Trends in Embedded Software Design

In many ways, the story of my career as an embedded software developer is intertwined with the history of the magazine Embedded Systems Design. When it was launched in 1988, under the original title Embedded Systems Programming (ESP), I was finishing high school. Like the vast majority of people at that time, I had never heard the […]

Read More

Unintended Acceleration and Other Embedded Software Bugs

Last month, NHTSA and the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) published reports of their joint investigation into the causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. NASA’s multi-disciplinary NESC technical team was asked, by Congress, to assist NHTSA by performing a review of Toyota’s electronic throttle control and the associated embedded software. In carefully worded concluding statement, NASA stated […]

Read More

Embedded Programmers Worldwide Earn Failing Grades in C and C++

In industry surveys, over 80% of embedded software developers report using C or C++ as their primary programming language. Yet as a group, these programmers earned a failing grade on a multiple-choice quiz testing firmware-related C programming skills. A scary result, considering that embedded software inside medical devices, industrial controls, anti-lock brakes, and cockpits place human lives […]

Read More

Embedded C Quiz Results

When we redesigned the Netrino.com website late last year, we thought it’d be fun to challenge our more than 20,000 monthly visitors (mostly embedded software engineers) to a skills test. So we developed a ten question multiple-choice quiz (http://www.netrino.com/Embedded-Systems/Embedded-C-Quiz). And it has been a popular feature of the new site, with a couple hundred participants just in […]

Read More

Japanese Brain Drain

I missed this when it was originally published in the New York Times, but apparently Japanese engineers are now exporting themselves to other parts of Asia with more favorable demand for their skills. Here’s the original story: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/business/worldbusiness/24braindrain.html

Read More

MO/HO Market?

I was fascinated to receive the following message from a former colleague in e-mail yesterday: Do you have any requirements for a Linux C++, Windows .NET, or embedded programmer who can work remotely? I have high speed (1.5 mbps) internet, a wireless router, and 3 laptops in my motorhome. I only need about $25/hr to support […]

Read More

To India and Beyond

Much has been said and written in recent years about the offshorting trend for embedded software development. One of the destinations for some work has apparently been India, which has the triple advantage of world class educational institutions (e.g., the IIT system), an ultra-low cost of living, and English-speaking engineers. Later this month I’m headed […]

Read More

Distributed Development

Though the trend toward overseas development has been brewing for more than a decade, I’ve just lately been noticing a number of IT-sector layoff announcements in the U.S. featuring near-simultaneous announcements of increases in overseas outsourcing by the same companies. It’s not entirely clear if there’s an active migration of engineering jobs from the U.S. […]

Read More