Life at QM: Meet Tamar Ben Haim Sembira, Software Architectural Modeling Engineer
One of the more essential aspects of a job is feeling a sense of accomplishment with your work. Tamar shared with us why working at QM has given her the chance to make her mark.
Tamar is a Software Architectural Modeling Engineer at Quantum Machines. Find out what Tamar’s typical workday is like, why QM has exceeded her expectations, and more.
You’re currently a Software Architectural Modeling Engineer at QM. What does that mean exactly?
What I do at QM is slightly different than what I did as a verification engineer at my previous job. At QM, the logic team is split into three: RTL design, verification, and architectural modeling.
The verification team is responsible for designing and testing procedures and then implementing them to ensure our products work as intended.
My focus, though, is on the architecture model. It’s a model containing different possible scenarios and anticipates how our product will react to them. This allows us to catch any undesirable behaviors. On the architectural modeling team, we’re responsible for implementing the model to simulate the RTL behavior, and then the model is used by the verification team, as well as the software and validation teams.
It worked out well that at QM I can focus on writing the reference model because that’s what I like most about verification.
Previously, I used to code in a different language, one that is specific to hardware. But here, I’m writing software and I’m coding in C++. I had to learn it from scratch, which was interesting. While I could always ask our software teammates for help, not all of them were familiar with C++. This made me spend quite a lot of time looking everything up on Google. It was a challenging experience, but I was also very satisfied and learned a lot from it.
Initially, what attracted you to this field? Can you tell us a little about what compelled you to choose a career in engineering?
I was always good at math and computers. In high school, I majored in physics. So by the time I got to college, choosing engineering as my major was a natural choice. Engineering was a mix of all the fields I was interested in and enjoyed.
At first, I thought about majoring in Aerospace engineering, but then I had a conversation with my uncle, who had worked in that industry for multiple years. He advised me to choose a more general path so that once I entered the workforce, I wouldn’t feel limited and would have a wide range of careers choices available. That’s why I decided to major in electrical engineering.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
Since I’m currently nine months pregnant, I’ve been working from home for the past few months. I’ll start my day by heading over to my home workstation. And usually, I start talking with the verification guys to see if they need anything from me. They either have a bug they need me to fix or debug together with them, or there aren’t any real debugging issues to work on, and I can focus on coding. So I’ll code new blocks and discuss with the team how we can make adjustments in the code to make things look and run better or make things easier for verification.
I also work with the algorithmics team because when they write the code for the compiler, they run their code on my model. So I debug with them as well.
Recently I’m also working on training Liran, who will replace me during my maternity leave. We have a daily meeting where I teach him everything I know. There’s a lot to discuss because there wasn’t even one line of code when I started. Since I’ve written everything from scratch, it takes time to learn.
What were your expectations from a workplace before joining QM? Do you feel QM met those expectations successfully?
I was looking for a challenge. After working at my previous job for six years, I needed a change. I also wanted to build something from scratch, so I was looking to work at a startup where this sorta thing is possible.
Before starting at QM, I met with Ori, the Logic Team Lead. He asked me, ‘I know that you’re supposed to come and work in a verification role, but what do you think about taking the architectural model?’
I wasn’t sure what he meant because the verification and architectural model were combined into one role at previous companies I worked at. So after some research into what it meant to focus on the architectural model solely, I went for it! I didn’t know what the role would be like or how things would go, but I was excited to try something new.
After I arrived at QM, I spent a lot of time learning. I discovered more about physics and deepened my programming skills. It was challenging for sure, but it was just the kind of challenge I was seeking. So QM certainly exceeded my expectations in this regard.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Well, I love coding. I like that I can focus and get in the zone and just code. I also like the fact that I get to code from scratch. When you’re working at a big company, the majority of the code is already written. Quite often you’re just continuing what someone else has already been working on for a while. You don’t have a lot of freedom to influence things. At QM you get a real chance to make your mark.
What would you say to someone that’s currently considering joining QM?
Specifically, in my role, it’s a role that you won’t be likely to find anywhere else. As I said earlier, we’re writing the code from scratch. And since we’re a small team, everyone is responsible for a crucial component. Everyone’s contributing and working on something very important.
So if you want to make an impact with your work, QM is the place for you.