in embedded, software development, technology

Podcast Interview about Chip Design, Embedded Software, Robots, and Empathy

I had a great time being interviewed on the CodeNewbie podcast hosted by Saron Yitbarek! The episode is called: Episode 133: Building Robot Vacuum Cleaners: An Intro to Embedded Systems

Thanks to Saron for having me on her show – she asked great questions to knit together my experience in chip design, embedded software, robots, and empathy.

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  1. Hey man great work on the Podcast! it made me wanna come home and check out the links on embedded systems since I’ve been kinda interested on it for a while but never dove into it.

    On a side note, do you happen to have a magic fix for my Roomba that got peed on by my cat and now it only goes in circles on the same spot?

    • Sorry to hear about your cat’s unfortunate use of your Roomba! If it only turns in circles then that probably means one of the wheels is dead. You should try emailing our customer support: no guarantees, but they might take pity on your catastrophe.

  2. Hey Chris, just a quick question :
    How much (if at all) does working as a chip designer (ASIC) helped you in the embedded world? (working with MCU’s and/or FPGA).

    I’m just about to start my first junior job and my background is in the HW/SW interface (ECE- OS,CompArch,DSP,ANSI C,C++,OOP . My HW knowledge is basic and forgotten long ago)
    I’m “afraid” it would be a waste for me not to go in the embedded SW world (or worst case – trying a FAE/Sales for 1-3 years so I can travel a lil bit).

    Isn’t Chip design (ASIC) kind of dying nowadays (demand) ? It also limits you to work at one of the big corporates, doesn’t go very well with the concept of freelancing while traveling.

    Unfortunately there are no Junior FPGA design/Prototyping positions in my country (which is a growing field that can be combined with Embedded world)

    Would like to hear your opinion.

    • Hi Idan!

      I think that starting as a chip designer helps me enormously when working with embedded systems. I know what the microcontroller is doing under the hood, which helps me figure out how to use microcontrollers when the chip vendor’s documentation isn’t great… which is usually.

      I have no idea if chip design is dying, but I bet it is not. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Apple, Samsung, ARM, ST, TI, Qualcomm, Silicon Labs, Cirrus, and many smaller chip companies need chip designers. I don’t know if the field is growing or shrinking, but it seems pretty healthy to me from the outside.