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John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

Atmel AVR Programming - Developer Qualifications

I have a project that will be using the Atmel AVR products. I need to employ developer(s) to do the hardware programming and the user interface (standalone desktop application, browser and mobile app).

I would presume that having relevant experience in developing for Atmel AVR products is a prerequisite, but I was wondering what else folks here would suggest looking for in a suitable developer portfolio.

I already have a hardware engineer, but his expertise in programming is limited. I need someone who can finish the project for market.

Suggestions...??


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

1 recommendation

You may not like to hear this but for a marketable product you are likely to need two software developers:

- A firmware/low-level I/O programmer to get the hardware interface and communications side of things done properly.
- A user interface programmer that has a good understanding of human usability issues so that the application not only looks good but is also easy to use.

Developers that are good in both areas exist but are probably rare. You are more likely to find developers that are strong in one or the other area.
--
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John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
I agree...

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to John Galt
Many Atmel AVR programmers at Odesk:
»www.odesk.com/o/profiles/browse/···mel-avr/

I usually suggest freelancers who has wide experience in embedded systems design rather than a single architecture. I also suggest that the human-machine interface be portable between architectures.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel

1 recommendation

reply to leibold
I definitely agree with what leibold is saying.

I've actually encountered many products where the programming was well done as far as functionality and stability are concerned, but were absolutely atrocious when it comes to the user interface aspect.

Same thing with websites. Can't rely on the same guy to do both the coding and the layout/design. I'm sure you've all come across websites that were perfectly functional and well coded but looked like absolute trash and difficult to navigate. Or the other way around, good looking and easy to navigate but full of bugs and poorly coded.

Personally I fit into the "I can write code but couldn't design a user interface to save my life" camp. Actually user interface design is more of an art and programming is closer to a science. People are typically better at one than the other.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to John Galt
Anyone can list experience. My wife has recently interviewed someone who listed experience with social networking integrations - turned out that the experience was attending a presentation...
That being said your best bet is giving a real-world problem to solve and see how they do.
Personally I highly doubt that a good engineer will do hardware but no software or software but no hardware. IMHO you can't do any well if you're not fully understanding the whole picture.
For the interface you might need a UX person, but the qualifications don't need to include electronics, just a good understanding of ergonomics and human behavior and expectations.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
said by cowboyro:

Personally I highly doubt that a good engineer will do hardware but no software or software but no hardware. IMHO you can't do any well if you're not fully understanding the whole picture.

A hardware engineer can probably do some or all of the FW (hardware programming), but a user interface programmer is not particularly likely to be able to do much HW related work, either design or debugging. A FW engineer should be able to understand HW and even troubleshoot some issues, but may not be knowledgeable enough to do any design work, unless he's an EE.

Kinda hard to guess the scope of the project based on a few posts, but I'd say there is a need for at least 2 engineers (HW/FW & user interface/apps) and perhaps as much as 4 - 5 (HW, FW, user interface/apps, plus one or two testers)
--
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lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to TheMG
said by TheMG:

Actually user interface design is more of an art and programming is closer to a science. People are typically better at one than the other.

I agree completely.

I was very fortunate to have such an "artist" design the GUI for our hardware in 2005. See examples of his work in this 2006 post: »Re: 802.1x and RADIUS setup docs?

Other firmware guys were just copying WiFi router menu bars of that period. One example from 2004: »Re: Help with Network flow

Curiously my 12 year old son is showing lots of promise and provides painful "feedback" for my pathetic attempts at GUI design.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to John Galt
I am doing the GUI design prelims. I know what I want the finished product to look like and how it should operate.

The HW engineer who is doing the board layouts for production is an EE.

I am looking for the "middlemen" to tie it all together...
--
When money men rain from the skies and shadow coins fly across the planet, then shall the New City fall into disgrace. Fortune and power dissipated like scraps of green paper. Look out below.


public

join:2002-01-19
Santa Clara, CA
reply to John Galt
said by John Galt:

I already have a hardware engineer, but his expertise in programming is limited. I need someone who can finish the project for market.

You are not even asking the right question.
UI design without specifying system resources is meaningless.
What you need is a consultant to review your design requirements, and assess the component selection taking into consideration your development tools, budget, expected volume and schedule.
A hardware "engineer" who cannot write simple code is an idiot.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
You're being presumptive. Thanks for the non-helpful post.