that professional engineers were using Arduino but many were doing so secretly, meanwhile pretending they’re actually doing 32-bit assembler programming.
I think it is important to remember that few professionally-produced projects will ship with an actual Arduino. However, it is entirely true that professional engineers are using Arduino for development. Their end-product may in fact contain an ATmega328. It may not. Instead, they may implement the final design with a different microprocessor. The Arduino is, after all, really a prototyping platform
15 years ago a manager told me, "we can't use Linux for our web server. It isn't a professional product." It was the same kind of story. There was a perception about this "toy" that means it has no place in the corporate environment. Fast forward to 15 years and I'd venture to say most mid-to-large companies have at least one server running this once "toy" operating system.
I’ve seen quite a few caustic tirades on the web written by engineers who just don’t like the Arduino concept.
Do you mean to tell me there is a web site / forum on the Internet where people have differing opinions?! Tell me it isn't so!
Like most things (computers, software, food, cars, pets) people tend to form opinions. Usually they are uninformed. A skill many people lack is the ability to look at things from another's point of view. Instead they take the stance, "If I can't/won't use it, why on earth would anyone else?"
Arduino is a fine example of this attitude. Keep in mind that the people who love implementing their project with Arduino spent most of their time talking about how cool their project turned out. Not how stupid Arduino is. Food for thought.
If a solution works for you, who cares what others think. In my experience I have found those who complain (loudly) about a solution generally lack the initiative to have done anything similar in the first place. I guess this is the geek-world's equivalent of armchair quarterbacking.
I’m interested to hear from professional engineers that have used Arduino and to hear of their experiences, both good and bad, but minus the vitriol.
Engineers don't take a solution and look for a problem. Instead they take a problem and look for the most appropriate solution. Sometimes this solution might be an Arduino. Sometimes it might be a PIC. Sometimes it might be a handful of 555 timers. At the end of the day, you are only as good as your tools. Personally, I believe if you limit yourself to a specific tool (or limit which tools you accept) that limits your ability to implement a great solution.