Embedded System Engineer
The embedded system engineer, expert in the constraints of the embedded world, develops optimized programs.
- Embedded System Engineer Job
- Embedded System Engineer Skills
- Become an Embedded System Engineer
- Employment Opportunities
Embedded System Definition
An embedded system is a hardware and software package combining four main features:
- Autonomous, it must fulfil its mission for long periods and without human intervention (because the latter is impossible, too slow, even insufficiently reliable).
- Often real-time, it must deliver accurate results within set deadlines.
- It is specialized in specific task.
- Its resources are limited; in other words, we will seek to optimize its size, its consumption and its memories to reduce the overall cost.
Most of the time, the embedded system consists of:
- Sensors for collecting information (temperature, vibration, accelerometer, GPS…)
- Systems for information processing, decision-making and actuators control (microcontroller, microprocessors, ASIC…).
- Actuators for the hardware transcription of decisions made at the software level.
For example, the flight control module of a rocket is an embedded system.
He focuses specifically on software issues. The name Embedded Software Engineer is therefore also used.
Embedded System Engineer Job
The job of embedded system engineer is first to understand precisely what the applicant wants. To achieve this, a great technical and relational ease is necessary. From this phase, there will be a strong interaction with the other concerned technical specialties such as hardware, mechanics or application software.
Then, the engineer must succeed in setting up a software architecture and planning taking into account the constraints expressed, for example those related to security, cost, autonomy or development time. All these elements are grouped in a specification that will be used as a basis for the following work.
The entire technical environment will then be set up, with its choice of technology, programming language and platform, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
During the development phase, it is essential to properly document one’s code, so that it can be eventually taken over by another engineer.
Finally, before delivery, the engineer will test each piece of his “software puzzle” (unit tests), then check that they fit perfectly together (integration tests). Therefore, the set constituted must obviously correspond to what was expected.
Embedded System Engineer Skills
An embedded system engineer must at least know the C language, which is the most commonly used programming language in the embedded world, and to a lesser degree the C++.
He must ideally have worked on architectures using different microprocessors and processors.
It is important to have a strong learning ability, since the operation of a project, tests, or the realization of an architecture will often vary from one mission to another.
Finally, the embedded system engineer has a greater knowledge of hardware (for example electronic boards) and its operation than a developer specializing in high-level programming languages (for example Java).
The main qualities of an embedded system engineer are:
- A strong ability to analyse and understand a system, for example to be able to describe technically the requests.
- The rigor, especially to respect the defined requirements, or during the test phase.
- A great learning ability because new technologies appear regularly, so you have to be able to understand them and use them quickly.
- Be creative because the projects are diverse, but the purpose remains the same: to find a solution!
Become an Embedded System Engineer
To become an embedded system engineer, it is essential to have studied software programming, as part of a master’s degree or an engineering school. For example, Adrien, a young embedded system engineer at ELSYS Design is graduated from ECE Paris:
« Engineering schools provide us basics but we have to improve these skills by participating in projects or through our professional experience! »
Hardware electronics educational background can also lead to embedded software development.
Adrien says: « The prerequisite is to be an engineer. I have noticed that embedded systems engineers often have knowledge of hardware and software, and therefore sometimes hesitate to specialize in one of the two areas. »
The salary of an embedded system engineer depends on his training, his experience, his specialty, or the region where he works.
For a young graduate, in France, it is generally between 33K and 36K €.
Be an embedded system engineer at ELSYS Design
« What I really appreciate about ELSYS Design is the great autonomy that I am given. I also have the opportunity to meet people in my workplace who come from all sectors of embedded systems. That means there are lots of exchange, sharing and therefore skills improvement.
ELSYS Design is a company on a human scale, so if I have a technical problem, I can quickly talk with the expert of the field. Similarly, if I want to test a new approach, I know who to talk to, the decision making is fast.
Finally, there are challenges, the projects are ambitious, I only use new technologies and we have customers to satisfy. I find all this motivating and stimulating. »
ELSYS Design hires embedded system engineers in France, in the cities of Paris, Rennes, Nantes, Grenoble, Lyon, Nice Sophia Antipolis, Aix en Provence and Toulouse! Find out employment opportunities on our job board.