Engineer vs. Information Technology, Part II: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!
Much has changed, including the roles of embedded systems engineers and the overall development process. At the same time, regulations and requirements have grown—and, in no industry is this more true and more critical than in the mil/aero (military and aerospace) market.
Modern systems, whether hardware or software in nature, that are employed in military and aerospace applications and environments must meet (what must seem like) an ever more complex and expanding list of industry standards and government requirements. Although unquestionably difficult to sometimes meet and manage, these standards and requirements have been put in place to ensure the safety and reliability of solutions deployed for use by mil/aero personnel. Whether in the air or on the battlefield, the systems need to work when called upon to do so. In other words, they need to function where and when needed–everywhere and every time.
It is, therefore, imperative—not only to ensure adherence to requirements, but also to aid in mission success and soldier safety—to include requirements management in the systems engineering and software development process. Thankfully, a wealth of tools (even some which are automated) is available to do precisely that, and to alleviate some of the challenges it (yet another task to perform in an already full day) poses to today’s engineers.
Industry technology firms, such as Mentor Graphics, provide comprehensive software tools–not only for the design and development of systems, but also for testing, validation, and requirements management.
An ever growing and ever more complex list of solutions requirements can sometimes be seen as a time-consuming, expensive, workflow-debilitating, bureaucratic time-waster; yet, doubtless, the end users—from the airline passenger to soldiers on the battlefield—appreciate the effort.
Software development is increasingly becoming more and more complex. Most modern software requires thousands of lines of code, if not more. Let’s let the machines (and EDA and PLM software tools) do the heavy lifting! So says this geek and so say we all! (Kudos to those fellow geeks who got the Battlestar Galactica reference.)
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About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog
J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping.
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