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The Coolest Part About Engineering at Intel? For Max, It’s Working on Products That Matter.

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For Max Korbel, there’s nothing better than having a complex problem to solve. He loves digging in and finding the perfect solution. It’s this inherent curiosity and tenacity that led him to Intel six years ago.

He found the breadth and scope of technical challenges available at Intel offered an exciting environment in which to develop and grow as an engineer. With the support of his managers, he’s been able to tackle new projects and actively develop his career.

Max says, “When I first started, I worked on validation for memory controllers. My current manager ran a forum at the time when I started. That’s where I met him, and I expressed interest in the forum and taking on more responsibility. That ultimately lead to the opportunity that I have now, but I had to build up my reputation. I started as a normal validation engineer, then ended up owning the validation for a certain portion of a memory controller. From there, I worked on post-silicon debug for that same memory controller. Eventually, I became the design-side post-silicon validation lead for the memory controller, then moved to different validation lead roles on other memory controllers and SoC’s before transitioning into a role that affects a lot of the IPs across different SoCs.”

While the opportunity to learn and grow has been amazing, it’s the impact of the work he’s doing that motivates Max every day. “I feel like the server processors that I work on are the best server processors in the world. A lot of the technological advances in the world across many areas are enabled by the processors I work on being fast enough. It is very cool to me to know I am working on a real product that impacts a wide variety of industries and matters to a lot of people.”

Max also enjoys that Intel has end-to-end ownership of entire products. It gives engineers a chance to experience the full life cycle of their work, like he did on the Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor. “That was the first project I worked on that I got to see the full end-to-end spectrum of the project. I saw everything from the development of new features, to fixing bugs, to taping it out, to debugging it in the lab. I had the chance to interact directly with architecture and planning. I even traveled to the customer to enable the platform on their side. One of the customers had built a giant super computer using the chip that I worked on. I got to stand in the middle of it and take a picture.”

Working at Intel, Max has discovered that no matter how tough the challenge or tricky the problem, there are infinite resources to help: “There is always an expert in every area available. If there is a problem in an unfamiliar area that you need to figure out, you will get connected with that team and they are open to collaborate across business units.”
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