The current educational system isn't cutting it

July 29, 2014 OpenSystems Media

I recently had the pleasure of being reacquainted with Jack Ganssle, who is clearly the King of Embedded. If you ever wanted to get an education of anything embedded-related, whether it’s on the software side, the hardware side, or anything in between, Jack is your guy.

After we spoke, I took a look at some of his educational videos, and it quickly reminded me why Jack is such a great teacher. He breaks the concepts down into chunks that are easily digestible, and explains them in a way that can be understood by engineers at any level.

Spending a few minutes on Jack’s YouTube channel might end up providing you with a wealth of knowledge (like it did for me).

When discussing the education system, Jack had an interesting take on the subject, one that caught me a little off guard. Jack is not exactly enamored with today’s embedded engineering program at the college level. (I won’t even start on the subject of the reduced number of engineering graduates. That’s for a later column.)

In Jack’s view, today’s college programs are teaching students how to program, but aren’t teaching nearly enough about computer engineering. He states, “If I was in charge, you wouldn’t be doing any programming at all until your third year of college. They just aren’t teaching the engineering principles today.”

I agree with most of what Jack says, although I think there’s an advantage to having the students program right from the get-go. Learning the programming side while simultaneously learning the hardware architectures provides an appreciation for writing tight code and for not leaving the software guys to do all the bug fixes.

Thoughts?

Rich Nass, Embedded Computing Brand Director
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