Saturday, December 10, 2022

“IoT Is Old Wine In A New Bottle”

In this interview for our Design In India series, we take a look at a systems design house named Shalaka Technologies. They focus on embedded systems design, and specialise in the integration of MEMS, communication interfaces, GPS and general packet radio service (GPRS) in industrial solutions. Hemant Kamat, chief technology officer, Shalaka Technologies, talks to Abhimanyu Rathore.

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Q. Then, is this a priority area for your firm’s future growth too?
A. We have been working on the IoT for the last six years. Connected devices, and the IoT in particular, is our thrust area. We design our hardware ground-up and never rely on foreign suppliers like those in China. Our raw material, microcontrollers, sensors, transducers, peripheral devices and other semiconductor components are sourced from global leaders in North America, Europe and Japan.

Q. What kind of projects has your team worked on, in the IoT arena?
A. We have developed connected device solutions for various domains such as automotive, engineering, pharma, healthcare and agriculture, among others.

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Q. What aspects of embedded systems design is your talent pool specialised in?
A. Shalaka’s talent is in embedded systems design, which includes circuit schematic design, printed circuit board (PCB) design, firmware development in C and other software development in Java on Linux and Android platforms.

Q. Would you be recruiting design engineers in the next 12 months, and for what positions?
A. Yes, we are on an aggressive growth path this year as Shalaka is transitioning to a product company. We plan to hire talent at middle-level positions, in embedded systems and software development using Java.

Q. Do you have a training or internship programme?
A. Shalaka has always believed in cooperation with academic institutions. We offer training and internship in embedded systems and Java technologies to undergraduate and graduate students as well as fresh and experienced engineers from the industry.

Q. Do you hire freshers, and what would be your selection criteria for them?
A. Yes, we encourage freshers. More than academic scores, we stress on the ability to learn, passion, honesty, integrity and ingenuity. As long as their fundamentals are strong, technology can be taught and learnt. In the embedded space, learning is a continuous process. We stress more on hands-on skills and non-technical qualities for freshers to succeed in the industry.

Q. Do you only hire from Tier-1 and Tier-2 colleges or do you consider good candidates from other institutes too?
A. We look for candidates from all institutes.

Q. What are the skill-sets that you find lacking in freshers, which they should get trained on during their education, to be easily absorbed by the industry?
A. Freshers have weak fundamentals. Universities try to chase technology in an effort to bridge the industry-academics gap. It is a misconception that university education is useless to the industry. I believe universities have a mandate to groom strong engineers. I would expect universities to teach the fundamentals and create industry-ready engineers.

Students leaving universities should be strong in the fundamentals, have hands-on experience in handling basic equipment used in embedded systems development, circuit schematic design and PCB routing, soldering skills. They should be trained in reading documents such as data sheets and understanding device parameters.



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