Boston-Area Engineers to Share Expertise at ESC Boston 2015 -

Boston-Area Engineers to Share Expertise at ESC Boston 2015


SAN FRANCISCO, CA. Conference organizers have announced the first confirmed set of local-area embedded developers who will deliver talks in a new session format at the Embedded Systems Conference/Expo Boston May 6-7, 2015.

Registration for the conference, which returns to Boston after a two-year hiatus, opens January 12, 2015.

These new “postmortem sessions” chronicle in technical detail the design and development of a real-world embedded systems application, including a detailed discussion of the trade-offs and choices made (and why) during the design process.

“We know that other engineers are one of the most important sources of information for engineers, and that embedded developers know that no product design is a cakewalk; in truth, there’s a lot of BS involved,” said Karen Field, Creative Director of ESC. “These talks are intended to ‘tell it like it is,” meaning speakers will present a detailed discussion of things that went wrong, what the workarounds were, and what would be done differently the next time around.”

In a talk on defensive programming, Ark Khasin, a senior software engineer at General Electric, will share real-world techniques deployed in some GE industrial devices that have helped engineers avoid hardware and software glitches and bugs in the field.

“Firmware architects and developers at all levels will benefit from taking a second look at a critical component–or even recognize that it was missing in the design in the first place,” said Khasin.

Using code snippets and toy-size examples, Khasin will cover some of the most dreaded bugaboos for embedded developers, from managing last-ditch processing of unhandled exceptions before and after reset to detecting stack overflow to ensuring the integrity of critical data and outputs in case of a trap.

Bigbelly Solar’s VP of Engineering Michael Feldman will chronicle the company’s sometimes rocky road to success as an early pioneer in the constantly-evolving IoT space, noting there has been no shortage of pitfalls engineering has run into over the years. Feldman will describe the evolution of the embedded system, from the early constraints to what they would do differently if they were to start from scratch today.

Given the rapid evolution of processors and architecture, is it possible to make the hardware in an embedded system independent of the choice of processor? Boston-area Engineer Peter Anderson tackles this topic in a session on an open-source electromagnetic tracker he is developing. A hobby project that he intends for others to replicate, he will describe the unusual requirements this application places on the processor and share insight into the design decisions and trade-offs he made to allow hardware compatibility with multiple processors.

Though well-intentioned, many engineers seem to forget that the most important customer of their code or schematic isn’t their compiler or CAD program, but rather other engineers. So their documentation is, well, at times somewhat lacking. Speaker Chris Svec, Senior Principal Software Engineer at iRobot, loves to tell the story of getting ready to track down the engineer who documented his code poorly–only to find to his dismay that he himself wrote it.

Chris Svec, Senior Principal Software Engineer at iRobot, is one of the local engineers who will be speaking at ESC Boston in May.

In his talk “Empathy Driven Development,” Svec will share examples of documentation both good and bad. He will also explain why coding with empathy is not some fluffy nonsense, but a mindset that leads to communicating what you’ve done so that others can actually understand it easily, which in turn can lead to a serious competitive advantage.

ESC, which is organized by's and EETimes' parent company UBM, has expanded its North American portfolio in 2015 to include dynamic events in Boston (May 6-7) and Minneapolis (November 4-5). These additions join an already successful lineup that includes events in Silicon Valley (July 20-22), and Sao Paulo, Brazil (November 17-18).

Join over 2,000 technical professionals and embedded systems hardware, software, and firmware developers at ESC Boston May 6-7, 2015 and learn about the latest techniques and tips for reducing time, cost, and complexity in the embedded development process.

Passes for the ESC Boston 2015 Technical Conference are available at the conference’s official site with discounted advance pricing until May 1, 2015. The Embedded Systems Conference and areowned by UBM Canon.

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