This article is about is packaging a microcontroller project, and why it’s such a struggle to get something that looks halfway presentable. You can buy cheap, well-made PCBs and components from a multitude of sources, but when it comes to putting it all into a box (or on a panel, or wherever), things can get ugly. Literally. Even if the project does turn out nicely, there’s a lot of work involved getting it there. There has to be a better way.
Posts Tagged 'development'
Tags: development, Hardware
Tags: development, Electronics Engineering, Engineering, software engineering, software testing
Every journey goes more smoothly with a map of some sort. Whether it’s a trip to Antarctica or developing firmware for a new microcontroller-based device, it helps to know where you’re going. Without a clear definition of the destination it’s tough to know when you’ve actually arrived. It is also helpful to know what it is, exactly, you expect to find when you do finally arrive. Continue reading ‘Maps and Plans’
Tags: development, programming, Software, software engineering
Software matters because without it a computer-controlled instrument, device, or system is just a collection of plastic, metal, and silicon. It does nothing.
Without software an interferometer is just a bunch of mirrors and lenses. Without software a CCD or CMOS image sensor is just a slab of inert silicon. Without software a deep space probe is a piece of very expensive metal sculpture. Without software data collection and analysis becomes an exercise in jotting numbers in a notebook, pushing a slide rule to get approximate numerical results, and dealing with errors. Lots of errors.
Good software is not trivial, nor is it easy. It is not the simple exercises encountered in undergraduate courses, nor is it the hacked logic and unreadable gibberish generated by overcaffeinated graduate students late at night. Good software is the result of applied discipline, resulting in the creation of an abstract logical construct that is coherent, readable, elegant, and reusable. Good software is beautiful.
Tags: development, software engineering
This is a slightly altered version of the summary of a report I wrote for a company that attempted to explain to them why they should have a software engineer (a real one) on their staff, and why it would help their bottom line.
Reviewing and working with most legacy software typically leads to an observation that is hard to avoid: Software engineering is arguably the most important aspect of any software implementation activity.