Brad Mosch

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    • There are both younger and older engineers whom I would never hire and others I would really like to hire if I was ever in the position. I'd test and ask questions to all of them the same way. I'm also 0x33 and am looking at going for ARM certification after playing around with the several ARM-based boards I now have at home. My background is mostly in writing test applications (C, C++ and LabVIEW) along with validating embedded avionics software (DO-178B), but I'm really trying to break into getting a real embedded position within a few years. I think I'm really going to have to come up with a good cover letter to get potential employers to not worry about my age and my mostly-test background. I don't mind keeping up with newer technology, but I know many, young and old, who have stagnated and have no interest in updating themselves. They don't "have the passion" as Dave Jones says on The Amp Hour radio show.

    • ~ ... you nor anyone you know ever got the purchase ~ of a productivity-boosting tool approved. Funny you say that. A few years ago I was really wanting some static analysis tools. When I found out no one had any (which was amazing - this isn't a small company), I put in an official request for them. It went all the way through the request process... including people who should know about software. It was denied. Unbelievable. The company has been downsizing due to lost and missed DOD contracts, and I'm definitely looking elsewhere. A few years ago they also put a freeze on paying for any external training other than tuition assistance for accredited institutions. And the tuition ceiling was lowered so that it no longer covers tuition for the only school within a reasonable distance that teaches a wide assortment of engineering courses. So... I'm on my own to learn at home.

    • Should we use int8_t instead of char? I don't see char, int or long int types used much any more in embedded code (thankfully).

    • For the default cases that should never be executed, setting breakpoints sounds like a great idea (necessity) during development. For the released code, I'm thinking it could be a good idea to have some kind error indication and/or safing routine. Also, if deemed necessary or desired, there should be some way of saving enough data that can be used to at least know what default case was executed that shouldn't have been. If practical and desirable, there should be an unmistakable indication of a run-time error noticeable by a human (a simple LED, a tone, etc.). All this should be decided up front in the planning stages of the project (when, mistakenly, it sometimes doesn't include the test or firmware engineers).

    • To take away the human drivers means that a massive addition to the existing roadway infrastructure would have to happen. Who's going to pay for that? I'll guess it's fiscally impossible. Again, I'm sure Google has brought this up in at least once in their massive brainstorming sessions for this massive project/problem. So, they (we all) have to work within the realms of reality.

    • While brainstorming potential obstacles, I'm sure Google came up with a list far longer than you brought up. Many of the situations will be handled better by automation than any human could. Look at how many mysterious, single-vehicle accidents occur. Automation won't have many of the problems humans do, such as being too tired, checking the latest text messages on the phone, lack of basic driving skills for avoiding simple obstacles on the road, driving too (stupidly) fast in bad weather, tailgating too (stupidly) close to the vehicle ahead, passing and cutting others off in traffic, etc., etc. I wish the day would get here soon where autonomous vehicles are the norm (and desirable). I'm very tired of dealing with human drivers every day.

    • I'll bet that the "drive" to work would become the time that many people would actually put make-up on, shave, eat breakfast, whatever! Heck... that might even become a selling point for these vehicles.

    • ... and/or a companion FPGA board. I'm wanting to try this out for the fun of it with a pinball machine's logic board.

    • DataTraveler hardware-encrypted flash drives are pretty reasonable nowadays to purchase from places such as newegg.com. Just get one and don't worry about risking your job or data over something as low-cost as this. It's not worth it. I have a 16 GB and it works great. Yeah, it's a little bit of a pain to have to log into it every time, but it's the way to go.

    • "... T and M tools..." Does that mean troubleshooting and maintenance? Just curious if I've been missing something.