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September 4, 2012

Tech Focus: Project management, prototyping & system integration at ESC DESIGN East

HIGHLIGHTS

Creating software prototypes

Getting disciplined about embedded software development: Part 1 - Any idiot can write code

Automated tools streamline software test and certification


Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor
Embedded.com
bccole@acm.org
Read his blog
The larger and more complex an embedded design becomes, a great deal more time has to be devoted to issues beyond code generation and debugging, including project management, prototyping and development and system integration and test. Register to attend the ESC DESIGN East in Boston, Ma. Sept. 17-20, for a intense three day immersion in those topics. Of the dozen or so classes and hands-on tutorials to be presented, my Editor's Recommendations are:

Agile techniques for developing and testing embedded software (ESC-4016) by Robert Oshana. This look at Agile development by Freescale's director of global software R&D provides practical tools and techniques for implementing this powerful methodology.

Scenario testing with executable uses cases in C (ESC-4020) by James Grenning, This should be a very useful class for developers who want to make sure their software is reliable by the founder of the Agile software development movement.

Mocking your way to the bottom (ESC-1006), in which Greg Williams and Jordan Schaenzle take developers step by step though the use of mock based unit software testing with little more than the C language, the GCC tool chain and a bundle of open source tools.

To provide some background on these topics before you attend ESC DESGIN East or to serve as a substitute if you are not going to be there, collected here are a range of columns, design articles, webinars and white papers, of which my Editor's Top Picks are:

Getting disciplined about embedded software development, a 3 part series by Jack Ganssle, who will be conducting several classes at the show. If you do not get a chance to attend ESC DESIGN East, this series is an effective way to get a overview of all aspects of software development.

HW/SW coverification basics, a 4 part series by Jason Andrews, in which you will get a good grounding in all aspects of hardware and software development and the interrelationships between the two.

Creating software prototypes by Jack Ganssle, in which he delves deeply into all aspects of software project management and prototyping, providing his unique perspective on the issues and problems involved.


Design How-Tos

Getting disciplined about embedded software development: Part 1 - Any idiot can write code

Here's a guide from Jack Ganssle on doing software development in a disciplined way to reduce both errors and the time it takes to complete a project. Part 1: Any idiot can write code.

The basics of embedded software testing: Part 1

This two part article covers the basics of testing and test case development and points out details unique to embedded systems work along the way. Part1: Basics of embedded software testing.

HW/SW co-verification basics: Part 1 - Determining what & how to verify

In this four part series, Jason Andrews details the importance of co-verification of both hardware and software in embedded system design and provides details on the various ways to achieve this. Part 1: Determining what and how to verify.

Agile embedded software development

Developers flee engineering for marketing and management. Why? Big processes are not delivering, and neither is coding chaos. This author says Agile helps address the problems of late projects, high defect levels, and stressed teams.

Agile hardware development – nonsense or necessity?

Software developers have largely accepted methodologies, such as Agile development, but there is nothing comparable in the hardware domain...

Using CMMI for software requirements testing in system design & development

Use the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) standard to improve software project processes, particularly requirements management and traceability.

Software Component Testing and Test Automation in Embedded Systems

A tutorial on software component testing which also outlines a viable solution for testing and test automation of embedded software components in particular.

Automated tools streamline software test and certification

In this Product How-To Jared Fry and Shan Bhattacharya of LDRA describe how the company's tool suite can be used to analyze code to trace requirements, identify and fix standards violations, monitor code coverage, and rapidly and effectively bring reliable products to market.

How to use new unit testing tools & techniques to improve software quality

Long used mainly in high integrity environments, new unit test tools can now also streamline and improve the quality and reliability of mainstream, less critical environments, even those involving undocumented legacy code.

Tracing requirements through to object-code verification

Verifying object code can mean the difference between success and failure, quality and crap. But skipping the step because a standard doesn't require it or because it theoretically eats into profits is a surprisingly common practice. The author postulates that this practice is not only shortsighted but no longer valid.


