Our Engineers: Aaron Fontaine

Always Learning

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Aaron Fontaine joined Dojo Five as a Senior Firmware Engineer in April of 2021.  He has Minnesota in his heart, growing up in Southwest Minneapolis, attending college in Duluth and settling back in South Minneapolis.

Like many children of the 80’s, Aaron got his start in electronics with the Radio Shack 200 in 1 Electronics Lab. With a father working as an Electrical Engineer at Sperry/Unisys, his first computer was a Sperry PC, naturally.

Much of his interest in embedded systems was self-initiated. He read the Intel Pentium manual when it was introduced in 1993. That curiosity about how things operate behind the scenes led to a lot of projects in Assembly, and ultimately a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

In his career over the past 2 decades, he has been a developer and an architect, but has continued his own intellectual pursuits to expand his domain knowledge. He cares quite a bit about the craft involved in embedded development, and values the understanding of the entire system necessary to deliver a product that meets or exceeds requirements.

Pentium_Manual
Just a little light reading before bed

"Just because you can learn the riff to Stairway to Heaven, that doesn't mean you can play the guitar."

When Aaron was 16, he would have said his dream job is what he’s doing today - working on solving a variety of unique and interesting firmware challenges. But over the years, he has developed a closer interest in sustainability and some of the largest challenges facing the world. He took a recent sabbatical to research the impact he can make, and his future dream job still involves doing what he loves while working to solve some of these global issues.

He’s enjoyed the high level of trust and autonomy he’s been given on his projects at Dojo Five. In fact, as of this writing, Aaron is the only developer in our office working on Windows, and we’re OK with that.  At least the marketing guy writing this blog post is OK with that.

Some of his favorite tools are the Eclipse IDE, SEGGER tools, and has been recently relying on CMake and Zephyr.

In his spare time, he usually has an eye towards continuing education, and is taking an AI and Machine Learning course through the University of Texas. He has taken music lessons on and off, but the latest status is “off”.  His forays into property management have made him an expert in lead mitigation, which is not at all what he intended, but makes for some great stories to tell his friends.

He has hopes and dreams and some sketched up plans about a better backyard, and has been working on an IoT Kiln project with his neighbor that involves circuit boards, lots of sensors, a mobile app and lots of flames, so that’s pretty cool. 

Smart Kiln