Now here was a challenge… moving to a new city, a new culture, and a very different work environment – during a pandemic, no less! Savoir-faire Linux is a wonderful open source consultancy firm based in Montreal, Quebec. I moved to Montreal for 3 to 6 months of training, then was to move back to Winnipeg and work from remote.
I had more difficulty with the French language than I expected. My colleagues were great though, working with me in English, and helping me navigate the challenges of life in the big city.
The work was amazing! I had done all kinds of hardware development, firmware development, FPGA, debuggging, and engineering supervision. But, wow, Jerome Oufella and the R&D team at SFL are amazingly competent and efficient. It was a challenge to learn the new systems and get up to speed with the latest expectations for embedded systems development using LINUX.
Shifting gears from management back to small systems development was difficult, but so much fun! I had a bit of trouble getting into the by-the-hour consultant mode of work again (since my Elecsys days, it’s mostly been get-it-done-no-matter-the-time-needed mode), but I gradually got with the program.
Jerome was hoping that my addition to the team would round out their experience in the low-end MCU space, and give them insight into hardware that they did not have before. I saw some indication of how this might work – a client had a bad implementation of an SDIO bus (badly matched path length, multiple unmatched layer transitions), and I recognized the severity of the issue immediately. Another member of the team came up with remedial code and a work-around.
Unfortunately, in this pandemic time, business continued to slow through the fall, rather than pick up again, as we had expected. Just before Christmas 2020, I was let go, and travelled back to Winnipeg.
I still believe in Savoir-faire Linux and their work. I would recommend Jerome and his team to anybody who needs open-source and embedded Linux assistance.