2012 Embedded Market Survey webinar

UBM Electronics' 17th annual survey of embedded systems designers worldwide shows trends in software and hardware usage. The 2012 Embedded Market Survey also looks at languages, productivity, and the challenges design teams rank as most important. A webinar on Friday April 20 will examine the results from over 1,700 respondents from across the embedded industry, the dataset enables a deep analysis to track key changes in this important electronics industry segment. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions online. To register click here.


Products

Code testing process more accessible for developers

Isolator 2010 a unit testing tool that helps abstract dependencies from the tested code is available from Typemock (Tel-Aviv, Israel).

GrammaTech CodeSonar 3.8 does source-code analysis up to six times faster with lower false positive rate

CodeSonar 3.8 is significantly faster and more precise than its predecessor, with fewer false positives, making it much easier to analyze projects with millions of lines of code.

LDRA tool suite integrates MISRA AC for verification of auto-generated code

LDRA's MISRA AC provides independent verification of the auto-generated code, a critical factor in stringent certification requirements.

TI launches ULP Advisor software code analysis tool for MSP430TM MCUs

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) has announced the ULP Advisor software code analysis tool, which teaches developers how to create the most energy-efficient, ultra-low-power applications with TI's MSP430 microcontrollers.


News & Analysis

Software IS pretty darn good

A recent article bemoans the sad state of software. It's just more FUD.

Code base growth drives static analysis market

Embedded software engineers using a static analysis tool are working on projects with significantly larger average numbers of in-house developed lines of software code than developers not using a static analysis tools according to research by VDC Research.

GrammaTech transforms code analysis with visualization

GrammaTech's next-generation software architecture visualization system scales to millions of lines of code

Software testing with metrics added

While software automated testing is nothing new, adding metrics so that managers can time the release of new software products is.

Commentary

On testing

Testing is important. But it's just one quality gate.

Agile embedded?

Here's why many embedded systems developers prefer agile techniques or their related precursors such as XP and scrum.

How I test software

Test early and often: Jack describes his testing techniques and other survival lessons from Apollo missions to today.

Analogies for software development

We have rotten tools. At best they give us only a crude analogy about our code. The future holds more visceral visualizations.

Making "Software Engineering" Engineering

Are there provable theoretical underpinnings behind software engineering?

Some neat software compliance & testing tools

Automate everything. Especially brain-dead stuff - like standards checks.


Sponsored White Papers

Requirements-Based Testing: Encourage Collaboration Through Traceability

Static Code Analysis for Embedded Software

Software Design Considerations for a successful ARM Cortex-M based Microcontroller project

Systems engineering--the foundation for success in complex systems development

Delivering effective results with CMMI in systems software development

A Detailed Look Into Hardware/Software Co-Verification


Courses and Webinars

Get agile using scrum methodology in embedded development

ESC SV-405- Agile Embedded Software Development

ESC SV-300- Peer Code Review Doesn't Have to Suck

Accelerating Device Time-to-Market with Embedded Software Test


Resources

Around the Network Events

Save Tesla's lab

DesignCon 2013 abstracts due Monday, Aug. 27

Software Visual Analytics of Program Structure and Metrics

Conferences and Events

ESC Boston 2012, a DESIGN East summit
September 17-20, 2012
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA

Are you up-to-date on the latest products, technologies and practical design information?

ESC Boston -- alongside Android Summit, DesignMED, LED Summit and Sensors in Design -- is the most powerful and cost-effective avenue for acquiring the latest knowledge, skills and techniques you need to:
  • Get your ideas from concept to reality as quickly as possible and on spec
  • Accelerate the design and development of your products
  • Facilitate the incorporation of new technologies & techniques into existing and future projects
And with the All Access Pass, you'll get unlimited entry to everything:
  • Choose from 100+ sessions & tutorials in 21+ conference tracks
  • Network with visionary keynotes and top industry speakers
  • Attend the Android™ Certificate Program
  • See exciting DESIGN East Theater events like product teardowns
  • Visit 150+ Exhibitors on the Expo Floor showcasing the latest products
  • Enjoy Happy Hours, win Prizes & Giveaways and more!
Join thousands of your peers at the center of the engineering universe -- you can't afford to miss this.

Register today!

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