How to build a strong team for embedded software development

How to build a strong team for embedded software development
N-iX
1970-01-01T04:43:12+00:00

The age of the IoT is here. Smart devices have found a way into every industry. Examples of modern embedded solutions range from smart watches and glasses to complex automotive devices and avionics such as automatic car parking systems and inertial guidance systems. What does it take to develop an e...

How to build a strong team for embedded software development
By Marta Hlova September 05, 2019

The age of the IoT is here. Smart devices have found a way into every industry. Examples of modern embedded solutions range from smart watches and glasses to complex automotive devices and avionics such as automatic car parking systems and inertial guidance systems. What does it take to develop an embedded solution? And how to gather a team of skilled engineers for your next embedded software development project

The demand for embedded software development talent is soaring

According to IDC’s Worldwide Global DataSphere IoT Devices and Data Forecast, there will be over 41B connected IoT devices by 2025. The global embedded software market will exceed USD 20B by 2025. The Linux operating system will continue to hold a major market share. Also, the real-time systems segment will see significant growth from 2019 to 2025 due to the increase in the demand for consumer electronic products, automotive electronics, and life-saving medical devices. Therefore, finding a skilled embedded software engineer will become more and more challenging.

Source: Global Market Insights: Embedded Software Market

The mounting demand for embedded software development services makes an embedded software engineer highly valued on the market. The average embedded software engineer’s salary in the UK is $45,363 and $87,621 in the USA, according to Glassdoor. 

Despite the growing demand for embedded software engineers and high salaries, there is a shortage of skilled embedded specialists worldwide. According to the Microsoft report IoT Signals47% of the respondents report that they don’t have enough skilled workers to implement IoT solutions. Thus, more and more businesses are choosing to outsource IoT development to trusted embedded software companies.

Building a successful embedded software development team

Businesses that develop embedded solutions can set up an embedded software development team in-house, find an embedded software development partner offshore or combine both of these options.

Building a successful embedded software development team in-house for a company that has no experience with embedded software development is a challenging task. It involves a lot of risks associated with the reliability and security of embedded devices. IT outsourcing companies, by contrast, that have an extensive portfolio of embedded projects have already developed a number of best practices. They can ensure that delivered solutions correspond to the existing security and industry standards. 

What’s more, embedded outsourcing projects are usually more cost-effective. It is a huge advantage for companies that want to take control of their budget. However, the main reason for outsourcing embedded software development is often the need to speed up delivery and time to market. An outsourced embedded development team can significantly improve your company's development capabilities.

How to choose the destination for embedded software development outsourcing

Clients who want to outsource embedded software development often consider embedded software companies in Eastern European countries like Ukraine and Poland in contrast to India and China. The region is famous for its strong technical education and a great number of developers who have vast expertise in embedded software development. LinkedIn shows that there are over 7,000 embedded software engineers in Poland and 3,000 embedded developers in Ukraine. Also, according to DOU, the most popular technologies among Ukrainian software engineers are C/C++, Java, JavaScript, PHP, and .Net.

How to choose an embedded software development partner

When looking for an embedded software development vendor, you need to gather real customer feedback about different companies and review their portfolio of embedded projects.

If you need full-cycle embedded software development, your vendor must have experience in software architecture and prototype design, firmware and hardware testing, and also system integration. Depending on the case, team composition could significantly vary. It is important to make sure that the companies you are considering have specialists that can provide you with the services you need. A core team for a project that covers full-cycle embedded software development services with C++ could be as follows:

  • 2 C++ Software Developers Senior
  • 1 UI/UX Designer Intermediate
  • 1 DevOps Senior
  • 2 QA specialists Intermediate

What makes a good embedded software engineer?

When it comes to hiring a software development team for an embedded project, you need to be specific about your tech requirements. Here is the list of must-have skills for an experienced embedded software engineer: 

  • 3-5 years’ experience with C/C++ programming;
  • Knowledge of basic protocols: I2C, SPI, UART, LIN  and advanced protocols: SATA, PCIe, USB, CAN, MOST;
  • Experience with microprocessor and microcontroller architectures;
  • Expertise in General-Purpose Operating Systems (GPOS) and Real-Time Operating Systems;
  • Knowledge of networking technologies such as Ethernet, TCP/IP;
  • A solid understanding of the different types of memory, including RAM, ROM, and Flash;
  • Knowledge of design patterns and algorithms;
  • Basic knowledge of other programming languages which can be complementary, such as Java, .Net, or Python.

Examples of successfully outsourced embedded software projects

Outsourcing of embedded software projects offers a number of benefits such as access to the best specialists, better project scalability, and a more predictable bottom line. N-iX is a well-established Ukrainian software development company that has been providing IT outsourcing services since 2002. We have over 900 developers with experience in a wide range of industries and technologies. 

The development of embedded software solutions is one of our key services. N-iX engineers have a proven track record of successfully delivered embedded software projects. Here come our 3 recent success stories that illustrate the benefits of cooperation with offshore embedded software engineers.

#1 Weinmann Emergency has partnered with N-iX to extend its in-house team with embedded engineers who have healthcare domain expertise. Weinmann Emergency is a Germany-based company that develops mobile medical devices for emergency vehicles, helicopters, and airplanes. N-iX engineers have been collaborating with the IT department of Weinmann Emergency on MEDUCORE Standard², a defibrillator with monitoring functions. We have been working on embedded Linux firmware development with C++. 

The device has an intuitive user interface and loads the necessary presettings, depending on the age of the patient (infants, children, adults). It allows medical professionals to easily switch between AED and manual modes. Also, it measures the SpO2 level and non-invasive blood pressure (NIBP) of the patient. 

#2 Anoto is a Swedish company that engineers, develops and markets digital writing and drawing solutions. The company was looking for a team of embedded software developers with strong .Net and C/C++ experience. Anoto had worked with N-iX for 12 years. Our long-term partnership resulted in the development of several solutions that help transform handwritten notes and drawings into digital data. Anoto’s digital solutions are used in such industries as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, education, financial services, transport, and logistics. 

#3 Locinox is a global manufacturer and supplier of the gate and fencing devices based in Belgium. N-iX team has collaborated with Locinox on firmware and hardware development, and testing. In partnership with N-iX, Locinox is developing a solution that ensures the safe opening of gates through access codes and provides easy yet controlled access to the premises. Thanks to a wide range of best practices and industry know-how of our experts, the solution meets the complex technical requirements of the project.

Wrap-up

Embedded devices are now widely used in both consumer and industrial sectors. Their number is going up and so is the demand for strong embedded software engineers. Building an embedded software development team in-house involves a number of risks and pitfalls, and an experienced IT outsourcing company can help you avoid them. 

If you are looking for embedded software engineers and want your product to be a success story, don’t hesitate to contact our experts.

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By Marta Hlova September 05, 2019

About N-iX

N-iX is an Eastern European provider of software development services with 900+ expert software engineers onboard that power innovative technology businesses. Since 2002 we have formed strategic partnerships with a variety of global industry leaders including OpenText, Novell, Lebara, Currencycloud and over 50 other medium and large-scale businesses. With delivery centers in Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, and Belarus, we deliver excellence in software engineering and deep expertise in a range of verticals including finance, healthcare, hospitality, telecom, energy and enterprise content management helping our clients to innovate and implement technology transformations.

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