The intent of this post is to provide an insight into the world of the systems engineer that is used to working on large embedded projects. Meaning engineers that design and develop products that fly, move on tracks or wheels and float, or in some cases submerge. It is a summary of a webinar I gave in February that has since been transcribed and turned into a white paper
What is it?
Systems engineering spans all the disciplines involved in developing a product. It provides the means to specify the... [More]
Built in the mid to late 90’s, the Mars Climate Orbiter was fitted with the most advanced technology of its time, and it featured dual redundant systems and triple redundant software copies! What could possibly go wrong?
It launched in December 1998 - everything was going according to plan. By September 1999, it approached Mars and attempted to go into orbit. Then - poof - it went out of radio contact! Two days later, it was officially declared "lost". The probe ventured too close to Mars, plummeted into its... [More]
If you are not familiar with the subject of professional licensing for software engineers, you can read a good synopsis here . Surprisingly (to me), the concept of regulating the practice of software engineering in situations where public safety is involved has been met with significant resistance and controversy. I believe this is an important issue, and it is becoming more important because the use of software-driven, safety-critical systems is drastically increasing.
My own experience
Before I get into specific... [More]
In my job, I routinely find myself talking with clients about using modeling to support their systems engineering activities. The discussion usually focuses on the challenges a team is having, and most of their difficulty can often be traced back to a lack of understanding of what modeling is. This is the same issue I saw many students struggling with when I taught introductory modeling classes. In this blog post, I will try to present modeling as simply a formalization of what we, as humans, do all the time: abstract. We do this without even... [More]
by Walker Royce Chief Software Economist, IBM Rational software Innovation has become synonymous with software. It’s through software that businesses can create products, systems, and services that are increasingly “instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent.” These innovations in software are becoming the source of real value to the consumer, and for many businesses it is what sets them apart from their competition. As you think about your organization, what is the biggest challenge you are facing NOW? What is NEXT if you want to... [More]
When I was young and just starting my career one of the key lessons I learned from one of my first mentors was to always look for ways to improve. Actively look for ways to learn more, and be open to new ideas. At the time this was revolutionary to me because I thought I knew a lot more than other people about certain things; this is one of the drawbacks of youth I guess. But I thought about it, took this advice to heart, and remember it every day. Always look for ways to improve what you do.
When I started... [More]
IBM Innovate is now IBM InterConnect 2015 , taking place February 22 – 26 at the Mandalay Bay and MGM in Las Vegas, Nevada.
At InterConnect, you’ll find DevOps and Continuous Engineering sessions, demos, and labs covering all aspects of software and product development:
Look around you. Do you see an item that is manufactured? Perhaps you see a car, or desk, or the device that you are reading this on. And chances are the manufacturer of that thing has more than one model of that item. All those model types make up a “product line” for that manufacturer.
How do manufactured products get created? They are engineered. Teams of people work on creating that device for you to use. Business analysts create requirements of what the market desires. Systems, electrical, mechanical and... [More]
The recent Invisible Thread blog on ‘ The Mars Climate Orbiter: what, why, and lessons learned ’ made me wonder if we have lost the art of good requirements engineering? Both teams went off to work on their boxes, without worrying too much what was in the other box.
New approaches to development, such as the use of User Stories in Extreme Programming and Agile, or more model based approaches such as Model Driven Software Engineering and the use of SysML... [More]
Want to learn more about how continuous engineering can automate your testing? Join IBM at the NI Week 2014 conference to learn how to apply the joint solutions of NI and IBM to avoid rework and achieve quality faster.
NI Week 2014, presented by National Instruments in Austin, TX, August 4-7, 2014, attracts more than 3,200 engineers and scientists from a broad set of industries, from automotive and telecommunications to robotics and energy. There are many great technical sessions, panels, cases... [More]
I recently gave a presentation titled “Essentials of Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager ”. During the talk, my co-presenter (the wizard) Andy Lapping mentioned that a better title for Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager would be Rational Information Lifecycle Manager since the tool is not only for engineers but anyone who wants an easily consumable view of their linked information. The key benefit of the tool is that it indexes disparate data that is spread around the company so that you can easily visualize,... [More]
The connected vehicle is transformative. It changes the way we do engineering, the way we do business and how and where we are connected.
Connected to what?
Today when we talk about connected vehicles, what we are talking about is the instrumentation and communication of vehicles to external systems. This could be your mobile device, smartphone or tablet, another vehicle (V2V) or a component of an intelligent transportation system (V2I). This inter-connectivity is commonly referred to as vehicle to everything or... [More]
"Every great innovation runs through a developer's hands." —Kristof Kloeckner, GM of IBM Rational
Have you hugged your developer today? Because if you haven't, you probably should. This morning at Innovate 2014 we learned that there is a new renaissance going on in the developer community, one in which there is no boundary between the programmer and the customer. According to Steve Robinson, GM of Cloud Platform Services at IBM, developers are the new kingmakers. And it's all about speed.
In the... [More]
Today’s high-tech savvy consumers are much more demanding of quality—even for the most cutting-edge and high-tech electronic innovations. Automobiles, medical devices, mobile phones and electronics manufacturers all face the challenge of delivering the latest innovations to market (while trying to avoid getting blasted on social media because of poor quality). More than ever, test engineering teams for electronics manufacturers are on the frontlines trying to ensure the highest product quality for increasingly complex systems.
There are many ways to reuse assets, and although some of these ways may not be as efficient as others, it just makes sense to reuse work that has been previously done. Today, reuse of assets is commonly implemented in product lines.
Consider a product family such as a line of cars. There are S, SE, SEL and limited edition models. These closely related products share one or more common elements. The branches shown in the following diagram of a product line with variants branching off could represent the S, SE, SEL and... [More]