat different from my peers who were mostly into web development. I already had a passion for low-level work and some experience with graphics and retro gaming. The fact that Arm had a strong connection with my university made it an attractive option.
How is the culture at Arm regarding idea-sharing and collaboration?
The culture at Arm encourages collaboration. The physical proximity of teams in the office makes it easy to interact and discuss ideas. Since I joined in 2015, recent graduates like me always had a say in decision-making, and the company strives to ensure that everyone's ideas are heard. This fosters a very collaborative environment. People are accessible, and it's easy to reach out to colleagues across different teams for guidance and support.
Could you describe the office layout and the various departments at Arm Trondheim?
In Trondheim, Arm has both software and hardware development, mainly focused on driver work, on the lower floors. The top floor is dedicated to hardware, where you find the verification and design teams. There are architects intermingled between all these departments, and other teams occupy the building. The office spaces are well-designed, and people are easily accessible due to the close proximity of teams.
Could you tell us more about the location and accessibility of your office?
Trondheim is a compact city, and the Arm office is conveniently located near a major bus intersection. The train station is only seven minutes away, and the airport is about a 40-minute drive. I personally walk or bike to work, and it takes me around 15 minutes. The city center and most stores are within walking distance, making it a very accessible location.
What we work on here is often ahead of what's available in the market. You get to be part of groundbreaking developments and see things before they reach the public.
Do you have team activities or events within or outside the office?
I used to participate in some team activities but I have kids now, so I've become less involved. However, there are several regular events that take place. These include payday beer gatherings, board game nights, ski trips during the snowy season, and even marathons. Our Arm office also has in-house music bands, including a black metal band that recently released an album on Spotify, adding to the creative atmosphere.
What sets Arm apart as a workplace that you might not find elsewhere?
Arm stands out due to its very flat hierarchy. You can easily approach and communicate with people at higher levels, even knocking on the door of someone several levels above you to address issues. The open and accessible structure creates a unique environment where everyone's input is valued. This level of accessibility and collaboration is something I've found to be distinctive about working at Arm.
For someone considering joining Arm, what would you say is the most compelling reason to do so?
I often tell people that Arm provides a fantastic opportunity to work at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. What we work on here is often ahead of what's available in the market. You get to be part of groundbreaking developments and see things before they reach the public. It's an exciting and intellectually stimulating environment for anyone who is passionate about technology and innovation.
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