Bangalore- Friday, September 21 2012, when the Silicon Valley engineers began browsing the business section of the morning newspaper, published by Mercury News, what caught their attention was the picture of a high schooler, with the caption – “BRIDGING THE GAP”, on the front page. The feature, authored by Mike Cassidy, has the heading “Young blogger helps unite generations of engineers, challenges public perception of people in profession”
Shachi relates “engineering to everyday life” through his blogs on EDN, a website which caters to the needs of the working electrical engineer and covers new technologies and electronic component products at an engineering level.
According to this young engineer, ‘’ I love modern technology and I want to be a contributor in enriching other people’s lives with technology. I want to visit a friend and be able to say, “Hey, you are using something that I helped design! The drive to be an innovator and the opportunity, to be successful, excites me. I am also excited because I want to better the lives of others; this is partially driven from the fact that I want technology to make things more convenient for me. By innovating in the field of engineering, I can make others’ lives easier, as well as my own’’, as reported by embedded.com. Shachi did not even dream of following his father’s (Sunil Kakkar, an electrical engineer) footsteps and become an engineer, initially. On the other hand his main areas of interest were business, marketing and advertising. But Shachi’s ambition took a different turn once he started discussing with his father, the work he does- design and verification work on computer chips. "It actually kind of intrigued me, to my surprise," says Shachi. "The whole process kind of intrigued me."
"I just briefly explained to him verification, right?" says Sunil Kakkar, who founded SKAK, a chip design and verification company. "I gave him a brief rundown of some of the challenges involved. He got the bigger picture of what verification is and what's challenging about it’’, reports Mike Cassidy of Silicon Valley.
It did not take long for this youngster to develop a passion towards his father’s career and turn this passion to something fruitful. His beautiful and intellectual comparison between verification and drama, in an EDACAFE blog, was highly appreciated by Suzanne Deffree, EDN's online managing editor. Her instant reaction was 'Would you like to do your own blog?” a question which came as a surprise for both father and son.
"When I came across this young man who so absolutely gets it, he gets what an engineer is about, he has that excitement. When we find that, we want to celebrate that, and we want to connect the established generation with the younger generation’’, says Deffree.The tech world has started to recognize this young talent and his blogs on EDN are inspiring veteran engineers to share their viewpoints through comments. Brian Bailey, previously chief technologist for verification at Mentor Graphics and now an independent consultant, recommended the Mercury News feature on his EDN best of the web, for the week. He remarked “This is such a delightful story and an inspiration to many.” One engineer commented “See, being an engineer it's not all that nerdy. Just to have an open mind. Who knows, you can become one too..”. The Cupertino High School principal, Kami Tomberlain commented too, ''At Cupertino High School, we are very proud of Shachi's creativity, clarity, and ingenuity. What an inspiring story.”
Shachi must have tried to put the feedback in perspective. What started as a quest for search has served as a means to the answer. Through his blogs, Shachi has been attempting to relate what he understands well - the world of drama, chess, basketball and even Olympics, his experience as a FBLA state level winner and as a DECA officer, to the achievements of a successful electronics engineer. Now, veteran engineers are coming back a full circle and comparing their engineering world to these fields and trying to draw parallels. Tom Fitzpatrick – A Verification Evangelist commented “As a former “theater guy” I really appreciate your approach. … Just as two actors can memorize the same script and deliver two very different performances, so can two verification engineers look at the same spec and achieve different results. The key is to draw from your experience and use your insight to get the best performance.”
Shachi is also a DECA president, a FBLA (Future Business Leaders Of America) State champion, an avid golfer and very active in debates and other community activities.
You can find Shachi’s blogs and the Mercury News article by doing a search on “Shachi Kakkar” & “EDN”.