Happy New Year! - Embedded.com

Happy New Year!

It's a time for new resolutions and change. A time to break bad habits and start new ones. A time for self-examination and improvement. And that's just in this issue. For January we kick off our CEO Soapbox feature, a monthly forum for industry luminaries to share their views of the big picture stuff: where embedded software and hardware are headed, how technology changes our jobs, economic forecasts, what have you. We don't edit these viewpoints much; they're direct and unexpurgated so you're getting it straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

We're also extending our series of point/counterpoint articles that bring two bright minds to bear on opposite sides of the same issue. This month it's the future of hardware design and hardware-design languages. Will hardware engineering continue like today (only better) or are we ready for a clean break and the proverbial paradigm shift? There are compelling academic and practical arguments for both sides; we'll let the experts battle it out.

In the months ahead we'll also expand our coverage of FPGAs and programmable logic, topics that are closely tied to both programming and embedded hardware. We'll also delve into analog design techniques, a topic that many of you have asked for because it's so closely identified with embedded systems.

For you managers and project leaders who've moved up through the engineering ranks, we'll begin a new series of engineering management”focused articles that share how-to information on managing large project teams, motivating your staff (and colleagues), and the role of economics in product development. I think these will all be strong additions to Embedded Systems Programming as it enters its seventeenth year.

What's the catch? No catch. We're keeping all the great content we've always had and nothing's going away. We're making room for new topics, more coverage, and more new material. And there are a few more surprises coming later in the year, too. I love it when a plan comes together.

Every year we survey embedded systems developers from around the world. You may get one in your e-mail soon. And every year we share the results at Embedded Systems Conference and elsewhere. This year is no different, with the first results coming out at Microprocessor Summit, the newest part of the Embedded Systems Conference, at the beginning of March. We'll also serialize the results in the pages of this magazine alongside original commentary from analysts and insiders who can tell us what it all means. The results are usually surprising. We're asking new questions this year and plotting new trend data based on the past 12 years of doing this survey. There's nothing like real data to expose a few myths about what chips, what languages, and what products are doing well. Between the results of the study and all the new articles coming online, it's going to be a great new year!

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