Custom Software Solutions to Speed up Development

Recently, I was assigned to a project that assisted a customer in rapidly designing a micro controller embedded system capable of wired communication with other devices. Our involvement in the development of this project allowed the customer to focus on higher-level details, which were then built off of our implementation.

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2018: Year in Review

DISTek Cedar Falls Summer Outing at Palmer's Family Fun

For the second year in a row, my year-in-review blog is being delivered well into the new year. That is getting dangerously close to a bad habit, so I will have to work on that for next year. On the plus side, this should get posted in February and thus I am technically only a month late of my goal of January for the target date. Normally I would not start at the end of the year, but this year is an exception because the single biggest piece of news is what happened at the very end of the year …

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Recruiting Efforts

DISTek Software Engineer, Nathan Volkert, helps staff the booth at a
UW Platteville career fair.

Here at DISTek, we’re always looking to recruit the best candidates to expand our team.  Recently, Lydia Allen, our Human Resources Intern, sat down with Jeff Sandvold, Vice President of Human Resources, to conduct a Q&A panel to get some insight into current recruitment efforts at DISTek.

Lydia Allen: What are DISTek’s current recruiting needs/specific positions that we are looking to fill?

Jeff Sandvold:   We are currently in the need for experienced software engineers with a background in Model Based Software Development (MBSD) and embedded programming skills. We are also recruiting for May graduates and summer interns in Q1 of 2019.

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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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