Try announcing documentation isn’t important in semiconductor development. You’ll be outed as a heretic! Ask people to write it and you’ll hear a sigh. Ask for an example of decent, truly useful documentation and people struggle to find it. To put it mildly, in semiconductor development we’ve got a love/loveless relationship with documentation. We all agree it’s critical but we don’t like writing it. That and we kind of suck at it anyway.
But we can change that. By putting more thought into who we’re creating documentation for and some friendly reminders around how we create it, we can end up with documentation we’re proud of. Continue reading
I had a neat opportunity to do a lunch-n-learn with a large group of engineers a few weeks ago. It was organized by the IEEE Computer Society as part of a program they use to pair engineering teams with various speakers and topics. They found me through a referral from an agile software friend of mine. I pitched a topic that sounded interesting enough so it was all systems go. I flew in for a day the third week of november. We had 250 people tune in. Good realtime feedback and a great experience for me.
I’ve done webinars like this in the past but I’ve never felt like I left people with a solid feel for how they get started with agile hardware. I wanted this time to be different; I wanted to boil the mess of information that floats around in my head down to concrete possibilities; I wanted those listening to go back to their desks feeling like they had the gumption to get something started. Continue reading
Heads-up that we’ve moved SVUnit from Sourceforge to GitHub. This move was a long time coming, finally got it done a couple weeks ago. From now on, all new development will take place in the SVUnit GitHub repository. We may continue to post new releases to Sourceforge for a time while people sort out any download pointers, but I expect that’ll only last a few months. I still need to move open issues from Sourceforge to the GitHub issue tracker, but any new tickets should be filed on GitHub.
I’m looking for a list of discussion topics for a panel discussion that’ll happen at DAC in June. It’ll be a very informal/interactive session. We’ll take a list of topics and cycle through them in a series of 5-10min discussions. Audience will be encouraged to participate; agreeing or disagreeing as they see fit.
I’m looking for topics to get discussion rolling and am hoping you’ll chime in with your ideas. So if you’ve got a few minutes, I’d appreciate you joining the google group discussion and dropping a few comments or questions regarding unit testing, test driven development, SVUnit and/or related. As many as you can think of. Topics could be for or against unit testing, doesn’t matter. In fact the tougher the topic, the better! I’ll take 10-15 and and quote them in a series of slides. We’ll show the slides and invite the audience to weigh in.
Thanks for helping out!
The last 2 days at DVCon have been about the best possible for SVUnit. Maybe even better than that.
First was the poster sessions on Tuesday just before lunch. Josh Rensch and I had a paper called Do You Verify Your Verification Components. Being that this was my first time to DVCon, I had no idea how the turn out would be and/or whether or not people would be interested enough in the paper to stop and discuss it. To be honest, I had prepared myself to just stand there for 90min while people walked by. Thankfully that didn’t happen.
Even though it was a paper about testing testbench IP that talked about TDD and SVUnit – none of which are remotely close to being mainstream ideas – people were actually interested. Lots of questions, lots of great discussion and I got the feeling there was actual acceptance which was a tad surreal. Credit goes to Josh for taking the lead on writing the paper and putting together the poster. He did most of the work. I was in the car on my way back to the hotel when I got a text from him saying we got a 3rd place award for the paper. Pretty cool.
That was Tuesday. The highlight from Wednesday was the SVUnit User Group Lunch. Full disclosure: I was nervous about this from the moment we started planning it. Never before attempted by me. I wasn’t sure people would show up. That and I doubted we would have enough to talk about. Happy to say, though, that the lunch went better than I could have hoped. Way better.
We had 18 people in total, which is about a dozen more than I thought was possible. There was a perfect mix of experts, soon-to-be-experts, people who’ve been interested in SVUnit but haven’t had a chance to get started and others who didn’t really know much about it. I did my best to get the discussion rolling and then everyone else just kind of took over. It was ideal.
Thanks to everyone that came to the lunch, spoke up, asked questions, chimed in with opinions, signed the SVUnit banner and posed for a picture (extra thanks to my colleague Rich DesMarais for organizing). It was a pretty special day. I felt like this was a big step in building a community around SVUnit. Hopefully, it’s the first of many!
For me, 2016 starts with new work on SVUnit…
- I’ll be doing a little work on the library itself, adding some new UVM support and updated scripting
- I’ve got an article in the works for testing UVM checkers with SVUnit
- A bigger job is polishing off an hour long unit testing training module (I’m hoping I get through that by the end of January so it’s done and posted before DVCon)
- I’m thinking of doing another real-time Q&A/discussion with SVUnit users
Given the last couple bullets on my todo list, I’m hoping there are a few people out there that will help me out… Continue reading
A few weeks ago I wrote about how I’m using lean startup to launch a new EDA tool. Last week, I finally got everything in place. It’s called FunCov and it’s live on the new AgileSoC.com tool portal. Continue reading
The SVUnit User Guide is a few weeks old. Lots of views so far, which is a good sign, but not much feedback yet so I’ve added a form so people can let me know what they think. If you’re using SVUnit, please take the time to post feedback. The form is at the bottom of the User Guide page. It’s just 3 questions and an optional text box to paste in any additional praise/rant.
Here’s some information about a second agile hardware session at DAC in San Francisco. On June 8th at 5pm, you’ll find me and Harry Foster of Mentor Graphics in the Verification Academy booth talking about An Agile Evolution in SoC Verification. Here’s the session description from the Verification Academy events page… Continue reading
Good news and better news…
The good news is that I’ll be part of an agile hardware panel discussion at DAC this year in San Francisco. The discussion happens at 10:30am on June 9th at the Moscone Center and it’s happening thanks to Randy Smith and folks at Sonics. For more info, check out the conference website.
The better news is that this is the first of two (repeat: two) exciting chances at DAC to build the agile hardware community (I’ll point you to the other in part two as the details are finalized). Needless to say, two chances to reach out at a conference like DAC is a great opportunity so if you’re a fan of agile hardware, a practitioner, someone who wants to know more or somebody who wants to get out and publicly disagree with the whole idea, I hope to see you there!