My best friend is a biomedical engineer, soon to graduate, and he’s been getting into programming lately. He’s drawn to low-level and mathematical programming, and he also has a knack for electrical/mechanical stuff (works on his car, has worked on houses as a contractor, builds medical devices for fun…)
For the holidays, I’d like to give him a complete kit of hardware specific tools, books, etc. I definitely want to go beyond the typical “Arduino starter kit”, I’m thinking more like Freescale mcu’s, Intel Atom, and maybe both to get a feel for different architectures… as well as more unknown mcu’s like the ESP8266 (which I only know about because he told me) and a whole range of sensors.
Personally, I am a backend web/data engineer, so I’m definitely not an expert on low level hardware stuff. I’m hoping you guys could help me out: what are the best things to have in a hardware development kit? What resources did you wish you had starting out?