mbed is in my opinion the most outstanding online colaboration and engineering tool for amateur engineers or not. It is capable to do multiple fast track projects and have a numerable boards to complain this task.
- Multiple vendor platforms
- Based on ARM Cortex-M architecture
- Online compiler (following C/C++ ANSI notations, really important!)
- Repository of code
- Colaborative tools
- Exporting options to professional IDEs (Keil, IAR, etc.)
Of course it have disadvantages, but if you want a non traumatic experience it will works very well.
Yo first select a board, make some examples and if you want to go to production can also do that. It really shortens the learning curve of the engineering for those people that have no time or wants to test and do fast prototyping.
Here i will write to you a tutorial of using this board, the Kinetis K64F board, mbed enabled for starting to know what is, enable your first application and then make your own code.