Entry into embedded sector.

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Hi,

I'm currently looking to change direction and go more toward the embedded
sector (I've been working on PS2 hardware recently) and was wondering what
*skills* would be required by an employer.

Thanks,
Luke.


Re: Entry into embedded sector.
On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 23:14:42 +0100, Luke A. Guest
 :  sector (I've been working on PS2 hardware recently) and was wondering what
 :  *skills* would be required by an employer.


Whatever skills it takes to live in the west on Bangalore wages

Re: Entry into embedded sector.
Seems the whole world LOVES India.
go and check alt.computer.consultants for a good view on things
that happen there.

Yes terrible times. I are and cant understand how the governments can allow
that the technology lead is pulled away from them.
In the beginning it was IT, now EE, bankers jobs are effected and accounting
jobs are also going east.

I guess we will be in for a big surprise over the next 2 to 5 years.




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what



Re: Entry into embedded sector.
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Especially when when you have to pay back debts from these lower wages.

Rene


Re: Entry into embedded sector.
On Wed, 27 Aug 2003 01:12:15 -0400, "Peter Pohlmann"

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We just had an Indian firm from Bangalore write a Linux driver for us.
Paid them around $30k to get a pile of code that doesn't work.  One of
the American engineers now has to sit here and fix it.  What a mess...

Part of the problem is management that doesn't seem to understand
value and quality...only immediate $$ and "valuations" on the stock
market without regard to long term business performance.  I'm getting
out of tech and into aerospace, which should be one of the last
sectors to get ported overseas.

Elroy


Re: Entry into embedded sector.
On Wed, 27 Aug 2003 08:49:43 -0400, Elroy the Seedy Impaler
 :  market without regard to long term business performance.  I'm getting
 :  out of tech and into aerospace, which should be one of the last
 :  sectors to get ported overseas.

Airplanes have at times been known to fly across borders... (on
serious note, also see the last 2 or 3 issues of Av Week for news &
debate on the movement of maint work overseas)


Re: Entry into embedded sector.
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Typical day ? - all western engineers moaning about the fact that work is
going elsewhere because it is cheaper.....

sorry - couldn't resist....







Re: Entry into embedded sector.
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Hi Luke,

There actually quite a number of past discussion on this, check this
out...

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&threadm3D%A6B87F.4020407%40k2services.com&rnum=7&prev=/groups%3Fq%3Dembedded%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26selm%3D3DA6B87F.4020407%2540k2services.com%26rnum%3D7

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&threadm=cd714c44.0206140643.1af59e8a%40posting.google.com&rnum=8&prev=/groups%3Fq%3Dembedded%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26selm%3Dcd714c44.0206140643.1af59e8a%2540posting.google.com%26rnum%3D8

Hope these links work.

Re: Entry into embedded sector.
Since no one bothered to actually say...

Hardware familiarity, i.e., the ability to read and understand schematics
and component data sheets;
preferably experience using test equipment from oscilloscopes, to device
programmers, emulators, etc.; you need to be comfortable enough with
hardware that you can plug two devices together without blowing it or
yourself up.
Generally an understanding of real time concepts, almost always some
assembly language experience.

As to a typical day, there is probably no such thing.  As with most software
jobs, the ability to find and implement solutions.  Embedded software tends
to revolve around pesky little problems that seem to defy logic.  You need
to be able to take alternative paths to solutions to uncover the cause of
problems without just hiding them.

Scott

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Re: Entry into embedded sector.

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Erm no :-(

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Well, there's alwasy gues work ;-P

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Yeah I've got a bit of all that ;-L
 
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Hmmm, Like I said I work in the games industry and basically, there is
*NO* design process, just a way of hacking up old code that doesn't work
so that you *might* get it to work a bit better...I need more than this.

Luke.


Re: Entry into embedded sector.
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For the intermediate to long term, it would be wise not to bother with
large companies because of the rampaging Indian/Chinese outsourcing
menace. Your best bet (IMHO) is to seek to work for a small *privately
held* company that either does custom engineering services for local
companies that require a lot of hands-on work, or works in some niche
where there is little price competition. In common with many other
readers of c.a.e, I believe that there will be an ongoing snowball of
job reductions in local engineering workforces. This will lead to
lower enrollment in EE-type degrees at college, and a corresponding
decline in availability and quality of those courses, hence a
contraction in the supply of quality local talent, and further
pressure to outsource. Some people believe the pendulum will swing
back on this, but I won't be holding my breath. Ten years from now, I
think it's likely the only significant employers of local embedded
talent will be the sorts of employers who require a security
clearance.

