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How to Develop Better Firmware Faster

A one-day course for people who must develop high-quality embedded firmware on ever shorter schedules.

There are no public classes offered at this time. Jack can come to your site to present this seminar.

Best in class teams deliver embedded products with 0.1 bugs per thousand lines of code. They consistently beat the schedule, without grueling overtime.

Does that sound like your team? If not, what action are you taking to improve your team's results? Hoping for things to get better won't change anything. "Trying harder" never works (as Harry Roberts documented in Quality Is Personal).

Unfortunately few firmware groups keep metrics, but those that do average a 40% decrease in schedule and an order of magnitude improvement in bug rates after attending Jack Ganssle's Better Firmware Faster class.


Jack Ganssle at ESC India

 

Course Summary

This one day course will teach you practical - and proven - ways to develop better firmware faster. It's for the developer who is honestly looking for new ideas, but who wants to cut through the academic fluff of formal methodologies and find better ways to work now.

The focus is uniquely on embedded systems, where firmware can only be understood in the context of the hardware. You'll learn new ways to link the hardware and software, to stamp out bugs, to manage real-time constraints, to meet impossible deadlines and much, much more.

The course is targeted to developers engaged in creating products now who must find ways to work more efficiently. It assumes some knowledge of C and a basic understanding of any assembly language. Each attendee will be awarded 0.7 Continuing Education Units.

 

Comments from Attendees

Thanks so much for your time and for the great seminar. I took more away from it than I could have imagined. Adam Roman

Jack's seminar, "The Best Ideas for Developing Better Firmware Faster" has to be the most interesting and enjoyable I have ever gone to and that's saying something as I have been to quite a few during my career over the years. Josh Hurvitz, Space Technology

Damn you were good, and I talk for all the boys. I think that I have been to around 100 seminars the last couple of years, and I have bored myself to death every single time, but this one was great, I'm amazed how good and fun it was. Soeren Panduro, APCC

Thanks for a valuable, pragmatic, and informative lesson in embedded systems design. All the attendees thought it was well worth their time. Craig DeFilippo, Pitney Bowes

I just wanted to thank you again for the great class last week. With no exceptions, all of the feedback from the participants was extremely positive. We look forward to incorporating many of the suggestions and observations into making our work here more efficient and higher quality. Carol Batman, INDesign LLC.

Thanks a lot for a great seminar. We really enjoyed it! We're already putting to use some of the ideas you gave us. J. Sarget, CSC

Thanks for the terrific seminar here at ALSTOM yesterday! It got rave reviews from a pretty tough crowd. Cheryl Saks, ALSTOM

Jack, it's been 6 months since you came here. This last project shipped within a week of prediction, with far more features than expected. The customer is thrilled and so is my boss. Thanks! F. Henry, CACI

Thanks so much for a great class! Now my co-workers think I'm the guru! Dana Woodring, Northrop Grumman

I would highly recommend your seminar to other programmers. Ed Chehovin, US Navy

 

Presenter

Your presenter is Jack Ganssle, the industry's most renowned embedded system architect. He has written over 700 articles and six books about embedded systems.

Jack lectures internationally to conferences and businesses. He founded three electronics companies, including one of the largest embedded tool providers, and is a member of NASA's Super Problem Resolution Team, a small panel of experts formed to advise NASA in the wake of Columbia's loss. His extensive product development experience forged his unique approach to building better firmware faster.

Jack has helped over 400 companies and thousands of developers improve their firmware and consistently deliver better products on-time and on-budget.

 

Some Previous Companies That Have Sent People to this Class

Intel Schlumberger
NASA IBM
Motorola TI
Phoenix Visteon
Whirlpool Kodak
Cutler-Hammer HP
Pitney Bowes Bayer
Northrup Grumman Dell
Sony Ericsson Raytheon
Honeywell Phoenix

 

Why Take This Course?

Are you satisfied with the way your company develops embedded products? If the answer is "yes" you're most likely already using the concepts from this class. If, however, you're like most of the people in this industry, you realize that there's a lot of room for improvement.

