ESC: Microchip Fills its Sessions with Eager Students

DN Staff

September 25, 2009

3 Min Read
ESC:  Microchip Fills its Sessions with Eager Students

Boston, MA — WhenMicrochipstarted planning for the 2009Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) held this week in Boston, it was delighted to find out thatattendees could pre-register online for its in-booth educational sessions.Microchip's game plan was to schedule 10 sessions in its booth, which isdesigned to accommodate a maximum of 20 people per session.

It didn't quite work out that way, with five to six timesmore engineers than expected signing up for many of Microchip's hour-long sessionson topics ranging from Ethernet Solutions to RF. Some 161 engineers, forexample, pre-registered for a session titled USB Solutions, causing Microchipto make a quick decision and move the in-booth sessions to a larger spacewithin the convention center.

"We didn't really put any cap on the registration, butclearly the online pre-registration was a factor. Another factor is that we areseeing a lot of uptake in USB and related topics," says Eric Lawson, publicrelations manager.

Lawson says the Microchip courses offered here were designedto give engineers a taste of a hot topic, and clearly that's exactly what someof the design engineers here were looking for. With a virtual explosion oftechnology to stay on top of, engineers are doing their best to learn when andwhere they can snatch the time. In all, they had a total of 85 sessions tochoose from at this year's ESC to do just that.

Andy Leech, a consultant who designs medical equipment,attended Microchip's session on Human Interface Solutions. "I'm here gettingthe flavor of it so that if I have a requirement in the future that is in anyway related to the technology, I have a base to build upon," says Leech. Hereon business from the UK,Leech says he pre-registered for a few of the sessions that looked interesting,basically in an attempt to try and keep up with it all. "Engineers are justgetting bombarded with information, there's just this constant need to climbthe learning curve," he says. "At this type of show you get to see all thethings you don't have time to keep up with and maybe learn something about afew of them."

Paul, another consultant who attended the same session attendedMicrochip's session on USB Solutions the day before, and said he was planningto take it again later in the day. "Microchip's got this 8-bit technology withUSB built right in, they're being extremely aggressive," he said. "BasicallyI'm taking the course twice to make sure I understand it."

Consultant Chuck Lippmeier, an expert in LabVIEW (agraphical programming language from National Instruments) had not taken any ofthe Microchip courses at this year's ESC, but says he has in the past. "Everylittle bit of information that you gather gets you a little closer to whereyou're trying to go," he says. "What I am trying to do now is get on board withmicrocontrollers, my level is pretty basic at this point," he says. In thepast, he has used training materials on Microchips's site and attendedMicrochip's annual Masters Conference for more intensive training.

In the end, education is part of a never-ending process fordesign engineers, a task that many regretfully say they now have less time todevote to. So every little bit helps. "It's kind of like climbing Mount Everest," says Paul. "One step at a time."

Click herefor more information on Microchip's technical training and educationopportunities.

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