Reflective Report Writing
This report is based on the experience of an internship in Embedded Engineering. It has explained the entire journey of internship. This internship has helped in developing the skills and knowledge in both hardware and software technologies which is required for successful project delivery. In this way, the report also has described the activities that have been done and achievements based on them which significantly contributed in learning the designing and implementation process.
A reflection report helps to evaluate a range of experience, performance and other things associated with a particular task or events. Focusing on this aspect, I am going to evaluate my experience in my internship or placement as an engineer. As a part of MSc. in Engineering Electronics, I have worked and completed an internship as an Embedded Software Engineer at Total Data Warehouse Solutions UK Ltd. This company is a data warehousing migration solution expert that offers storage and security for all kinds of data ranging such as digital data, traditional data and cloud data (great.gov.uk, 2021). This company has been operating for 9 years and now it has 1 active secretary, 3 active directors and 1 employee (endole.co.uk, 2021). I have chosen this particular company because it is a growing company in the UK and I expected that the members of this company would help me to learn a range of things which are important for my future academic as well as professional career. In order to qualify for a sandwich degree along with the Diploma in Professional Practice, I have got a placement at this company for 10 months (January 2021 to November 2021). My placement role was to work as an embedded engineer.
I have worked in the Plug and Play project of this company and due to this reason, I was allocated a number of tasks for completing this project. Through this internship, I have developed a unique way for integrating systems for the devices that are used in the project. Apart from that, I have also developed a unique way of connecting external devices as and when required by the customers and clients in Uk and Europe. In this report, I am going to reflect on my experience and performance in my last internship or placement in this company to understand my achievements and assess the skills and knowledge I have developed. In this similar manner, I would also be able to find out my weakness in skills, knowledge and way of work which are needed to improve more.
During this entire internship period, I had to complete a range of tasks to complete the Plug and Play project as an Embedded engineer. I joined this internship at the end of January and in this month I had to attend an induction and some paperwork. I have also attended the induction on previous projects completed by this company. Then from March to June, I was trained on each and every part related to embedded engineering including software and hardware. During this period, I have attended different company meetings to discuss my problems and status of work. After that from July to November, I have been involved in two different projects but I have been able to complete the Plug and Play project as per allocation. During the first few months of the training period, we used to work on the given tasks only. For example, during the training period, I was given basic tasks on C++ and other basic codings. Then, after joining the projects I have also shown my creativity to complete the projects successfully. As a whole, in this entire placement, I was assigned to design and implement software of Embedded devices and systems based on coding, testing, and debugging system software.
At the training period, I was not involved in any tough or significant tasks as I did not have any practical knowledge, skills and experience on hardware and software implementation. Due to this particular reason, I was so weak in coding and other software as well as hardware related tasks. My project team was mainly based on coding and due to this reason, I have done several basic C++ coding in this period. In this training period, my other team members have helped me to complete the given tasks without errors.
From the entire internship period, I have realised that coding, hardware testing and implementing and software implementing were the most significant tasks maong all the assigned tasks. Being an Embedded software engineer, I have realized that coding would be one of the most important and prioritised tasks in my future professional career. In this similar manner, I have also been assigned different C++ codings in this training period. The Plug and Play project is also totally based on C++ coding and programming and due to this reason it was one of the most significant activities I have done. On the basis of the project requirement, I have designed and developed various software based on this coding. In this particular context, meetings were arranged by this company to discuss the project status, requirements, issues, budget and many other aspects. In these meetings I was mainly asked to discuss the proceedings of the codings or software designing.
Apart from coding, implementation of the designed software was also a significant activity done by me in this placement. In this software implementation process, all of my project team members were involved and thus it has become easier to complete these tasks successfully. My senior members have guided me in this entire process. I was also given deadlines to finish all of the assigned activities and following this schedule, I have been able to complete my tasks successfully by time. Thus, I have gained knowledge raegingthe work process associated with embedded devices and software.
Another task I have released significantly from my internship is hardware implementation as per the requirement of the project. After designing and developing as well as implementation of the software, it is also important to implement the hardware properly as per the specific requirements of the project. I have also realised that I am strong and knowledgeable in hardware testing and implementing. In order to complete the designing of the Plug and Play system, I have tested all the available hardware properly. After testing, I have implemented the best selected hardware in this system. In this particular way, I have completed all of my assigned activities for completing this project successfully within 10 months. All of these activities have helped me to develop not only my technical, software or professional skills but also a range of interpersonal skills which are essential for both personal and professional development in the future career.
In this way, I have been able to develop a unique way to integrate systems for the devices that are used in this Plug and Play project. In this similar manner, I have also been able to develop a unique way to connect external devices based on the requirements of the clients and other customers in the UK and other countries in Europe. These all are my activities I have completed during the last 10 months of my internship or placement as an Embedded software engineer.
