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Re^5: I came, I saw, I ...

by RonW (Parson)
on Jul 06, 2017 at 22:42 UTC ( #1194412=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^4: I came, I saw, I ...
in thread I came, I saw, I ...

Sounds very familiar. :)

No customer of our client will ever see or touch those devices, and if they would see them, they would probably run away in terror.

Yes. Real life development is a lot closer to "McGiver" than the "show case" labs featured in advertisements and company tours.

(And, in our show case lab, don't open the doors of the rack cabinets. It's not only a tangled nest of patch cables, but also an assortment of modified prototype boards providing functionality that even the vendor of the hugely expensive, LED-bejeweled hardware simulator can't figure out how to provide.)

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Re^6: I came, I saw, I ...
by afoken (Abbot) on Jul 06, 2017 at 23:05 UTC
    Real life development is a lot closer to "McGiver" than the "show case" labs featured in advertisements and company tours.

    Yes, indeed. I can play with Lego all day and get paid for it. ;-) No, really:

    We like to use Lego for quick test setups. Take a large Lego board, click a few bricks onto the board, fit a PCB, sensor, actuator, laser pointer, prototype board, eval board between the bricks. Add the next bricks, and parts. Add a few more bricks to prevent that mess from falling apart. Add wires, tubes, whatever is needed. Pad with paper or adhesive rubber feet. That works surprisingly well.

    Larger, heavy Lego parts also work well as paperweights to temporily fix pieces of printed paper with fake screenshots on a large piece packaging paper while discussing interaction between the parts. Old lego rails work incredible well to mark borders between the parts. We used exactly that on a ping-pong table to discuss how our software should work with our client. Different colors could be used for grouping, and the client asked for the meaning of the colors, but we did not use that. Colors were meaningless in that discussion. All of us, including the client, moved paper and Lego parts around until we found out how the client wanted the software to behave. We taped the paper pieces to the packing paper, replaced Lego borders with marker lines, and draw some notes onto the packing paper. That was our inofficial main document for the user interface development. We simply taped it to a long wall and looked at it whenever we needed details or had to discuss implementation variants.

    We later reused that trick to discuss interaction between parts of the software, without the client; and once again for a larger rework of the software internals.

    Alexander

    --
    Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)
      I can play with Lego all day and get paid for it.

      It seems I'm not the only one. A judge in Düsseldorf reconstructed a crime scene using Lego:

      Blog post (google translation), Newspaper article (google translation)

      Alexander

      --
      Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)

        I teach engineering to kids with Lego. Mostly hand-on classes, but sometimes demos with a talk, like the watermill I used last time.


        The way forward always starts with a minimal test.

      Great idea. I'll have to suggest it as an alternative for one-off test fixtures.

      (We have a prototype shop with an "industrial" 3D printer, ShopBot, drill press, jigsaw, arbor saw and radial-arm saw. The 3D printer is mostly used for "showy" prototype housings. The ShopBot mostly for milling delryn blocks for bed-of-nails fixtures. The saws and drill press are used for most other test fixtures (because is usually a lot faster than preparing the design files required by the ShopBot or 3D printer, and the 3D printer is painfully slow).

        You guys and your fancy "3D printers" and highfalutin "Lego Blocks", in my day all we had was cardboard and duct tape, and we liked it! :-)

        Just another Perl hooker - But the purist monks keep telling me I should do it for love, not money.

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