Embedded Basics – Back to basic best practices …

No matter how wide spread and common place I believe embedded software best practices are, I continually come up against engineers and companies that are either just getting started or in such a frenzy that the basics get thrown out the window. Here are some basic best practices to keep in mind no matter how frantic and crazy the development cycle gets.

  • Break application up into small manageable pieces
  • Encapsulate and manage variable scope
  • Limit the size of functions to no more than a single printed page
  • Use descriptive naming conventions
  • Never write clever code only functional and readable code
  • Always null terminate strings!
  • Make sure that you properly initialize all pointers and arrays with known values
  • Don’t create more than one level of dereference by avoiding pointers to pointers.
  • Bound pointers to a region of memory and check them constantly
  • Remember that arrays are NOT pointers
  • Keep functions to a cyclomatic complexity less than 10
  • Always check that a function pointer is not NULL before executing
  • Make configuring assert one of the first things you do when creating a project
  • At least 25% of the lines of code should be comments

Missing puzzle piece


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