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17 Posts tagged with the labview tag

Jeff Kodosky's LabVIEW Analogy

Posted by Steve Aug 8, 2011

NIWeek was a blast - 3,300 engineers and scientists converged on Austin for a 3-day conference on all things National Instruments - from LabVIEW to PXI to cRIO. There was a flurry of new product announcements including LabVIEW 2011.


The Keynote videos are available at They are broken up into smaller segments so you can watch the videos most relative to what you do. Our local team in Washington and Oregon is ready to bring the highlights to your company- contact any of us if you'd like to set up a review at your company of the new technologies from NI.


I enjoyed Jeff Kodosky's keynote address on the history of LabVIEW. Jeff is "The Father of LabVIEW" and has been thinking about graphical programming languages every day for over 25 years. I recommend watching his keynote at the link above. In his talk, he uses an interesting analogy of graphical programming, using the website Cooking for Engineers. I find it interesting that adapting cooking to the engineering community is best done by taking traditional text recipes and re-writing them as, you guessed it, graphical code. Here's the recipe for a Macaroni and Cheese Bake:


It's not perfect, and it would benefit from more images. Jeff has a good re-write of a recipe in his keynote using icons. He points out the many benefits of the graphical approach- it's easier to see the parallel processes, for example.


Just some food for thought. And while you are thinking about it, sign up for our Summer User Group BBQ, Aug 23 at Gene Coulon Park. Register here for more details.


There was an official invitation that went out today for the session next week. You want to look at the following link for more info on the next two sessions. You can register there as well and forward it along to any one in your group who might be interested.


There will be a session on September 13th 2011 and another session in October that we have not finalized yet.  Any one has a LabVIEW idea they found and would like to share it with the group in a 20 minute or 40 minute format, please email me ( at the earliest. Your contribution is what makes the user group successful. As always food will be provided by NI.


Thanks and Regards,
Avinash Harjani
Seattle Region - Account Manager & Field Engineer | National Instruments
Email: | Phone: (425)-881-8969


We are held Developer Education Day events in Portland and Seattle on February 8 and 10 g/en/scope/state/location/wa. I hope you were able to make it- it was a great event, with excellent presentations and an insightful discussion with our expert panel of LabVIEW developers.


The best part of the day was the focus on developing LabVIEW code with a purpose and an architecture, rather than just letting code happen. We saw many examples today of ways to improve your code through proper planning and software engineering, and the only drawback to today's event is that I wish every LabVIEW programmer had been able to attend. The gains in productivity from applying these principles would be incredible.


To access the slides, I'm going to send you to the community site where the slides are posted- The slides are posted at the bottom of the main box of this page.While you are there, I encourage you to join this site and browse the content- there is a lot of great information here for developers who work with large LabVIEW applicaitons.


That page includes all but one of the presentation. The "LabVIEW Productivity Tools" presentation is posted here.


Enjoy this content and happy architecting!


NI has posted an interesting series of articles on upgrading LabVIEW code from one version to the next, at


The articles result from a service we've been providing where our product support engineers (PSE's) help a customer upgrade a large LabVIEW program. The customer shares their code with the PSE's, who then follow the customer through the upgrade process. This allows NI to learn where problems in upgrades happen, and then to work to resolve the problems. Sometimes, the fix is something that the LabVIEW R&D team needs to implement. Sometimes, it is something that is best resolved with a different programming approach.


These articles describe the lessons learned - by NI and by the customer - for these large upgrades. You may gain some insight into how to architect your code for easier upgrades by reading them.


So far, there are two, but more should follow.


Also, the LabVIEW team has started to collect large (>1,000 VI's) LabVIEW applications to incorporate into our daily build process. This allows us to recompile real-world customer code as part of our daily engineering process, to see how changes affect the code. If you want to share your large LabVIEW code with NI, let me know. You would need to be willing to share your code, help us get it running, and be willing to stay in contact with our R&D team over the next few years as we have questions about your code.


Endeavor Engineering will not be holding there usual open office hours the last Wednesday of July because of other commitments.

