On August 23rd, 2020, I woke up with a voice mail from Jack Little congratulating me on 15 years with The MathWorks. Honestly, it seems like yesterday that I started there. I thought today I would take some time to reflect on what I have learned in the last 15 years.
The Workflow Engineer
When I joined MathWorks I was the first “Workflow Engineer” that they hired. My job was to examine how customers used MathWorks products, understand what the limitations were, and make recommendations on how to make the tools and processes better. Some things have never changed.
M.A.A.B. Starting off with Style
Not to be puckish, but holding court for MAAB was perhaps the foundation stone of my wider understanding of how MathWorks customers used and wanted to use Model-Based Design Workflows. Further this brought me into the world of safety critical guidelines.
Making MathWorks MISRA-able
Understanding the MISRA-C guidelines and contributing to the 2012 guidelines was my proving grounds (not to be confused with the GM proving grounds where I used to work) for software best practices. I very much enjoyed the challenge of formulating guidelines to enforce MISRA compliance and getting to the root cause of code generation issues
I did a brief stint of time in the MathWorks product development group, working on what is now called Simulink Check and the Requirements Traceability tool (Simulink Check still looks a lot like it did when I worked on it, though the requirements tool has greatly evolved). It was during this time that my connection to software verification deepened. Over time, I began to understand the difference between verifying software versus control algorithms; the root difference is in the constraint on control algorithms, no one ever passes a string into your velocity controller.
The last 9 years have seen me in a consulting role, driven by a desire to directly help varied customers while expanding my own knowledge. During this time I branched out from my Automotive background to enter into Industrial Automation, Aerospace, and Medical Devices. About 5 years ago, the “itch to teach” also sprung back up and this blog was born.
Next 15 years?
If the past is any indicator, 15 years from now, I will be writing about the new, new best practices for Model-Based Design and helping to define what those boundaries are.
I hope you will forgive a more “personal” blog post. I will return to the normal content on Wednesday. For all of those of you who I have worked with and learned from over the years, thank you and I look forward to working with you again.