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Mar. 28th, 2005

This is the place at
which I have a phone interview tomorrow. It's a new division of Bose
that does materials testing.


Two positions that have me interested.


Software/Firmware Engineer:
Responsibilities include:

Work with a small, multi-disciplinary team to rapidly develop testing
products and/or components
Assist with system definition, CPU selection, and target platform design

Architect software, select RTOS (if needed), and define communication
interfaces/protocols
Write software specifications, development plans, and provide effort
estimates
Design and implement user interface, communication, and control
functions
Develop clean, well-structured, well-documented, embedded software in C
and/or assembly language
Develop unit tests for software modules, execute tests, and verify
results
Assist with system testing, track and fix bugs, generate code releases.

Knowledge, skills and abilities required:

BS or MS in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering
Minimum of 2 years experience developing embedded s/w
Curiosity, intelligence and energy
Technical depth and breadth required to understand architecture issues
and to assist in hardware/software tradeoffs
Enjoys electronics and mechanical systems
Excellent interpersonal skills.

Engineering Program Manager:
Responsibilities include:

Be responsible for the management of a team focused on developing
control platforms for electro-mechanical materials testing systems
Will be responsible for defining all requirements and guiding the team's
efforts toward meeting them
Will take a lead role in defining system and software architectures of
products, and serve as primary point of communication for your projects.
In addition, you will define and manage schedules, track interim
deliveries and milestones, generate regular progress reports for upper
management, identify significant engineering tasks, coordinate
resolutions and contribute to design direction.
May lead other projects such as new test system design and development,
including similar responsibilities.

Knowledge, skills and abilities required:

BSEE, BSME, BSCS, or similar with 5 plus years of experience in product
design and project leadership
Candidates must have experience with hardware and software technologies
related to embedded computing
Experience with commercial RTOS, control systems, and/or
electro-mechanical test systems is a plus
Must have proven track record of defining and executing
cross-functional, software-intensive projects resulting in on-time
deliveries within specified budgets.



Trying to determine whether I'd want to head into program management. On
one hand, I have the skills to oversee the architecture and analysis of
a system. On the other, it's management-- it's dealing with a lot of
scheduling and interfacing with non-technical upper management types. I
think my best choice is to focus on the first one with the possibility
of getting into program management at a later time when I know more
about the company.

One thing that I find encouraging is that Bose tends to have a pretty
quality-oriented image. And it's a full-time permanent position rather
than contract, which is really what I've been looking for. And it's
doing electromechanical control systems, which is right where I like to
live.

On the downside, it deals with a whole lot of nonlinear physics. And
while I am completely fascinated by nonlinear dynamics, the math
involved is daunting at best, and occasionally nightmarish (revdj, will you back me up on this?).

When I'm talking linear and nonlinear, I'm not talking about
straight-line travel here, I'm talking about the mecanical
predictability
. A linear system is predictable in its behavior, like
a simple spring is described by [f(x) = -kx], which simply says
that the force of a spring is equivalent to it's displacement. And that
holds pretty well: a spring that is stretched one inch that will pull
back with one ounce of force will pull back with two ounces of force
when stretched two inches as long as it doesn't deform. It's when
you get into those territories where the material starts stretching or
bending that you start getting into nonlinear dynamics and things become
unpredictable.

Nonlinear dynamics are closely related to chaos theory, as well as
cellular automata, both things which I have a particular interest in.
However, my interest in those topics comes more from a philosophical
side than one of practical application.

I don't fear the math. I just haven't looked at it since college, and
even then it was more of a curiosity than anything.

It's still a good sign.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
lexinatrix
Mar. 28th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
Program management is really just a project manager's project manager. While they ask for skills in all sortsa nifty engineering stuff, what program managers are is not engineering.

If you don't like project management, chances are program management aren't going to thrill you any more.
magicmarmot
Mar. 29th, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
Thing is, I could be good at it. I just don't know if I'd like it.
dracut
Mar. 28th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
It sounds like a good fit, at least from what you've presented. And it's great that the recruiter seems to think you're a good fit. So even if this one doesn't work out for some reason, it's not unreasonable to find a good full time permanent job doing the things you enjoy.

Go you!
magicmarmot
Mar. 29th, 2005 01:56 am (UTC)
Not a recruiter-- a direct contact with the company. Damn sight cooler. And he called me!
revdj
Mar. 28th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)

On the downside, it deals with a whole lot of nonlinear physics. And
while I am completely fascinated by nonlinear dynamics, the math
involved is daunting at best, and occasionally nightmarish (revdj, will you back me up on this?).

I don't know enough about nonlinear dynamics to say this for sure, but I don't believe it is any more daunting or nightmarish than any other branch of mathematics.

But that is an opinion, not me speaking from authority.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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