Archive for September, 2010

Tools to Detect Software Copyright Infringement

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 Michael Barr

This article is now located here:

The Sad State of Embedded Software Process

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 Michael Barr

Today VDC is sharing their 2010 Embedded System Engineering Survey Results.  I’m sad to say that the collective immaturity of the embedded software community continues to be on display.

Consider these two depressing statistics from the survey results:

  • Only 1 out of 5 embedded software developers are using a static analysis tool on their current project.  That’s about the same percent as last year, so it’s not even like the trend is positive.  I find this unbelievable.  There are at least a dozen great static analysis tools on the market.  One of them, PC-Lint, costs just $389.  Yet 4 out of 5 firmware developers don’t use any such bug-killing tool!?!
  • Over 40% of embedded software developers either report following “no methodology” (27%) on their current project or say they “don’t know” which one (15%).  Choosing and following a software development process is not brain surgery.  It can be as straightforward as the waterfall model (design before you code, code before you test) or as adaptive as agile methods.  But please pick something and follow it.  How can 4 out of 10 firmware developers even manage to avoid it!?!

You can’t make this kind of stuff up!

It is 2010, my friends.  The first embedded system was designed almost 40 years ago.  We need to get our act together.

Check out my Firmware Code of Ethics, get yourself a static analysis tool, and start following a development process.