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A Coffee Chat with Device Development Group (DDG) Engineers, Noor Amira Zuraini and Lee Zhi Yong

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We recently spoke with Noor Amira Zuraini and Lee Zhi Yong are, two young engineers working with the Devices Development Group (DDG). Hailing from different parts of the country and different engineering backgrounds, their paths converged at Intel Malaysia, with both kicking off their Intel careers as graduate trainees. They took a moment to share about their journey so far and a few words of wisdom for those who are considering a future in Intel.

Let’s talk about your early days. Tell us how your journey in Intel began.

Amira: Intel came to my campus to conduct interviews when I was in my fourth year at UiTM Shah Alam. I didn’t know much about the company then, given that I was studying control and instrumentation. But I decided to give the interview a go and got an offer on the spot! My journey at Intel began in 2018 as a graduate trainee and I’m now a SoC design engineer in the same pre-silicon validation team.

Zhi Yong: Even halfway through my computer engineering degree in UTAR Kampar, I still had no idea what my next step would be. Until one day, when my final-year project supervisor broached the idea of my joining Intel and helped me submit my resume. I too, joined as a graduate trainee, and I’ve now been with the company for five years.

Amira: I have always enjoyed computation and calculation, as early as my primary school days. So engineering was something that really just made sense to me. Stepping into the world of semiconductors was definitely a challenge given my background; it still is, but I enjoy finding my way around and learning from scratch.

Zhi Yong: I have always been one to go with the flow. Though it was not apparent to me to become an engineer, I had always been into computers and their inner workings. I chose computer engineering with the knowledge that I would have more pathways down the road, and it’s great that I get to apply what I learnt in university now at work.

Tell us about your day-to-day in DDG.

Zhi Yong: When I started out, it was mostly running tests, screening through results and sending reports to the team. But as I went along, I picked up more debugging roles, problem-solving under the core integration domain. Aside from test enabling, I’ve also an interest in writing programming scripts and I’m now part of a mock scripting work group.

 

Amira: Security is important, and I do validation to help protect the company’s assets. From basic tasks that include developing validation test plans and test scenarios, performing debugging simulations and identifying the bugs, I also collaborate with other teams to exchange best-known methods on our validation methodology. From a security standpoint, it’s crucial to have a hacker mindset to be able to anticipate loopholes and what could go wrong so we can do better.

 

And the coolest bits about your roles?

Zhi Yong: I enjoy the proximity of our work to the end products, which is the processors. Because of this, we also have teams coming to us to get help debugging their failures, which in turn helps me deepen my core knowledge.

Amira: Personally, one of the most enjoyable parts of the job is being in a space that heavily emphasizes sharing regardless of seniority. Even as a trainee, I was already entrusted by my technical buddy to get involved in the tech sharing sessions with different teams and this has definitely help build my confidence and expertise.

What’s your advice to those who are at the start of their journey and contemplating the next best step?

Amira: I think the key is reframing pressure into an opportunity to learn and explore by way of adopting a beginner’s mindset. Be willing to ask a lot of questions, spend time diving into the work at hand and you’ll find the joy in taking on challenges. You don’t need to know everything; you just have to start somewhere and build on it.

Zhi Yong: I’ve learned that attitude is more important than what you know or your qualifications. We’re not looking for expertise from the outset—the team has experienced engineers who are more than willing to share and teach. The desire to learn counts more.

Amira: Adding on to that, it’s also the environment that matters. I didn’t have a background in microelectronics when I started but I was sponsored by Intel to pursue a master’s degree and deepen my knowledge in the field; I graduated last February. The onus is on you to level up and you’ll always be given the support here.

 

Looking forward to joining the Device Development Group at Intel Malaysia? Find your career here.

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