Meet Arm Fellow, Teresa McLaurin - the recipient of the Rising Women of Influence Award.
Tell me about your job and what your main responsibilities are.
My title is Fellow and Senior Director of DFT Architecture. My main responsibilities are leading the Design for Test (DFT) team at Arm, from ensuring that we have the methodologies and flows in place for all Arm IP as well as standardization of DFT across all Arm IP, understanding what all of our partners require with regard to DFT and driving the industry such that our methodologies are widely accepted and external tools support them. However, I also help out in other areas mainly with regard to standardization. I have lead efforts to put together multiple standards that all Arm soft IP are using outside of the DFT realm, such as a standardized IP delivery directory structure, standardized deliverables across all of our IP and a standardized ipxact model. These have all been transferred to others to run and there is a mechanism to update them as needed. Currently, I am working on procedures to ensure that we save off all of the functional safety required data for the required time across all Arm automotive-enabled IP. This is to ensure we keep our external safety rating. I am also the Global Career Chair for the ERG for Women that has recently been put together.
External to Arm I am on a couple of IEEE standardization committees, on multiple program committees for test conferences and am currently General Chair for the largest test conference in the world.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I enjoy the freedom to lead the DFT team where I think it makes sense. Of course, this is after collaboration with others internal to Arm (especially my team) and external to Arm. We are a very autonomous group with connections into all of Arm IPG projects and PDG. This gives us an overall view of Arm IP that most don’t have within the company.
I also enjoy my interaction with colleagues external to Arm through conferences and IEEE standardization groups as well as customer relationships. Moreover, I like the tasks I take on external to DFT in Arm, such as my work in functional safety and in the Arm women’s network as it allows me to meet others and understand what they do for Arm.
What made you decide to work for Arm?
I was working for a company that was re-orging about every 3 months. I was not looking for a new job, however, when a former colleague from that company who worked for Arm called and asked if I was interested in a DFT position, I said yes. I looked into what Arm did and it looked pretty interesting. Also working for a smaller company was appealing (Arm had less than 600 people worldwide then). Those two factors, unstable environment in the current job and an interesting company in Arm, made it a fairly easy decision to come to Arm.
How has Arm enabled you to learn and develop?
When Arm was smaller, everyone had easier access to everyone else. I was able to get more understanding of the different types of engineering in order to do better DFT, but also to also become a better engineer. Leading the standardization groups outside the DFT realm also allowed me to grow in my knowledge and gave me great contacts throughout Arm. When I first started with Arm, they were not that open to DFT – most didn’t understand why it was needed. I was only hired because our top lead partner was requiring DFT in a core that was being developed in Austin. However, I travelled from site to site to develop relationships with other engineers and explain the importance of DFT in our IP as well as listen to their concerns and incorporate that into our plans. Arm has enabled me to expand my external relationships by supporting my attendance and involvement in conferences as well as IEEE standards.
They have also supported my standardization efforts external to DFT within Arm. I couldn’t have been successful in these areas without management support. Working for Arm has given me the unique opportunity to influence the industry because so many companies license our designs.
What do you enjoy about Life at Arm and Arm in Austin?
Arm has a great atmosphere; it's very collaborative and supportive. Austin also has a great group of people and I really enjoy working with all of them.
Arm is also open to new ideas and in fact has held internal conferences to discuss how to address areas that need work. One of these internal conferences is how I got started on the standardization efforts within Arm, external to DFT.
What made you want to live and work in Austin?
We lived in Houston earlier and so were familiar with Texas. We moved to California and found it to be very expensive to live in which affects quality of life and we liked Austin. Austin was another place where there were plenty of electrical engineering jobs. So, I targeted Austin when we decided it was time to leave California. It was a great decision!
What’s your best memory during your career at Arm?
There are really three; being appointed Fellow to recognise the work I was doing internal and external to Arm. Another memorable moment was receiving the TTTC Bob Madge Innovation Award, which was presented by my colleagues saying that I have made a difference in our industry. The third is receiving the GSA Rising Women of Influence Award which showed recognition of the work I do from Arm, because they nominated me for this award. It was also recognition from the GSA for the work I’ve done in Arm and the industry. This was a huge honour – the other nominees were impressive!
What advice would you give to other women interested in a career in Tech?
Be vocal about what you want. If you are and you are doing a good job, you will likely get it. If you don’t, find someplace that will give it to you. Expand your knowledge beyond your current role. Find out what other types of engineers do, attend presentations on things you don’t know about, read papers/articles… It is great to be deep in one area and to have an overall broader knowledge. It is amazing how this can help and make your career much more interesting.