Whether you are a beginner who wants to tinker with hardware, or a professional developer looking to refresh and supplement your knowledge, online embedded systems courses are a great way to learn new skills at a low cost and with flexible schedule.
Below is a list of online embedded systems courses taught by experienced instructors that we recommend (and verified by tens and thousands of students). These courses are ideal for beginners, intermediate students, as well as experts.
There’s a stark difference between software and hardware development and why people say dealing with hardware is hard. Not only is it more costly to achieve product market fit, but the hardware development process can take 4x longer than that of software development.
With software development, you can start coding immediately on your laptop after downloading the necessary applications. In contrast, the hardware development process requires coding the system, determining which components to purchase, connecting these components, and ensuring that the code runs correctly on these devices. On top of that, even if you were to determine which components to use, ordering parts can take weeks to months.
The COVID-19 pandemic has a profound impact on the way we operate. One of the areas that the pandemic has changed is the way instructors teach, especially for subjects that require hands-on instruction. Electrical engineering is one of the challenging subjects that require instructors to come up with creative ways to adjust to remote teaching.
We’ve spoken to over 50 professors that teach embedded systems and electrical engineering at top US engineering programs such as Cornell, MIT, Stanford to understand the main challenges of teaching remotely. Below we summarized the most common ways professors used to teach remotely.
Our CEO, Jama Mohamed, recently had a conversation with Differential Ventures about his philosophy on the future of hardware and why he started building Sahara Cloud after spending 5 years helping hardware startups build their embedded systems as a consultant.
Below is an excerpt of the interview. Read the full version here.
Hi everyone, my name is Jama and I am the founder of Sahara Cloud. Our mission is to democratize hardware and make it more accessible to everyone through virtual prototyping.
I first started thinking about ways to improve the hardware development process when I was helping hardware startups build their embedded systems after graduating as an Electrical Engineer from Caltech. As we all know, building hardware is hard – Hardware is more expensive, slower to build, and harder to maintain – all because of the physical nature of hardware. There is a reason why there are 10x more software startups compared to hardware startups.
During our journey of finding Sahara’s product market fit, our team has conducted over 70 hours of customer interviews to learn about various pain points during the embedded development process and how our product can best solve these problems.
One of the things we discovered from our customer research was how urgent embedded engineering programs need a solution that can solve the problems that are exacerbated by remote learning. Through 30+ interviews with professors, teaching assistants, and students, we have identified three main pain points that engineering education programs currently experience:
In a year that has demanded so much from everyone, many of us have not only needed to adapt to the rapid changes that the pandemic set upon our personal lives, but also had to deal with dramatic changes at the work place.
No one could have predicted the impact of COVID-19 on the workforce, shuttering millions of office doors and forcing many businesses into a work-from-home model. And while the idea of sitting at a desk all day and talking from a square box on Zoom turned many people off, employee outlook and confidence towards remote work is now changing as this becomes more of a norm than an exception.
With the aid of technology, employees are able to navigate remote work and cultivate old feelings of working in an office. Applications that make remote work easier such as Slack and Zoom have been huge assets in this transition —facilitating business communication and collaboration regardless of geographical location.
Here at Sahara, we have embraced the future of remote work both in our product and our mission. Our goal is to make hardware development accessible anywhere by minimizing physical constraints of product development through our virtual prototyping technology. This vision is especially important now that remote work has become the norm.
If asked how often we reached for our digital devices in a day, it’d be one too many times. (Listening to music! Scrolling through social media! Jumping between Zoom calls!) Now that we are living through a pandemic and spend an unprecedented amount of time online, our digital devices are essential to us more than ever. Digital hardware products play a tremendous function in both our personal and professional lives, such as the way we consume our media, decompress from the world around us, and carry out technical objectives at work.
Below, five Sahara members single out their favorite and most utilized digital hardware products, ranging from noise-canceling headphones to handheld massage guns. Here’s to the things that have made quarantine that much more tolerable.
If you’re looking to start your own company, it’s important to spend your time wisely – because time is money when it comes to running a business.
For starters, if you’re focused on building or leading the direction of your product, you can conduct a copious amount of market research to understand the lay of the land. However, without speaking to users, you will likely fall into the trap that many startups face: developing a product that doesn’t fulfill an actual need.
According to research conducted by CBInsights, researchers observed 400 failed consumer hardware startups and found that the top 3 reasons of failure were:
Virtutyping makes developing hardware faster and easier
At Sahara Cloud, we believe that Virtutyping is the future of hardware development.
What is Virtutyping? It’s a shortened term for “virtual prototyping”, a process of physically prototyping a digital product through virtual means.
Virtutypes have most of the important benefits of physical prototypes, but without many of the downsides. Virtual prototyping eliminates a lot of friction that comes with the physical nature of hardware development:
✓ No need for a physical lab setup ✓ Replication debugging conditions on hardware (hermetic) ✓ Collaboration on a shared system as it evolves ✓ Zero component lead-time
With remote working becoming the future of work and the ever increasing need for collaboration, virtutyping will be an essential step in hardware development.