For microcontrollers, it's a bit different. Firmware often represents the entire software stack, due to limited memory and compute resources. Low-power sensors are more heavily customized for specific markets, so changing firmware is essential to building a proper solution. Small devices like freight tracking sensors don't communicate directly with the cloud, and need to work as a mesh network to...
At the Autodesk University event in Las Vegas, November 14-16, civil and commercial/industrial designers and manufacturers who use Autodesk software came together to see The Future of Making Things.
Simics* is a great teaching tool, at all levels of the software and hardware stack, down to the internal logic of a hardware design.