The need to stay current has always been an important factor in building a successful career in engineering. In the mid-1980s a group of experts estimated the half-life of an engineer’s technical skills, how long it would take for half of everything an engineer knew about his or her field to become obsolete. For EEs the study found it was 5 years. And that was some 25 years ago. Today, with technology, engineering knowledge and design techniques advancing relentlessly, that number has surely shrunk. So it’s a safe bet that the half- life of your technical skills is now less than the time it took you to earn an undergraduate degree.
The simple lesson to be gleaned from all of this is that if you are to continue to work to the high standards and competence demanded by the profession, your employer and by society at large, it becomes essential to keep professional knowledge and awareness up to date and to develop the skill set needed to cope with continuing technological advance. Not only must you be prepared to update half of everything you know every few years, but it has to be done while you are working full-time designing circuits and products. The point is that engineers must treat their careers as dynamic things which need continuous upkeep and upgrading.
OK, enough preaching. But while I climb down from the pulpit do consider this: what if there was a place you can go offering a large selection of experts making presentations, participating in discussions, answering questions, and otherwise providing you with knowledge you can immediately apply to your design projects? A place where hundreds of your fellow engineers go to upgrade their skills, discover how to use new tools and adapt to the latest industry requirements? A place where you can learn what you need to know to succeed and have some fun at the same time.
Well, there is such as place and that place is the Renesas DevCon being held at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, October 22-25. For those of you unfamiliar with this unique engineering experience, simply put it is the wisest career investment you and your company can make this year. The event is aimed at helping engineers encounter semiconductor devices, support tools/services and immediately useful design ideas from Renesas and its established ecosystem of partners that will bring you right up to speed in just four days.
This year’s Renesas Electronics DevCon, is organized around the theme “Enabling the Smart Society”. “Smart” in this case refers to any object or place that is connected to the Internet and is sometimes called the “Internet of Things,” because more “things” are now connected to the Internet than ever–ranging from smart appliances to traffic lights to security cameras. Renesas’ signal processing expertise allows people to interact with their electronics more efficiently, and with greater intelligence and intuition. Collectively, this enables a global society that is better connected, uses less power and fewer resources, and improves our overall quality of life.
DevCon lecture and lab sessions will span the embedded spectrum, with topics including automotive, motor control, human machine interface (HMI), computer architectures, operating systems, connectivity, security and emerging display technologies. Again, reflecting the overall theme of enabling a smart society, the 2012 edition of DevCon debuts a track covering M2M (machine to machine) and Cloud solutions. All of these technical deep-dives will provide designers with practical information for implementation in their real-world engineering projects.
Unique to developer conferences is Renesas Electronics’ “concierge service”. To maximize attendee participation at the event, each attendee is assigned a Renesas Electronics technical staff member who will assist with creating a customized program based on the attendee’s interests, setting up one-on-one meetings with engineers and/or executives to review design activities, developing a personalized schedule for session and lab attendance, and providing the assurance of having a Renesas Electronics staff member available during the event for any needed assistance.
In subsequent blog postings I will preview all of the various features of DevCon, highlighting the over 100 hours of lectures, the two-hour informal “Meet the Experts” sessions, hands-on labs covering an array of technologies and major keynote talks. I will also offer a preview of the solutions-filled exhibit hall featuring informative demonstrations and exclusive offerings on tools and development kits.
In the meantime, if what I’ve just discussed interests you—and it should–please click on the following link for more information: http://renesasdevcon.com/