Virtutech ESC 2006 Debugging Survey

Below are the results of the survey mentioned on EDA Geek. The survey was conducted at the Embedded Systems Conference held in San Jose last month. The survey was conducted by Schwartz Communications for Virtutech. Sorry I didn’t have time to make graphs out of the data. Then again, engineers don’t need pretty graphs. Pretty graphics are for the people who wear suits.

1. Which of the following items is the most time-consuming aspect of your work? Please circle all that apply:

  • Debugging (63%)
  • Writing Original Code (34%)
  • Clarifying Communication Between Team Members (17%)
  • Learning New Tools (16%)
  • Quality Assurance (15%)

2. What percentage of total development time do you or members of your team (if you manage a software development team) spend debugging? Please give your best estimate:

  • 26-50% (47%)
  • 51-75% (34%)
  • 0-25% (17%)
  • N/A (2%)
  • 76-100% (0%)

3. What tools do you most commonly use to debug (please circle all that apply)?

  • Interactive Debugger (57%)
  • In-Circuit-Emulation (42%)
  • Hardware Trace Capture (19%)
  • Other (16%)
  • Code Profiler (11%)

4. Does the debugging tool you use support multiprocessor development?

  • No (53%)
  • Yes (43%)
  • N/A (4%)

5. What is the most difficult aspect of debugging software on multiprocessor systems? Please circle all that apply:

  • Thread locking (31%)
  • Lack of determinism (bug reproducibility) (30%)
  • Breakpoints don’t freeze system (29%)
  • Tools have a single processor bias (12%)
  • Other (19%)

6. What percentage of the time are you working on multiprocessor systems?

  • 1-25% (31%)
  • 0% (25%)
  • 26-50% (15%)
  • 51-75% (10%)
  • 100% (9%)
  • 76-99% (8%)
  • N/A (3%)

7. On what do your run your code while debugging and testing it?

  • The Actual of the System (72%)
  • A Hardware Prototype of the System (19%)
  • Virtual Platform and Instruction Set Simulation (13%)
  • Host-Based Compilation and Test Scaffold (13%)
  • Other (2%)

8. Where do you feel your current software development environment is most lacking [circle one or more, or rank]?

  • Performance Tuning / Profiling (35%)
  • Difficult Bugs (31%)
  • Memory Usage, Leakage, Corruption (20%)
  • Regression Testing / Scaling Testing (18%)
  • Accuracy of Environment (12%)
  • Availability/Timeliness (11%)
  • Access / Portability (10%)
  • N/A (10%)
  • Power Usage (7%)

9. What’s the approximate time-to-market of the product you are working on — from “whiteboard” to “volume” (circle one)

  • 6-12 Months (27%)
  • 12-18 Months (24%)
  • 18-36 Months (19%)
  • 3-6 Months (19%)
  • N/A (8%)
  • More than 36 Months (3%)

10. What, in general, is most worrisome in your current project?

  • Quality (33%)
  • Performance (31%)
  • Timeline (25%)
  • Cost (21%)
  • Power Consumption (15%)
  • Feature Set (11%)
  • N/A (4%)

11. What is your title

  • Programmer (43%)
  • Manager, Supervisor (26%)
  • Other (20%)
  • VP, Director (11%)
  • CEO, SVP, Managing Director (8%)

If you want to know more about Virtutech, here is their profile:

Virtutech, Inc. is the leading provider of full-system simulation for advanced software development. Virtutech’s Simics is a revolutionary, award-winning simulator that provides a programmer-friendly environment for testing and debugging embedded software. Simics eliminates software developers’ dependence on test hardware and drives concurrent development, enabling its customers to lower capital expenditure, accelerate time to market and reduce project risk. Based on more than a decade of R&D and close collaboration with leading universities and systems vendors, Virtutech’s technology serves the needs of the world’s leading technology providers, including Cisco, EMC, Ericsson, Honeywell, IBM and Sun Microsystems.

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