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Category: Software Assurance

The so-called experts will tell you it can’t be done; it is not possible to create bug-free software, at least at low-cost for a non-trivial application. Now it seems, we have our first documented case of ostensibly zero-defect software. continue reading…

As I’ve said before, MC/DC analysis is the bane of Level-A development under DO-178B. It is not well understood, either by developers or by verification engineers. Automated analysis tools will perform the analysis, but that may not occur until verification has begun. Fixes at this stage are far less desirable than avoiding issues in the first place. So how do we ensure that MC/DC issues do not occur in the first place? continue reading…

Like many veteran software developers, I am sold on the value of defensive programming. It seems that no matter how thorough the requirements, nor how good the design, things can go wrong; and I’d like my code to be able to handle it. So imagine my surprise when no less than a DER provided me with a perfectly valid and well-reasoned argument to discard defensive programming techniques altogether. continue reading…

There are many tools available to developers of high-integrity software to enhance productivity and code quality. Today I will look at some of them in brief. Future articles will explore some of them in more depth. continue reading…

Most organizations today, and I would venture that all organizations involved in the production of high-integrity code use one or more development standards, in an attempt to improve the quality of the software produced. Among the common types of standards for development are Architecture Standards, Design Standards, and Coding Standards. Verification standards also exist, for the same reason. In this article, I will focus on coding standards, as that is where I have seen the bulk of issues. continue reading…

Okay, the news was broken months ago… and I’m still in awe.  The Sony Playstation 3 will be released with a more powerful CPU than is currently available in any computer in a PC format.  Currently, the only computer I know of that will eventually make use of this chip is IBM’s Blade line of servers. No home computing resource even comes close. continue reading…

I’ve read several articles and blog entries where experts argued over the semantics of “software construction” versus “software development”.  Personally, I see little value in the debate.  But I won’t let that stop me from contributing my 2 cents. continue reading…

Part I of this article described the various types of software architect. In this article we’ll describe the work they do, or should do, in a bit more detail. continue reading…

What does an architect do?  This surely won’t be the last time this question is asked on this forum.  It is an important question, and somewhat hard to pin down; especially when one considers the many titles of a Software Architect. There seems to be a general idea of what a software architect does, but many software managers don’t seem to believe the role is necessary, or even distinct: “Can’t we just have one of our senior developers do that?”  Sure you can; If you have a senior developer who possesses those skills. continue reading…