Embedded Software Engineering uses software engineering to monitor various devices and machines that are not conventional computers. Embedded systems are created by integrating software engineering with non-computer devices. Medical science, consumer electronics, industrial science, aviation, and automotive technology are all fields where embedded systems are used.
And you’ve wanted to try a career as an embedded systems engineer? How long would it take to get beyond? You may have the makings of an embedded systems engineer if you like robots, know your way around PCBs, and enjoy coding in C. An embedded systems engineer’s qualifications, accreditations. The career path will be addressed in this article.
Programming software, microprocessors, and operating systems are all required in a typical embedded system. Embedded software engineering, which embedded software engineers carry out, must be adapted to the hardware requirements that it is supposed to monitor and operate on.
In comparison to conventional application growth, embedded software engineering considers external factors such as temperature and other environmental factors that may affect performance. As an Embedded Systems Engineer, you’ll be responsible for designing, developing, and testing embedded systems.
Working as an Embedded Systems Engineer
Computers, as we all know, are made up of a system of tiny processing chips. The processing unit that allows computers to perform their functions is made up of these processing chips. It’s often mind-boggling to know how much these tiny chips can accomplish in a matter of seconds.
They have built a machine that is so powerful that it can often think faster than humans. Are you aware that these systems are often referred to as embedded systems? The embedded systems engineer is one of the people who deal with this. Embedded system engineers create these systems.
They create the software that runs the systems and ensures that the desired outcomes are achieved. Embedded system engineers also perform product testing to ensure that the device is functional. Once it’s up and running, embedded system engineers are on hand to perform routine maintenance tests and troubleshoot any issues that arise.
This is a good specialty for an engineer who enjoys technology and constructing stuff. To be effective, you’ll need a computer and analytical skills, as well as the patience to develop.
What does it mean to be an embedded systems engineer?
What do a rocket’s avionics, a self-driving car’s automatic powertrain, and the internals of your programmable pressure cooker have in common? They’re all embedded systems, which are hardware and software combinations that perform individual tasks.
- Analog sensors for real-time data collection are standard components of an embedded system (temperature, pressure, acceleration, etc.)
- Decision-making, automation, and control using microcontrollers, microprocessors, and actuators.
- Embedded software: pre-programmed instructions that can operate the entire machine without the need for human intervention.
The embedded systems engineer is in charge of embedded system design, construction, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance. This position is identified as an embedded software engineer because it often leans more towards the equation’s software development side.
Embedded systems engineer’s core skillset
The embedded systems engineer, like the systems they run, needs experience with both hardware and software. An embedded systems engineer’s core skill set looks something like this:
- The most common requirements for this role are programming languages such as C, C++, and Assembly Language. Working with National Instruments data acquisition units is also an everyday use of LabView. Other languages such as ADA, Lua, Rust, Python, VHDL, and Verilog may be needed depending on the job role.
- Microcontroller and microprocessor ecosystems including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Atmel AVR, ESP8266 NodeMcu, and PIC10Fxx
- Memory management: a detailed understanding of the various forms of memory, such as RAM, ROM, and Flash, and how to write software that needs a lot of memory.
- PCBs, signal analysis, debugging, assembly, and testing of integrated circuits and their components are part of the circuit design process. Sigrity and Allegro are two examples of PCB analysis and design applications.
- CAD Design: Designing basic hardware with CAD applications like AutoCAD or SolidWorks.
- Measurement: Experience measuring, analyzing, and troubleshooting electrical systems with digital multimeters, oscilloscopes, DAQs, and other tools.
- Google Cloud Portal, IBM Watson, Azure, and AWS are examples of IoT devices and frameworks.
- Data Processing and Analysis: Excel, Matlab, and Python are tools that can be used to process and analyze data.
- Professional Writing: Technical reporting is an essential part of engineering work. If you can write research grants, that’s even better.
Even if an embedded system engineer never has to touch the hardware of the systems they design, a detailed understanding of the hardware is needed to develop embedded software properly.
Degrees and Certifications for Embedded Systems Engineers
As you would expect, there’s a lot of crossover among electrical and computer engineering (ECE) degrees that you can use to pursue a career in embedded systems. Here are some of the more common bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs available:
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Computer Science
- Embedded System Engineering
The good thing about embedded systems engineering is that personal projects and experience are likely to speak louder than any credential when it comes to landing a job in this area. However, depending on your industry, you may want to consider any of the following certificates:
- National Instruments’ CLED (Certified LabView Embedded System Developer) certification.
- SME’s CMfgE (Certified Manufacturing Engineer).
- ISA’s CAP (Certified Automation Professional).
- Other certifications for specific skills, such as soldering or CAD design, are also available. It is preferable to obtain these as part of your work experience.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Design, build, code, test, and debug embedded device and system software from
- specifications to production and commercial implementation
- Review code and design
- Evaluate and improve system reliability, consistency, and scalability of system resources
- Integrate and validate new product designs
- Help software QA and optimize I/O output
- Evaluate open source and third-party applications
- Proven software engineering experience
- BS degree in Computer Science or Engineering
- Hands-on development and troubleshooting experience on embedded targets
Excellent knowledge of OS coding methods, IP protocols, interfaces, and hardware subsystems
- Proven expertise in embedded systems design with preemptive, multitasking real-time operating systems
- Familiarity with device configuration management tools, defect monitoring tools, and peer review a good understanding of how to interpret schematics and data sheets for components
The Path to Become an Embedded Systems Engineer
Like a CPA, a doctor, or a lawyer, once you get a job as an embedded system engineer, you will work in that field before you retire. The key is to keep current and educated about new technology.
However, it is also true that many people move into management or marketing positions within organizations in order to make more money. Here are some of the career paths that an embedded systems engineer might pursue:
- Quality Assurance Engineer
- Project Engineer
- Program Management
- Marketing Director
- Senior Embedded System Engineer
It’s important to note that embedded systems engineering is a lifelong talent, even if you inevitably move into a job that requires soft skills like management or marketing. An embedded system engineer can always apply their mastery of electronics to DIY projects in and around the house, much as a carpenter can always create their own shelves.