What does a Firmware Engineer do?
The term “firmware” refers to specific software that’s installed on hardware, which allows the device or product to run. Simply put, a Firmware Engineer develops and designs these systems, working alongside software and hardware engineers to provide the products, devices or machines they work on with instructions on how to run. Firmware Engineers are found within a variety of industries - from defense to cryptocurrency to self-driving cars to smart products. Any product that contains its own, specific software and hardware, may have a team of firmware engineers behind it who ensure the product runs smoothly.
What is the typical background of a Firmware Engineer?
A Firmware Engineer often has a degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering, or Computer Science. More senior roles may require more advanced degrees, like Masters or PhDs.
What are the typical responsibilities of a Firmware Engineer?
Develop the overall vision for a firmware launch or update: A Firmware Engineer will often be responsible for developing the overall product plan for a new product that needs firmware, or for significant updates that need to occur on an existing product.
Perform updates and improvements to firmware systems: A firmware engineer will need to understand how to deploy code that instructs devices or products to update their features or behave differently.
An understanding of secure systems: A Firmware Engineer may need to independently research and review the latest firmware technology to implement in their own product. What’s the latest code that others are using in the industry to make firmware run faster? As the design of a product changes to keep up with competitors, how does this impact its firmware and software needs? Firmware Engineers will often need to answer questions such as these through research and staying up-to-date on market trends.
What are some of the skills a successful Firmware Engineer should have?
Excellent programming skills: A successful Firmware Engineer should have exceptional programming and language skills, often in C++, Python or Linux. .
Testing and QA experience: Firmware Engineers will need to understand how to identify errors or fix malfunctioning firmware - without impacting the overall performance of the machine or product they are working on.
Research and plan new firmware features: Firmware engineers should know how to design secure systems that can be protected from attacks, and should know how to assess the potential security risks of their projects.
Project management skills: To keep testing and QA processes on track, a Firmware Engineer will need outstanding project management skills; including the ability to communicate deadlines and needs to product, finance, documentation, or other teams.
Ability to be analytical: A Firmware Engineer will need a keen understanding of advanced arithmetic, algorithms and data, and how these can be applied to their work.
What are some of the typical job titles of a Firmware Engineer?
We’ve recruited for many different Firmware Engineer roles, including job titles like:
- Firmware Engineer
- Senior Firmware Engineer
- Principal Firmware Engineer