Monday, August 20, 2012

Another salary survey

The last time I wrote about salary surveys for test engineers was way back in 2009.  I saw this interesting salary survey a couple weeks ago and thought I'd dig into the topic again.

It looks like T&MW no longer does salary surveys.  I found this article referencing a 2010 survey, but when I tried to access that survey, this is what I got:

I tried searching on their website but found no other references to the 2010 survey, or a 2011 survey for that matter.  SO, have they switched to an every-other-year format, was it too expensive to continue publishing the survey, or did they get too many complaints from engineers using the survey data to ask for raises?  (I admit that I've used those surveys for exactly that purpose...)

I DID find this interesting "lifestyle" survey instead of the salary survey.  Supposedly they'll publish the results this month.

A salary survey for all engineers was done by Design News.  That's worth checking out.  But if you want a lot more detail, go to

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Intro to DAQ

United Elecronic Industries has recently (again) put out a document called "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Data Acquisition."  This is apparently a three-part endeavor, and part 1 is available here.  I took a quick look at it, and it appears to be what it says it is - and introduction to DAQ.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Horrible LabVIEW

At my current company, I inherited some LabVIEW code that was written five or so years ago by a previous employee (who left at least three years ago).  The code works, so it has that going for it.

I would argue that there are some basic rules that any decent LabVIEW person should know.  I wrote a post many years ago about LV style, but what I'm talking about is more of a ground level set of standards.  This list includes things like:

  1. Don't route wires underneath objects
  2. Don't send wires right to left
  3. Avoid complicated bends
  4. Avoid stacked sequences
  5. Avoid local variables
  6. Comment the code
  7. Utilize error trapping
The code I inherited breaks six out of seven of these.

I know that when I first learned LV (well over a decade ago), I wrote some sketchy code before I learned better. Maybe that's what this is - I really hope this guy's coding improved.  What he wrote back then is just painful for me now.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My new car

A few months ago I was in a car wreck (partly explaining my absence on this blog from April until July).  My poor Prius, with well over 200k miles on it, was totaled.  So I had to jump back into the car market.

For various reasons, I ended up buying another Ford hybrid vehicle, a 2012 Fusion.  While not reaching the 52mpg I got with the Prius, I've been getting a respectable 42mpg as well as more oomph when I accelerate.

As I mentioned last year when talking about my Ford Escape hybrid, this car has Sync in it.  But it has even more software and nifty tricks, including a ridiculously cool rain sensor windshield.  Can you just imagine how much testing all this stuff has to go through?