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Beautiful Teams by Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman

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Chapter 23. The HADS Team

Karl Rehmer

IN ANCIENT TIMES, THE BUILDER WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF BUILDING AN ARCH WOULD BE REQUIRED TO stand under the arch when the supports were first removed. If the arch failed, it would come tumbling down on the builder. I felt a bit like the arch builder the first time I got on a Boeing 777 airliner. I had written some critical parts of the flight code and been part of a team that built the software tools that were used to build a large portion of the flight software for the plane. It's an amazing feeling to realize that your life depends on the quality of the software you have written. As with building the arch, the final product was not the result of one person's efforts. The builder would know the history of the project, and sometimes knowing what was done could make him quite nervous. Though I knew a lot of the background of the development of the flight systems and some of the problems encountered during development, I didn't have to be nervous like the arch builder. The airplane had undergone extensive flight testing before it was ever put into service. I wasn't the first to stand under the arch. It is exciting to board a plane, knowing that your team played a big role in helping to produce the flight software. The story I'm telling here is the story of the HADS team, the team that built the compiler, runtime, linker, debugger, and other support tools used by the developers of the flight software for the Boeing 777. This small team developed, ...

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