In any case, getting back to our hypothetical small company, the
ability to work on multiple projects and wear multiple hats within the
organization is essential, because your employer will need to get the
most value out of you in order to stay alive.

As a general starter on specific skills: be familiar with
assembly-language programming on at least one or two common MCU
families, and be familiar with C programming in embedded environments.
Demonstrate an ability to come up to speed on new architectures
quickly. Know how to read a circuit diagram, even if you don't
normally do hardware. Have a portfolio of your best work, if possible.

Re: Entry into embedded sector.

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I've been thinking about freelancing, but I'm not too sure where to start
or whether it's a better alternative.

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I have to say that if I end up going bankrupt because the government
continues to allow/promote/enforce outsourcing I will sue them -
they'll then try to force me into a crappy job to get me off
the dole and I'm not having that!!

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I know C inside and out...I started assembly with m68k (Amiga) and I
have done some SH4 (Dreamcast) and a tiny bit of MIPS (PS2/Indy).

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Easy ;-P

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In particular, what exactly should it show?

Thanks,
Luke.


Re: Entry into embedded sector.

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Doing almost anything well requires diligence, talent, and knowledge.
Granted, in embedded systems there are often several layers of abstraction
and architecture that need to be understood in detail.  And there seem to
always be relentless pressures to decrease development time, development
costs, and parts cost.  To me, though, these are the challenges that make
the job fun.  If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

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"Given" respect?  Maybe monarchs can talk about the respect they are owed,
but in my experience people get the respect that they earn; clearly what you
can earn depends both on you and the people around you.  If you're a
talented, hard working engineer who's getting no respect, maybe you work for
an idiot?

I think that there will always be jobs available for skilled engineers.  But
I believe that jobs will continue to move across national borders to less
expensive countries.  Globalization now affects white-collar jobs as much as
blue-collar jobs.

My great avocation is making music, and the reason it's my avocation and not
my vocation is because over the last 50 years it's become extremely
difficult to earn a living as a professional musician.  When I talk to
musicians 30 years older than me, I constantly hear them complaining that
there's just no place anymore where kids can earn a living playing their
instrument.  It wouldn't surprise me if in 30 years the software and
electrical engineers of today are saying the same sorts of things to the
kids of tomorrow.

Kelly



Re: Entry into embedded sector.
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It's risky. The decision to freelance is a personal thing. If you have
a good network in place already, then it is easier to get started.
Word of mouth is really the most useful advertisement of these
services; you need a certain exposure level before you can be
reasonably sure of enough ongoing business to keep yourself alive. I
personally don't enjoy "just" freelancing; I prefer to do it in
addition to a day job.

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LOL.


It wasn't my first, but I spent a lot of time on the Amiga too :)

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If you're looking to be in the 32-bit arena, it would be helpful to
have ARM on your resume.

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Depends very much on who you're interviewing with. Your portfolio
should demonstrate clearly the precise mix of skills your employer
wants :) This information can usually be gleaned from the
pre-interview screening questions they ask you. It's helpful to have
some notes as to why each item is in your portfolio; a useful starting
point is a list of the principal design challenges and how you solved
them. Adding mention of how your extreme cleverness significantly cut
BOM cost or development time (actual numbers are useful here) never
hurts.

Re: Entry into embedded sector.
Good point Geoff...
Advice for Luke: Go get a job at StarBucks (Im pretty sure they don't have
that in India  -Can anyone verify that please?)

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those
is
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US



Re: Entry into embedded sector.
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I had thought along those same lines. The thing is that government work seems
to have all sorts of standards that I know nothing of. Plus my mother isn't a
US citizen so I'm not sure I could get a Secret clearance, which many
space-related jobs around me (Silicon Valley) require.

Another field you might look into is medical devices. There might be some
medical instruments that do fancy graphics which your game background might
help in. If you had more hardware knowledge, there's the field of making custom
systems for the disabled.


Re: Entry into embedded sector.
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Ah, thanks. I seem to remember someone telling me it would limit my ability to
move up in the ranks of Military Intelligence (back in my ROTC days). I guess
maybe they were talking about way further up the chain (or the Army does things
differently).

Re: Entry into embedded sector.
Luke,

Stay with consoles man. I had / have the same aspirations but you're:

a) not going to make the same amount of money
b) not work on what you like
c) not going to be as employable as you're now.


Yvo

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