Author Topic: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?  (Read 646 times)

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Offline embeddedguy85

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Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« on: October 22, 2017, 03:50:47 AM »
How often do embedded jobs require someone travel? Every job post I see says 5% but something tells me they simply put that because they dont want to exclude travel all together.
 

Online sokoloff

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 03:58:05 AM »
Can't answer the embedded part, but as a hiring manager for general software engineers, that's exactly what we do. "It's not 'never travel', so put 5%..."

Most of our engineers don't need to travel in any given year and if they don't want to, they are very rarely pressured to ever travel.
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 04:04:12 AM »
How often do embedded jobs require someone travel? Every job post I see says 5% but something tells me they simply put that because they dont want to exclude travel all together.

Some days 100% will be international travel, other days 0%.

In other words, whenever someone mentions an average, the question is "over what interval" (and "can I volunteer/avoid it")

Example: what's your average heart rate. Mine has varied between 200bpm and <10-6bpm
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Online coppice

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 04:08:33 AM »
It is very variable. Some embedded people never leave the office. Others spend most of their time on the road (or plane). It can be hard to gauge the true level of travel a job might entail until you've actually been in it for a few weeks. People can be very unrealistic about this while recruiting.

I'm not clear if you are looking for a high or low level of travel. Its great working with a wider group of people, and getting more diverse experience, but the actual travel quickly grows tedious. When you can describe a lot of the world's airports and hotels in detail, but can't describe much about the places you've visited you start to see business travel in its proper perspective.  ;)
 

Offline embeddedguy85

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 04:12:30 AM »
I want 0% travel.
 

Online coppice

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 04:16:52 AM »
I want 0% travel.
As long as you stay away from people like distributors, silicon vendors, and similar organisations with a large amount of customer support activities, your goal is easy to get close to. Most embedded jobs only require a very occasional visit when all attempts to deal with customer issues remotely have failed.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 02:49:25 AM »
Over the past 20 years I have travelled once a year on average when having a job as a design engineer/embedded firmware engineer. People in product support usually travel more. I always liked these kind of trips. And there is travel and travel. There is a difference needing to take a plane for 10+ hours to go somewhere and stay for two weeks or just a short hop so you can get back the same day.
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 05:27:43 AM »
Over the past 20 years I have travelled once a year on average when having a job as a design engineer/embedded firmware engineer. People in product support usually travel more. I always liked these kind of trips. And there is travel and travel. There is a difference needing to take a plane for 10+ hours to go somewhere and stay for two weeks or just a short hop so you can get back the same day.

But "short hop" can be surprisingly long.

Back in 1996 I commuted half a dozen times for a 1 day meeting in Palo Alto, from the UK. It was surprisingly tolerable provided I caught exactly the right planes:
  • arrive at 4pm local time (midnight body time)
  • stay up, have evening meal in a sushi bar, go to sleep at 10pm
  • wake up normally for a 9am meeting
  • catch the 6pm flight back to the UK, sleep on plane

It would  have been terrible for 2 days, and wouldn't have worked in the other direction.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Gliding aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline Gyro

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 06:16:58 AM »
I want 0% travel.

You don't indicate whether it is domestic or international travel that you want to avoid.

Having mostly worked for international companies and / or those with international customers or partners, I can give you the following pointers:

- Avoid International companies, particularly those that have development teams in different countries.
- Avoid companies with regional sales / support offices.
- Avoid companies that undertake colaborative developments with companies in other countries.
- Avoid companies that have anything other than domestic customers.

That should make you pretty 'safe'. Of course, this may also significantly affect your career and development opportunities.  :(

Unless you have some specific (eg. medical) reason that you must avoid travel, then it really isn't that bad, unless it becomes too frequent. You should be able to determine whether that is likely at interview.


P.S. There's also the issue of training to consider - companies that only provide internal or no technical or career development training. Many companies make use of attendance at external training courses.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 07:02:47 AM by Gyro »
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Online cdev

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 06:39:44 AM »
If you are a parent of a young child or a caregiver of somebody who's sick, travel is likely problematic.

...

But otherwise.. keep an open mind.. some business travel is great.. especially conferences, if you get to the level where your employer sends you to them, they can be great opportunities to jump start your skills. Also, you make new friends.

5% sounds about right for conferences.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 06:50:49 AM by cdev »
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Offline hamdi.tn

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 09:05:32 AM »
i travel once every two month to modify/debug/develop new software for my clients products. I think it really depend on the job. Some company "rent" their engineers to others for specific missions as a consultant so you can be an embedded developer and switch place / team / company every three month.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2017, 08:43:47 PM »
I don't think it's possible, or realistic, to avoid having to go and visit customers ever.

Bear in mind, as a freelancer, you're not an engineer, you're a business.

I probably go and visit a customer about one day a week, on average. Sometimes it's because I need to see a product in a real installation, and there's no substitute for that. Sometimes it's just for a face-to-face chat about how a project is going and what's coming up next. Occasionally it's because my cats aren't great when it comes to conversation.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2017, 10:02:14 PM »
OK, so you want to be a freelancer if possible, embedded engineer guy, who doesn't have the qualifications and experience to do it, wants 0% travel, doesnt have the money to invest in education or the right instruments.

Maybe you should adjust your expectations. And this is me being polite.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2017, 02:39:24 AM »
I'm doing an embedded firmware/hardware job, but occasionally have to leave the office to actually commission or fix some hardware.

There is also the odd training or customer site testing that is not at the office. And certification test equipment (heat/cold/emc/vibration) are not available at the office, so that is outdoors but often is possible within one day.

I think jobs with 0% travel do not exist.
 

Offline brucehoult

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2017, 03:34:03 AM »
Example: what's your average heart rate. Mine has varied between 200bpm and <10-6bpm

I don't know about you, I'd be fairly concerned if my heart went almost 23 months between beats.

I've been working my current employer for 3 1/3 years, one way or another. So far I've made the following travel:

Jul 2014: start work
Dec 2014: two week business trip from Wellington to Moscow
Apr 2015: relocate to Moscow
Sep 2015: one week business trip Moscow to Seoul
Oct 2017: one week business trip Moscow to San Jose

I guess that's about average for me. The previous job had me making trips from Wellington to the office (Mountain View) every three or four months. The one before that had one trip (in three years) from Wellington to Las Vegas to person our stand at a trade show.
 

Offline 4CX35000

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Re: Travel and embedded jobs - how often?
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2017, 03:48:53 AM »
How often do embedded jobs require someone travel? Every job post I see says 5% but something tells me they simply put that because they dont want to exclude travel all together.


5% travel is probably for training and meeting staff in other offices for meetings. Most employers tend to add those T&Cs into contract these days to deal with the obstinate staff.
 


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