Softweyr

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Firmware/Software Engineering Management

Old UNIX and embedded geek. Currently exploring digital sailing.

Softweyr

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    • OK, so I realize this comment is a bit late. For anyone who's reading this article now, let me point out that the advantage of an arm-based Arduino is that it's an Arduino. Leaflabs Maple is an Arduino in all but name, and an excellent demonstration of why Arduino is so successful. To naysayers like Yrkoon, who styles himself a "programmer," I have to say don't knock it until you've tried it. To someone whose introduction to programming was a Cosmac ELF and has been a professional programmer, embedded and otherwise, for 3 decades, I think Arduino is the best thing that ever happened to computing. They're cheap, simple, you plug it into a USB port and it just works, on Windows, Mac, and Linux. People who know only a tiny bit about programming can be blinking LEDs and sensing distance and temperature and humidity in a few minutes, for less than $50. The Due or Maple adds a bit to the price, but so much to the functionality. As for all the other interesting and useful architectures mentioned here: prove you're right. Design a little board that can be sold (at a small profit!) for $20, or $50, and port the Arduino-style environment to you. The ChipKit UNO32 is proof. In fact, I think I have to have one of these, today!

    • Looking back, mine varies, with a number of jobs right around a year and 4 stays of roughly 5 years. All of the 1 year jobs ended with a layoff, the company being sold or merged, or enough change in management or the company itself to not be the same company anymore. Your observations about how long it takes to come up to speed and make valuable contributions may be true, but "most managers" in the software world are the kind of jackasses who write job bulletins for "Super duper Senior Software Architect Lead Director... requires 3 years experience," and who do things like put software engineers in cubes next to a bunch of noisy boisterous "quality assurance" children, guaranteeing they have NO opportunity to concentrate during any part of the workday. cdhmanning above is talking about me: "If a person is a gifted coder, then keep them coding rather than try promote them into management. 50 year old programmers are often viewed as failed managers rather than as valuable corporate citizens." I've just been through another round of taking all the high-priority, high-risk projects, including one recent 3-week task that involved modifying 1188 source files for one change, and then being criticized for not being able to accurately estimate my work the way the code robot in the next cube, who works only on a single program and has done so for the past 5 years, does. Maybe I've grown jaded. Working for companies run by children has worn thin. It must be time to retire and get a job in management after all.

    • I too am a casualty of the meltdown, laid off in early November. I'm starting a new job next week, but it's not in "high tech" anymore, I'm moving to the world of "high finance" instead. Thank heavens I was able to find a friend who believes in me enough to want me to be his boss, and in a company that is willing to take a risk that a 25-year veteran of product development can lead their small in-house development staff in ways that enhance their business. As for the world of technology products, Sayonara. I'm tired of working for companies run by children. Let's see if the guys wearing the daddy pants are any different.