What is Embedded Software Development?
Embedded software development is generally referred to as the process of controlling electronic devices that are different from traditional computers, usually by software engineering(writing code).
An Embedded system is the integration of software engineering with non-computer devices. Embedded systems are often used in medical sciences, automation, aerospace, electronics, and manufacturing science.
Embedded systems require a wide range of programming, microprocessors, and operating systems. Embedded software development is done by embedded software engineers who develop embedded systems.
The Flow Process
Since embedded systems are different from traditional computer systems, they have their development process from preparing prototypes to final testing. The teams that are involved in developing these embedded systems are required to do the following:
- Review and analyze the requirements for the project.
- Build and reuse components in the system whenever possible
- Validate at several stages of integration, that is, run and execute the code to meet all its requirements.
- Integrating all the software and hardware files; launching the product.
Initial Steps in Learning Embedded Software Development
Leaning embedded software development can involve a series of steps. The first initial steps are the most important:
- Learn Programming Language
There are a variety of reasons why C Language is the preferred language in embedded software toolchains. Hence, it is mandatory to learn C Language for Embedded Software Development.
- Knowledge of basic Electronics
One will need a basic understanding of electronics. One must have all the fundamentals in mind(voltage, current, resistance, power, etc.). It is best to learn from a digital electronics course which includes practical knowledge of how real circuits work.
- Basic types of equipment
Since running the embedded systems depends on the hardware used, one must have some basic physical types of equipment to get started. These are:
- Soldering iron
- A Digital Multi-meter
- A hardware debugger
- Logic analyzer
- Getting a microcontroller and toolchain
One essential need is to get a compiler to compile all programs for the microcontroller. Hence, we need a microcontroller to run all programs, a compiler, and other tools.
- Pick Correct Components
After all the theoretical knowledge, it is time to broaden it practically. One can pick a few components, dig deeper into the datasheets, and put them together. Datasheets is the term referring to the manual of electronic components. It has all the necessary information regarding how a component works for an application.
- Other tools
Some other software development tools are required when working on embedded systems development. These are as follows:
- Version Control Software
- An automation tool
- Hardware Simulators
- Static Code Analysis Tool
Software Embedded development teaches not only about working on embedded systems but also gives a deep understanding of some core concepts/ topics like programming languages, real-time operating systems, and device drivers.
Apart from this technical knowledge, working as an embedded software developer will also teach time management, workspace manageability, maximizing traceability, and IP reuse.