Letter from the Editor – August 2014

Testing Embedded systems and testing the Internet of Things could each have their own issue of LogiGear magazine. But these days they are referred to presupposing knowledge of the other, so we thought it would be a good idea to tackle the two together in this issue to give a broad understanding of the landscape as well as help you get started testing smarter and become more informed.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is getting more and more press and attention every day. There is nothing new about the idea, everyone knew it was “the future.” But that future is here. Efficient wireless protocols, sensors to sense everything, and cheaper processors are making the future now. The number of things with embedded systems is already staggering, and it’s estimated there will be tens of billions of embedded system devices connected by 2020. 

Although often used interchangeably, embedded systems are not equal to the IoT. The difference is that embedded systems do not have to be connected to anything while the things in the IoT are connected via the internet. Devices now do things like monitor your glucose level and send a constant stream of data to your doctor. Others count the steps you take, your refrigerator can order milk when the carton is near-empty. and self-driving cars are in prototype.

My early embedded systems testing experience focused on medical device testing and mobile communication/mobile phone testing. In each case, as is common with embedded systems, the functionality was important but very limited, the UI was very limited or non-existent. The testing started with validating requirements. We then made models of expected behaviors and tested as thoroughly as we had time to do.

The IoT is a big leap ahead from closed system embedded devices with limited functionality and no connectivity. Even for embedded system experienced testers connectivity is a big change. There are potentially large data being produced, connection to other devices and APIs to other services. This opens the door to such things as interoperability, security and performance issues not normally seen in embedded system testing. All with speed of delivery demands in an industry with few and often competing standards.

As is always the case with new or more pervasive technologies: how do you test it? What are the new testing concerns? What skills do you have to learn to respond to this staggering growth? That is what this issue begins to explore.

In this issue I discuss the landscape of the Internet of Things with Joe Luthy; Jon Hagar gives expert recommendations for testing the IoT; I explain new areas for traditional testers working in the IoT; Phillip Koopman suggests that those performing embedded testing have software specific test plan; Auriga’s Andrey Pronin writes about the importance of a highly organized testing process and Essensium/Mind’s Arnout Vandecappelle reminds us that team collaboration is essential for testing embedded systems. Welcome to the IoT.

Michael Hackett
Michael is a co-founder of LogiGear Corporation, and has over two decades of experience in software engineering in banking, securities, healthcare and consumer electronics. Michael is a Certified Scrum Master and has co-authored two books on software testing. Testing Applications on the Web: Test Planning for Mobile and Internet-Based Systems (Wiley, 2nd ed. 2003), and Global Software Test Automation (Happy About Publishing, 2006). He is a founding member of the Board of Advisors at the University of California Berkeley Extension and has taught for the Certificate in Software Quality Engineering and Management at the University of California Santa Cruz Extension. As a member of IEEE, his training courses have brought Silicon Valley testing expertise to over 16 countries. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

The Related Post

In the November 2011 issue: Mobile Application Testing, I began my column with the statement, “Everything is mobile.” One year later the statement is even more true. More devices, more platforms, more diversity, more apps. It boggles the mind how fast the landscape changes. Blackberry has been kicked to the curb by cooler and slicker ...
Big and complex testing. What do these terms conjure up in your mind? When we added this topic to the editorial calendar, I had the notion that we might illustrate some large or complex systems and explore some of the test and quality challenges they present. We might have an article on: building and testing ...
Change is constant. What’s different today is the rate of change. Moore’s law resulted from the observation that that the rate of change in computing power is exponential. The products, services and software landscape appears just as dynamic. At the same time, we pretty much take for granted the ubiquitous presence of software running our ...
There is a growing software development dynamic of teams without Testers. When I first went into Software Quality, I learned one thing right away: My role was user advocate. My main job was to find bugs. This is the Lean principle called Amplified Learning. We learn about behavior by testing. Even then, validation was not ...
Happy New Year from LogiGear to those of us who celebrated New Years on January 1! And for our lunar calendar followers, an almost Happy New Year come February 3rd. We look forward to an exciting and full 2011 as its predecessor was a tough year for many in the software business. At LogiGear Magazine, ...
As fast as Mobile is growing, the platform is still immature and is evolving at a very rapid pace. While there are whole countries that have migrated large government services to mobile, countries ranging from Estonia to Turkey to Kenya have many longtime mobile users have yet to use mPay or other mobile payment systems. ...
On the whole, everyone wants to do a great job, have a better work environment, happy clients and customers, and to be employed by a company earning lots of money. All great goals! But this is not always the case. When it is not, you can suggest process improvements, better tool use, different estimating techniques, ...
For everyone still celebrating holidays: Happy Lunar New Year! At this time of the year many teams and companies are starting new projects, new initiatives, and hiring new staff. LogiGear Magazine will continue to be the resource for you for better testing with much less stress! We are excited about the focus of this month’s ...
This is our first Trends issue in our 10- year history. Trends are important to help foresee what is on the horizon and coming next.
As part of my work, I spend a lot of time at client’s sites and talk to various software development organizations. I am beginning to see a problem arise regarding Test Automation. There is too much automation! Surprised? While there are still many teams struggling to make progress with Test Automation, many teams have been doing ...
Testing tools – very important, very often overlooked, and very often where mistakes are made. First, the most common mistake people make about tools is thinking tools are only about test automation! False. Automation tools are merely one type testing tool. We will try to balance this issue between test automation tools and other test ...
Digital Transformation and IT Modernization projects have shifted into high gear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tough on some teams is having to do more with less and speed up projects on reduced budgets due to the resulting COVID-19 business climate. On the other hand, other companies are adding funding and pressing the schedule under the ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news

Subscribe