Agile @ DAC – The Aftermath

Pleasantly surprised that I’m able to call DAC a big success for agile hardware.

Agile Evolution in the Verification Academy Booth

IMG_3237It started monday evening with the Agile Evolution panel in the Mentor Verification Academy booth. We were shooting for a half-hour open discussion where we went through some of the concerns people have with agile development (thanks to my work colleagues for helping come up with a list to get us started). Now that it’s over – and worked great – I can admit that I was a little nervous about the format. I knew the key would be people jumping in with their opinions because without that it would have been a boring half hour of one way conversation. Fair to say we did it though thanks to a great job from Dennis Brophy as moderator, Harry Foster as expert and me playing the role of ‘that other guy’. Continue reading

Agile Hardware @ DAC – Part 1

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!

-neil

Goodbye AgileSoC.com… For A While

On Friday I decided I could use a break from the blog so I’m going to step away for a bit. Not exactly sure for how long, but it might be a while. Or maybe not. We’ll see. Meanwhile, you’ll still be able to find me at neil.johnson@agilesoc.com for questions, comment and discussion re: agile hardware. Later.

-neil

The Key To Test-driven Development of RTL

For me, this is a very exciting post because I think I’ve made some pretty important headway regarding TDD for hardware designers.

My big side project as of late has been a real pilot dedicated to using TDD to write RTL. I’ve blogged about some of the things I’ve learned already but the big eye-opener that I haven’t talked about yet is how TDD helps us with design partitioning and testability. Continue reading

Now Is Not The Time To Be Practical

They call them comfort zones for a reason, it’s because they’re comfortable.

I don’t like being in my comfort zone because when I get comfortable I fail to recognize when a change is necessary. I start framing uncomfortable change as impractical, then concoct seemingly logical arguments to avoid it. Trouble is, some of these arguments aren’t logical at all. They’re just my way of avoiding the pain that comes with taking the chance.

Some may think that becoming an agile development team is impractical; that the approach won’t work for them, that it’s too big a risk or it’ll be all pain and no gain. Where agile becomes impractical, it’ll be watered down or avoided.

As an example, suppose someone suggests XP as a model for an agile transition. Amoung other things, XP brings with it a series of primary practices. If XP doesn’t fit into your comfort zone, there’s any number of practical reasons for why you might avoid any – or all – of these practices (listed in bold). Continue reading

Agile IC Methodology From Sonics

Here’s a marketing video posted yesterday from Sonics about an Agile IC Methodology they’re promoting in the run-up to ARM TechCon. Normally I might not post stuff like this directly on AgileSoC.com but I’m making an exception because one of the people in the video is me… along with some other guys that are far more recognizable 🙂 .

If you watch the video, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to comment. I’m interested to hear what people think about it and the fact that a few different folks within the industry are coming together to promote agile development.

[youtube_sc url=9xVfIqcY1Qw width=640 height=480]

-neil