From my academic records I have learned about the working and operations of embedded systems into functions. From the lectures and textbooks I learned that embedded systems are actually used for large hardware and software integrated units with the help of a microcontroller functioned previously. Most of the embedded systems I used are data and object oriented where the functions required for microcontrollers are inserted before the operations. As I took the certification on a plug and play project I had to initially understand the project requirements. Any project is specific to its requirements and thus required a special dataset to continue. After understanding the need for the project, I went for the use of a specific embedded hardware system. This will smooth the operation of the system in the project. As I have learned about the VLSI systems as well, I used the practical applications and theories of VLSI and wireless communications into the plug and play project. There are many VLSI systems available which can help an embedded system for better output. Microprocessors in a personal computer or workstation, used in chips or in a graphic card, sets of digital camera or for video recording camcorder, memory cards in a cell phone or transportable computing device, and several hard integrated or embedded processors in a vehicle are all examples of VLSI circuits in use. As my project is a large integrated circuit, thus the idea of using VLSI is always effective. I mentioned how to integrate large data sets within a system and the proper functions of a specified microcontroller as well. I recognised the impact of using a VLSI function. I found that we need to be aware of the functions of each microcontroller before using any. All of these knowledge will help me to build more Plug and PLay type projects in future.
I do not think that through this placement or internship of 10 months as an Embedded Engineer, I have achieved any significant things, but I have realised that I have improved a lot of things in myself. Based on my overall experience, I can strongly state that from the beginning of internship to now, I have improved my both technical, professional and personal skills. For instance, during my training period, I have been given tasks with different coding such as C++. in this way I have been able to improve my C++ coding skills. Then, in order to complete the project, I have to work on Python and it has also improved my machine language skills. From this point of view, I can say that I have been able to improve my skills on hardware, software, machine learning, coding and other technical skills. I have realised that the improvement of my technical, professional as well as personal skills are the key achievements from this entire placement as a software engineer in the Embedded field.
This internship in Total Data Warehouse Solutions UK Ltd has helped me in developing various skills and knowledge in my interest areas. It is not only the knowledge and skills related to coding or other technical activities, eventually, but it has also helped me in developing interpersonal skills, communication skills, and other attributes which will guide me in my future career as well. While talking about teamwork, I must say, initially I had faced issues of communication and bonding with other people as the session was based on only team meetings. Even after having a master’s level of knowledge in embedded engineering I was not able to cope up with the technical team and face complexities in understanding and collaborating with others. However, the continuous effort and cooperation along with the field trip gradually helped me in involving the work. It has also helped me in sharpening my skills in C, and C++. As I am keen to develop my strength in python, it has not been successful completely, but I have gained a little bit of knowledge in this field. Furthermore, I have also worked in both hardware and software which has undoubtedly increased my knowledge of using different parts of computers and other technological devices through which a project can be delivered successfully. Initially, it was not easy to work with all and I was also in a dilemma if I could ever make it till the end. Surprisingly, with the growing time, I slowly adopted the work environment, and with the support, cooperation, and collaboration of all I have gradually widened my knowledge in embedded Engineering and project development with the help of coding.
Nevertheless, I have evaluated my strengths and weaknesses through which I identified that I am actually pretty good at testing hardware and implementing the designs. Though coding was not my strength and I was too bad at it, slowly I am nurturing this skill which is visible in my performance. Some irregular (due to covid) but personal meetings are helping to boost up my communication and interpersonal skills. That enabled questioning, presentation, database manipulation, effective listening, situation analysis, and recommendation skills which is going to help in my future work in a definite way. Through the Plug and Play project, I have developed a system for integrating systems in devices as well as I also developed a connecting process for the external devices that helped us to get more clients in the UK and Europe. The appreciation due to this has motivated me to be more concentrated on my work.
On the contrary, at the very beginning of this internship, I was really worried as this was my first time working for a company but as days passed I started to really enjoy it. As I did not have proper knowledge and skills on Python, at the starting of the second project., I have made some mistakes which resulted in errors in coding outcomes. However, my supervisors and seniors have supported and helped me to learn this programming language properly. In this way, I have been able to improve my programming language skills. This situation has also helped me to know how to work under pressure and critical situations. Thus, these entire placement activities have helped me to gain the knowledge of the ways of p overcoming any mistakes in programming or coding process.
Based on my overall experience, I cannot say that I have achieved a lot in this place but definitely, it has developed my time sense through which I have successfully delivered my projects on time. Interestingly, this organization makes sure that everyone works in every department, which integrates knowledge regarding every type of department and works that are necessary for completing a project. I have improved my skills and knowledge in this field from the previous time, and I am opportunistic to work harder to achieve success in my future career. Moreover, I have been appreciated by the managing director of this placement company for my hard work and contributions to this company’s Plug and Play project. From this context, I have been highly satisfied to work as an intern Embedded engineer in this company.
Akdur, D., Garousi, V. and Demirörs, O., 2018. A survey on modeling and model-driven engineering practices in the embedded software industry. Journal of Systems Architecture, 91, pp.62-82.
endole.co.uk (2021) TOTAL DATA WAREHOUSE SOLUTIONS UK LTD Employee, Available at: https://suite.endole.co.uk/insight/company/07916332-total-data-warehouse-solutions-uk-ltd [Accessed on: 5th January 2021]
Garousi, V., Felderer, M., Karapıçak, Ç.M. and Yılmaz, U., 2018. Testing embedded software: A survey of the literature. Information and Software Technology, 104, pp.14-45.