The team at Orthogone includes people with varied backgrounds and specialties. Alex Krupnik, senior hardware designer, joined the team in 2013 with experience designing hardware and embedded software in the video security industry.
“There is a solution for every problem. We know that if we look hard enough, we will find it. Our job is to figure out how to use the most appropriate technology in the best possible way to meet our clients’ needs.”
In this Q&A session, Alex tells us why he does both hardware and software design, and shares what he likes most about working at Orthogone.
Senior Hardware Designer,
A: I’m an electrical engineer, so I’m more of a hardware kind of guy. But when you study electrical engineering at university, you still learn embedded software development. A lot of people go into software as a job because it’s so popular. It’s not that common for someone to do both; but in a startup, you would do both naturally because there’s nobody else. When I worked at a startup, I designed both the embedded software and the hardware.
When I came to Orthogone, I already had experience in both from my experience at a startup and then the bigger company that bought that startup. Now I do more hardware/electronics design, and my official title is Senior Hardware Designer. I also do some embedded software whenever needed; almost all the products we design for our clients require both. The fact that I can at least do the initial software development to bring the board alive is an asset.
A: People outside of the field may not understand that the term “hardware” isn’t the hardware aisle in a store. It’s electronics – the electronic hardware found everywhere from components of your car to the x-ray machine in a hospital. Hardware designers work on the electronics that run those things. We design the core of the electronic equipment that you see all around you. When you look under the hood or inside a computer the boards inside may look like any other boards, but what’s on them is different for every single electronic product.
A: Orthogone has many customers and our expertise is needed in different domains. I enjoy seeing all the diverse products, and working in different teams for each project. The change and variety is part of the challenge and part of the excitement. We’re not just working on one product in the same specific area; there could be projects in automotive, medical, aerospace… So it’s really interesting to get exposed to the different technologies used in all these fields.
I also enjoy applying innovative technology. Customers come to us with an idea, and we get to do the first prototypes of that design. We help them find a solution – how to make it, how to design it properly, how to simplify the product, optimize it, make it more efficient and to get it to market as well. It’s not only about applying new technology, or using a new chip or a new product on the market, but it’s also about having a deep understanding of fundamental concepts to be able to make innovative products. It’s rewarding to contribute to making a new product and seeing it being used in multiple applications.