Thought Leadership

Embedded Software Masterclass

By Colin Walls

Some months ago, I received an email asking me whether I would be willing and able to conduct a 3-day embedded software masterclass in Bangalore, India. An events management company was planning such an event and had located me via the magic of social media. I was, of course, flattered to be asked, but also both daunted and intrigued by the prospect of doing it …

I got into discussion with the organizers and gradually the details emerged. They would pay me a reasonable fee and all my expenses. I just needed to be able to deliver 3 days of suitable material. I built an agenda based on a number of presentations, that I already had, and a couple of new ones. We had a plan. I did not feel that it was appropriate for me to accept the fee, as this was an activity that was part of my job. I discussed the matter with my management [and with HR]. They agreed that I could do the event, but also that my accepting the fee would be inappropriate. However, donating the fee to a charity would be acceptable.

I agreed a date with the guys in India, liaised with our distributor there [an old friend] and prepared all the materials. We were all set. Last week, I travelled to India and ran the session, as planned. It seemed to go very well. There were over 150 people in the audience and they appeared to be interested in what I had to say. I requested that they interact and they responded by asking questions – lots of questions. I found running the session exhausting – being on my feet and engaged all day. I hardly had a break, as, when there was a scheduled pause for coffee etc., a flock of delegates would come along for one-to-one questions and discussion. I did not mind – I was pleased that they were interested enough.

I am contemplating how there is an interesting alignment of “wins” – positive outcomes – from this event:

  • I got to do something interesting, make some good contacts and visit an old friend
  • the organizers [hopefully] made a profit
  • the audience [also hopefully] got some useful information
  • my chosen charity got a nice donation
  • Mentor got some exposure in India
  • our distributor got some useful contacts from the daily prize draw [copies of my book on offer] that I arranged

I guess that is a win-win-win-win-win-win! ?

Here is the list of sessions that I offered:

  • Introduction – Embedded Software is Everywhere
  • C – The Language of Embedded
  • C++ for the Embedded Developer
  • A Strategy for C to C++ Migration
  • Encapsulation of Expertise Using C++ Objects
  • Operating Systems for Embedded Applications
  • Selecting an Embedded Operating System
  • How to Measure RTOS Performance
  • Power Management in Embedded Systems
  • Multicore and Interprocessor Communications
  • Writing Reliable Code with MISRA C
  • USB 3 – An Introduction for Embedded Software Developers
  • Self-Testing in Embedded Systems
  • Dynamic Memory Allocation & Fragmentation in C & C++

Having prepared these materials, it would be quite straightforward for me to present a similar session [or subset thereof] at another time and place. If you can suggest a possible opportunity, please contact me via email or social media.

In recent months, there has been an interesting change for me, when I give presentations such as this. At the beginning, I introduce myself and say a little about the company, ending with a note about our acquisition by Siemens. I ask if there are any Siemens people in the audience and there almost always are. At this session a couple of guys responded and I commented that it was nice to be among friends. We got chatting later and, indeed, they were very friendly and keen to tell me about their part of the company and what they are working on. It is good to feel a part of a community.


4 thoughts about “Embedded Software Masterclass
  • I’d have join the session if I knew you’re coming to India, Maybe next time 🙂 Hope you enjoyed Bangalore and visited new Mentor’s office there.

  • Mr.Collin, It was great to have you as the course instructor at Bangalore! What an exhaustive curriculum it was! But you seemed to deliver it all with ease. It was quite an ordeal for you I understand. Standing for 8 hours continuously (barring the 10 minute lunch break) is not easy, and answering every ones queries without a break is no ordinary feat either! The good thing is we all benefitted from your class! I am certain that everyone went back with some new information and many BKMs ! I just read that you did all this for charity. How wonderful! Thanks again for the embedded software masters class.

    Shubha Prasanna
    EmbedSense Solutions Pvt Ltd

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at