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]
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]
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]
You need a good information model to carry out effective impact analysis. A software impact analysis report usually covers just the requirements for the relevant part of the code and the test used to verify the code. In a model-based paradigm, however, the effect of a change at the software level can be much greater.
A small change at the code level can impact many requirements and model elements, traversing all the way up the requirement and model hierarchy. Therefore, the information model should be consistently applied... [More]
A diagram is not a model. Some people may argue, but lack of an understanding about the differences between these two kinds of representations can lead to undesirable situations.
A diagram is just a perspective from a model. You can understand this better by thinking about a 3-D model of a house and the several perspectives or drawings that can be extracted from that 3-D model.
In some... [More]
Want to stand out from your peers? Want to understand which emerging technologies and open source projects are changing the world and why? Then join us May 20th in a CrowdChat to discuss open technologies powering today's cloud and mobile environments and reshaping systems engineering.
Join hosts Sean Kennedy ( @seanpk8 ) , OSLC Community Development Leader at IBM , and David Ings ( @ingsings ) , Program Director, Open Technology and Partnerships, IBM Software Group to talk about the new OpenTechnology Summit coming up at Innovate... [More]
Guest post by Tammy Kulesa
World Wide Industry GTM Manager
Energy & Utilities / Chemicals and Petroleum
IBM Rational, Software Group
For the first time, IBM will host an Energy Day at Innovate 2014. This energy forum will explore progress in clean energy over the last decade and look into the future at trends, technologies, challenges, and innovations in the energy industry. The forum will include a panel on the role of technology and systems engineering in the nuclear industry, a view into... [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]
It's been a whirlwind 12 months. It seems like just yesterday that we saw the first 1.0 release of Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager (RELM) go live, and I was penning a developerWorks article on how a Linked Data approach to integration of data and process across the engineering lifecycle can help organizations define, design, and build complex products and systems faster, and smarter.
Fast forward a year, and we've seen a second major release of RELM (version 4.0.3 to align with product versions for other tools in the IBM... [More]
Modern systems such as electric cars, unmanned trains and airplanes, smart phones and healthcare equipment contain a growing number of electronic components and software to deliver function to the final users that was unimaginable only a few years ago. As complexity increase, design challenges increase exponentially. This complexity is the result of two major factors – the increase in scale (e,g, number of product functions, computation units, line of codes and so on) and the fact that any modern product today is in fact a cyber-physical... [More]
It is my pleasure to announce this year's IBM Champions for Rational Software! Earlier this year, we asked you to nominate the leaders in your technical communities who represented the three "R's" of being a champion : Being responsive, respected, and recognized in the technical community. The following new and returning Rational champions stood out among the crowd. They are experienced in using Rational solutions to solve real business problems and are recognized experts in their field. They spend their own time, energy and resources... [More]
Not too far into the future, you will probably be able to stroll into a nearby car dealership, make a down payment, and leave in the latest self-driving car. The idea of driverless "Google" cars has captured the imagination of many, and the cars have rarely been far from the headlines in recent months. Not only because they are icons of cool technological innovation, but also because they could herald a dramatic shift in how our lives work.
Who needs a taxi when your car can drive itself back from a party? Why worry about finding... [More]
With the announcement of RELM in September, the growing importance of systems engineering has been a topic of discussion. We sat down with four of our Rational systems experts to answer some common questions about design, agile, modeling and architecture.
Meet the leaders
Dr. Keith Collyer is an expert in Requirements and Systems Engineering. He trained as an electronic engineer, later moving into software development. His interest in the “people” aspects led him into project management, quality assurance and processes, never losing... [More]
The "Systems" perspective: How do we get to real innovation?
Complexity seems to be the arch enemy of product innovation. We frequently hear from our customers statements such as:
Every time I fix something in one place, I break two other things. - Software engineer
It’ll take me ages to determine the impact of swapping this part. - Mechanical engineer
I can’t tell which the version of software is designed for my PCB. - Electrical engineer
The IBM Rational team believes that product and systems... [More]
IBM PureSystems: Ushering in a new era for software and systems delivery
The traditional approach to building IT infrastructure and software— where skilled engineers spend weeks and months to install, configure, build, test and deploy applications, databases, and tools— can no longer keep pace with today’s rapidly changing business and technology requirements. A recent study conducted by Forrester Research, Inc., on behalf of IBM, highlights that 25% of IT projects are deployed over budget and 34% are deployed behind schedule. IT... [More]
It’s a new era of technology , brought forth by intelligent systems and smarter products. We are building a smarter planet , by changing the way we use technology .
Governments are using intelligent systems to plan, prevent and prepare
Smart cities are digitally connected and optimized , using data from transportation systems, energy management systems, and water supply systems to plan for unexpected events, prevent strained resources and prepare for growth and congestion in the future.
For all these systems to work... [More]
Why software isn’t so soft
For something with the word “soft” in the name, software is very hard indeed. Every study I’ve seen has shown that we, as an industry, are terrible at estimating how long it will take to create and not good at all at producing it without defects. There are all kinds of reasons for this, but mostly it boils down to the fact that creating software is far more akin to a craft than an engineering discipline. Each software product is lovingly sculpted from the depths of our creative minds. Developing software is... [More]
Cast your mind back to (or if you’re young enough, just imagine!) the days before the world wide web. You’re doing some research for studies or your hobby, sitting in a library surrounded by books. You have so many different places to look for information, in lots of different formats, and perhaps your local library doesn’t even have all the sources you need. You have to jump in the car and travel to collate all the necessary input.
Fast forward to the present day, and a web browser is your gateway to a wealth of information. Search... [More]
Standards and tools use signals potential acceleration of productivity and an innovation curve
A century ago, assembly line production caused a paradigm shift in the automobile industry. The transition from handcrafting each car to manufacturing based on a standardized template, using tools, led to an exponential increase in productivity and efficiency. With the production of software now constituting a significant proportion of the value of a modern car, the stage is set for a similar boost in efficiency with widespread adoption of tools... [More]