Software Consultant, Real-Time Embedded, Test, Quality Assurance, DO178

Software Consultant, real-time embedded software (also MISRA, “DO-178B”)

I am a software consultant, currently working from my office in France.

I offer consulting services in the areas of software requirements, software design, programming, testing, quality assurance, validation, documentation and translation.

My experience is mainly in the area of technical software, but I offer my services for all types of software.

My experience has been in avionics (military upgrade programmes for EADS), communication systems (first at Racal and later at Rohde and Schwarz in Munich).

I worked in several areas at Siemens in Munich, including an air traffic control system, vehicle navigation using GPS, network systems where I worked on an ATM-Switch, in particular the integration of the pSOS real-time operating system.

Recently I worked at MTU Aero Engines on a project to test the software of the engines of the A400M military aircraft. This involved unit testing of the software to “DO-178B” Level-A.

Have experience with many different tools for software development. In the area of software requirements this is mainly DOORS, a requirements tool from IBM.

In the area of software design and architecture I have experience with the UML tools Enterprise Architect, Rational Rose and Rhapsody.

For software development I have experience with Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse, Green Hills Multi and others.

I also have a lot of experience of debugging, both on host computers and with the Lauterbach “trace-32” emulator.

I have experience with “DO-178” (also written DO178 or DO178B). This is an important specification for the procedure of developing software for airborne systems. It is also applicable to many other military systems.

I have used tools for software test and quality assurance. These tools include the tools from LDRA and VectorCast. I have used these tools for testing according to “DO-178B” (DO178B).

There is now a new version of the “DO178” specification which is “DO178C”. This DO178C was introduced recently and is a long overdue update to DO178B.

Have also been involved with traceability for “DO-178B”. This involves tracing of requirements to code, to tests, to design, etc.

I have experience of software quality assurance for DO178B. This also involved using the tools from LDRA. I also have quality assurance (QA) experience using tools such as PC-Lint.

I also have a lot of experience with technical documentation, ranging from writing software requirements to test procedures. I can also offer my services for translation of technical documents from German into English.

I lived in Germany for 24 years (and I miss living there!).

I offer contract software services, mainly from my home office with occasional visits to the customer. If you are interested, please use the contact form.







Phonegap – develop cross platform mobile apps the easy way

I had been investigating how to develop software for mobile applications. I took a look at the development environment XCODE and Objective-C for Apple (iOS) devices.

At first I thought that developing code in Objective-C should be easy, because my programming background is in C/C++.  But on closer inspection this turned out not to be the case. Objective-C is significantly different to C and developing applications using it involves a steep learning curve.

There is no point in developing an application for the iPhone or iPad if you don’t put it in the Apple App Store. The process for getting an application accepted by Apple is not so easy.

What would happen if you spent months learning Objective-C and developing an application and then Apple reject your application to have the app put in the App store?

In that case you would be really up the creek without a paddle, because you would have nothing that you could reuse. The only option would be to throw it all away.

There is an alternative to using XCODE and Objective-C and it’s called Phonegap.

Wait, things get even better. Phonegap allows you to create apps for all of the popular mobile platforms including iOS and Android and the less popular platforms such as Blackberry and Windows Phone.

There are even more positive things. Phonegap is completely free and is relatively easy to use because it allows you to program with the same technologies used for web site development. These technologies are HTML, CSS and Javascript.

It gets even better: because you are using these technologies, all of the plug-ins which are available for website development are immediately available for your mobile application.

This means that software such as jQuery, jQuery Mobile, Moo Tools, Dojo, Prototype, YUI, etc are immediately available for use in your application.

Phonegap is available for download at

Of course, if you want to develop mobile applications for iOS, you still need a MAC and XCODE, but the nut is now easier to crack.

Applications developed with Phonegap are accepted by Apple in their review of applications for the App Store. It’s possible that they could change this, but I think that it’s unlikely.

The disadvantages of Phonegap. Not many, but your application will probably run a bit slower than a native application, so it’s probably not the direction to take to develop games apps, but apart from that it seems like a great solution.

If you develop an application with Phonegap and it doesn’t get accepted into the Apple App Store, it’s not the end of the world, because the same code can be used for Android and other devices and with different CSS styling it can be used as a web page.

Note also that HTML5 is the norm if you are taking this direction, so you have to be careful if you want to write code that works both on mobile devices and websites which could be accessed by those using older browsers which do not support HTML5.

Phonegap makes it easy to access the mobile device’s lower level features (camera, accelerometer, file system, network, etc) in an easy an generic way by calls to Javascript functions.

If you would like me to develop a Phonegap application for you, I would be pleased to hear from you.