Boston-Area Engineers to Share Expertise at ESC Boston 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Conference organizers have announced the first confirmed set of local-area embedded developers who will deliver talks in a new session format at the Embedded Systems Conference/Expo Boston May 6-7, 2015.

Registration for the conference, which returns to Boston after a two-year hiatus, opens Jan. 12, 2015.

Chris Svec, senior principal software engineer at iRobot, is one of the local engineers who will speak at ESC Boston in May.

Chris Svec, senior principal software engineer at iRobot, is one of the local engineers who will speak at ESC Boston in May.

These new “postmortem sessions” chronicle in technical detail the design and development of a real-world embedded systems application, including a detailed discussion of the tradeoffs and choices made (and why) during the design process.

“We know that other engineers are one of the most important sources of information for engineers, and that embedded developers know that no product design is a cakewalk. In truth, there's a lot of BS involved,” says Karen Field, creative director of ESC. “These talks are intended to 'tell it like it is,' meaning speakers will present a detailed discussion of things that went wrong, what the workarounds were, and what would be done differently the next time around.”

In a talk on defensive programming, Ark Khasin, a senior software engineer at General Electric, will share real-world techniques deployed in some GE industrial devices that have helped engineers avoid hardware and software glitches and bugs in the field. “Firmware architects and developers at all levels will benefit from taking a second look at a critical component — or even recognize that it was missing in the design in the first place,” says Khasin.

Using code snippets and toy-size examples, Khasin will cover some of the most dreaded bugaboos for embedded developers, from managing last-ditch processing of unhandled exceptions before and after reset, to detecting stack overflow, to ensuring the integrity of critical data and outputs in case of a trap.

Bigbelly Solar's vice president of engineering, Michael Feldman, will chronicle the company's sometimes rocky road to success as an early pioneer in the constantly evolving IoT space, noting there has been no shortage of pitfalls engineering has run into over the years. Feldman will describe the evolution of the embedded system, from the early constraints to what he would do differently if he were to start from scratch today.

Given the rapid evolution of processors and architecture, is it possible to make the hardware in an embedded system independent of the choice of processor? Boston-area engineer Peter Anderson tackles this topic in a session on an open-source electromagnetic tracker he is developing — a hobby project that he intends for others to replicate. He will describe the unusual requirements this application places on the processor and share insight into the design decisions and tradeoffs he made to allow hardware compatibility with multiple processors.

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site EE Times.

5 comments on “Boston-Area Engineers to Share Expertise at ESC Boston 2015

    December 26, 2014

    I wish I could attend this as it is always good to hear real world stories on product development as these are the lifeblood to improving one's own skills.

  2. Ashu001
    December 27, 2014


    The beauty of the Internet is that we have this constant flood of Information coming in from various Learning centres and so that one does'nt really lose much even if one does'nt attend these conferences in person.

    I am sure you will continue to see a lot of such information flows over the next week or so leading upto(&During the conference).


  3. Anand
    December 29, 2014

    @tech4people: But it still cannot beat the feeling one gets when one is in such a conference. One feels powerful because (s)he is witnessing the baby steps of the technology that will change the world, (s)he is giving insights about how one should work with such technology. It feels so powerful.

  4. Anand
    December 29, 2014

    @flyingscot: But we can't. Atleast unless we can be at many places at the same time. That is why I have selected a handful of conferences my company wants me to go in, and I would only go to them, and nowhere else. Planning out a conference visiting map can help you take in all the useful information without missing numerous spots.

  5. Ashu001
    December 31, 2014


    I agree wholeheartedly.

    The Feeling of attending and being part of a Conference is very powerful.Just need to figure out how to fit everything into life.

    You know how life gets in the way usually.


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