Laura is a software engineer with experience in low level systems. Her past
work has focused on the Linux kernel in areas ranging from memory management
to kernel maintainership. She was a member of the Linux Foundation
Technical Advisory Board from 2018 to 2022. Laura's current role is at Oxide Computer
focusing on software in Rust for microcontrollers.
Oxide ComputerTwitter –
Writing correct firmware requires understanding hardware at the lowest possible level. More frequently than the average programmer, firmware authors may discover fundamental problems with the hardware which must be reported to the manufacturer. Getting resolution of these types of issues can be tedious and frustrating for all parties involved at the best of times. In the worst cases communication may break down between reporter and manufacturer resulting in denial of a problem, obfuscation and poor or no resolution of a problem.
The difficulties in reporting hardware issues stem from many of the cultural issues with traditional proprietary firmware. As with open firmware, there needs to be a better path forward for the industry for hardware issues.