Embedded Systems November 2000 Vol13_12

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FIGURE 3 Geograp_l:lic djs_triqu\ion of embedded develope!s Northeast 9% ------------. Southeast 11% - .--- - · West Coast 23% Southwest 11 % -- - · Mid-Atlantic 13% - --------- -- Midwest 19% :--·---- - North Central 8% Northwest 6% more tllan 25 years. The remainder of the respondents have 10 to 14 (18%), five to nine (13%), one to four (4%), or zero years of experience ( 1%). However, while most ESP sub- scribers have quite a few years of over- all prog• ·amming and enginee ring FIGURE 4 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% I I· .... ... . . • . ••••• 1 <$25K $25K- $50K r--- -·---- -· ··----·------------ 1 ~.---- -~------------------------ i i------- -------------------------- 1 : t--------------------------------- ! $50K- $75K Salary $75K- $100K $100K- $150K >$150K [ __ _ i : 1 1 f--- l--- i i--- experience, they haven't been work- ing in the embedded systems field for nearly so long. In fact, the ave rage respondent has spent only 11 of his 17 years developing em bedded systems. Figure 2 reveals that the largest group (26%) have only been working on embedded proj ects for five to nine years. The 10-to-14-year group came in second witl1 19%. Anotl1er 17% have spent 15 to 19 years in the embedded field, and 10% have been doing this kind of work for 20 to 24 years . Those witl1 just one to four years of experi- ence counted for 18%. Bookending the results, 7% of respondents said they have spent 25 years or more developing embedded systems, while 3% are apparently just getting started. from a community college, while just 3% have managed with a high school diploma alone. Among those who went to college, it seems more maj ored in electrical engineering (64%) than any other subject. As multiple responses were allowed, strong showings were also made for both computer science ( 48%) and compute r engineerin g (37%) . Other engineering subjects, mathematics, and physics we re also popular concentrations for embedded developers. Though armed with all of that elec- trical engineering education, it seems 43% of you work primarily as software developers today. Hardware design isn't nearly as popular a career among ESP 's readers, earning just an 11% response. Those with a little more experience tend to work primarily in engineering management ( 17%) . Taking the road less traveled, th e remainder were involved most heavily in either system integration or system architecture (5% each). Those surveyed spoke from a vast body of programming/ engineering experience- an aggregate of about 5,000 years (17 years per respondent, on average). As Figure 2 clearly shows, tl1e highest percentage of responses (25%) came from embedded system developers witl1 a total of 15 to 19 years programming or engineering work already under their belt. Surpassing them, another 18% have 20 to 24 years of experience, while 20% have been in engineering for 88 NOVEMBER 2ooo Embedded Systems Programming On the job While 17% of respondents listed industrial controls as their company's primary end p.-oduct or application, it's no surprise that in this era of con- nectivi ty, another 17% are working in the communications/ networking sec- tor. The rest of the respondents were split between the computers/ periph- erals (10%), consumer electro ni cs (9%), aerospace (8%) , gove rn- ment/ military (7%) , automotive/ transportation (7%) , medical equip- ment (5%), and electronic inst.-u- ments/ ATE (5%) industries. Though some respondents are working on embedded proj ects with millions of lines of code (3%), the vast maj ori ty (84%) are involved in pro- j ects with fewer than 100,000 lines. And most developers are generally sat- isfied-though not tllrilled-with tile tools tl1ey' re currently using to devel- op, test, and debug their embedded software. Of course, developing even just a few tllousand of lines of software takes appre-

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