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  • Python
  • C#
  • MSSQL

Problem

In 2005 a new client, one of the top-tier Flash companies, engaged Softeq and tested the team's capabilities with a project focused on documentation and debugging. Softeq not only performed testing, but carried out comprehensive failure analysis for the client encouraging them to go further and join forces with Softeq to create a dedicated offshore development center (ODC). Within the next few years the ODC scaled up to a full-fledged development center with a hundred of seasoned embedded engineers on board.

Over the period of collaboration Softeq has proven invaluable in contributing its firmware and embedded software expertise to designing, building, and developing a wide range of software tools and components.

  • Firmware for industry leading products
  • Software prototypes of hardware
  • Device drivers (SATA, SD, etc.)
  • Tools to visualize model and hardware state
  • Custom tools and frameworks for testing and diagnostics
  • Plugins and add-ins for IDEs
Turn-key Test Labs

With years of proprietary product engineering practice under its belt, Softeq has been utilizing its solid hands-on QA experience for contract-based product and component engagements. This expertise has been especially handy for setting up several turn-key Test Labs for several top five Flash firms as part of the ODC initiative.

Solution

Continuous Integration

To ease the pressure on the developers involved in testing of the ready-for-release firmware and facilitate faster debugging and optimization of the product before launching it to the market, in 2008 Softeq’s engineers deployed a special testing service utilizing the Continuous Integration method.

An automated continuous integration server monitors the changes made in the source code of the product under test. Once the updates are detected, the service starts the scenario for compiling a new build version. The new build is then installed on the testing machines, with the tests launched automatically. A developer can track the process and access the results through a web interface.

The testing service has proved successful in helping flash engineers verify the quality of the developed firmware early in the process — obtaining the results within as short a timeframe as one business day — and fine-tune the end-product before it goes live.

Solid State Drive Testing

The SSD Test Lab (launched back in early 2011) numbered 25 remotely accessible PCs, each facilitating several test device — up to 4 Solid State Drives (SSD) per computer. The Lab was rolled out to ensure the firmware developed for the SSDs met the performance and reliability metrics necessary for their commercial release.

All tests are managed from a single workstation. In the case of a failure, a firmware engineer can access the workstation remotely from any geo location to contact the Test Lab admin, view the logs, and perform/request debugging.

Convenient access to the test results and their ease of use were the key project success indicators set for the ODC, which the latter met brilliantly.

The Lab helped these top tier providers take a step further to a perfect QA environment, which would allow conducting automatic product testing without an engineer’s direct participation, while delivering reliable high-performance products to the market.

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