Is your hardware/firmware integration a difficult and confusing process? The test team gears up to test a new feature, only to find the firmware team hasn’t delivered it. Or firmware teams submit new code, only to learn that the integration tests for that code aren’t scheduled for another two weeks. The planning can seem overwhelming and yet no one is sure exactly what is planned when.
This is not unusual in mixed hardware/firmware programs, particularly when some teams are using agile methods and others aren’t. The answer doesn’t have to be “everyone goes agile”. Software agile methods aren’t practical in all fields – particularly mechanical engineering – but there is an alternative which uses agile principles and tools to make the planning easier and more effective.
My presentation at the 2022 Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference shows how to use the “integration by slice” method to bring together and test the results of hardware and software development incrementally, planning in a fashion that serves the differing demands of both disciplines and improves communication dramatically.
This paper was adapted from two chapters in my recently published book When Agile Gets Physical: How to Use Agile Principles to Accelerate Hardware Development. The paper provides more tools for test teams, while the book focuses on hardware teams.