Random Ramblings on LabVIEW Design

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Center of Excellence

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Greeting G'ers,

I'll keep this brief as I don't really do company announcements.

A couple of weeks ago my lil company became one of the first NI Alliance members to be accredited NI Center of Excellence.

What, how and why are the questions I'm getting asked.


What is a Center of Excellence

Well go read it here - Center of Excellence Webpage

In summary it means we went through an audit of our processes and were deemed to be excellent enough. The CoE is something I thoroughly approve of and it concentrates on setting up a healthy and professional environment to write software.

How did we do it?

We filled out the audit questionnaire and then had an audit (call NI for more info). In the audit we talked through our process against each question in the audit. As a small company some areas were not applicable, in those cases we just need to demonstrate how our practices were robust for the type of business we are.

Why do it?

Go back 2 or 3 years I did a presentation at NIWeek called the SSDC Way. 

In it I suggested that us integrators have something in our arsenal other than just being syntax generators for money. Our actual skill is in delivery of projects and this is a valuable skill. To monetise this we need to define it.


With a process defined you are on your way to being CoE ready. Luckily our design process is already ISO9001 accredited, so we're no strangers to being audited.

From an SSDC business perspective it is a nice thing to have. But, from a DSH Workshops perspective it's very exciting and that's why our buddies Hampel Software Engineering have become the first German CoE too. Read Joergs article about it here.


With DSH Workshops we are aiming to offer the highest level of mentoring by serious programmers. Our model is to have multiple mentors in each workshop so when you take a DSH Workshop you will be in a room with people with decades of experience. These mentors apply solid working practices and they know how to communicate them. The joy of having multiple mentors in a room is that we all work slightly differently, this brings nuance and reduces dogma, all things I like!


So come talk to Fab, Joerg or me.


I'd like to thank Nancy and Pete for all their help and encouragement

Lots of Love



Opportunity to learn from experienced developers / entrepeneurs (Fab and Joerg amongst them):
DSH Pragmatic Software Development Workshop

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Proven Zealot
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Great job Steve!

Sam Taggart
CLA, CPI, CTD, LabVIEW Champion
DQMH Trusted Advisor
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Congrats Steve.


Wondering if you can elaborate a bit on the reasons SSDC decided to go through this process as I'm guessing, based on previous presentations of yours, that it didn't result in much process change on your end.

Matt J | National Instruments | CLA

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Our process is pretty solid and has been tested on many projects over many years so you are correct. Also I'm a pretty proactive auditee in that I have worked in quite a lot of fairly strict environments (Aerospace, defence, Heath). The area I knew we were weak is actually a part of our process and something I'm planning on beefing up in the next 2 years.

Full disclosure: it's NI code analysis tools - I want a set of custom VI Analyser tests that automate for the SSDC project structure and coding standards.

Expect this to be one my focus areas this year..


I view the CoE as being a subset of the design part of ISO9001 standard, another advantage of doing these standards is 1 lump of work can be applied cost effectively everywhere and they all benefit each other.


All in all it's been a very positive experience.


It's very consistent to what SSDC is all about tho', we've been focused on the process of LabVIEW development for about 20 years now and I think it is wonderful to see these practical assessments being carried out. Kudos to all in NI behind it.


Opportunity to learn from experienced developers / entrepeneurs (Fab and Joerg amongst them):
DSH Pragmatic Software Development Workshop

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