Embedded is a show about engineering. We talk with a wide variety of educators, makers, entrepreneurs, and engineers. The focus is on hardware and software engineering of devices but that covers a lot of territory. We sometimes get deeply technical or sometimes end up giggling through the show, only very occasionally is it both.
My co-host, Christopher White, is an embedded software engineer for Fitbit. I, Elecia White, am an embedded software consultant at Logical Elegance and author of Making Embedded Systems (O’Reilly).
We didn’t really mean to start a podcast. It was a something to try, sort of merit badge of life. We were only going to do six, then twelve. Now that we are on #238, it is possible that podcasting has stuck.
Funding wasn’t a problem as we called it advertising for our embedded software consulting firm. The hosting fees aren’t high and we had most of the sound gear from other projects.
Eventually, we started a Patreon so that people could donate to offset the cost of sending mics to guests. That has been very helpful and we use any excess to buy stickers.
Finding time was tough initially but it has became a regular habit. We spend about 10 hours per week, split between my co-host and myself.
I suppose I should say it has been great for advertising our company and book. And, while that is somewhat true, there are less time intensive ways to go about marketing.
The important things I get from the show are the time and space to ask people about their lives. I get to learn about science and technology by asking the creators. I get to meet interesting people, both guests and listeners.
Years ago, I bought into the idea that people don’t make new friends after they turn 30, it seemed to match my experience. However, the podcast changed all that. I know I can make friends now, really good friends, the sort that will help you change jobs or send you cupcakes through the mail. It is amazing the sort of people you meet when you seek out interesting people to talk to.
Finally, I get to have a few different voices talking about technology but not necessarily talking about diversity in tech. It is kind of subversive so I like it.
I find and schedule guests, then prepare a general outline. My co-host and I do the interview, usually via Skype on a weekend. I write the show notes and my co-host edits the show in Logic.
We always tweet about the show on Twitter. We have a website and write blog posts as well. I will sometimes post a show link to Reddit or HackerNews but only if I think someone there will find it useful. We also ask our listeners for iTunes reviews.
We have stickers and sometimes will do a t-shirt run. We should do more, probably. But we’d rather spend the time on the show and hope for word of mouth.
Audio quality really matters. But audio quality starts at the source: a quiet room and a $40 mic are more important than a $500 mic and $1000s worth of software. Also, keep a regular release schedule whether it is weekly or monthly.