CIE-SF 2018 Annual Conference Afternoon Program

Time: Saturday, March 24, 13:00pm - 17:30pm
Venue: Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara

You can submit your questions to HR panel with this link: Questions

Engineers and Their Careers in a Changing World

AI, big data, IOT, autonomous driving…Where are the opportunities in today’s market? How to find career turning point? What are the necessary skills to adapt, transform and lead?

The afternoon session's theme is about engineers and their careers in a changing world. Speakers will talk about their own career stories, the industries they are in, the rapidly changing technologies, the companies they work for, future trends, and anchor on the point of required technical and leadership skills that are necessary for today’s engineers.



12:45 pm to 1:15 pm


1:15 pm to 1:30 pm

Opening Remarks

1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

  • Titan Gu, Theravance Biopharma
  • Vamsi Boppana, Xilinx
  • Siwei Shen, lyft
  • Shawn Flynn, TechCode

3:30 pm to 3:45 pm


3:45 pm to 5:00 pm

  • HR presentation (15 min): Tom Zhang
  • HR Panel (1 hour): Moderator Tom Zhang
  • Panelist: Claire (Baidu), Ping Hsu (SJSU), Jane Xu (Tencent)

6:00 pm to 9:00pm

Evening Dinner Banquet, with Keynote by Victor Peng, CEO of Xilinx  <Buy_Ticket>


Title: Career in Pharmaceutical R&D that Make a Difference

Speaker: Dr. Titan Gu (Vice President, Analytical Development and Quality Control, Technical Operations, Theravance Biopharma)

Biotech and pharmaceutical industry is the other crown jewel of bay area and Silicon Valley, with robust growths projected for biotech in the bay area. A brief overview of drug discovery and development process will be provided, along with the current trends in biotech and pharm world. This presentation will also illustrate career paths in biotech and pharmaceutical industry using personal experiences, and discuss the type of engineers that are highly desired in biotech & pharmaceutical industry, especially in the highly regulated cGMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) environment.  Some personal advises will be offered on how to prosper in a career in biotech and pharmaceutical industry, and on the interview tricks.



Title: Adaptable Architectures: The Why and How?

Speaker: Dr. Vamsi Boppana (Corporate Vice President, Silicon and Systems Development, Xilinx)

An explosion in the generation, movement and analysis of data is creating fundamental shifts and opportunities in the semiconductor industry today. Data, as they say, is the new oil. Traditional, general purpose, architectures are unable to scale to service these next generation demands. Custom Silicon products, while offering viable technology, are increasingly becoming unviable due to economic reasons… the expense associated with building such products is increasing exponentially and becoming prohibitive for most applications. Adaptable architectures, such as FPGAs and Programmable SoCs, offer an excellent alternative by providing some of the benefits of custom silicon products without the prohibitive expense associated with building them. This talk provides insights into why adaptable architectures are needed and how they are solving critical problems. Finally, we will explore how this changing landscape is presenting significant learning and growth opportunities to the engineering community.



Title: Are Soft Skills Static?

Speaker: Siwei Shen (Director of Engineering, Lyft)

The general belief that personal career growth is tantamount to climbing the corporate ladder, or better yet, breaking the glass ceiling, has resulted in overemphasis on soft skills. It is often said that unlike hard skills which can be rendered less useful over time by new technology breakthroughs, soft skills are static and always transferable. Such a claim may finally be challenged. In recent years, the shift to focus on physical world problems demands increasingly interdisciplinary talents. Particularly for those in early stage companies, even their soft skills may need to evolve in response to the emerging trends. Although the pros and cons for startups vs established corporations have been long discussed, it is worth taking another look in the context of disruptive technological changes.




Title: Engineers are Always Learning

Speaker: Shawn Flynn (Senior Business Development Manager, Techcode)

Team member’s role and how engineers grow, from technology know-how to business and finance know-how:  a look at my personal journey, and the journey of the individuals of two of the companies held in Techcode, (an international incubator chain.)  One is Cocoon Cam, the only smart baby monitor that offers both breathing monitoring and HD video in one device. Learn what drove a boy genius who entered college at age eleven to want to join this team and a Founder with a newborn baby, with a great job at Tesla, to want to quit to form his own company. Also, the story of the founders of and how one went from Academia to the startup life and another has been a serial entrepreneur since her can remember.  What drives engineers to keep changing their roles and moving forward as nothing is constant in the world of Engineering. 



Title: Find the Turning Point in Your Career

Speaker: Dr. Tom Zhang (HR/Talent Acquisition in Silicon Valley)

Job seekers are like venture capitalists (VCs).  They both want to catch the next promising startup companies.  VCs can invest in hundreds of startups, but a job seeker cannot work for multiples startups at the same time.  Changing job can be an important turning point in your career.   Tom Zhang will share 10 tips on how to find the turning point and how to evaluate startup job opportunities.



Panel Discussion Title: "Where are the opportunities in today's market?"

Panel Moderator: Dr. Tom Zhang


Claire Yang (Head of HR, Baidu USA)

Dr. Ping Hsu (Professor, San Jose State University)

Jane Xu (HR, Tencent America)

This panel discussion will be the anchoring point to our afternoon session. Panel Moderator, Dr. Tom Qi Zhang, is a Talent Acquisition expert in Silicon Valley. He played important roles in HR/recruiting team at Google, Tencent America, and Tesla in the last 10+ years. His pick for this panel topic is on "Where are the opportunities in today's market?"

As the top employee supplier in the valley, Prof. Hsu, former Associate/Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, may help us to know how SJSU so successfully prepares its students for their career path; and representing Tencent America and Baidu USA, respectively, Jane and Claire will share with us the new opportunities coming from international scene, especially for our core Chinese American engineers in the US.



Speaker Photos


Dr. Titan Gu, VP, Theravance Biopharma



Dr. Vamsi Boppana, Corporate VP, Xilinx




Siwei Shen, Director, Lyft




Shawn Flynn, Sr. Manager, TechCode




Dr. Tom Zhang, HR/Talent Acquisition in Silicon Valley



Panelist photos

Dr. Ping Hsu, Professor of SAN JOSÉ STATE UNIVERSITY


Claire Yang, Head of HR at Baidu USA


Jane Xu, Director of HR & Operations at Tencent America