As an integral element of the Faculties of Architecture and Mechanical Engineering, the BA course introduced in places concepts, objects and products in a cultural context. Assignments steer students towards issues of social responsibility and environmental consequences.
Degree programme information
Students are offered broad-ranging design theories, with industrial design training occupying a central position throughout the course. The learnable skills include the use of pen, pencil and colour, image processing, handling 2D and 3D programs, graphics, three-dimensional design and model making. The technical focus is provided by a fundamental knowledge of materials and shaping techniques together with principles of construction and production methods.
The theory and history of design illuminate the subject's international contemporary and historical panorama.
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Seminars and practical assignments provide realistic tools to prepare students for a successful career in all its entrepreneurial facets. Click on the expand button to generate new flowcharts. Embedded system development is similar to other engineering tasks. We can choose to follow well-defined procedures during the development and evaluation phases, or we can meander in a haphazard way and produce code that is hard to test and harder to change. Nevertheless it is appropriate to separately evaluate the individual components of the system.
Therefore in this section, we will evaluate the quality of our software. Qualitative criteria center on ease of software maintenance. Another qualitative way to evaluate software is ease of understanding. If your software is easy to understand then it will be:. Easy to debug fix mistakes.
Easy to verify prove correctness. Easy to maintain add features. Common Error: Programmers who sacrifice clarity in favor of execution speed often develop software that runs fast, but is error-prone and difficult to change. Golden Rule of Software Development. Write software for others as you wish they would write for you. In order to evaluate our software quality, we need performance measures. The simplest approaches to this issue are quantitative measurements.
It is measured in seconds or processor bus cycles. Since most embedded computer systems have both RAM and ROM, we specify memory requirement in global variables, stack space, fixed constants and program. The global variables plus the stack must fit into the available RAM. Similarly, the fixed constants plus the program must fit into the available ROM.
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We can also judge our embedded system according to whether or not it satisfies given requirements and constraints, like accuracy, cost, power, size, reliability, and time-table. Qualitative performance measurements include those parameters to which we cannot assign a direct numerical value. Often in life the most important questions are the easiest to ask, but the hardest to answer. Such is the case with software quality.
So therefore we ask the following qualitative questions. Can we prove our software works? Is our software easy to understand? Is our software easy to change? Since there is no single approach to writing the best software, we can only hope to present some techniques that you may wish to integrate into your own software style.
In fact, this book devotes considerable effort to the important issue of developing quality software. In particular, we will study self-documented code, abstraction, modularity, and layered software. These issues indeed play a profound effect on the bottom-line financial success of our projects. To get a benchmark on how good a programmer you are, take the following two challenges.
In the first challenge, find a major piece of software that you have written over 12 months ago, and then see if you can still understand it enough to make minor changes in its behavior. The second challenge is to exchange with a peer a major piece of software that you have both recently written but not written together , then in the same manner, see if you can make minor changes to each other's software. Observation: You can tell if you are a good programmer if 1 you can understand your own code 12 months later, and 2 others can make changes to your code.
Good engineers employ well-defined design processes when developing complex systems.
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When we work within a structured framework, it is easier to prove our system works verification and to modify our system in the future maintenance. As our software systems become more complex, it becomes increasingly important to employ well-defined software design processes. Throughout this book, a very detailed set of software development rules will be presented. This class focuses on real-time embedded systems written in C, but most of the design processes should apply to other languages as well.
At first, it may seem radical to force such a rigid structure to software.
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We might wonder if creativity will be sacrificed in the process. True creativity is more about good solutions to important problems and not about being sloppy and inconsistent.
Because software maintenance is a critical task, the time spent organizing, documenting, and testing during the initial development stages will reap huge dividends throughout the life of the software project. Observation: The easiest way to debug is to write software without any bugs. We define clients as programmers who will use our software. A client develops software that will call our functions. We define coworkers as programmers who will debug and upgrade our software. A coworker, possibly ourselves, develops, tests, and modifies our software.
Writing quality software has a lot to do with attitude. We should be embarrassed to ask our coworkers to make changes to our poorly written software. Since so much software development effort involves maintenance, we should create software modules that are easy to change. In other words, we should expect each piece of our code will be read by another engineer in the future, whose job it will be to make changes to our code.
We might be tempted to quit a software project once the system is running, but this short time we might save by not organizing, documenting, and testing will be lost many times over in the future when it is time to update the code. As project managers, we must reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. A company, in an effort to improve the quality of their software products, implemented the following policies. The employees in the customer relations department receive a bonus for every software bug that they can identify.
These bugs are reported to the software developers, who in turn receive a bonus for every bug they fix. We should demand of ourselves that we deliver bug-free software to our clients. Again, we should be embarrassed when our clients report bugs in our code. We should be mortified when other programmers find bugs in our code. There are a few steps we can take to facilitate this important aspect of software design. Test it now. When we find a bug, fix it immediately.
The longer we put off fixing a mistake the more complicated the system becomes, making it harder to find. Remember that bugs do not go away on their own, but we can make the system so complex that the bugs will manifest themselves in mysterious and obscure ways.