Data waves
Data waves



Victor Calinao

Meet Victor Calinao, a product applications engineer and new college graduate hire in the Philippines.

Q: Tell us about how you got into your line of work.

I had just graduated at home because of COVID-19 restrictions. Even though I wanted to walk across the stage and treat my family to a buffet afterwards, we couldn’t have an in-person graduation.

A few days after graduation, I was applying to various companies like Apple, Boston Dynamics, Canon, and Tesla but things didn’t go as planned. As more and more days passed, I started to feel very small seeing how big the world is and how many applicants there are for the jobs I wanted.

Exactly a month after my graduation, I received a notification on LinkedIn from Analog Devices Philippines that they would be conducting a Virtual Hackathon here in the Philippines. I was very interested in the event, and they suggested I join with a group of 2 or 3 others. I invited a few people to join me, but no one accepted my invite, as they were either busy, coping with the new normal of the pandemic, or didn’t get back to me in time.

I took a risk and signed up by myself knowing that the event organizers would choose my group partners. I was nervous because I believe that, to do well in a Hackathon, a group needs good synergy and I wasn’t sure if this would happen with people I had just met. However, I realized, when I started a job, it would be similar: I would be collaborating with new people and I should be willing to share my views and opinions as well as be willing to change my views and opinion in order for us to excel.

The Hackathon started and I got to know my team. We were a group of three and we were all very passionate about winning the Hackathon. Things were not always easy; I never got the chance to meet my group personally and the time constraints and workload were demanding. It challenged my discipline, my capacity to think, my flexibility, my communication with the group, and my focus. It was a game changer in my life.

Fast forward: We won the Hackathon!

Later that day, I got a job offer from Analog Devices. I said “Yes” that night, because as my family said, “Opportunity does not always knock.”

Q: Did you enjoy the project that you worked on during the Hackathon?

Yes! And I’m really excited to continue my work on it! I know that the project was only a proof of concept and it needs more work to be qualified as a business opportunity, but I am really excited about the technology I am envisioning!

Q: That sounds like a wonderful experience! Now that you work at Analog Devices, what do you do here?

I work in system development. I love it because it is connected to my “Why,” which is to help people enable their full potential with the aid of technology. There are lots and lots of new technologies that come out every single year, especially at Analog Devices, and that’s where my work comes in. I’m currently in the System Development Group, which focuses across business units on providing solutions that solve customers’ pressing problems.

I help integrate our current available technology on system level applications that have to do with the complexities of devices such as ICs and other chips, hardware such as PCBs and sensors, software such as device drivers, algorithms, libraries, and system platforms, ranging from Arduino, Raspberry Pi, FPGAs, PMODs and many more.

I am part of the hardware team development that provides everything hardware-related to keep projects moving, as well as testing the circuits to make them more reliable for our customers. It’s been 35 weeks since I began working with ADI, and I know these 35 weeks are just the first steps of a long career ahead.

Q: Have you always wanted to get into this line of work? What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

When my mother used to ask me, I remember I answered inconsistently depending on what I had just experienced or the last TV show I watched. I might answer an astronaut, a doctor, a film maker, or a Pokémon master.

What I remember most is that I thought about being a scientist. Sineskwela episodes (a Philippine children’s science show) influenced me to be a weird and playful geek. That made me open our TV remote control, hammer an empty battery, and play Zoids with cloth tongs just like Legos.

Q: Since your school years are still very recent, how do you think your classmates would remember you?

I asked some of my former classmates in college, high school, and some I remember from elementary school. They said various things, but what stood out is that I had the most impact with my photography hobby, as the tech guy, and as the first person to leave after class dismissal.

Victor Calinao and friends

It was a debut of our friend Nicole, and we were having a good time with my friends, (from left to right) Rafael and Enrique, after a very demanding final exam.

Q: Do you have any favorite stories from school?

My favorite moment was right after we presented our thesis. That’s the first time I cried over something academic—I will not forget that.

It was early morning and we hadn’t slept much. We dressed properly in our uniforms and printed out our thesis. We presented our thesis and we got it right! I cried in front of the panelists after we were done. It felt like all our sacrifices were worth it and I cried out of happiness and relief. It was also a surprise for us that we were awarded Excellence in Research afterwards.

Q: Victor, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. In closing, is there any advice that you would like to pass on to others?

I always find stories that can ignite myself to be competitive, ambitious, and passionate about what I am working on. I have come to realize the most important part of doing something right is having a plan for myself.

As Anthony Robbins said, “If you don’t have a plan for yourself, someone else will.”

I am glad to share my short story here, but I do know that almost all of this is in the past now. What matters now is the future. But what I want to pass on to others is the importance of taking care of the people you work with who helped you achieve something. Because plaques and prizes will surely wither, but friends, family, and memories will always be there.