This event will resume in August.


Contact James Tillett: 503.336.1717


If you would like to stay up to date with the latest and greatest NI video straight from the source, visit and today!


Videos cover a wide array of NI topics including robotics, temperature and analog measurement, Multisim, and even messages straight from NI founder and CEO Dr. T.


Ben Sasseen from Aegis Technologies has posted a great article at:


This article walks through the process of calling a Windows DLL to create an odd-shaped LabVIEW window. Making odd windows like this is a fun idea, with some interesting application ideas. But this is a great overview of working with DLL's in general, which is a question I get asked often.




Thanks Ben for putting together a good tutorial on these topics!


We've lined up the presenters, topics, and logistics for our LabVIEW Developer Education Day to be held March 9 & 11 in Portland and Seattle. If you are an experienced LabVIEW Developer looking to sharpen your skills with the latest tools in LabVIEW, or an intermediate developer looking to become a better programmer, this will be a great event for you.


Here's the agenda for the sessions this year:


Descriptions of the presentations are in the attached file.


These topics will be presented by the following engineers:

Christopher Malato - Software Engineer, LabVIEW Core Team

Benjamin Sasseen, Certified LabVIEW Architect & Certified Instructor, Aegis Technologies

and other members of our local sales engineering team.


Lunch is provided by National Instruments. I hope to see you there!


Portland Event:

3/9/2010  |  09:00 a.m. -  03:30 p.m.
Embassy Suites-Portland
9000 SW Washington Square Road
Tigard, OR 97223


Seattle Event:

3/11/2010  |  09:00 a.m. -  03:30 p.m.
Red Lion Bellevue Inn
11211 Main St


Register at:


Reed College has announced a 4-hour workshop designed to teach professors how to teach a college-level LabVIEW course. John Essick, author of the popular book Hands-On Introduction to LabVIEW for Scientists and Engineers will conduct the workshop.


The workshop is being conducted in conjunction with the 2010 APS meeting in March. It will be held at Reed College on March 14th, with two available time slots, 8am-12noon and 1pm-5pm. The cost to attend is $80, and all participants will receive a copy of Hands-On Introduction to LabVIEW for Scientists and Engineers.


For more information, or to register, please visit


Last weekend, FIRST Robotics had their kickoff event. This year's competition is called "breakaway" and is a challenging mix of soccer, obstacle courses, and robot wars. Teams across the nation are now building their robots, and here in the Pacific Northwest we have many new teams this year. Our biggest challenge is just providing the mentoring help these teams need.


Mentoring is a great opportunity to share your love of technology, your engineering training, and your years of experience. It can be a rewarding experience, and you can donate as much (or as little) time as you want. One area that we need help with is LabVIEW mentors. The programming is pretty simple, so it doesn't require advanced LabVIEW skills. Mostly, the students need help approaching the program in a disciplined, organized way. I know we've got people out there who can help with this area.


So here's a call for LabVIEW mentors. While teams across Washington and Oregon need mentors, I've got a list of high schools who need a mentors immediately. Please contact me at and I'll put you in touch with the team closest to you.



Here's a little treat to get you through the Thanksgiving holiday. Instead of spending the day out shopping, build a system so you can play FPS (first person shooter) games with a real gun!




This is a group of our Application Engineers who have a little too much time on their hands. But the cool part is that they document how they do everything, and post their code online. If you build something like this in the Pacific Northwest, let me know so I can see it!


Yesterday, we held a training for RF programming in LabVIEW. (download the presentation)


As part of that training, we covered the basics of signal modulation, which can be a tricky thing. Luckily, an RF engineer at NI created the Baseband Developer's Resource Kit, which is a free download at:


This kit includes an executable (requires the LV run-time engine, which installs for free with the kit) which demonstrates how I/Q data is generated, and how various analog and digital modulation schemes code information using this I/Q data. The kit also includes all of the source code (in LabVIEW), and several white papers on RF measurements. This is a great tool if you are teaching, or learning, about RF communications and wireless testing.




