Outsourcing elements of a key project such as an application for embedded systems requires a certain level of trust on the part of you and fellow stakeholders in your organization. As you gear up to outsource a new embedded software project, it will pay to become familiar with what separates good developers from less capable competitors.
A lot is on the line during the period just prior to your bringing the software project to market. You will be relying on third-party experts to deliver the software to you on time and within budget. To lower your risk and get the best return on your investment, you must verify that the developers have what it takes build the most critical, must-have features you envision for the app. This means that the software must match the promises you are promoting in marketing materials.
How to Separate Quality Work From Sub-par Embedded Software Development
An embedded software development project will commence with some serious brainstorming sessions. Make sure that the developer you are considering recognizes the importance of open communication and that their team will be responsive to your questions. Sub-par developers disappoint because they fail to provide updates or answer questions in a timely fashion.
When development begins, experienced programmers will be “specifying what the software does for the device (and) how particular aspects work for the software,” noted a report from Bytesplay. They also will determine “how will it be constructed, what costs will be incurred” and whether including the required feature set is actually feasible. This helps developers make a framework for testing the embedded systems software throughout its development phases.
Embedded software, which fuels the millions of devices being networked into the so-called Internet of Things or IoT, must include rigorous security features. The software development team you are considering should have plenty of experience writing code for mission-critical projects, such as for medical, security, or automotive safety equipment.
Indeed, protecting such devices is of paramount importance: “And now with ubiquitously connected IoT-based wireless sensor and machine-to-machine network environments in which embedded systems must now operate, there is the additional danger of tainted software making its way into designs,” according to Embedded. “This makes it even more important to make use of every available code analysis and software testing tool to assure software code quality.” You should demand nothing less from the developers you hire. Quiz them on what tools and processes they use for quality assurance and testing, and how they will report on the progress of those efforts.
As IoT technology becomes more complicated and further integrated into our daily lives, scalability should be one of your organization’s highest priorities. The choice of operating system for your embedded project will affect the potential for scalability, so discuss this important detail with your development team up front: “An added consideration when selecting an OS is the trade-off between the initial hardware footprint required and the ability to add features when updates become necessary,” according to Embedded Computing Design. “The OS must be scalable so that users can select just those portions or features of the software system that they need. With constantly changing requirements and embedded technology, designers want to be able to download new software modules to add or revise features for future updates.”
Characteristics of the Best Embedded Software
Be aware of the chief characteristics that companies should expect from the embedded software being developed for them by third parties:
* Includes the core capabilities mandated by your stakeholders
* Has been relentlessly tested during quality assurance
* Includes an interface that your target audience can easily understand and use
* Has been vetted for all security issues that may arise during deployment
* Has clearly defined options for software upgrade, established before work begins
Partnering with a third-party company to develop your embedded software is an efficient way to manage your resources. You don’t need to hire programmers to get the job done, and you can take advantage of the years of experience our developers have racked up, building applications for similar endeavors.
To that end, Software Design Solutions works diligently with companies to bring their projects to life on time and according to their exact specifications. For details or to make an appointment for a consultation, please contact us today.