The skills you need to be an embedded programmer depend on the type of job, company and language you work with. Many other skills come into play, but for this article, we’re going to focus on the basic skills. We hope that through this list of essential skills for the embedded programming world, you will be able to develop your skills as an embedded engineer, which will allow you to get a better job in the future!
- C and C++ programming
C and C++ are the backbones of embedded systems. These languages have a long and storied lineage, going back to the mid-1970s with Digital Equipment Corporation’s first microprocessor. For you to get into the space of embedded programming, you need to know two things about C and C++: their syntax and how they differ from each other in terms of memory management.
- Linus operating system
Everyone who has been in the engineering field knows that there’s no better way to learn than from experience. With embedded systems, even though you are going to be working on a Linux operating system, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be working with commands you already know and love. However, there is a lot of overlap between what you know about Linux and how Linux is used by embedded programmers. But you should know about the few key differences since that can greatly impact how you spend your time designing and implementing functions at work.
- Reading schematics
Reading a schematic isn’t always as simple as it seems. On the other side of this equation are the engineers who must be able to ‘read’ a schematic. The ability to view and interpret the most complex and ambiguous graphical representation of an electrical circuit is the bread and butter of most embedded systems and embedded software engineers.
- Communication protocols
Communication Protocols are a very important skill for embedded systems engineers. There are various types of communication protocols, but understanding how these are designed and implemented is critical to being able to design and implement protection mechanisms within your system.
- RISC-V instruction set architecture
The RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) is a free and open ISA and system architecture specification that was developed starting with the first 32-bit RISC processor, the System Z800. This is an instruction set aimed at executing highly efficient applications, particularly in devices that are miniaturised, power-efficient, and highly mobile. It is important to know about risk five since this will give you an introduction to the industry standards.
- Microcontroller (MCUs)
If you work in the embedded systems industry or are a student of an embedded systems course, you have probably come across microcontrollers. They are found in nearly every application that uses a computer’s processing power. This is true for everything from smartphones to industrial machinery and more. The MCU has been around for decades and has become a standard option for software engineers looking to add intelligence to their systems or products.