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This episode is sponsored by Screaming Circuits. If you need a hand with your rework or getting your design spun up to full production, they can help.
Welcome back, Jack Ganssle! Jack was one of our first guests on The Amp Hour on episode 54.
- There have been 435 episodes of The Amp Hour and 185 editions of The Embedded Muse since our last episode. Jack has been publishing TEM since the late 90s! Consistency matters.
- Jack gets great feedback from readers, and you should be one of them! Subscribe to TEM to get a newsletter every other week!
- He is currently doing a Salary Survey, if you’d like to participate.
- One of Jack’s early scopes was a Tek 545
- Jack also started making videos since we last talked, including equipment reviews.
- The “cry of despair” is that the code is crap
- Renesas Synergy gives a code guarantee
- What is still the challenge with all of these things?
- So many communication standards!
- Paying someone allows you to give someone to yell at
- RTOS roundup
- VXworks has had reports of problems and popularity seems to be dropping off. Instead, Wind River is doing more embedded Linux.
- Jack likes Micrium as an RTOS
- Amazon bought FreeRTOS
- Microsoft bought ExpressLogic
- How have things spread and changed in the world of micros since the last show? Like we discussed then, 8 bit isn’t dead (and still isn’t).
- SiLabs won’t characterize their parts
- RISC V
- 196 from Intel was not well supported.
- Cross platform stuff
- He got his first taste of Linux/Unix stuff starting Maryland’s first ISPs in ’91.
- Training business during COVID has completely cut off (obviously)
- Jack does training all over the world, including Australia! He even joined Dave for a video while he was there. His course is called “Better firmware, faster“
- The focus is on quality. The average team spends 50% of work on debug.
- Jack prefers designed firmware systems. “Know where we’re going before we start building”. The best engineer he ever had would stare at the ceiling for weeks, designing the system in his head.
- Books about Agile methods
- War stories
- Chris’s bosss used to say “little R, big D” for engineering organization.
- Jack gave a great bodge wire example: you wouldn’t leave bodge wires all over the board for production, you would fix it in the next rev! Same goes for software.
- It only works when all the engineers have bought into the process.
- Space shuttle was 1 bug per 400K LOC
- How to get better results:
- Code review
- Michael Fagan review process
- Working to a firmware standard, like MISRA
- Use metrics to track the team.
- How do solos get better (in addition to above)? Put it on the shelf before testing it
- Card decks for programming in the 70s
- Segger code coverage tool
- Tools won’t tell you edge conditions
- Audit (QA) joke
- Fuzz testing
- The tragedy of the crashes of 737 Max airplanes and what we can learn from it. “They believed the sensor data”
- Angle of attack sensor
- Wonky temperature displays
- Pay attention to your “goesintas and goesoutas”
- Ada has a concept of “Design by contract”
- Canticle for Liebowitz
- Reach out to Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthias Schibli says
another great episode!
The reason for my post: I must say, I like the new ads! I’m an ME and (therefore?) most of the content of the ads is educational
Chris Gammell says
Thanks for the feedback about the ads! Some people have been put off by the fact that it interrupts the content, but I am trying to give a big lead-in so it doesn’t catch people off guard. We also only take ads from people we trust and who go along with the educating people thing. If we can make them more educational, please let us know how.
Jeff Larson says
Hi Chris, I think the ads are educational and I like them, but the music seems quite a downer mood. With all the bad news these days it always catches me off guard and makes me feel sort of depressed.
A different topic, The link from our guest https://ganssle.com/
brings this up for me.
Suspicious page blocked for your protection
Anyone else getting this?
Chris Gammell says
OK, will consider different music.
It looks like Jack’s site does not have https support, which is why you see that message.
Jeff Larson says
OK, Thanks Chris.
When will there be videos over on the Contextual Electronics Youtube channel about all your firmware / coding escapades!?!
Chris Jones says
I really enjoyed this episode and I usually skip the interviews after 15-20 minutes. Regular Dave and Chris shows always entertain me.
For me the difference was that it felt like story time with amazing lessons instead of one persons history. I’m not a software person so it wasn’t a particularly interesting topic but it felt like you could apply these lessons to many areas and the story based nature of it was engaging. This may not be helpful, but I guess I like when the focus of interviews is less on interviewing and more on conversation. Maybe Jack is just a natural with all that teaching experience.