One of the interesting projects for most of the embedded beginners enthusiasts or hobbyists is to build the LED chasing effect. In this project we are going to use both the Arduino IDE and Atmel AVR Studio to program the AVR ATMega168 microcontroller, therefore you could learn to use these well known Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to program the project.
You could read more information at jazzymicro
One of the advantages with the open source software and hardware such as Arduino (based on Atmel 8-bit AVR ATMega328 microcontroller) is the enormous “add-on” hardware called “Arduino Shield” that we could easily expand the Arduino main board and turn it into many cool and useful embedded system applications e.g. DC motor controller, web server, wireless application, GSM/GPRS modem and many more. The Arduino framework is so popular that many vendors come with their new Arduino shield module design almost every year. You could read more information at ermicroblog