Only 11 Real Audio Engineers in the World? Do you really need a DSP?

This is a great article in EE Times.  David Blaza wrote this article to highlight the complexity of making an embedded audio product.  Several confusing part to some people reading this is, how can there just be 11?  I can do all of those.  Or there are myriads of iphone music apps, there must be a lot more than 11!

What we are classifying under each skill set is not just the hobbiest want-to-be's.  I'm sure many think they've got good ears.  But in reality, people with "golden ears" have undergone some years of experience and training.  Then there are those who think they are DSP programmers, but audio DSP programming is also a specialized trade that not only requires advanced academic degrees, but also understanding of how to apply the algorithms in a psychoacoustic way beyond the math and numbers.  

Then there are those who think that writing a music app is the same as being able to translate that to an embedded product.  And that's greatly misunderstood, also.  In fact, it takes great skill to make the processing sound good and fit into a small footprint.