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Embedded-software architects: It's not only about the software

: Antonino, Pablo; Morgenstern, Andreas; Kuhn, Thomas


IEEE Software 33 (2016), Nr.6, S.56-62
ISSN: 0740-7459
ISSN: 1937-4194
Fraunhofer IESE ()
computer architecture; software architecture; system architecture; software development; software engineering

Owing to the increasing amount of computation in electromechanical devices, the role of software architect is often found in embedded-systems development. However, because computer scientists usually have limited knowledge of embedded-systems concepts such as controllers, actuators, and buses, embedded-software architects are often engineers with no education in software architecture basics, which is normally a topic in computer science courses. In these environments, serious architectural problems can occur, such as contradictory architecture decisions and inconsistencies between the architecture design and the architecture drivers. This article discusses the current profile of embedded-software architects, characteristics of embedded architectures designed by architects with no computer science background, and the shortcomings of architects whose knowledge is limited to information systems. The authors also discuss how to overcome these challenges.