Feb. 7th 2012 - Combining Agile and Embedded System Development by Mike Smith

Rick Muggridge, one of the founders of FITNESSE, pointed out the similarity between standard approach of error-free scientific research and defect free code development through test-driven development. In 2004 undergraduate students of Mike Smith pointed out that they could identify errors at the silicon level using Embedded-Unit, a unit testing framework for embedded C systems development. They discovered an approach capable of identifying new coding defects introduced simply because the manufacturer had released a new chip!

In this talk, Mike Smith will explain why he thought that this one simple embedded teaching success should be expanded into a full-blown eXtreme Programming-Inspired (XPI) embedded life cycle. This talk takes you through the issues of moving Agile into the embedded world; indicating where Agile clearly fits and where it has to be broken into small pieces and re-assembled. He will discuss how the inbuilt debug hardware present in modern embedded processors can be used to solve many of the problems of the past in developing embedded systems using an Agile approach.

Mike Smith was trained as a solid state physicist at a time when knowing how to curl your (punched) paper tape into a figure of eight around your fingers so it fed into the reader without jamming was as important as knowing how to write code. He worked his way from biomedical physics research, studying breast cancer using home-built NMR coils and diode-based ROM cards through to biomedical engineering research, studying stroke and MS image processing using multi-million dollar MRI systems. He is currently an adjunct professor in Radiology (Medicine) and a full professor in Computer Engineering (Schulich School of Engineering) at the University of Calgary. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in embedded systems where he stresses testing using a hardware / software co-design approach.

ICT 121 University of Calgary

6:00 - 6:30 Snacks
6:30 - 7:30 Presentation

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