Software Issues

Having been involved in software development for 40 years in support, engineering, project management and as CEO, I can profess to being confounded that the electronics industry is still being undermined by software failures. By electronics industry I know that I am using an out-of-date description, but how better to describe the wide range of services which are either directly or indirectly dependent on electronics with software running in it. Back in the 1980s these products were fairly specialised but now it can apply to the wideness of cloud computing to the narrowness of the control and payment systems in your local coffee shop’s barista machine. And in most cases communicating with the outside world.

I defy any of you reading this to give me a case of a seamless electronics product development. One that hasn’t been stressful as a result of the software problems, whether cost and time overruns or unexpected support costs as a result of failure. Certainly Jaguar Land Rover (Evoke recall in the USA) or Lockheed Martin (F35 incorrect target detection) would find it difficult. Through the 100 plus Aerospace and Defence projects I’ve been involved with, I cannot think of one which was free of software issues. In fact I can put my premature grey hair down directly to the Merlin Flight Control System (frame time extension) in 1992.

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