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Improve your software quality with source code reviews

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Feb 4, 2015 9:47:00 AM

  

It is a well-known fact in the software industry that bugs found later in the design cycle are more expensive to correct than those found earlier. In the worst case, the product ships with uncorrected bugs that require a maintenance release, costly in-the-field upgrades and possibly can damage the reputation of the company.

One of the most cost-effective ways of eliminating bugs very early in the development cycle is to perform source code reviews. In this exercise colleagues study each other’s code with an eye towards finding coding problems. The upfront investment in time and effort saves time and expense later on.

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Topics: Software quality, Atollic TrueSTUDIO

How to easily improve your software quality

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Jan 29, 2015 12:58:00 PM

  

It is probably safe to claim that modern embedded systems contain more and more software, thereby also increasing the risk of introducing software errors. A good strategy to improve the situation is to avoid problems in the first place. This may sound easier said than done, but in fact it can be done fairly easily by measuring and managing the code complexity, as software with a high complexity level is likely to contain more bugs than software of lower complexity.

Please note that in this context, code complexity is not the same as code size (lines of code). A large C function can be of low complexity, and a small C function can be of high complexity. Code complexity measures the amount of decision logic in a C function, not the amount of code in it.

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Topics: Software quality, Atollic TrueSTUDIO

How to succeed in software development projects

Posted by Hans-Åke Gustafsson on Jan 20, 2015 3:10:00 PM

In today’s business of software development, “experienced” means that one has been around for more than 5 years. I have. More like 25 actually. When I started my professional career, we used IBM PC XT machines with dual 5¼ inch floppy disks, or if lucky, an AT with a 20 MB (yes Mega, not Giga) hard disk. I’d like to think I’ve learned at least something during this period.

When one is young, eager and open minded; perhaps even naive, one tends to accept every new trend as revolutionary. All new things are good, all old things are bad. For many years, I was more or less in constant search of new techniques, methods and technology that would improve the result of our software development projects.

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Topics: Software quality

Why embedded diagnosis is a good thing

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Jan 19, 2015 3:52:00 PM

 

segla

I like my car. We have enjoyed many trips together. But on a Friday evening some time ago, we were not friends any more. The central locking refused to work when using the remote control, and being a modern car, only the drivers seat had a physical lock that accepted an old-fasioned key. No passengers could enter the car and none of the stuff in the boot was accessable. And of course, the garage were closing for the weekend. I had to realize that important stuff was going to be locked into the car over the weekend.

A couple of days later, I took the car to the garage and witnessed how they work nowadays. No mechanic did a physical examination of the car. Instead, an instrument was plugged into the CAN network of the car, and the car itself told the mechanic what the problem was. I know this is how it works, but I was still impressed. This led me to think about the value of car diagnosis, and in general, how good this is for many types of embedded systems.

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Topics: Software quality

How embedded developers can learn from the aerospace industry

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Jan 19, 2015 8:57:00 AM

 

segla

I have been fortunate to work in a very interesting part of the software industry; mission-critical software projects within the aircraft industry. In fact, Atollic has been contracted to develop software development tools for flight-control-system development, and we have been heavily involved in software development for various aircraft models during many years.

What always strikes me is the huge gap in quality consiousness between safety-critical software industries (like the aerospace industry), and more typical commercial development projects. While the full development process used in the aircraft industry might be a bit over-ambitious for most embedded systems development projects, there are lessons to be learned for commercial projects who want to deliver high-quality products.

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Topics: Software quality