This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market.
Marc Brown, Product Portfolio Strategist, has over 25 years of technology leadership experience and extensive knowledge of embedded and IoT software development. Marc has been involved in several technology and media events, providing his opinions on the evolving software development trends and needs. His expertise and experience covers a broad spectrum of areas, including embedded software design and implementation for aerospace, industrial automation, and communications applications. Marc began his career as an embedded systems software engineer with Motorola, Corning Research, and GE Aerospace, and earned his BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from SUNY Geneseo.
VDC: Parasoft base includes numerous embedded OEMs and enterprise/IT organizations. In what ways is the IoT driving a convergence of these worlds?
Marc: Both embedded and IT markets are looking to add additional value to their products through connected data, for instance on-demand traffic updates to your car from real-time cloud analytics, proactive maintenance scheduling of equipment, home healthcare, and so on. IoT is reshaping these markets by connecting cloud data and analysis with business and consumer applications.
VDC: Moreover, what are the implications for their software and systems development tooling needs?
Marc: Implications include: reliance on internet connectivity, significantly expanded security threats, increased non-functional requirements complexity.
VDC: Interest in collaborative development practices continues to rise. Many enterprise/IT organizations are now looking to scale Agile or adopt DevOps. How should this influence their development tooling strategies?
Marc: Support for agile, continuous testing (CT), and DevOps will require a broader set of integrated tools, spanning automated testing, service virtualization, and change-based testing analytics.
VDC: Adoption of Agile practices has also gained momentum in the embedded engineering industries. What should these teams consider as they modify their development methodologies?
Marc: Many best practices exist from enterprise IT – these best practices and technologies should be analyzed and utilized. While Agile does offer the promise of ‘more accurate delivery to market,’ two big things are often overlooked: (1) Agile has overhead due to rework from the constant/iterative feedback, and (2) this results in a significant focus on the activities of the ‘current sprint’ - which often let quality issues leak through the process. To combat these inefficiencies, organizations have to continuously focus teams on not just the ‘current work’ but also the impact of the changes to functionality outside of the scope of the ‘current sprint’.
VDC: Security is increasingly a top concern for end-users and suppliers of connected products. In what ways does security impact software testing needs and best practices?
Marc: The biggest impact is ensuring that the tools that teams select and use are supporting the security standards applicable for their markets. The key is to not leave security until the end of the SDLC, and seamlessly apply a preventative security policy and detection techniques continuously, as part of the existing software quality practices. Furthermore, teams should be looking for security analysis capabilities within the analysis, testing, and reporting tools.
VDC: How is Parasoft helping customers address their security needs?
Marc: Parasoft supports critical security analysis standards (CWE, CERT, OWASP, DISA-STIG, etc.), API security penetration testing, coverage reporting, and more.
VDC: Tell us a bit more about continuous testing - What sort of organizations can benefit most from this approach and how can their development tools help them adopt the practice?
Marc: All organizations can benefit from continuous testing (CT). CT can provide immediate feedback on defects, vulnerabilities, or non-conformance to standards early in the development lifecycle, saving time and money. CT enables an organization to identify a problem as close to when the defect was introduced, therefore reducing the time to remediate the issue. CT does not eliminate the need for a regression cycle before release, but it does focus the activities of that cycle, making regression testing more effective and reducing the overall amount of time required.
VDC: Thanks Mark for your thoughts. Before we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with VDC and our readers?
Marc: Parasoft is unique in our support of embedded, IoT, and enterprise IT markets, providing broad testing support for developers and testers – static and runtime analysis, unit testing, API testing, load testing, penetration testing, security testing, virtual test environments via service virtualization, and intelligent reports and analytics.
View the 2017 IoT & Embedded Technology Research Outline to learn more.