What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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Hi

I will be working on a project and have to decided on the best suited
Software Engineering Process. The Project Description is: 15-20
people, HW and SW development, Message Based System, Different CPU
e.g. Intel, C167, PowerPC, DSP, Real time operating system, Working in
different location, Telecom project.

Software Engineering Process that are common are :

Waterfall model
Rapid-Prototyping Model
Operational Mode
Knowledge-Based Mode
V-Mode
Rational Unified Process
IEEE Model


What one is best suited ?

Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects
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The waterfall model is, IMHO, not realistic.
I also think that Rapid-Prototyping and engineering do not mix.
I also steer clear of anything that starts with the word "Rational",
especially if it involves UML.
I have no comment on the others.

Whatever process you choose, in my opinion the two most important things to
do are:
1. Make sure that the project is divided into a number of sub-components,
each of which has a *minimal* and *carefully defined* interface with the
other sub-components.
2. Build and maintain an automated test suite, and test everything as you
go. The test suite should be a deliverable.

Of course, you are free to disagree vehemently with my opinions.  :-)

Tanya



Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects
Hi Tanya

Just some questions and points to add to your comment

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Why is waterfall waterfall model unrealistic. ?

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What do you mean by Rapid-Prototyping and engineering dont't mix ?

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What is wrong with Rational ?

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Aggress 100% but i would add 2 points to that

3. People are able to communicate with each other
4. Software chages and new feature are allowed during the project

Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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The waterfall model assumes several distinct stages: requirements gathering,
requirements analysis, high level design, detailed design, coding, etc...,
each leading on to the next. In the real world, customers change
requirements right through the project, even during coding.

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From what I have seen, rapid prototyping seems to be a fancy name for trying
to solve a problem without thinking about it properly first. Engineers
shouldn't do that.

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I hate tools that automatically generate code from high level design, and I
associate these with Rational. Basically, they are great time wasters that
don't work. Further, they deprive engineers of the pleasure of exercising
their creativity, with the result that they lose pride and interest in the
project. As for UML, the last time I looked at it I couldn't see a simple,
obvious way to clearly represent the key elements in a real time design.
Things like tasks, interrupt service routines, critical timing requirements,
semaphores, FIFOs, messages, blocking with or without timeout, etc.

<snip>
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See my comments on the waterfall model, above.

Tanya



Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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None of them.  The most important thing about a project of this size is the
TEAM of PEOPLE.  You need to ensure a culture which promotes team work,
values and empowers people.  Without this, none of the above methods will
do you any good.

Ian


Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects
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And it doesn't make any difference how good the people are
if there isn't a clear understanding of the goal(s) of the
project.  ["We're making very good time but we don't know
where we're going!"]

Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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Good people, of course, first make sure they understand the goals. More
importantly they make sure the customer understands the goals, what will be
delivered and what will not be delivered.

Ian


Ian



Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects
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Hi Ian You still need some sort of guidlines , no matter how good the
people can get along, just because you have a good enviroment that
does not mean you will delivery on time!

Every company that i have worked for so far have a guidline on how
Software Engineering Process works, are you saying you are working for
companied who do not use any Software Engineering Process  ?

As i described in my opening thread A peoject with 15-20, working in
different locations here you need a CVS or RCS or clearcase or
SourceSafe this is a process with in  Software Engineering. OK if you
are a student don't answer.

Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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On the contrary, the very lack of rules gives the flexibility necessary to
deliver on time.

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Absolutely.  Not only that, we have no formal quality system and yet people
come to us just because we can deliver high quality results faster than
anyone else.  And this applies to all disiplines, not just software.


Ian


Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects
On Wed, 05 Nov 2003 19:49:57 +0000, Ian Bell

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I have some sympathy with this argument. In my experience
quality assurance systems are excellent at assuring all your
documentation etc conforms but, usually, have little impact
upon product quality.

Mike Harding


Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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Exactly.  One client's senior management had decided a new prototype would
be shown at a particular exhibition three months hence.  Their quality
system would not permit them to complete any project is such a short
timeframe.

Ian


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faster

Posted like true "programmers".  I hope that none of you guys are designing
software for life critical systems in space or control software for nuclear
power plants.  As long as you are designing web sites and shopping carts,
lack of a formal quality system is fine.  As soon as it becomes control
software upon which expensive equipment or human lives rely, then you see
the demand for quality control in software development.



Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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I worked for a medical diagnosis device company, and there was a lot
of quality control and processes.  Things were _still_ buggy, and
management _still_ put on the pressure to cram more into a release
than should fit.  Though the creeping feature pressure was at the
front end of the release rather than at the last minute.

--
Darin Johnson
    "Particle Man, Particle Man, doing the things a particle can"

Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects
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Hi Bob

How are the process implemented in a Nuclear plant or medical
equipment ,well I know in Germany there is a tiff that will certify
the software. Did you use the following general process e.g.

Stage 1 Requirements
Stage 2 Specification
Stage 3 Design
Stage 4 Implication
Stage 5 Test

Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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However, the example given was a prototype for demo purposes; in that
case, the appropriate thing to do would be to waive QA. If the
finished product is intended for safety-critical jobs, then of course
run it through formal QA (_as well as_, not _instead of_ making sure
the programmers know what they're doing) before putting it into actual
service.

--
"Sore wa himitsu desu."
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Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects
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No, the correct thing to do with anything that's not been through QA is
to throw it away. Go and build a proper one to a proper process if it's
anything other than a toy.

You can't retrofit quality.

pete
--
snipped-for-privacy@fenelon.com "And me? I'm on the lookout for a proper transformer..."

Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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As usual many people seem to think that having a proces guarantees quality.
it doesn't.  As I said right at the beginning of this thread the team of
people and the culture in which they operate is far more important.  No
matter how good the process, garbage in, garbage out still applies.

Ian


Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects
On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 20:29:36 +0000, Ian Bell

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That may well be; but with a good quality system you'll,
at least, have excellent documentation :)

Mike Harding


Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects
Excellent documentation for a perhaps a poor implementation.
But at least it makes a starting point for making it right.

Doug

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quality.



Re: What Software Engineering Process is best suited for Embedded Projects

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It was said tongue in cheek of course but probably what I
should have said was "conforming documentation" which
is no guarantee of excellence.

Mike Harding


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