Editor's Letter Insights

The Reader Writer: You

Written by Jeff Child

If I get into a conversation with anyone in the industry these days—whether by phone or face-to-face—it doesn’t take long before I start boasting about Circuit Cellar and why it’s so great and unique. One of the unique aspects of this magazine is that many of our guest article writers are also readers of the magazine—sometimes very long-time readers. That’s probably not so surprising considering that you Circuit Cellar readers are yourself quite unique.

Circuit Cellar has a character that separates it from other technology magazines. Yes, there are many long-established publications that cover electronics and whose stated missions are to serve engineers. I’ve even worked for some of them. But it’s fairly obvious by looking at the features and columns in this publication that we don’t hold back or curtail our stories when it comes to technical depth. We get right down to the bits and bytes and lines code. Our readers are engineers and academics like you who want to know not only the rich details of a microcontroller’s on-board peripherals, but also how other like-minded folks applied that technology to their DIY or commercial project.

Circuit Cellar is also perfectly positioned for a trend in recent years where a rich set of tools, chips and information resources available today allow you to get started on project a very little cost—including free software and inexpensive board-level electronics. These resources put more power into the hands of makers and electronics DIY experts than ever before. On the one hand, there’s hardware such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi. On the other hand, there’s open source software like Linux and Eclipse that make integrating and developing software easier than ever.

The average Circuit Cellar reader like you is a professional engineer developing embedded systems. While those rich resources are of value both to your own “for fun” DIY projects, they’re of even more value to you for enhancing your professional engineering projects at work. Part of what makes Circuit Cellar so unique is our history of having a foot in both worlds.

Those new resources aren’t replacing commercial software and hardware by any means. When you’re developing an embedded system aimed at a professional, commercial application, not everything can be done in DIY mode. Today’s embedded systems routinely use millions of lines of code. If you develop that software in-house, you need high quality tools to make sure it’s running error free. And if you out-source some of that embedded software, you have to be sure your software vendor is providing a solution you can stake your project’s success on.

On the hardware side, the situation is similar. While there’s a huge crop of low-cost embedded computer modules available for purchase these days, not all embedded computing modules are created equal. If you’re developing a system with a long shelf life, what happens when board’s components go end-of-life? Is it your problem? Does the board vendor take on that burden? Have the boards been tested for vibration or temperature specs required for your application?

At Circuit Cellar, we’re always looking for top-notch technical articles that help readers better understand embedded electronics technology in action. Professional engineers and serious electronics enthusiasts like you are encouraged to submit articles and proposals. Whether it’s a project-based article, an article about a technology trend, an analysis of a technical issue or challenge or even a tutorial on a key electronics concept, we’re looking for insightful, detailed articles that help your fellow readers do their jobs as embedded system designers. If you have an article or an article proposal, email me at editor@circuitcellar.com. And check out our article submissions page circuitcellar.com/submit for our requirements and guidelines.


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Former Editor-in-Chief at Circuit Cellar | Website | + posts

Jeff served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxGizmos.com and its sister publication, Circuit Cellar magazine 6/2017—3/2022. In nearly three decades of covering the embedded electronics and computing industry, Jeff has also held senior editorial positions at EE Times, Computer Design, Electronic Design, Embedded Systems Development, and COTS Journal. His knowledge spans a broad range of electronics and computing topics, including CPUs, MCUs, memory, storage, graphics, power supplies, software development, and real-time OSes.

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The Reader Writer: You

by Jeff Child time to read: 3 min