Embedded Systems Conference – Day 2 – Monday

Sat in on the “Managing Embedded Projects” tutorial given by Jack Ganssle this morning. This was the most highly attended session I’ve seen yet. Jack is a great speaker, with lots of good examples and real-life experience. A lot of his ideas were straight on, but others are a bit more controversial. For instance he advocates throwing extra CPU’s into a design – to simplify the software by dividing the project up into smaller chunks which are far more manageable, and less likely to fall behind schedule. This is certainly true from a project management point of view, but goes against the grain of every hardware designer who’s trying to eliminate every part from the board.

He also advocates throwing out bug lists since they are so useless. He feels you should simply eliminate EVERY BUG before you ship. Maintaining lists of bugs, assigning priorities to them etc should be avoided. Instead, force each developer to clear away all their bugs before developing any new feature. This is a nice thought, but doesn’t translate so well into the real world where you have to ship product in order to survive.

The session was just packed. In fact they had to bring in extra chairs to accommodate the overflow crowd. Certainly worthwhile – as long as you don’t take EVERYTHING at face value.

I also sat in on the User Interface Design session given by Niall Murphy. This session was nowhere near as well attended – in fact just a smattering of people in the room. Niall’s ideas are great – this was a session that should have had a much better attendance. Unfortunately, Niall’s slides weren’t that slick. Pretty ugly actually. So, great ideas, bad presentation. Niall covered lots of ground – from color, icons, button design, size, sounds, etc.

It’s sad that this session wasn’t better attended. Typically embedded systems have such terrible UI’s – the group of developers here should have been FORCED to attend this one session!


One response to “Embedded Systems Conference – Day 2 – Monday”

  1. BronzeG3 says :

    Don’t you think it was strange for a presentation on UI to have ugly slides? I would think that the concepts of designing a UI aren’t that far off from designing good slides.

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