Embedded systems have a wide range of applications, and their popularity puts a strain on the global talent pools as it becomes increasingly difficult to find expert embedded software engineers. Embedded market is also rather dynamic and changes rapidly reacting to the innovations and adapting accordingly. Flexibility requires strong expertise and a deep understanding of the industry, which is what a dedicated team of embedded engineers can provide.
Talent scarcity concerns push businesses around the world to look for new talent pools overseas. Outsourcing also allows companies to save time and costs, increase workflow efficiency, and remain flexible. You can find thousands of expert embedded software engineers for your embedded projects, but how do you make the right choice? Let’s see where and how you can find a truly reliable partner for your next embedded development project.
How to choose a perfect embedded software vendor?
The benefits of outsourcing your project to a dedicated team of embedded engineers are evident, but how do you find such a team? Here are some of the vital steps and criteria for selecting the right vendor who could provide you with a team of expert developers:
- Compile a list of the top embedded development companies. Filter the companies by their rating, market presence, expertise, security standards, and client reviews;
- Try to filter out the companies by the size of their talent pools. Partner with the companies who can offer a considerable talent supply;
- Look at the company’s experience with embedded projects. See what kinds of services they have delivered to their previous clients and see whether this experience suffices your project’s needs;
- Make sure that your potential partner complies with the international security regulations (SO 27001:2013, PCI DSS, ISO 9001:2015, GDPR, and HIPAA). Such regulations are essential for the proper validation and certification of your equipment;
- Find the feedback from the company’s previous clients. You can use such rating platforms as Clutch.co to see client reviews and testimonials;
What makes a qualified embedded engineer and how do you choose reliable people for your team
Different types of projects would require different team compositions and different kinds of experts, which is why your choice would be defined by the needs of your project. Nonetheless, there are general requirements you would need to consider when picking the right people for your team of embedded software engineers:
- 3-5 years of experience with embedded software;
- Profound knowledge of communication interfaces and protocols like SPI, UART, LIN, I2C, as well as complex protocols like SATA, PCIe, MOST, CAN, USB;
- A strong command of the relevant programming languages such as C/C++ and General-Purpose Operating Systems like Linux as well as Real-Time Operating systems;
- Experience in hardware architecture;
- An understanding of different connectivity protocols, both wired and wireless;
- Knowledge of different memory types including ROM, RAM, Flash.
You should put an emphasis on experience first. If the team already worked on similar projects, they’ll know how to approach your project too. You need to find a vendor who has a client-verified portfolio of relevant projects and a team of embedded engineers who have practical experience in the field. Such engineers will have a strong command of the relevant programming languages like C/C++ and operating systems used in embedded software development.
Where to find professional embedded software engineers for your project?
For decades, Asia has been the main hub for outsourcing but over the past few years, Eastern Europe has become a much more attractive destination for western businesses. While Asian developers gained popularity mostly thanks to their low rates and their sheer numbers, Eastern European developers offer high quality, exceptional work ethics, and cultural proximity to their Western partners.
Eastern European embedded software engineers are known for their exceptional performance, reasonable rates, and high-quality services. In this region, Ukraine and Poland are home to more than 12,000 embedded systems engineers, and hundreds of companies that offer strong embedded expertise.
Ukraine: Europe’s most promising embedded engineering hub
According to LinkedIn, there are more than 4,000 embedded engineers in Ukraine distributed among the country’s 1,600 software development companies. Not all of those companies offer services in the embedded systems domain but there are companies that house strong teams of embedded engineers.
Poland: a lucrative destination for outsourcing your embedded project
Poland is home to nearly 300,000 developers and 11 companies that offer embedded development services. According to LinkedIn, there are nearly 8,000 embedded engineers working in Poland. One thing you should remember though is that around 40% of all software developers work in the BPO sector and are not available for outsourcing.
