Leading Tools in GENIVI

Sat 02 May 2015

I've had a stormy relationship with the automotive industry - love-hate doesn't begin to cover it.

It's not that I'm a car guy - I can barely manage an oil change. But cars these days contain a staggering amount of software. And in spite of what some may say, I am a software guy.

So, like a moth to a flame, I got drawn in. Over the last few years I and my colleagues have been involved in a series of difficult in-vehicle projects requiring a huge amount of patience screaming head-desking deep Linux expertise.

I've made friends, and enemies. I've learned a lot. Much of it unrepeatable in polite company.

I've been involved in some successes. You may have heard of the Baserock GENIVI Baseline, which we've delivered on a six weekly cadence like clockwork, in spite of at least one organisation's best efforts to blow it out of the water (see what I did there?) before we even started.

And failures - many of those. For example I remember folks laughed at my presentations when I tried to explain in 2012 and 2013 that we are going to need frequent security updates, ongoing throughout the lifetime of the vehicles. Since Snowden and Heartbleed no-one thinks security is funny any more, though, which is progress.

Anyway, it seems I can't escape the hypnotic lure of GENIVI. By an act of treachery a twist of fate I'm now leading Tools there. Some will say that I am a Tool myself. I like to imagine me as something powerful, like a drill. Others clearly think I'm just wind and noise, like a leaf blower. Maybe I'm just a spanner in the works.

But I digress. The key point is that I've committed to spend up to 8 hours per week helping to improve the tooling situation for GENIVI. By implication maybe in a small way I can help to improve tooling more widely in the industry.

I can't say I'm excited by software tools. I hate most of them, because in general they suck. And in any case, folks who get excited about tools are missing something fundamental...

We need to make software tooling for cars as boring, predictable and safe as we possibly can.