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I recently made the switch to management, but before that I built robots - electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. The switch didn't really bump my pay - many of the engineers I work with make more than me. It is definitely easier to command a higher salary working on the software side of robotics, although I do know a handful of people doing hardware making even more (these people are truly outliers though).

What are the main toolsets in use / in demand on the software side?

I'm in the Bay Area and I'm feeling underpaid. Please tell me what to learn.

Off-topic: try a five day water fast for your migraines. You need neuronal autophagy.

Personally what I look at is what someone has built. If someone is a great engineer they can adapt, although there are some limits to this (I wouldn't hire someone who only works with MATLAB for a position that largely involves coding in C++). What I like to see are demos, not papers (although a demo of a paper is excellent).

ROS is something of a standard framework used in many places. AI is largely a buzzword and can mean many things, but ML tends to have more specific meaning. TensorFlow is becoming the commonly used library for all things machine learning. CUDA is becoming an incredibly useful skill, and GPU experts are always appreciated (including outside of robotics).

So play around with OpenCV if you want to work in computer vision, play around with TensorFlow if you want to do machine learning, and play around with ROS for learning how the backend of these systems work. If you want to be more of a specialist, learn CUDA and optimizing GPU code - I suspect that will be highly in demand for some time.

>Off-topic: try a five day water fast for your migraines. You need neuronal autophagy. reply

Tell me more.

Thanks, very helpful.

Most modern illness is caused by a pervasive lack of autophagy, which is basically a cellular cleaning cycle for your body. Since we're all rich and we eat and snack all the time, autophagy cycles are basically never activated. The body needs "feasting" for cellular growth, but is also _needs_ famine for cellular dismantling and re-purposing. Otherwise you'll have cells with damaged mitochondria that keep clinging to life even though they are broken and very inefficient. Sometimes these damaged cells even replicate out of control, AKA cancer.[1] Cancer cells, since they typically rely on sugar fermentation for fuel instead of oxygen, would normally be "marked" as damaged and dismantled during an autophagy cleaning cycle, but since we never stop eating sugar that never happens. Same with migraines.. in my view you basically have a bunch of damaged cells in your brain that need dismantled and cleared out. But unless you fast (or eat keto, however that's a bit less efficient for autophagy) your neural cleaning cycle simply never runs.[2]



Are these skills possible to acquire if you do not have a university background? I am self taught in everything, also learning math. I am make great money in frontend but would like to work with a more interesting skill set.

I think you can learn a lot if you become very familiar with ROS and just start building things (on the software side at least - much harder to pick up electronics and mechanics if only because of the material and machining costs). My first real foray into robotics was with OpenCV (which is part of ROS) many years ago. There are lots of tutorials online - find something you think is interesting and build it and go from there. If you really like it then start going to meetups (there are enough in the Bay Area for robotics) and meet other people, some of whom are amateurs and some of whom are professionals.

That would be my advice, although I have a university background so take what I say with a grain of salt.

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