Just recently I was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for ten years of excellent service and valuable contributions to DISTek Integration. Needless to say, I'm quite thankful and happy to have been involved with DISTek for the past ten years. Wow! I’ve been employed here for ten years? It sure doesn’t feel like ten years. Maybe that’s partly because since December of 2014, I, like many others at DISTek, became employee owners, after DISTek founder Matt Dickinson decided to share a part of his company with his employees by forming an ESOP – an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. That's right, DISTek is employee owned.
Safety is a challenging status to achieve and maintain, thus the need for the guidelines that collectively fall under the heading of Functional Safety (FS). DISTek has always been conscience of safety as it applies to the products developed for our customers. This includes implementing the various requirements and guidelines associated with Functional Safety, as expressed in documents, such as ISO 25119.
♫It’s the most wonderful time of the year♫…..DISTek continues the tradition of giving back:
Once again this year, as in previous years, the DISTek Cedar Falls office adopted two families from the Waterloo school district to help make their Christmas a little extra special. We received a wish list from each of the families and shared these with DISTek Elves (employees) who set about fulfilling everything (and even some extra items) on their lists. As usual, Elves were very generous...
Much of the software engineering industry uses testing techniques that aren't often available to those of us in the embedded industry. In my experience, this has definitely been true of automated UI testing while working on ISOBUS VT clients. In a previous position, I spent much of my time creating test frameworks, including those for testing web applications through the UI.
Regular DISTek blog readers will have noticed that we took a VT server implementation to AEF PlugFest in spring 2017. Part of our motivation from the start of this project has been to give VT client developers the ability to automate functional testing of their applications.
In the last phase of DISTek’s 25 years, we expanded our engineering services again. The concept of model-based software development (MBSD) had been in use for a few years at several of our off-highway customers and we had gained experience with it. But as we surveyed the market landscape........
DISTek has been encouraging youth in STEM and problem solving by sponsoring FIRST teams for many years. This year is no different. DISTek is sponsoring ten FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams and eight FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams. We will also be sponsoring FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams when their season officially kicks off in January. In addition, we have ten DISTek team members that have committed their time to either coach or mentor teams.
Have you ever played the game “telephone”? It’s where you have a line of people and starting on one end someone whispers something into someone's ear. That message is then passed on to the next person and so on and so on. Once it reaches the final person, you may find out that the message was misinterpreted. “Big dog” may have changed to “bed bug”. This is one of the major problems that have plagued software design and something I see on a regular basis. Engineers receive requirements that were already passed down through other people, so the engineer is left to interpret them the best they can.
As I write this, we are less than two weeks removed from the most recent ISOBUS Plugfest, held at the Maritim Hotel in Stuttgart the week of 16 October 2017. As in past years, the Plugfest itself was held Tuesday-Thursday while several other AEF meetings were scheduled Monday-Friday. The Plugfest this year was either the biggest ever, or at least quite close......