Overall, Poland and Ukraine are two Eastern European destinations that combine such benefits as vast talent pools, quality of local technical education, reasonable rates, exceptional work ethics, and expertise.
Use cases of embedded engineering
Embedded devices are used widely in such industries as healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, energy, automotive, aviation, and many more. N-iX helps companies across industry verticals to achieve a competitive edge providing them with expert embedded systems engineers.
Cardo System is a US-based provider of DMC and Bluetooth communication and entertainment solutions for motorcycle riders. The N-iX team of embedded systems engineers have performed software and hardware testing of software and hardware for the clients. We have pulled together a strong team of QA experts who carried out functional and regression testing. This included hardware-to-software and hardware-to-hardware integration testing.
Locinox is a mechanical and electro-mechanical component developer based in Belgium. N-iX helped Locinox test and validate firmware and hardware throughout the development stages. Our testers applied their industry expertise to verify the hardware and firmware to match the complex technical requirements of the project.
Additionally, our experts have designed a prototype, developed firmware and hardware as well as technical documentation for the project.
We have worked with Weinmann, a German medical technology company that develops essential equipment for emergency care professionals, hospitals, and military medical corps. Being a large and fast-growing company, Weinmann needed to increase its development capabilities to reduce the market-launch time for its MEDUCORE Standard² portable defibrillators. This required a strong embedded system software engineering expertise on our side as well as experience in developing healthcare software.
The N-iX team applied its expertise in developing embedded Linux software to prepare the new release of the MEDUCORE Standard² defibrillator. As a part of the project, we’ve worked on a number of solutions that expanded the functionality of the portable defibrillators by Weinmann allowing them to connect to the telemetry server where all the user sessions are stored.
N-iX offers vast experience in the domain of embedded engineering that goes beyond the use cases above. Our team handles a full cycle of embedded hardware and software development providing clients across industries with expertly-crafted solutions.
How an expert embedded systems partner solves your problems: N-iX best practices
Over the years, our team of embedded software engineers has developed a number of best practices that match the requirements of different clients.
1. From product discovery to support and maintenance
You will get a solution group that creates a roadmap for the development lifecycle that neatly binds all the development stages together to create the desired product. We follow a sequence of development stages from product discovery and up to product support:
- Product discovery – this stage will include product design, PoC, MVP, hardware design and verification, and component selection according to your requirements.
- Product-driven development – the solution group will employ an Agile methodology and create a reliable embedded system. This stage will include product development, relevant security measures, and a framework for quality assurance and testing.
- Manufacturing – you will need to make sure the product functions as intended, is secure and complies with relevant certifications. A reliable vendor will help you achieve that goal by conducting certification and manufacturing verification.
- Installation – your partner will deploy the new devices, connect them to your network and authenticate them within your smart environment.
- Support – this stage includes continuous integration of software and firmware updates and support.
2. Security and reliability
You will need to ensure the security of your product. While your embedded system isn’t connected to the web, it remains relatively secure as it is impossible to access the network from the outside. However, embedded devices often act as a part of the IoT networks, which requires compliance with relevant security regulations (SO 27001:2013, PCI DSS, ISO 9001:2015, GDPR, and HIPAA).
3. Agile development methodologies
Our experts apply the Agile methodology to provide tangible benefits for your business success allowing you to adapt to the changing business environment and change project priorities on the go. This makes the development process more flexible, improves the quality of the end-product, lowers the cost of development, and optimizes the development timeline.
Why choose N-iX as your go-to vendor for embedded development project
- N-iX offers deep industry knowledge and a talent pool of expert embedded engineers who can take your project from the discovery phase and up to product validation, testing, maintenance and support;
- Our embedded systems engineers have vast experience developing industrial automation solutions, wearable devices, and consumer electronics;
- We’ve worked with clients across numerous industries including healthcare, logistics, transportation, and more;
- Our experts leverage their knowledge of the advanced programming languages like C/C++ that are used in the development of embedded devices.