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Blog2018-12-04T15:27:43+00:00

End of Year

End of Year With the end of 2018 drawing closer, it is an opportunity to reflect upon all that has happened this year and look forward to what 2019 will bring. This year has been a strong year for Zircon, as we continue to grow both in our customer base and our staff numbers. During that time we have continued with our primary goal which is to help our clients deliver and maintain their software products. Those products have varied enormously, ranging from Embedded Safety critical devices, PC based Control Centre systems, Web based structural [...]

By |December 21st, 2018|Blog Posts, Company News|

“When All Through the House Not a Creature Was Stirring, Not Even a Mouse”

“When All Through the House Not a Creature Was Stirring, Not Even a Mouse” Source: http://www.dougengelbart.org/images/pix/img0022.jpg “The Mother of All Demos” is celebrating its 50th anniversary. So why was “A Research Centre for Augmenting Human Intellect” deemed worthy of a more grand title? It all began with a man who had a vision. The man’s name Douglas Engelbart. The vision, to free computing from merely being about number crunching, elevating it to become a tool used for communication and information retrieval. Understandably, at the time his peers believed him a “Crackpot” who was living [...]

By |December 17th, 2018|Blog Posts|

Struggling To Write A Requirements Specifications? – Top 10 Things To Think About

Struggling To Write A Requirements Specifications? – Top 10 Things To Think About If you cast your minds back to May this year, you may recall that we published an article looking into the reasons why having your requirements detailed in a Requirements Spec is so important. This month we thought that we would revisit this theme to look at some top tips on how to maintain quality and write requirements that are a dream to work with. After all as the saying goes if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. 1. [...]

By |November 30th, 2018|Articles, Blog Posts|

Developing A New Web-Based System? Have You Considered

Developing A New Web-Based System? Have You Considered Over the last couple of months, we have been taking a closer look at the different types of development environment, and outlining the different areas that should always be considered when starting out on a new development project. As things stand we have ruminated on the consideration points for both embedded and desktop application developments, so we thought that we would bring these thoughts to a close with a little investigation into the realm of Web-Based systems. How will you maintain security? In [...]

By |October 25th, 2018|Articles, Blog Posts|

It Doesn’t Have To Be A Man’s World.

It Doesn't Have To Be A Man's World. Hi, I’m Leanne and I have been a Software Engineer with Zircon for 6 years. People are often a bit surprised when they ask me what I do, as in such a male-dominated field I suppose I’m a bit of a rarity. I often get asked what made me choose this career and what it’s like. I normally brush this aside, preferring to not treat it as a big deal (it isn’t a big deal). But, with so many recent initiatives aimed at engaging women in science and engineering, I’d [...]

By |October 12th, 2018|Blog Posts|

Developing A New Embedded System? Have You Considered…

Developing A New Embedded System? Have You Considered… As we mentioned in last month’s article on the points to consider when developing new desktop applications, it can be easy to overlook important elements in the moderate chaos that is a new application development. This month we thought it would be interesting to continue on with this theme, and try to put together some consideration guidelines for embedded system developments. Take the time to build or save time and buy? This is quite the debate in the world of embedded system design, [...]

By |September 28th, 2018|Articles, Blog Posts|

The Art Of The Bodge

The Art Of The Bodge A bodge, a kludge, a hack. All essentially the same thing. A quick and dirty solution that can be inefficient, hard to maintain or clumsy. Now I bet you are wondering how you could ever have a good bodge and, though I like the description above, I prefer the definition “engineering but with larger tolerances”. Just because something is, ‘spaghetti code’ does not mean it is not justified, with many using the bodge as a tool to help speed up production when total redesign of a solution is impractical. [...]

By |September 24th, 2018|Articles, Blog Posts|

Developing A New Desktop Application? Have You Considered…

Developing A New Desktop Application? Have You Considered... There is always a great number of things to remember when you embark on a new system development, meaning it can be quite easy to overlook some rather important points. To give yourself some piece of mind take a look at these guidelines on what to consider when developing new desktop applications. Does Your Hardware Have The Man Power? When developing new desktop applications one of the first points you should consider will be the demands on hardware. A system that will be [...]

