Reducing The Friction Of Embedded Software Development With PlatformIO


February 24th, 2020

46 mins 49 secs

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About this Episode


Embedded software development is a challenging endeavor due to a fragmented ecosystem of tools. Ivan Kravets experienced the pain of programming for different hardware platforms when embroiled in a home automation project. As a result he built the PlatformIO ecosystem to reduce the friction encountered by engineers working with multiple microcontroller architectures. In this episode he describes the complexities associated with targeting multiple platforms, the tools that PlatformIO offers to simplify the workflow, and how it fits into the development process. If you are feeling the pain of working with different editing environments and build toolchains for various microcontroller vendors then give this interview a listen and then try it out for yourself.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Ivan Kravets about PlatformIO, an open source ecosystem for IoT development including a cross-platform IDE, unified debugger, remote unit testing, and firmware updates.


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by describing what PlatformIO is?
    • What was your motivation for creating it?
    • What are the aspects of embedded development that keep you interested and engaged in this space?
  • What are some of the types of projects that someone might use PlatformIO to build?
  • What are some of the common challenges that a developer might encounter when working on embedded systems?
    • What are the additional complexities that get introduced as more hardware targets get added to a project?
  • What is the workflow for someone using PlatformIO for embedded systems development?
  • What are the different elements of PlatformIO and how do they simplify the work of building embedded systems projects?
  • How is PlatformIO implemented and how has the system design evolved since you first began working on it?
    • What was your reason for selecting Python as the implementation language?
    • If you were to start over today what would you do differently?
  • How has the embedded hardware and software landscape changed since you first started work on PlatformIO?
    • How has that impacted your product direction?
  • How do developers handle testing and validation of their applications?
  • How does PlatformIO help with updating deployed devices with new firmware?
  • What have been some of the most interesting/unexpected/innovative projects that you have seen built with PlatformIO?
  • What have been some of the most interesting/unexpected/challenging aspects of building and maintaining PlatformIO?
  • How are you approaching sustainability of the project and business?
  • What do you have planned for the future of PlatformIO?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA