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10 skills embedded engineers need to acquire

10 Feb 2015  | Karen Field

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10. Learn wireless connectivity.

The one thing I would recommend embedded engineers learn in the next one to three years is wireless connectivity, specifically Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth low energy (BLE).

The primary (and sometimes only) way to interact with embedded devices is moving to the end user's smart phones, at least in consumer electronics. Consumer electronics companies know that a smart phone is a much better user experience than most embedded systems can hope to provide on their own. And other industries and product categories are figuring it out too.

Our embedded systems are going to need to talk to an app on a smart phone or an internet-based service in order to do anything—communicate with the user, get firmware updates, troubleshoot problems, etc.

It might be going a bit too far to say that Wi-Fi and BLE will soon be as common as the UART is today, but it's not too farfetched, and it's a good tool to have in your tool-box.

Source: Chris Svec

Title & Company: Senior Principal Software Engineer, iRobot

What I do: I've been an engineer for 13 years. I think of myself as a "low level" embedded engineer. I like living at the hardware/software interface. But I'm also a "big picture" kind of guy, which means that I need to understand the full context of the product I'm working on to really enjoy my work.


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