Software Architecture: What is it and why should we care about it?

Software Architecture Overview

Software Architecture is a key component in developing a long term, successful embedded system device. However, the topic of what is included in software architecture is complex. Let’s take a look at an example of what software architecture is with an excerpt from Luke Hohmann in Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions:

“Software architecture is the sum of the nontrivial modules, processes, and data of the system, their structure and exact relationships to each other, how they can be and are expected to be extended and modified, and on which technologies they depend, from which one can deduce the exact capabilities and flexibilities of the system and from which one can form a plan for the implementation or modification of the system.”

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Mentoring the Next Generation of Coders

This fall I was offered the opportunity to participate in the Hour of Code activities at Cedar Falls Schools.  Given my passion for coding and developing the next generation of problem solvers/STEM professionals, I accepted the invitation and signed up to volunteer.  The Hour of Code activity is where business professionals partner with elementary teachers during December by visiting a classroom and share about their experience in coding (the computer science field) and/or work with students while they complete their coding lessons.

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New Year = New Digs in Milwaukee

Moving Day!

In June 2015, I moved to the greater Milwaukee area to launch a new DISTek office.  At the time, I was the only employee in the area but we wanted a temporary office we could use to accommodate our growth prospects in this region.  We managed the “growth” reasonably well, growing to 8 employees here … but the “temporary” extended a little longer than expected.  Though we started with a 14-month sublease, we ended up staying for three and a half years.  That all changed in December when we moved to a new office location.  We packed up everything during the end of November and the first part of December, then made the move on Friday, December 14.

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Workflow Driven Elicitation

Eliciting a set of user stories can be a challenge when stakeholders are not sure where to begin their description of the solution they require. It is often up to Requirements Engineer (RE) to guide the stakeholders along in assessing the problem in need of a solution, as well as assessing the best solution for the problem. The RE must further help the stakeholders partition the solution’s description into manageable tasks, and express those tasks as User Stories. Workflow Driven Elicitation (WDE) is a systematic approach that helps achieve all of the above.

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DISTek U: The First Graduating Class

The graduates of the first DISTek U course

Monday October 22 was a pretty exciting day, the day DISTek recognized the first set of graduates from DISTek U. These 7 graduates completed all the coursework required of the Potential Leads Track, which included reading and answering discussion questions for the books How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, and Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg. They also attended 7 Habits of Highly Effective People leadership training, and gave a presentation to the class and management team on their key takeaways. The group also heard from four current DISTek leaders on their perspective of being a leader, which was a highlight of the class. Below are some of the thoughts and experiences on the training from some of the graduates.

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Software-Based Cyclic Redundancy Checks

In my personal projects, I often work with various sensors which require digital data verification. One such sensor required the use of a Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) to verify that the information that the micro-controller read from the sensor was being received correctly. A CRC is a method for calculating a checksum from an array of data. The software examples that I was able to find to develop my understanding of implementing a CRC were poorly documented. Moreover, these examples were often so optimized that the underlying behavior was not immediately recognizable. Many examples simply used a lookup table---which provided no satisfaction for my "what-makes-it-tick?" personality.

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Arrivederci, Plugfest!

AEF Fall ISOBUS Plugfest is in full swing in Bologna.

The most recent AEF ISOBUS Plugfest was held just a little over a month ago, during September 2018. We returned to the Savoia Regency Hotel in Bologna, Italy, where Plugfest had previously been held in 2016.

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