Andrew Jones, PhD, Research Engineer

By: 
Anna Barcelos

September 22, 2015

Andrew Jones, a former software engineer at a UK aerospace and defense company, used VectorCAST for several projects within the company. He provided us with VectorCAST’s biggest strengths and how the test automation platform helped him and the development team achieve their goals.

DO-178C Certification expertise and excellent reputation in regulated industries
Andrew's initial project was to research tools and techniques for a new software project that required DO-178C compliance. He came across the VectorCAST test automation platform and really liked how easy it was to set up and use in his previous employer’s engineering environment, as well as the robust reports the platform generated for certification agencies. The solid reputation that Vector Software has in the regulated community also made a big impression. Following on from this initial project, and via presentations to senior management, this led to additional areas of adoption within the company, including migrating legacy tests and projects to the modern VectorCAST suite.

Continuous Integration with Change-Based Testing for test efficiency
One of the challenges Andrew had was testing legacy software, some of which was over 10 years old. Using the Jenkins Continuous Integration server with VectorCAST/Manage, he was able to successfully set up a continuous integration process for continuous test and delivery. VectorCAST's change-based testing capability enabled the development team to run only tests affected by source code changes (rather than running the entire code base for a few changes). This saved the team a significant amount of time – from weeks to hours. The Jenkins/Manage integration enabled him and other software engineers to set up multiple projects to continuously run tests overnight, and results would be waiting for them in the morning. This ability is a game changer compared to the legacy infrastructure that was in place.

Fully automated test tool that eliminates the manual work of writing and analyzing tests 
Previously, creating code coverage reports could take an engineer two weeks because the work had to be done manually in a spreadsheet. The engineer would go through each line of code in the spreadsheet and check it off. VectorCAST's automated reporting capabilities eliminate this process, and therefore, increase engineering efficiency. Additionally, because test functions are fully automated, it no longer requires specialist engineers to develop tests. If an engineer can use a spreadsheet, such an engineer can also design tests in VectorCAST.

Plug and play integration with industry's leading compilers, debuggers, RTOSs and third-party tools
VectorCAST's integration with over 300 compiler, target, and runtime combinations was another huge differentiator for Andrew. The last thing that the major, tier-1 avionics supplier needed was to use multiple tools that do discrete jobs, which then have no integration between each other.

They walk the talk with excellent customer service
Andrew worked directly with the Vector Software technical team on some projects and was impressed with how dedicated they were to his success. If there is a feature that's needed by customers, Vector Software is upfront about its availability and will work with them to develop it. Andrew experienced the opposite with competitors, who promise features to get the sale and later told him these features are "still in development".

Andrew liked VectorCAST so much he joined the Vector Software team as Research Engineer.