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Where Are Tomorrow's Embedded Developers? 245

An anonymous reader writes "In a similar vein to the previous discussion about the New York professors taking Java to task for damaging Computer Science education, Mike Anderson of the PTR group wonders why it's so hard to find good embedded developers these days. 'As for today's CS programs, it seems that long gone are the computer architecture classes, writing code in assembly language (or even C at this point) and engineering software economics. In fact, a large number of CS majors apparently believe that everything can be implemented in a virtual machine and that both memory and [CPU] cycles are infinite.'"
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Where Are Tomorrow's Embedded Developers?

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  • *Raises hand* (Score:2, Informative)

    by Bugs42 ( 788576 ) <[superjambob] [at] []> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @05:52PM (#22398094)
    Yo. (Hopefully) future embedded software engineer right here. Currently majoring in Computer Engineering with a CompSci minor. I actually just enrolled in an embedded applications class this semester. Seems like a popular class, too - offered fairly often, and good enrollment each time from what I hear.
    Even though the majority of the CS classes at my university are Java-based, there're still required architecture classes that use assembly and C, along with several EE courses. Just because many colleges are abandoning lower-level programming doesn't mean they all are.
  • Re:From EE, not CS? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @06:01PM (#22398262)
    That's right. EE are the teachers of embedded discipline. We have to know algorithms from CS, pure mathematics (enough for a minor at least), physics of light/energy/magnetism (as like math, enough for a minor), circuit design, OS design in theory and practicality, and a bunch of other things.

    All together, that's what an EE is. If it's not on fire, we can program it ;D
  • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @06:17PM (#22398558)
    You're confusing computer engineering with software engineering. Computer engineering is a hybrid software/hardware degree- depending on your electives its like minoring in EE and majoring in CS, or majoring in EE with an emphasis on digital circuits and minoring in CS. Quite frequently with tougher versions of some courses- the asm course taught to CS students at UIUC was a joke taught on simulators. By the end of the ECE asm class, we were programming video games on x86 without using external libraries.

    Software engineering is a CS major with emphasis on process at good schools. At bad schools, its a watered down CS major.
  • Where are the jobs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stevecrox ( 962208 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @07:32PM (#22399634) Journal
    As someone who finished whis BEng in Computer Engineering this year I have to ask, where are the embedded jobs?

    I hunted around looking for any assembly/vhdl/c job I could find and only found one which didn't require 2 years expearence, they didn't get any message back to me until 2 months after I'd applied. I applied to roughly 35 "entry level" jobs dealing with embedded devices. None were interested because I lacked two years expearence. In the time it took the only one to get back to me I'd been contacted by a C++/Java company had a phone interview went up and been personnally interviewed and been offered the job.

    The real kicker is the embedded jobs paid less, didn't mention any benifits and wanted more work out of me. I think the real issue is most companies aren't willing to invest in graduates unless its for business positions. It is difficult to get 2 years expearence when everyone demands 2 years for their entry level jobs. Which leads to a shortage since no one gets offered a embedded job so Universitys don't bother going into too much detail since 99% of their students will never use it.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost