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When Homegrown Test Software Slows Product Development

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Introduction

Does your company develop its own hardware test software? Many do. Just about all hardware testing software starts out this way. This approach is called “homegrown” testing, because the software development occurs internally using whatever software tools are available.

It can seem comforting to know that you have total control and intimate knowledge of your test software. You can develop just the right features to meet your specific test requirements. However, what happens when your team is unable to keep up? Troubles arise when product test requirements change faster than your test software can evolve. This can quickly spiral into long product development delays. Homegrown software tools are often unable to keep up with the new demands of multi-function products, and they cannot integrate with your company’s design and simulation software.

Within your organizations, different teams may have developed different test software, hindering collaboration and data exchange. And homegrown falls apart when key engineers leave the company. Finding and training people to develop and support your homegrown environment drain R&D resources that could be invested in accelerating innovation.

In this paper we explore the issues associated with homegrown test software, and discuss how modern, commercially available test software environments help.

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