New Certified LabVIEW Architects

Posted by Steve Jun 18, 2009

Congratulations to two new Certified LabVIEW Architects (CLA's) in the area. Ben Sasseen of Aegis Technologies, and Andrew Seelye both passed the CLA exam.


Passing the CLA exam shows that Ben and Andrew have the training and experience to lead a team of developers on a LabVIEW project. This is important- I see many LabVIEW projects, many of which are not well-architected. In fact, most LabVIEW programs I see aren't architected at all- they are cobbled together as developers lay down code to accomplish the next task on the list. It's no wonder that as this code gets bigger it doesn't run well- any other programming language wouldn't run code like this at all.

Here's one of my favorites:

Bad Code Example.JPG

However, like the carpenter who cusses at the hammer when he smashes his thumb, coders who fail to architect their code tend to blame the tool- LabVIEW. I've seen good code running very large projects and it's easier to follow than C# or any other language. But only if it is properly architected.


Our certification program helps your company identify what level of expertise you have on-site:

CLAD - Your developer is qualified to open and modify code, and even write smaller, simple code.

CLD - Your developer is qualified to work on a team, develop complex code, and optimize existing code.

CLA - Your developer is qualified to lead a team and develop the system architecture.


If you are trying to improve your career, you should be trying to get CLA certified- not because of the piece of paper, but because of the work that the paper represents. When I meet with companies that complain about LabVIEW code problems, it always comes down to a lack of architecture experience, and I tell them to get a CLA on staff. Aegis Technology Group is available to hire as a consulting company, Andrew Seelye happens to be available right now as well.


You can get more information about the certification levels at

- Steve Summers


I've got to share this application with you (I have permission from the programmer). Eric Foss recently built a nuclear reactor, using Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC). The advantage of this approach is that it can be done with basic equipment. Nuclear Fusion also presents an interesting option fro future energy- no air pollution, no greenhouse gases, very little waste, no risk of "uncontrolled energy release," and no generation of weapons material.


So Eric set out to build a Nuclear Fusion Reactor:


After this, the information gets pretty mathematical, as Eric compared Paschen's lay to Miley's relationship. The reason this caught my eye is that Eric is a high school senior in the Seattle area, and this was his entry into the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last week, Where Eric won the 2nd place Grand Award, along with the right to name his own asteroid. More than 1,500 students from 50 countries participated in the competition.


The other reason I think this is a great application? Eric used LabVIEW as his data acquisition platform.


Congratulations Eric, on a job well done.



Thanks to all of you who took time to attend the LabVIEW Developer Education Day in Portland and Seattle. We had nearly 100 people attend the event in Seattle! It was a great opportunity to network with other LabVIEW developers- almost all of our advanced developers in the area were there. If you weren't there, we really missed you.


Stephen Mercer was our LabVIEW R&D visitor. He did a great job demonstrating various LabVIEW design patterns, and it was unique to have the manager for the OOP functions in LabVIEW describe the right way to architect a program. He also presented on applying software design principles to LabVIEW. Again, his unique perspective as a professional software developer gave us some great insights into this process.


Greg Crouch was our keynote speaker. His 21-year perspective on LabVIEW was interesting, as was his current work in helping design engineers apply LabVIEW to the embedded design space. This is a whole new world for us, but it's great to see the investment NI is making into these tools to make them competitive for this exciting new market.


We had several dozen engineers take the CLAD exam, and we hope many of them passed and will join the ranks of certified developers. We are planning to offer the CLD exam on May 6 in Portland, and May 14 in Seattle. Sign up for the exam by visiting the training schedule and searching for the Certified LabVIEW Developer exam. If you want to take the CLA (Architect), you can take it that same day- just contact us and we'll get you signed up.


We would love to hear your feedback on this event, and the location. Post your thoughts on the event, the presenters, the presentations, the location, and anything else about the event as a response to this blog post. Help us improve it for the future!


Here are the links to the presentations from the events:

Software Engineering for LabVIEW Applications


Welcome to the and site- please take time to register as a member. We'll try to post useful information here for your review.

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