Working at John Deere
I am currently working on developing new lines of agricultural sprayers with John Deere in Ankeny, IA. I was always interesting in farming and thought working at John Deere would be a great way to combine this interest with my passion for robotics. Even though my background is in mechanical engineering, I have learned many principles of "real-life" software development for John Deere. The company has many precision agriculture initiatives and my main role has been to deliver software for see and spray systems (i.e. programming the nozzles of the boom to spray when a weed is detected).
In addition to See & spray (overview below), the Right to Repair Act is also one of the driving factors in software development for agriculture right now. Using standardized hardware and software protocols while also reducing the amount of pesticides used on crops are very important for safety and sustainability of farming. Instead of using proprietary hardware and software protocols, standardized protocols across the industry will help build a general toolbox for writing and debugging software that more people than just one or two companies can have ownership over.
I believe that these initiatives will have a very positive impact on improving the safety and sustainability of farming.
Note: The opinions expressed here are my own.