I'm pretty green yet(just over a year), and not certain what direction to go with my studies. Being an electronics enthusiast for decades I've done quite a bit with microcontrollers but I've been writing them in ladder logic.
Considering this microcontrollers just have that cozy feel to me and I think that's probably where I'm headed, especially considering there are lots of C/C++ developers already.
In preparation for the job market should I be working towards C programming for MCU applications or would I be better to hit ladder really hard and shoot for a job working with PLC's? I understand there may be options I haven't considered so I'm open to different path suggestions.
considering there are lots of C/C++ developers already.
Yes, but, the population is aging. Younglings that know c++ are becoming rare, with 85% being more used to java, python, or the like. And they struggle much more going from easy to hard language than hard to easy, as the old generation of c++ coders did, because we started on the hard stuff.
I can't comment on what to study for embedded, except maybe try to do both. The more technologies you can put in your resume that you are truly competent with, the better off you will be. Focused on one means having to find a job with someone who needs just that one thing. Having 5 or 6 means a lot more opportunities. When I was doing embedded, at a 25 person company with 5-6 developers, we had at least 4 different embedded technologies in play on one system. 5 if you count the programmable router. I was sort of in and out of that area but we had our own chip burners and tiny boards we made, we had 2 different DSPs, arduino, whatever else I have forgotten.
I'm still not sure what to do, I need to start a new line of work sooner than later. I'm leaning towards hitting C for embedded hard and trying to get in somewhere doing that now. C++ is of exceptional interest to me and I like what it gives me the power to do so I'm not done there, ladder I feel I could do now so maybe I should be looking for a job in ladder while I work towards C on embedded platforms.
What kind of work do you plan on doing in the embedded field? If you plan to work on design perhaps you should be looking into a language like Verilog or VHDL? If you plan to work on embedded Linux then yes I would agree that it would behoove you to learn C. There are a few different possibilities here.
I'm thinking microcontrollers, like PIC and AVR. So having spent the last year educating myself in C++ it seems it shouldn't be difficult to transition to C. The big question is wether there's a demand.