Embedded developer, what constitutes entry level?

Levi Pearson levipearson at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 17:07:04 MDT 2012

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 4:40 PM, Gabriel Gunderson <gabe at gundy.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 3:33 PM, Nicholas Leippe <nick at leippe.com> wrote:
> > Furthermore, "embedded" is very ambiguous--I venture to say almost as
> > much as "cloud".
> You many think so, but I'd say it was less nebulous than "cloud".
Embedded = computer(s) hidden in a gadget making it work
Cloud = computers(s) somewhere on the internet making it work

At least for the moment, you can assume that something with 'cloud' in the
name provides computing services via TCP/IP and probably HTTP, and the
'cloud' software, whether you wrote bits of it or not, is running on some
sort of x86 server-class hardware and the clients that interact with the
'cloud' will run on PCs or phones/tablets that have some sort of regular OS
and programming environment.

An embedded system could be a charge controller in a battery pack with a
tiny microcontroller, or it could be an off-the-shelf x86 motherboard
running Windows inside a data-gathering tool (Ugh, Windows XP-powered
oscilloscopes).  The CPU could be made from discrete transistors, custom
logic in an FPGA, or it could be a standard x86 processor.  The system
could interact with a user via a mouse and keyboard, or it could manage
some system that has no user interaction at all. It might run on hardware
that cost 5 cents or 5 million dollars.  It might be part of a children's
toy, or it might keep a person's heart beating.  It might run 10 lines of
code or 10 million.  The software might run under control of an OS, or it
might not.  It could be written in C, assembly, FORTH, Ada, C++, lua, or
some custom language developed just for it.  Just about the only thing all
embedded systems have in common is that they have some sort of computer
that is a subsystem of a larger system.

Perhaps someday 'cloud computing' will be as broad, but it certainly isn't


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