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GILAT BLOG

Employee Spotlight: Getting to know Hodaya Brand
October 12, 2021
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Our latest Employee Spotlight blogpost features Hodaya Brand, FPGA Engineer in Gilat Satellite Networks’ R&D Department.

So, we always start with an introduction
Hi. My name is Hodaya and I am 32 years old. I am married to Yoav and the mother of 3 very sweet children. I have a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Tel-Aviv University with a specialization in systems control and electronic devices.

Before we go any further, what is an FPGA Engineer?
FPGA is an integrated circuit that can be programmed to the desired application or functionality requirements after manufacturing by an FPGA designer. As an FPGA designer, I use software tools but have to think like a hardware engineer.

That sounds like a very specific field; how did you get into this?
In high school I majored in physics. I was fascinated by how things work; the best part was doing experiments in the physics lab. It was obvious to me that I wanted to study electrical engineering for as long as I can remember, as the field is dynamic and creative at the same time. The more I studied and then worked, the more I connected to FPGA.

How did you get to Gilat?
I started my career as an Analog ASIC engineer. ASIC design engineers specialize in application-specific integrated circuits used for specific purposes. They plan, implement, and maintain these systems working as members of R&D engineering teams.

After a few years, I switched over to the digital side of chip design, but still being a part of the hardware team. I joined Gilat 8 months ago to continue working in hardware but to also expand my knowledge and experience.

You are new to Gilat. How’s it going? What do you like about working here?
Working here at Gilat is very interesting and very challenging; two characteristics that are extremely important to me. We are asked to address technical challenges and are encouraged to come up with out of the box solutions.

I know that this will sound a bit cliché, but at the end of the day, it’s mostly about the work environment. The work is very fulfilling and professionally satisfying, but the very best part of working here is the people I get to work with. We care about our products, our customers and each other. We want everyone to succeed and grow. And have fun!

What are you currently working on?
Fortunately for me, the product I’m working on right now relates to our next generation SATCOM solution. We are working with many of the new satellite communication technologies so I am getting first-hand experience with SATCOM of the future. Specifically for me, the elements I am working on contain more components inside the FPGA than in the software, compared to other products in our portfolio, which gives more responsibility to the hardware group.

What is something really cool you did at work this week?
I’m at a stage in a project where after months of intense work on plans and ideas – they are starting to become a reality. It’s been hard but it’s very exciting to see your vision become a reality.

This is one of my most favorite questions: what advice would you give to younger engineers?
Engineering is an exciting and fulfilling career – there are so many different career paths you can take. The field is constantly changing – there is never a dull moment. Always remember that everything is possible but you need to put in the hard work to get where you want to be.

But here is the hard question: how is it being a woman in a male-dominated industry?
It depends on the environment. I am happy to say that here at Gilat it’s a non-issue. Women are well represented throughout the company and opportunities are open to all. Gender doesn’t play a role in our work environment.

And work-life balance?
Some people think that when women have a demanding job it is bad for the home and family. I believe that if women are happy and fulfilled at work, there is a positive correlation with all other areas of life, making you a better mother, a better partner and a happier person.

Speaking of life, what do you do when you aren’t working?
The first priority is always to spend time with my family. I also love to travel and read as many books as I can.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
I love watching sports of almost any kind. I am a very involved spectator, especially for my favorite football team, Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Almost any kind? What sport don’t you like watching?
American Football. I just don’t understand the game!

Describe working for Gilat in one sentence.
Great work, great people, all in the same place.

WANT TO JOIN A WINNING TEAM HERE AT GILAT?
We are currently adding engineers to our R&D Division. Check out our careers page and apply today!