Archive for April, 2011

2011 Embedded Developer Design Outcomes – Comparing EMF Blog Reader’s Responses with Those of the Embedded Industry


This is not an April Fool’s joke. The fresh snow on my Massachusetts lawn and driveway was our unexpected April Fool’s joke. If you responded to our request of our reader’s to take the same survey as did our embedded industry respondents, be proud and go ahed and ask your boss for  raise.

We recently posted a Blog comparing EMF Blog readers with their industry counterparts regarding how they stay knowledgeable about embedded products and services. There was, as might be expected, a substantial difference between the two groups. Our Blog readers were far more aggressive is gaining information than their counterparts.

In that Blog we posited the question whether such professional conduct would provide better and more cost efficient design outcomes.

For the past 15 years, EMF has conducted detailed and extensive surveys of embedded developers. Using the EMF Executive Dashboard (a data analysis tool unique to the embedded market intelligence community) we have been able to relate the decisions of embedded developers to their design outcomes. This also enables us to develop ROI and total cost of development calculations to establish the most cost effective of the many possible design undertakings. Our readers and downloaders of our many white papers are familiar with our results.

In our 2011 EMF Survey of Embedded Developers, we asked our readers to take the same survey as that of the statistically accurate industry wide survey. It has been an assumption/theory of mine that embedded professionals that take the time to research and read authentic market intelligence would produce better and more cost effective design outcomes.

We have examined this comparative data and we present it in Table I.

    Ind ave EMF Bloggers
  Devel time Months – Start to Ship 13.9 12.5
  % behind schedule 47.0% 38.1%
  Months behind 3.8 3.8
  % cancelled 11.2% 10.9%
  Months before cancellation 4.4 3.7
  SW Developers/project 14.7 9.7
  Total Developers/project 14.7 9.7
  Average Developer months/project 204.3 121.3
  Developer months lost to schedule 26.3 14.0
  Developer months lost to cancellation 7.2 3.9
  Total developer months/ project 237.8 139.2
  At $10,000/developer month    
  Average developer cost/project $2,043,300 $1,212,500
  Average cost to delay $262,542 $140,437
  Total developer cost/project $2,305,842 $1,352,937
  Advantage   70.4%


                                                    Table I

It is clear from Table I that the EMF Blog readers (that took the time to complete the survey – congratulate yourself if you did and show this to your boss) experienced substantially lower design costs that that of their industry counterparts. One might assume that professionals that take the time to keep current with embedded information would experience better results.

Judge for yourself.

Survey respondents were asked “How close was your final design outcome to your pre-design expectation?” The choices made available were: within 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% and not within 50%. EMF believes that design outcomes within 30% represent a good design outcome – and within 20% represent an excellent design outcome. Table II presents the comparison between the groups.

    Ind Ave  EMF Bloggers  
  Performance 67.5% 67.8%  
  Systems Functionality 70.6% 71.4%  

                                              Table II

There is no difference between the groups. What we might deduce from Tables I and II is that although the design choices by our Blog readers were enlightened enough to produce a significant savings in design costs, their ultimate design outcomes were comparable. Of course, the pre-design expectation of the Blog readers might have been higher that that of the industry at large. This is pure speculation – the data does not support the assumption.

Nevertheless, if I was the CEO I’d go for the significant savings.