For your future career

Tags: Embedded, Programming, School

 From a recent LinkedIn thread (didn't correct spelling, but you get the idea):

Need suggestion for future career

Hello all, I'm looking for a new job, but now I'm really confused. My friends suggest me for iOS/Android development, 'cause that are the most popular and easy to get started. But for me, that's not cool, not challenging and not exciting at all. No offents. Most of them are SNS and incredible easy on programing. I was tired some hardware R&D company, didn't goes well, very little salary or named "R&D" in fact "Copy and Paste"(and some company just told me that "BEc not under consideration"). I love embedded C programming, but looks my country didn't (nobody interested in teach newbie), it's too hard to improve my skill without product R&D. Should I follow my firend's advice to became a framework based SDE, or other way out?

It is not just this one person, but plenty of other young people struggle with this, in a variety of different fields. I replied with a 5 step 'program' to the question, and it seems that others appreciated it as well. I'm reproducing it here just in case it disappears from LinkedIn...

Step 1: Take the job you can get to pay the bills; get some corporate experience at the same time. Don't worry too much about the specifics you're doing. Even if it's Android coding.

Step 2: Network. Get to know people, especially those that work in an area like embedded that interests you more. Talk to them, see where the companies are, show them you're interested in the field. Additionally, read books and articles in English to improve your language skills. Communication is very important when networking.

Step 3: Develop your own skills and let others know about them. You can blog about them, make tutorials, etc. In other words, become visible to a wide audience. There are tons of ways you can do this, for example by joining an open source project. Diversify. Don't just limit yourself. Pick up tool-kits, do some web programming, learn how to use databases, look into network protocols, learn (real-time) operating systems internals, learn about sensors and other hardware like motor control and PCB design, etc. Once you reach a certain level of experience, your degree won't matter that much.

Step 4: Start applying for jobs that would interest you more, now that you have a good understanding of what you want, and where you want to go to. Use the contacts you made over time to help open doors. All the time, stay visible.

Step 5: Profit :-)


Of course, this is not the be all, end all there is to be said on the topic, but it should help you get on the right track.