need project idear

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#1
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Hi guys

I am looking for a project idea for my next year program. And I want to build something employers want to see, or something they will be interesting in (and hopefully lead to a job)

So I am here looking for advice and idea.

about the project:

1. $200 budget, I personally will need to pay for the extra if the project is more that $200
2. can't be a kit/something can buy from a shelf
3. something with uC(s) in it

please feel free to ask if I haven't given enough info about this project

Thanks a lof :D

PS: it's a year 2 project, there is a year 3 project

Zhuhua Wu - Electronic Engineering Student

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If you have 5 months to finish, how can we be assured that you wont wait until the last 2 weeks to start programming? What's your hobby? RC airplanes? Try a piece of an autopilot. Like music? Yet Another MP3 player? RF? Remote controlled widget? Hard to do impressive fast graphics with an 8 bit AVR, but if you could do something, it might be impressive at least to another programmer. Wouldn't that be a hoot? The guy that was hiring programmers actually used to do some programming?

Imagecraft compiler user

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I'm not sure if I fully understand your reply, but here is my reply:

I like to break up big task into small tasks, and do a few small tasks at a time, for me, it make a task a lot easier.

and I like to do a lot of preparations for a job, so I will be likely do as much research as I can before do any programming and assemblying. (As I found that I work better that way :)

bobgardner wrote:
If you have 5 months to finish, how can we be assured that you wont wait until the last 2 weeks to start programming? What's your hobby? RC airplanes? Try a piece of an autopilot. Like music? Yet Another MP3 player? RF? Remote controlled widget? Hard to do impressive fast graphics with an 8 bit AVR, but if you could do something, it might be impressive at least to another programmer. Wouldn't that be a hoot? The guy that was hiring programmers actually used to do some programming?

Zhuhua Wu - Electronic Engineering Student

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You have not said anything about what YOUR interests are.

JIm

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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What I see this is an opportunity to get the interests of possible employers, so I prefer to make something they are interested in, not something that I'm interested in.

But my area of interest is automation, robotic and user experience(products that are extremely easy to use for general public)

Zhuhua Wu - Electronic Engineering Student

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I've interviewed engineers in embedded systems and the like for many years. I look more at the quality of the University's engineering school, graduate work/degree, intern work in real industry, demeanor during the interview (self-assured, has studied what my company does/needs), and what disciplined approach to software engineering is used. Not "programming".

The lab projects are low on my priority list.

But as a required activity for credits, try to form a team and lead it, not as an extravert, but as the smartest person on the team. The one that will make the others successful too.

All too often, students set goals way beyond what's practical.

See if you can get the same credits by being an intern or some such.

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Hi Stevech

Thanks for your advice, I found it very useful.

When I said job in my OP, I really meant intern job, I should state that.

You have mentioned something "disciplined approach to software engineering", it looks like something I should have known, and I will definitely Google it and do something about it.

And I totally agree with you, students should research the company before going to an interview. And helping others to be successful is absolute an art, skill that's so important.

stevech wrote:
I've interviewed engineers in embedded systems and the like for many years. I look more at the quality of the University's engineering school, graduate work/degree, intern work in real industry, demeanor during the interview (self-assured, has studied what my company does/needs), and what disciplined approach to software engineering is used. Not "programming".

The lab projects are low on my priority list.

But as a required activity for credits, try to form a team and lead it, not as an extravert, but as the smartest person on the team. The one that will make the others successful too.

All too often, students set goals way beyond what's practical.

See if you can get the same credits by being an intern or some such.

Zhuhua Wu - Electronic Engineering Student

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After all the Software Engineering and Agile Design is complete, does the Chief Architect put on his Chief Programmer hat and start programming? After the Master Chef has created a new menu, does he put on his Cook's Hat and start cooking? In a small shop everyone wears several hats.

Imagecraft compiler user

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bug13avr wrote:
What I see this is an opportunity to get the interests of possible employers, so I prefer to make something they are interested in, not something that I'm interested in.

But my area of interest is automation, robotic and user experience(products that are extremely easy to use for general public)

Employers don't care what you made as a school project... They want to see how well you made it. They want to see is passion and drive to do it well. As a result choosing something you are interested in / excited about is more likely to get a good result than some random thing you build just for the sake of building it.

Writing code is like having sex.... make one little mistake, and you're supporting it for life.

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It's more about the process, analysis, rationale-development, than the project's function.

Far too many schools are cranking out coders rather than engineers. Design first, then coding is 30% of the work. Coders design at the keyboard and throw out most of what they do several times. that's too risky and expensive for in-the-know employers.

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glitch wrote:

Employers don't care what you made as a school project... They want to see how well you made it.

point taken, thanks :) I think that very ture

Zhuhua Wu - Electronic Engineering Student

Last Edited: Sat. Oct 13, 2012 - 09:52 PM
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stevech wrote:
It's more about the process, analysis, rationale-development, than the project's function.

Far too many schools are cranking out coders rather than engineers. Design first, then coding is 30% of the work. Coders design at the keyboard and throw out most of what they do several times. that's too risky and expensive for in-the-know employers.

Thanks again Stevech for valuable advices.

that's completely different from what I use to do as a hobbyist. (I used to just put it together and see what work)

but I recently involved in a student commercial project, it's exactly like what you said, 70-80% of the time are doing different research, analysis the problem, compares different approaches to the problem, sieving though tons of components to find the best practical one possible for the project, and prototyping and testing is the very last step.

Zhuhua Wu - Electronic Engineering Student

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This is the "system engineering" part of the design. How should the requirements be fulfilled? With hardware or software? If you are designing a gizmo that will be produced in the 1000s or 10000s, spending a little longer to push some hw feature into the sw (like a uart) might save the cost of those extra couple of external components.

Imagecraft compiler user

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thank you all who take their time to give me advices, it's really appreciated.

all of your advices has been great help and make me better.

Thanks a lot :)

Zhuhua Wu - Electronic Engineering Student