Thursday, September 09, 2010

National Instruments Penang

First of all, Selamat Hari Raya to all Muslims and have a great weekend! All the best!

I felt compelled to blog about this because there are people who thought that I am working in a musical instruments company when I told them I work in National Instruments!

Before I begin, let's just make it simple by first narrating the chronicles. (This is for those whothink that I am a street performer. I still play the guitar but hey I do not make a living out of it alright? :P)

I had been studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering for the past 4 years and I got the chance to undergo an eleven week internship in the headquarter of National Instruments at Austin, Texas. You can read about it here and right now, I am working in the R&D Centre of NI in Penang.

Just to warn you that this post is going to have a tad of lot of engineering.

This is the logo and name of the company.

So what does this company do, you may ask.

National Instruments is a producer of automated test equipment and virtual instrumentation software. Their software products include LabVIEW, a graphical development environment, LabWindows/CVI, which provides VI tools for C, TestStand, a test sequencing and management environment, and Multisim (formerly Electronics Workbench), an electrical circuit analysis program. Their hardware products include VXI, VMEbus, and PXI frames and modules, as well as interfaces for GPIB, I²C, and other industrial automation standards. They also sell real-time embedded controllers, including Compact FieldPoint and CompactRIO. Common applications include data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision.
Excerpt from Wikipedia

Alright, this explains everything but I think most of the readers might not get it so I'll try to illustrate it with some pictures.

People, say hi to BEAR. BEAR is actually a military project to help in disaster relief as it is able to lift very heavy object. It was not designed by National Instruments but the team who put this together, utilized NI's hardware and also software platform as the 'brain'.

Okay, so now you know that NI's products can be utilized in the robotics field. But this is only one of thousands application of NI's product! Here's another one.

DAQ aka Data Acquisition. In fact, this is one of the very main portion of NI's market. NI's products help its customers to 'acquire, process and present' its data.

For example, acquiring data about the wind speed and direction and make changes to the wind turbine in order to maintain its constant speed that can generate an optimum amount of electricity. This can be achieved by using NI's products as well.

By the way, the wind turbine that you see in the picture above is actually a scaled-down model of the real huge wind turbine.

Apart from that, NI's products are used in automation as well. This robot will assemble a model of an aeroplane if all the necessary parts are present. It has a vision system that first scan through the platform and decides if it should assemble them, or proceed to the next one if something is missing.

Apart from all the canggih-manggih things, NI's products can also do something fun, like some toys!

These are actually remote-control robots made from Lego and they could navigate around the area without bumping into any obstacle! The location of each robot was also tracked and shown in the monitor!

All the products you saw, were showcased in NIWeek. It is a annual 3-day conference. It was attended by engineers and scientists worldwide to have a glimpse on NI's latest development. NI's customers will also showcase their products which use NI's products as their platforms.

The founder and CEO of NI, Dr T was giving speech about his insights about NI's future development.

NI is also expanding its operation globally. Spot Penang? :D Did I mention that the R&D site in Penang started its operation in September 2010?

This was a cool bus!

So, I am now back in Penang, Malaysia and started my first ever career with National Instruments!

My desk. :D

The lab. We have to use the box as the desks are not shipped in yet! XD

I hope this will clarify the doubts that you have about National Instruments. This is not a very technical explanation but I hope it is able to give you a rough idea. For more info, check out

By the way, for eleven consecutive years since 2000, Fortune magazine named National Instruments one of the 100 best companies to work for in America! :D

ps-> if you googled in for more information about NI Penang, just leave a comment here. I'll try my best to answer you. :)


hup see said...

why would people confuse NI with musical thingy? hahaha... now only know NI that damn good... haha...

Kenneath said...

where is tuck as in NIP/TUCK? :P

calvin said...

I think they have marked the location of Penang SOOO wrongly on the map!

Kyflein said...

Yikes.. I could have quoted ur article in my paper.. :P

How nice getting in there..

kae vin said...

hup see:

I don't know? Maybe they thought it was Musical Instruments.

hahah. That time when NI came to UTAR nobody went for the interview eh...




You know, engineers always fail their geography! :P


argh I am flattered.

Well you still stand a chance don worry :)

Anonymous said...

is NI by any chance hiring admin staff??i am very interested in workin for NI and I am waiting for them to open admin you knw if they would be hiring anytime soon?

kae vin said...


You can go to
for the job listing and submit your resume. :)

Anonymous said...

thank u!but if u have any "inside" info then do let me knw k!!

xC said...

hey, just came across your site after digging some information on NI temporary office in Suntech.

Well I get a chance for interview last month but awaiting for the second one this coming Nov.

So far hows you work experience in NI ? Well write some to share ... thanks bro !

kae vin said...


Some 'inside' info for you: Search on jobstreet. XD


Cool! Wish you all the best in your next interview.

The working experience so far has been great. :)

Anonymous said...

just came across your blog when google some NI stuff. I wonder is NI provide any stock unit for experience hire? mind to share a bit?

kae vin said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes. There's ESPP for all permanent employees. :)

TT said...

I never knew that NI seed intern in Austin, where you grab the chance? They went to your University to recruit intern? or you apply it on your own?

I am too old to join internship :) trying to ask for my brother~ I've been staying in Austin for half a year, kind of a relax city :)

thanks a lot!

kae vin said...


I was recruited through campus recruitment in Malaysia. They only went to some selected campuses. They sent us to Austin as NI didn't have a site in Penang back then.

Now that we have got our site set up in Penang, sad to say but the following batch of interns will be doing it in Penang instead of Austin.

Nice to hear from you! So you are a Malaysian residing in the States? Yeah I agree that Austin is quite a laid back city. :)

Vela said...

Hi there...
I would like to be a part of National Instrument. So how would i apply?

kae vin said...


Feel free to email me your resume. The address is :)

Teoh said...

Hi, may I know what is the starting pay for a fresh engineering graduate?

Marcus said...

kae vin, mind to share the current benefits NI PG employee medical, leave, bonus, car load etc...?

Gracie said...

Hi there, would you mind to PM me regarding the benefits offers by NI penang?
I wished to do som benchmarking :)
my email add :

Hope to get your reply.

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

hi there,

can you tell us how is the job prospect in NI, in terms of salary growth, benefits and etc?


zaharul asyraf said...

wow, I had read regarding internship with NI at Austin...but I'm blurred because they (NI) said that it fully covered...flight ticket, accommodation and so on...since you already done your internship with NI at austin, can you help me elaborate it a bit regarding the process and also the benefit will we get if we do internship over there

Kae Vin Goh said...

Hi Zaharul,

Currently the internship position will be offered locally in Penang as our facilities has already been operating in Malaysia. :)

Kevin Loo said...

Hi, Kaevin. Nice to meet you.
I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Business and Management. As a graduate, I am very interested in gaining an opportunity to work in National Instruments (Penang Branch). However, can I email you my latest resume?

Kae Vin Goh said...

Hi Kevin Loo,

You can go to and deposit your resume there. :)

jz ena said...

Hi Kae Vin,
Is there any possibility to have educational visit for undergraduate students in a big group (40) to NI Penang? Could you give me the contact of HR maybe? Thanks.

Kae Vin Goh said...

Hi jz ena,

Yes it is. Please send an email to our recruiter Grace Loh (

Thank you!

jz ena said...

Thanks so much for the info.

ipiey^^ said...

hye.. i just got the offer from NI for the position of Internal Sale Engineer.. can you explain about this position? tq..:)

Kae Vin Goh said...

Hey Ipiey,

I believe that your offer letter has the job description :)