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What does "embedded firmware" really mean?

Started by BubbaGump March 3, 2007
I recently was contacted by a headhunter about a job working on
"embedded firmware".  Since I've begun to notice this term can imply
many things, I tried to ask whether it was an area that really
interested me, whether the work would involve developing device
drivers.  The headhunter was stupefied, asking whether that was some
sort of application, but I was able to sync up with him again when he
mentioned "C and assembly".

On Sat, 03 Mar 2007 17:31:35 -0500, BubbaGump wrote:

> I recently was contacted by a headhunter about a job working on > "embedded firmware". Since I've begun to notice this term can imply > many things, I tried to ask whether it was an area that really > interested me, whether the work would involve developing device > drivers.
It comes from decades ago when EPROMs were used for embedded software. The EPROMs had to be removed from the boards for erasing and reprogramming. The medium containing the software wasn't "soft", nor was it "hard", but it was "firm". Hence firmware. The term "embedded software" is more commonly used today although "embedded firmware" would cover flash and EEPROM devices. It is just a label which can be misused, so you are right in trying to get more specific info from the headhunter. He probably doesn't really know what the term actually means, he's just repeating a term he got from a human relations person or a manager, and they may or may not know the real meaning. ~Dave~
On Sat, 03 Mar 2007 20:51:49 -0500, Dave <dave@comteck.com> wrote:

>It is just a >label which can be misused, so you are right in trying to get more >specific info from the headhunter. He probably doesn't really know what >the term actually means, he's just repeating a term he got from a human >relations person or a manager, and they may or may not know the real >meaning.
This just pisses me off that these are the people, the idiots, standing as the gatekeepers to many of the jobs that I see that interest me. I think I get it now. Hiring managers trust these people because hiring managers are often idiots, and idiots trust idiots. It's all about confidence. It doesn't matter how little the person knows. As long as they inflate their lack of knowledge and lack of ability with confidence then the idiot manager will trust them. It's the same way people get promoted in corporations, and it's the reason why management positions often end up being filled by idiots. I'm sure the headhunter gives the same speech I've heard when the headhunter has told me about their business, "We go out and ..." (they do the same simple resume keyword searches that any person who has Internet access could do and try to act like they're providing a service). I'm just sick of talking to these people. One of them actually wouldn't submit my resume to a position because he didn't think I had the experience. He had some nerve, as if he's at all qualified to judge technical ability. If anything he can judge personality and that's all. Leave the judging of intelligence to intelligent people who actually work hands-on at the job being advertised.
On Mar 6, 11:55 am, BubbaGump <BubbaGump@localhost> wrote:

> This just pisses me off that these are the people, the
Why don't you just look for a fulltime job as a whiner? You are eminently qualified; I'll happily write you a character reference.
On Sat, 03 Mar 2007 20:51:49 -0500, Dave <dave@comteck.com> wrote:

>He probably doesn't really know what >the term actually means, he's just repeating a term he got from a human >relations person or a manager, and they may or may not know the real >meaning.
What's funny is some headhunters besides lacking technical knowledge also have no common sense. A headhunter once described a job involving "gaming" and when I asked it was confirmed it involved video games. Of course what it actually meant was casinos and gambling. I guessed this based on a phrase I'd heard before, "Nevada Gaming Commission", and confirmed it on the company's web site. I feel sorry for headhunters. Apparently society is so devoid of useful jobs that being a parasite with no physical or mental skills is a last resort, a side effect of a capitalist system that would rather people do illegitimate fake "work" than be paid to do nothing and leave other people alone.
On Sat, 03 Mar 2007 20:51:49 -0500, Dave <dave@comteck.com> wrote:

>He probably doesn't really know what >the term actually means, he's just repeating a term he got from a human >relations person or a manager, and they may or may not know the real >meaning.
One headhunter told me about a position requiring knowledge of USB 2.0 and made a point that the hiring manager was willing to accept someone who only knew USB 1.0 (or possibly 1.1). It would have been nice if one of them was smart enough to know that USB 1.1 and 2.0 are so similar that it's not worth even thinking about rejecting candidates over, that any good engineer would be able to learn the small differences and that that ability to learn and adapt is what they should really be targeting anyway, not specific background experience.
BubbaGump wrote:
> This just pisses me off that these are the people, the idiots, > standing as the gatekeepers to many of the jobs that I see that > interest me.
So learn the little things that push their buttons, and get past them. Just like learning to use a door-handle... if you actually have what the job requires.
> I'm just sick of talking to these people. One of them actually > wouldn't submit my resume to a position because he didn't think I had > the experience. He had some nerve, as if he's at all qualified to > judge technical ability.
I thought you said he thought you lacked experience, not ability?
> If anything he can judge personality
It strikes me that he probably did, and it was enough.
> Leave the judging of intelligence to intelligent people > who actually work hands-on at the job being advertised.
They're busy. If you're looking for one-in-a-million, you might need to interrupt them, but if one in a hundred, you don't.
On Mar 3, 5:31 pm, BubbaGump <BubbaGump@localhost> wrote:
> I recently was contacted by a headhunter about a job working on > "embedded firmware". Since I've begun to notice this term can imply > many things, I tried to ask whether it was an area that really > interested me, whether the work would involve developing device > drivers. The headhunter was stupefied
While the work might be similar in some respects to developing device drivers (low level hardware interaction), the programming environment could be very different - small 8 bit systems for example, with either no operating system or an unusual one. And there's a lot more to embedded work than just the device drivers (which are often trivially simple) - quite likely you would be writing the entirity of the software running on the device. It seems to me like you are expecting the headhunter to recognize a connection that not only would require in-depth knowledge of the work, but very likely isn't even there.
cs_posting@hotmail.com wrote:
> On Mar 3, 5:31 pm, BubbaGump <BubbaGump@localhost> wrote: > >> I recently was contacted by a headhunter about a job working on >> "embedded firmware". Since I've begun to notice this term can >> imply many things, I tried to ask whether it was an area that >> really interested me, whether the work would involve developing >> device drivers. The headhunter was stupefied >
... snip ...
> > It seems to me like you are expecting the headhunter to recognize > a connection that not only would require in-depth knowledge of > the work, but very likely isn't even there.
If all Bubba can do is "develop device drivers" I would consider him unemployable, at least in this field. He also appears to have a peculiar outlook. -- Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net) Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems. <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net> -- Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com