An embedded systems hardware test – a collaborative effort

Regular readers will probably be aware that back in 2000 I wrote an article for Embedded Systems Programming magazine entitled A ‘C’ Test: The 0×10 Best Questions for Would-be Embedded Programmers. In the intervening years I have often thought that it would be entertaining / useful to come up with a similar test—except this time I would be testing someone’s hardware knowledge. As a result over the years I have collected together a number of fun questions, which I intend to use in the forth-coming article. However it occurred to me that I have a lot of very smart readers and that collectively we could put together a far better test than I could do so on my own. Thus I’m looking for your hardware questions! Before you flood me with your suggestions here are the ground rules:

  1. Embedded systems design, not hardware design
    The test is intended to test the hardware knowledge of persons writing embedded code. It is NOT a test for persons that will be designing hardware. Thus questions about the minutiae of hardware filter design are not what I’m looking for.
  2. Traps
    The best questions will be examples from your past where someone got into trouble because they didn’t understand something about the hardware that you thought they should have.
  3. Why
    As well as posing the question (and giving the answer!), please explain why you think it’s important that someone should know what you are asking.
  4. Oscilloscope and logic analyzer
    I expect that the questions will cover circuits, processor architectures and tools. While I’m interested in all three, I’m particularly interested in elegant questions that will allow the questioner to determine if the candidate knows how to use an oscilloscope or logic analyzer.
  5. Original
    Please don’t send me any copyrighted or plagiarized material. Links are of course fine. (I mention this because not only is it legally and morally wrong – but I’m also tired of people ripping off my work and claiming it as their own).
  6. Attribution
    If I choose to use your suggestion, then tell me how you’d like it attributed. Full name + email address through anonymous are all fine.
  7. Early bird…
    If I get multiple similar suggestions, then the first one received gets the credit.
  8. Fame
    By sending me something you are agreeing to let me publish it. Other than attribution (and the accompanying fame :-) ), no other compensation will be given.

Anyway, if you’d like to participate then contact me

Thanks! I expect that I will publish the article in a few weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *