A Day In The Life Of A Firmware Engineer

11am: Arrive at work, check out crack pipe from inventory 11:05am - noon: Read online forums, cackle at victims; crack pipe Noon - 1pm: Read latest standards documents; write code that is in technical compliance but to any sane observer appears screamingly inept, baroque, buggy, unusable and downright dangerous 1pm - 2pm: Lunch with friend from International Tax Code Writers' Union; compare notes 2pm - 3pm: Review usability testing results; remove all discovered usability 3pm - 3:30pm: Bonghits 3:30pm - 4:00pm: Reading - "Transparency, The Apple Way (S. Jobs)" 4:00pm - 4:30pm: Notice latest production firmware code does not include enough potential bricking bugs; run random bug generator 4:30pm - 5:00pm: Notice company has minor hardware revision upcoming; write entirely new firmware implementation for it for no apparent reason 5:00pm: Home, with a warm fuzzy feeling of achievement 5:30pm - 11:30pm: Tease dog by pretending to throw ball 11:35pm: Watch Leno


emmet.curran wrote on 2013-05-04 10:08:
See that crazy man across the street watching you right now? He's a firmware engineer. Run, Adam. Run
adamw wrote on 2013-05-04 16:21:
It's okay. They can never shoot straight. All the crack, you know.
Leslie Satenstein wrote on 2013-05-04 23:55:
You forgot the time delayed and time dependent bug that randomly fails on even numbered days.
Wes wrote on 2013-05-04 23:56:
I was believing it until the "Leno" part..
adamw wrote on 2013-05-05 05:35:
leslie: no I didn't; those are what come out of the Random Bug Generator :)
seem wrote on 2013-05-07 17:10:
He forgot to pack it into random cab file to prevent accidental extracking by someone who only needs *usb and *inf without Yahoo toolbar and product registration.
JP wrote on 2015-10-25 19:34:
I read this a while ago and laughed. So funny. But I'm not laughing this weekend after I did an Ubuntu update which, while attempting to be helpful, updated my NVRAM to set the UEFI boot options. Now my Dell Latitude firmware can't boot anything, and better yet, it doesn't even let me enter setup (F2) or the once off boot menu (F12). No sir, I assume that's because it doesn't understand an NVRAM entry Ubuntu kindly inserted. It's stuck trying to enumerate boot options and it does this before attempting to display the settings sigh... To fix the boot options, I'd have to get into setup, so that special chicken stepped on the damn egg.
adamw wrote on 2015-10-25 22:06:

Hum, that sounds odd. Assuming it still boots Ubuntu, though, you can just use efibootmgr to delete the offending entry?

JP wrote on 2015-10-26 09:17:
Thanks. Sadly, it wouldn't boot into anything at all post the update process. I got Ubuntu to boot when I took the drive out and installed it into another laptop. UEFI secure boot with both Ubuntu and Windows 10 works just fine, but the original laptop's firmware now has it's knickers in a serious knott.
RandomLurker wrote on 2016-10-29 18:37:
"write code that is in technical compliance" Bahahahahahaha. Find me one UEFI implementation that doesn't have dozens of critical bugs.
RandomLurker wrote on 2016-10-29 18:47:
Also, I think your problem is you believe there is such a thing as a firmware "engineer". Engineering implies thinking ahead, designing the general structure of the software, doing some testing, etc. I'm pretty sure hardware companies simply find the cheapest code monkeys they can, give them some specs, and take whatever they produce as long as it seems to work.
bestpicked wrote on 2019-07-01 19:13:
I assume that’s because it doesn’t understand an NVRAM entry Ubuntu kindly inserted
idk_anything wrote on 2019-09-16 12:31:
Saw this after I switched to a firmware engineer job. I am doomed for eternity :(
adamw wrote on 2019-10-18 18:14:
but hey, at least you get free crack!