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]
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]
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]
A Practical Approach to Quality!
If your software and
systems development team is under 10 people, including coding, testing, and
project management, then your projects may not experience huge difficulties associated
with traceability -- i.e., the discipline that links requirements to test case
and test results. But for larger teams of 30 or more, where even a medium-size
project involves 5,000 requirements and 10,000 test
cases, the complexity can feel overwhelming.
this: If it takes 20 minutes to link the... [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]
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 motto of the House of Stark in the HBO series based on George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is “ Winter is coming ”. With sequestration looming, significant budget cuts already enacted, and stiff global competition, Aerospace and Defense (A&D) companies are going to need to do more with less to remain competitive. Old ways, however, die hard--paper-based artifacts have been the backbone of the industry for its whole modern existence. This culture, however, comes at a very high cost, a cost it is quite clear we can no longer... [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]
Moving to Collaborative Design Management (and why you should care!) by Neil Patterson and AnnMarie Stenglein Teams of capable individuals carefully chosen and assembled, for whatever purpose, are almost always “greater than the sum of their parts,” as the saying goes. Think of how, in the hands of a master, all 16 chess pieces become an invincible force; or the 1927 New York Yankees (including Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, you may need to look that one up) -- both offer examples of overwhelming power, grace, and skill that no one piece or player in... [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]
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]
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]
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]
Building complex systems using SysML From designing chips to building new airplanes, designers and developers across diverse industries like avionics, signal and image processing, and communications are challenged by rising product complexity. Combined with intense market pressures and compliance to industry standards this increased complexity presents a major challenge to designers of electronic devices. To stay competitive, tight coordination between hardware and software engineers is critical to optimize product quality. This is especially... [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]