How to become an embedded software developer?
First, I am sorry if this is the wrong stack, feel free to move it to the correct one if possible.
After browsing LifeHacker and reading about Arduino, I instantly became interested in building stuff with this. I been researching it the last few days, but figured I can ask some experienced people if this is the best, most flexiable beginner option, or if there are better (specifically since I prefer my Visual Studio IDE) options? I don't mind coding C++ once so ever, though I love Visual Studio so C# would be fine too. I recall seeing something about VS and building robotics, so if that's an option thats fine. However I def do not want to use Java, as I am not found of the language or IDE options (just a matter of preference).
I would appreciate some constructive feedback on which microcontroller would be a good starting point, and would allow a lot of flexibility. I understand I would eventually need to expand to different boards, however I would like to start with one that allows for the best transition to these.
My first project, after doing the basics, will be making a doorbell with MP3 Support. I already know this is possible combining several projects I found for the Arduino (though memory wise, not sure if it can handle), so I need to make sure what I choose is flexible. Note, I have no interest in building huge robots that battle, almost anything I build would be DIY convince items for my house. Plus I always wanted to learn the principles of circuitry.
If Arduino is the best option, I would love some advice on nice starter kits. I found a few already, but it always helps to have feedback from users who have used the kits. I know this kit won't include what I want for my first project, but I would like one that includes everything I need to do all the basics before I move on to this project.
Thank you so much in advance for your feedback!
Edit: I am currently looking at netduino.com as we speak including reading: Should I buy a Netduino or Arduino?