Testing and programming products in our own production line
Test automation is working on the Prodrive Technologies goal of a Lights Out Factory. The electronic test system supports that goal by providing test equipment with a uniform interface and form factor, so manufacturing lines can easily be configured for the product’s needs. The test equipment includes power supplies, programming modules and measurement tools, all with a common interface to the test system. Combined with other projects, such as an in-house developed Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV), we are realizing the goal of a Lights Out Factory.
The bulk of my work is to support colleagues who automate product tests which will be used in the production line. For example, I’m asked to extend one of our flash programming libraries to support a new device. I look up the library’s original target device’s manual, and the new device’s manual, and find out how compatible they are. It turns out all three layers of the software stack need some work. Later this week I’ll sit down with the FPGA engineer, and then with our project architect, to propose new software interfaces between the layers.
Another example is a test developer who came to me with a question: they received an error message while using one of our libraries, and don’t know what to do about it. Neither do I, so I look through the code to figure out what can trigger that message. I find the culprit, tell the user how to fix it, and add a task to our kanban board to improve the message so the next user doesn’t have to ask.
Our electronic test system provides independent hardware modules which are used to test and program products in our own production line. For the test developers we provide software and a set of standardized interfaces to talk to the ETS modules, which can be as granular as setting a specific signal to 1.6 volt, or as high-level as writing firmware to a flash chip. Together with the test development team, we ensure the reliability of these processes so the lights at the factory can stay out.
Turning bugs into features
Embedded software engineer profile
- BSc, BEng or MSc in Computer Science
- C/C++ for DSPs/MCUs at a low software level
- Implementing control loops and microcontrollers like ARM (Cortex-M) or TI C2000 etc.
Pros and cons
- Many different sub-projects, so I’m rarely bored.
- Customers are right across the hall.
- Everything from analog signal analysis to .NET desktop applications.
The Prodrive Technologies Mindset
You don’t just go to work, you feel responsible for your project
You decide when, where and how much you want to work
You like to think about manufacturability when designing
You don’t sit and wait, you have a hands-on mentality
0Employees, of which 1300 fulltime
0Annual growth over the last 20 years
0Average age of our employees
0The year Prodrive Technologies was founded
What we offer
- Perfect environment for people willing to take full responsibility in a project
- Unlimited growth opportunities and freedom in taking different roles in different projects
- We are open 24/7 and provide lunch, dinner and a company gym
- Young and dynamic culture
- Unlimited personal budget for training courses, classes or studies
- We keep management positions to a minimum, so there is virtually no hierarchy
- Create your future with your own personal development plan
- Tools and equipment such as an iPhone, iPad and laptop
- The flexibility to work wherever and how much you want
- Salary that grows with your performance
- Opportunity to become a shareholder and entrepreneur in the company
- Travel allowance based on the days you are actually at Prodrive
- 31 Holidays
- Money for retirement
- Distribution of profits
- We’ll take a look at your application as soon as possible.
- You will receive a link to Prodrive Technologies’ online aptitude test to see if you’re up for the challenge.
- We will set you up for a personal interview to ask you difficult questions about yourself. Afterwards, others will ask you some more difficult questions about your expertise. We will immediately decide if we will make you an offer after the interviews.
- When there’s enough time left, we will discuss employment conditions directly after the interviews.
- If you survived everything, only your signature stands between you and being a Prodriver.