Looking for Ideas for micro-controller project

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by EngIntoHW, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0
    Hi,

    I would like take micro-controller project (C language) to work on my low-level programming skills and to put it in my resume, as I'm about to look for a new job soon (I'm currently work as a validation engineer but see my future in development).

    I don't have any HW here so I believe I'll need to buy some evaluation kit.

    Could you please share some ideas for project and a good & not expensive evaluation kit?

    Perhaps a project that I could be proud of putting it in my resume, something useful, however not one that takes too much time to complete.

    Thank you very much :)
     
  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    4,769
    969
    As a beginner programmer I really like the Arduino platform. TONS of projects..TONS of support,etc.. No programmer needed,etc..

    As far as what exact project.. Heck that's really whatever you would enjoy building..
     
  3. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    3,577
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    In a resume you only list professional skills, not hobbies, one-off projects, or something you have just recently started with. Learning the tricks and tools of a trade can take years and isn't always cheap.

    Look at the video game programmers scene. You could download QB64 and examine the supplied source codes. While in some cases weeks and months were involved, most of these "games" are actually crap that video game industry HR would discard after 2 seconds (with no reply all all).

    Job adverts for embedded related have very detailed requirement these days, even if this is through an recruitment agency. Some cheap kit you played with for days, weeks or months isn't worth mentioning.

    When they ask for 3 years experience this means professional experience (within a job). When you refer to a circuit that you have built is has to be so good that it actually sells. If you obtained the schematic somewhere or if you designed it yourself is secondary.

    Look at the BMOW project for instance (on the internet). While it is impressive, I doubt that it would be too much helpful for most job applications. It is a hobby activity. It could rather be counterproductive because in the professional world things are done differently.

    You should try to have a professional career consultation with someone!
     
  4. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0
    Thank you guys.

    mcgyvr
    The problem with Arduino kit is that it does not allow debugging your code using breakpoints.
    It a big disadvantage IMO.
    Therefore I'm considering a PIC kit.

    takao21203
    I think that having in your resume a project you've done as a hobby shows that you're an engineer who is passionate about his job, and has self-learning abilities which are important for the job.
     
  5. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    5,939
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    The Arduino platform is not used much(if at all) in the industry. I would say go for something closer to the real world. The major players here are ARM, Atmel, Microchip, and TI. Many in this forum use Microchip. I think Microchip has the best low cost development option.
     
    EngIntoHW likes this.
  6. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0
    t06afre
    Thank you.
    I'll look for Microchip PIC Dev kits.
    However, I firstly need to hook up on a project, and then find the tool for the job.
     
  7. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
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    What project ideas have you come up with so far?
     
  8. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0
    Hi,

    I thought about it but still haven't come up with an idea.

    I like communication - I previously had a Zigbee project with TI modules, which I really liked.
    I also liked working on SPI (synchronous communication between chips).

    So I'm thinking on any useful project that comprises some type of communication (perhaps Zigbee again).

    I'm open for ideas of course :)
     
  9. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0
    Hi fellows,

    Say that I program two UCs to communicate with each other, do you have an idea for something interesting that I could do with this communication?
    Some motivation.

    Thanks!
     
  10. smching

    New Member

    Dec 2, 2010
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  11. smching

    New Member

    Dec 2, 2010
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  12. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    3,577
    463
    The best would be something that you don't just mention in your resume, but also showcase on your website (if any). Ideally, it is so good and/or interesting, you can sell it as kit, module, programmed chip, you name it.

    If it is just something that was an educational experience for yourself, but isn't attractive to others (be it as free schematic/PDF, or real product), in my opinion it is not worth it to mention it too much.

    Many professionals have a website these days, or at least participate at LinkedIn. There you can also add links to project website (showcase, portfolio etc.)

    And you can even mention your project co-workers. It's quite good.

    FB does not really count even if there is rumour that some prospective employers would examine it. You'd know about that yourself, in your local area and/or business.

    LinkedIn also has better privacy than FB. On your own domain, you even have full control over the information.

    I write this, since I sometimes see sophisticated resumees, but they don't use modern, professional webhosting. Sometimes even free webhosting. Sometimes broken links. Speaks for itself of course.
     
  13. RV9Factory

    New Member

    Oct 27, 2012
    4
    0
    Take a look at Mikroe (mikroe.com). They have development boards for all of the major uCs and limited (only in program size) versions of their compilers are free. Tons of add-on modules and all pretty reasonably priced. Not sure where you are but they are in eastern Europe. In the U.S. Mouser is a distributor for them. In fact I was at Mouser today buying Mikroe stuff.

    The .NET micro framework is pretty darn cool (also bought a Mountaineer .net micro ethernet mainboard today). It will never be used by pros but it would make for nice exposure to C# and a taste of the full .NET framework.
     
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