Do these situations sound familiar?

  • Deadlines come and go yet the product still doesn't ship.
  • You never really know the status of a project. It's almost "done" but new problems appear daily pushing final release ever further away.
  • Marketing monkeys with the features even as you're in the middle of writing code.
  • "Creeping featurism" makes the product's design a moving target
  • Bugs plague the entire development effort, consuming vast resources
  • Post-release bugs continue to haunt the development team, creating never-ending support headaches.

Most organizations fall into a fatalistic acceptance of these sorts of problems, never realizing that a number of well-known methods can eliminate much of the agony of product development.

This picture of the twisted triad shows the balance of three factors.

The "twisted triad"- balancing three competing forces

Engineering is one of the few professions learned mostly on the job. Colleges prepare people with a fine theoretical background, but the skills needed to schedule, manage, and daily work towards a final product come from mostly casual mentoring by co-workers. Why don't we train developers in the art of doing projects?

What is your department's most expensive resource? It's the one asset you have to get products to market: the developers' time. No doubt you replace and upgrade tools, compilers and the like from time to time. What are you doing to upgrade your skills, or the skills of your engineers?

A chart showing the reduction in bug rates.

With a bit of practice you can reduce bug rates - and tremendously
speed product release/

In this course you'll learn how to get your products to market faster, with fewer defects. The presentation and recommendations are practical, immediately useful, and tightly focused on embedded system development - this is not another noble but ultimately discarded software methodology.

A chart showing execution time of a C runtime function.

Do those C/C++ runtime routines execute in a usec or a
week? This trig function is all over the map, from 6 to
15 msec. You'll learn to write real- time code proactively,
anticipating timing issues before debugging.

VOM

Learn how a $15 VOM can measure system idle time.

Course Outline

  • C, C++ or Java?
  • Will code reuse benefit us? How to make a decision quantitatively.
  • How to create an accurate schedule, one that includes a probability distribution.
    • And, how to negotiate a schedule to meet the very real needs of the boss.
  • How to infuse the entire development effort with a quality focus.
  • The best way to manage feature creep. And, there's a good way to minimize the creep.
  • Stacks and heaps - resources you can control.
  • Overcoming the biggest productivity busters.
  • Managing bugs to deliver world-class code... fast.
  • Quick code inspections that keep the schedule on-track.
  • Cool ways to find hardware/software glitches.
  • The art of designing predictable real-time code.
  • Preventing system performance debacles.
  • Reentrancy - eliminating erratic crashes.
  • Understanding how high-speed signals affect firmware development.
  • Adding a feed-back loop to your development process.
  • Using postmortems to accelerate the product delivery.
  • A seven step plan to firmware success.

 

 

Registration information

All of this, plus a 100 page handout and 0.7 continuing education units, for $695 per person.

Register a month in advance and receive a $50.00 discount. Groups of 3 or more paying together pay only $595 per person.

The Registration form can be found on last page of the brochure.

Use one of these three easy ways to pay:

  • By Fax: Fax your PO to us at (647) 439-1454 .
  • By Check: Make checks payable to TGG, and mail along with your registration form to The Ganssle Group, 3520 Lawndale Rd. East, Reisterstown, MD 21136
  • By Visa/MasterCard/Amex: Just fill out the registration form that can be found on the last page of the brochure and email or fax it to us. Or, call in your registration to (410) 504-6660.
Payments are due two weeks before the course starts. Written cancellations are completely refundable, less a $50 processing fee, if made more than 14 days prior to the course. Cancellations made within 14 days are non-refundable, but are 100% transferable to any other course we offer.
New and Noteworthy

Do you need to reduce bugs in your firmware? Shorten schedules? My one-day Better Firmware Faster seminar will teach your team how to operate at a world-class level, producing code with far fewer bugs in less time. It's fast-paced, fun, and covers the unique issues faced by embedded developers. Here's information about how this class, taught at your facility, will measurably improve your team's effectiveness.

New Video! Jack's latest video shows how to measure idle time. Here's a list of all of Jack's videos.



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