Getting into the minds of today's embedded systems developer -

Getting into the minds of today’s embedded systems developer

TechInsights, the company behind the Embedded Systems Conference (and my employer), recently conducted a poll of people who will be attending the upcoming Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose. The questions asked of those folks were related to the current state of the economy, and how that has affected them, both personally and professionally.

For example, one question asked whether “you are concerned about losing your job.” The possible responses were (paraphrased): yes I am (17%), very much so (11%), somewhat so (28%), and not at all (43%). It's nice to see that the largest response came from the group that was not concerned at all. But the other three responses can be grouped together, saying that there is definitely “some” level of concern over people's jobs, 56% of the responses.

Another question asked whether developers are working harder and longer hours as a result of a layoff at their company. “Only” 45% of those polled said that this was the case for them.

In another, what has your company done to adapt to the recession? The top responses were exploring new ways to compete; looking for new markets; trying to get better prices for components; and trying to cost-reduce the design process. Interestingly, at the bottom of the list was outsourcing.

How complete is the information your company has about the recession and its impact on your business? Only 41% think that their company has a clear understanding of how and why we are in this recession. About a third (32%) said that their company understand some of the factors. While 8% say that the causes are completely unclear.

How about that now famous Stimulus Package? How likely is your company to benefit from it? About one-third (30%) said unlikely, while just 8% said that it was likely. The remaining developers were unsure.

Finally, we asked the most important question, but one that no one knows for sure–when will the conditions get better? In true developer-honesty fashion, the largest response (29%) said “I don't know.” The next largest response, 23%, said within 12 months. If this question had been asked of me, I would have joined the 12% that said within six months.

The compete survey results will be available to ESC attendees after the conference. Send me a note of you're interested.

Richard Nass is editor in chief of Embedded Systems Design magazine and editorial director of TechInsights. He can be reached at .

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