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As a leader in the access control industry, Chamberlain has a long history of developing innovative products that operate and manage access to doors and gates, for both residential and commercial customers. Traditionally, the firmware inside of Chamberlain™s Garage Door Opener products has been developed in low-level Assembly language. However, with customer demand for new features driving higher complexity in these products, Chamberlain managers faced a difficult decision: continue to develop in Assembly thereby increasing time-to-market, or invest in educating the software development team to use higher-level development processes. With quick turnaround and maximizing value in mind, Chamberlain turned to Barr Group for assistance.

Improving code reviews

Barr Group's experience in providing training services and independent engineering advice were key elements that attracted Chamberlain. Together, Chamberlain and Barr Group leveraged Barr Group's Zero Bugs Period software design methodology to craft a three-part plan that would educate Chamberlain™s engineers in how to efficiently create embedded firmware of high-quality, using the high-level C programming language.

First, a senior Barr Group software architect independently reviewed early software code from Chamberlain™s engineers, providing substantive feedback on architectural and implementation issues. Second, Barr Group customized and delivered its Implementing Effective Code Reviews training course for Chamberlain™s software team, to instill the proper approaches and techniques for maximizing the value of code reviews. Third, the comprehensive Barr Group Embedded C Coding Standard was provided to serve as the basis for creating Chamberlain™s own coding standard document.

Developing coding standards and increasing efficiency

With just a few weeks of effort from Barr Group, Chamberlain achieved significant and tangible results. Outdated code review practices were updated and the creation of Chamberlain™s own coding standard was completed in record time. Overall software quality was improved and software development productivity was vastly increased. Products based on these new software development processes are now being introduced to Chamberlain™s customer base.

As Ed Lukas, Electrical Engineering Manager for Chamberlain™s Residential Products Group puts it, "As we migrated our software team to higher-level languages and processes, Barr Group had all the pieces we required to assist us in enhancing our efficiency. Barr Group's independent code review services and Implementing Effective Code Reviews training course were exactly what our team needed to understand how to improve the code review process. The Barr Group Embedded C Coding Standard saved us considerable time in developing our own bug-reducing coding standard."

Learn more about Barr Group consulting.