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Soliciting advice: Starting an online embedded systems career

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by max_torch, Sep 1, 2020.

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  1. max_torch


    Feb 9, 2014
    I'm currently soliciting advice on how to move my career to the online space. It seems to make financial sense because of purchasing power parity considering I live in the Philippines. I'm planning to include PIC, Atmel, and Raspberry Pi in my portfolio. After I graduated BS Electronics Engineering, a 5-year course, I became a Test Product Engineer for a year and a half in a company that makes Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuits where I gained experience debugging/optimizing IC test programs written in C++ and Visual Basic. Currently in an unrelated field for a year and a half as well. Generally, what advice can you give me on making a roadmap towards establishing a stable career as an embedded systems developer online?

    I have specific questions below:
    1. How can I assess myself on whether I can already market myself as an embedded systems developer for hire? Perhaps I should start with marketing myself only on a single microcontroller family only? I suppose Arduino would be a good start then.
    2. Am I allowed to ask for help in a public forum such as this if I am stumped on a work project?
    3. With regards to PIC microcontrollers, I have only developed for the PIC16 series, and only in school and not professionally. Which PIC series would be more in-demand in the online job market? And how different or similar would that be from developing for the PIC16 series? In college I have tried coding for PIC using three different IDEs: Microcode Studio, MikroC, and MPLAB. So I've coded PIC16 in BASIC, C, and assembly.
    4. I'm planning to market myself as a freelancer on Upwork. Is there a better online freelancing platform which suits the niche of Embedded Systems Development?
    5. Do I absolutely need to spend on commercial simulation and design software? If yes which ones can you recommend? I have familiarity on how to use Proteus Labcenter Electronics Software for simulating microcontrollers because of my exposure to it from college. It would be a great asset to use Proteus in developing embedded systems but the pricing is extremely scary. For context it would take me 4-6 years without a promotion in my previous Test Engineer job to save enough for the 8000USD Proteus Platinum as a single man without a family or dependents. I also have exposure to MATLAB from college and a google search showed me that I can probably simulate and design for Arduino using Simulink. MATLAB + Simulink. 25% cheaper price point than Proteus Platinum but still daunting.
    6. Would any certifications help me?
    7. I also have some level of knowledge with the use of Subversion, Trello, Github, Jira, Conlfuence. How good do I have to be in this to be able to add this to my portfolio/resume?
    8. Does anyone have any idea what it's actually like doing this kind of job as an online freelancer? I suppose the kinds of tasks would be to provide codes, simulations, schematics, documents, flowcharts, circuit layouts, debugging existing codes? In some cases you would have to build small demonstrations/prototypes yourself to showcase as proof of concept or Design of Experiment?
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
  2. Nanren888


    Nov 8, 2015
    Sorry, can't help with the questions, but one comment, If arduino is really just a selection of boards with a common interface, you might want to also list as having some experience with the processor range that powers arduino boards, including arduino, as some users may be looking for the processor but not the board.
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