The challenges ahead for embedded software development -

The challenges ahead for embedded software development

Several of our regular columnists recently have been looking at what’s in store for embedded software development in future years. They all agree that the challenges ahead – such as 32-bit MCUs, more and larger systems dependent on reliable code development, and greater use of embedded systems in almost all aspects of our lives – dictate that software engineers will have to rethink their traditional solutions. But they offer a diverse array of solutions.

In “Latent Defects , ” Jack Ganssle looks at increasing code sizes. He reiterates his belief that in addition to more and better tools for code analysis, the future lies with more disciplined methodologies such as software requirements specification and testing, test-driven development, Agile programming, and the Personal Software Process.

In “It’s not the processor , ” Dan Saks notes that despite his belief that C++ is perhaps the best approach to achieving the goals that Jack Ganssle outlines, the C programming language is still dominant. He assesses the reasons that might be so, and what that implies for future development in these languages.

Agile columnist Mike Hogg in ”Working software, iteratively , ” places great hope in the use of the scrum framework to help developers generate more high quality C-code.

According to columnist and former ESD editor Michael Barr in “Trends in embedded software design , ” because of system complexity and the dearth of programmers receiving university training, future software development will be the job of auto-generated software modeling frameworks. Despite this trend,  he believes expertise in languages such as C and C++ will continue to play a small but important role in embedded design.

Many of the articles, white papers and webinars submitted by the embedded developer community reflect a similar diversity of opinion on how to address these challenges. My Editor’s Top Picks among recent submissions are:

Using requirements traceability with model-driven development
Statecharts can provide you with software quality insurance
Agile embedded software development

What do you think? I would like to hear from you online, by email, or in the form of contributed articles and columns you would like to share with the embedded design community.

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