I watched an interesting video by Massimo Banzi on Arduino/Android development. At one point Mr. Banzi remarked that professional engineers were using Arduino but many were doing so secretly, meanwhile pretending they’re actually doing 32-bit assembler programming. Unfortunately, this sounds plausible and I’m sure there are some engineers doing just that, but I know there are many professional engineers out there that are more forthcoming.
I’ve been doing embedded development for a long time going back to when assembly programming was the norm and what you had was what you wrote. I’ve coded my share of large-scale applications using nothing but assembler and bank switched program memory. I don’t look back fondly on those days. Since those times, there have been numerous improvements in the way embedded systems are designed and programmed.
I see Arduino as a significant step forward, and although obviously not a universal solution, one that has many applications, especially for rapid prototyping and fast proof-of-concept development. And, as one of Arduino’s objectives is to make the technology accessible to artists and designers, it’s a huge benefit to have a good grasp of the technology when taking on a project already brought to prototype by designers using the Arduino platform.
I’ve seen quite a few caustic tirades on the web written by engineers who just don’t like the Arduino concept. From my perspective, there’s a lot to like, and things are getting even more interesting now that other processor architectures are coming into the mix. Of course, there are limitations, but there to numerous ways to work around them.
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.