Cognex Corporation is a manufacturer of machine vision systems, the software and sensors used in automated manufacturing. The company is a market leader that’s been instrumental in the development of everything from barcode readers to verifiers, vision sensors and mobile computers.
Headquartered in Natick, Mass., Cognex has nearly 1,300 employees in 40 offices around the world. Approximately 260 professionals work in technology. Janet Dulohery, senior director of corporate employee services, suggests that the company continues to make significant investments in its research, development and engineering team. It’s currently seeking software engineers, vision solutions engineers, software QA engineers, principal software engineers, software engineering managers and machine vision engineers.
Depending on the job description, Cognex looks for experience in machine vision, image processing, real-time systems, embedded systems, lighting and optics, electronic component inspection, high performance software and C++ tools and libraries. Experience with C#, .NET tools and/or Linux is also preferred.
How to Navigate a Job Posting
Candidates without recent, required experience as described in a job posting may be wasting their time. “We’re looking for candidates with software development experience for engineering applications and/or machine vision experience who can design, develop, code and debug, innovate and go the extra mile for the company,” says Dulohery.
When applying, don’t exaggerate your skill sets. “We certainly wouldn’t want a candidate to put forth information that they would be unable to support in an interview,” she stresses. You should be able to properly and truthfully showcase your talent and experience from the start.
The Hiring Process
Cognex’s hiring process is pretty straightforward. Once a resume is thoroughly vetted and a candidate is invited in for an interview, a team will assess them using technical, behavioral and experiential questions to determine skill level and cultural fit.
What Makes a Good Fit?
Cultural fit is critical. This may not be the place for introverts, or those who don’t enjoy raucous group events. “Our motto is ‘Work Hard, Play Hard, Move Fast’ and we mean it,” laughs Dulohery. “Cognoids, as we refer to ourselves, are experts in their field and have a tremendous drive and determination to produce the best results possible.”
Dulohery’s careful to emphasize that the ability to loosen up and enjoy play is a must. For example, she’s particularly enthusiastic about Halloween, which is nearly an official holiday at the company. Employees all dress in elaborate costumes, there’s a parade and a party that culminates in contests with some serious prizes.
Advice for Seasoned Professionals
A machine vision background is a big plus, as are advanced degrees combined with complex engineering or product marketing experience. Beyond that, Cognex focuses on the cultural fit of a candidate. Dulohery recommends that you find ways to share how you’ve worked in and enhanced a strong corporate culture in previous positions.
Advice for New Graduates
A solid engineering background in school and internships are musts for technical positions. So are aptitude and attitude. “We want new grads that learn quickly and utilize the knowledge effectively and efficiently in a professional setting, and who are excited about the opportunity to join a tremendous culture,” says Dulohery.
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