By |August 15th, 2018|Articles, Blog Posts|

Project Recovery – The Next Step Towards Getting Back On Track

Project Recovery - The Next Step Towards Getting Back On Track Keeping a software project on track is something easier said than done. The mere act of bringing together a group of individuals with unique thoughts and opinions is bound to result in conflict and unforeseen problems. So is it really a surprise that a high percentage of projects eventually drift away from best-laid plans? As we discussed in our article, Is Your Project Failing? – Top 11 Checks, the first step is recognising that you have a problem. Once you have accepted this fact, it is time [...]

By |July 30th, 2018|Articles, Blog Posts|

Automated Testing in an Agile Environment

Automated Testing in an Agile Environment “Let's have one final test. Throw the switches” Recently, we needed to undertake unit testing for agile development, and continually needed to test separate modules. As we integrated the separate modules into our central repository we of course find the need to check that new additions to the repository have not altered the work already completed. Because we were verifying an embedded C system we chose to use Unity (not the game engine) for the embedded project. More about Unity can be found at www.throwtheswitch.org and https://github.com. [...]

By |June 6th, 2018|Articles, Blog Posts|

Why Do We Need Requirements? – 6 Top Reasons

Why Do We Need Requirements? - 6 Top Reasons It would be impossible to spend more than a month in the world of software development and never encounter requirements to some degree. Almost every project is centred around some form of requirements documentation, and there will always be someone ready to wax lyrical about how important it is to define a projects requirements before starting on the interesting stuff. Unfortunately, these individuals are right; defining requirements is one of the most important tasks in a development project. If you find yourself uncertain as to why, let these top [...]

By |May 30th, 2018|Articles, Blog Posts|

Is Your Project Failing? – Top 11 Checks To Assess Project Performance

Is Your Project Failing? - Top 11 Checks To Assess Project Performance Did you know that a study by IBM found that only 40% of software projects successfully meet schedule, budget or quality targets? Or that a separate study by the Portland Journal found similarly concerning results, with between 65 and 80% of projects failing to meet their objectives? Seeing such startling statistics must make you begin to wonder if you would recognise your own development project turning sour. Let these top tips, on how to asses project performance, either put your mind at ease or give you [...]

By |April 25th, 2018|Articles, Blog Posts|

Broken! Busted! Before Giving Up, Give It A Go And Try To Fix It

Broken! Busted! Before Giving Up, Give It A Go And Try To Fix It Hi my name is Amadeusz, and I am currently completing my university placement year as a Software Engineer here at Zircon. In addition to computer technology, I am also a fan of fast cars and motorsports. For this article I would like to tell the story of how this hobby sparked my interest in software engineering for embedded systems. How Did It All Start? After doing well in my A level exams, I wasn’t sure on where I wanted to go or what I [...]

By |February 20th, 2018|Blog Posts|

Resistance Is Futile – Interoperability Is The Essence

Resistance Is Futile - Interoperability Is The Essence Watching Star Trek as a kid I was captivated by episodes on the holodeck – a Virtual Reality interactive chamber with imaginative possibilities. But moreover, no matter how exciting the technological advancements Star Trek offered, it was the society of Star Trek, it’s United Federation of Planets – promoting peaceful cooperation though technological development, that had me most inspired. Any steps that get us closer to that ethos are worth serious consideration in my book, all the more so if we can gain holodecks as an outcome! Star Trek’s ethos [...]

By |January 31st, 2018|Blog Posts|

Another Year Over – 2017 From The Eyes Of Zircon

Another Year Over – 2017 From The Eyes Of Zircon As we approach the end of 2017 I would like, as is the tradition for these things, to take a look back over the year at Zircon Software.  This has been my first full year heading the company and one that has proven to be our busiest year ever. We’ve been fortunate over the past few years with an increase in sales but this year particularly has seen our revenue grow almost 20% with a mixture of existing and new clients.  […]

By |December 20th, 2017|Blog Posts|