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We've announced the sessions for LabVIEW Developer Days 2014, you can view them here. I'm excited about the agenda - it'll be a great day.

We'll have a full day in Seattle on April 22 and Portland on April 24. Register now to become a part of this event.


Seneca 5, one of our local Alliance Partners in Seattle, has introduced an operator interface. Leave it to a LabVIEW guy like me to get excited about a few real buttons!

This gives your operators a real button to press, and it gives you LabVIEW code that's easy to integrate into your program. See more about the interface at:


If you missed NIWeek, or if you want to reference material you saw while you were there, you can access the material on this community site:


They are presented in a podcast format with links to various resources in the notes.


You can also participate in our NIDays events, hosted in 50 cities around the world. The closest event to the Northwest is in San Jose on Dec 12. More information about these events is at


NI-Week 2013

Posted by ChristophW Jul 30, 2013

NI-Week starts in less than a week. We are expecting over 3500 leadinge engineers and scientists.

We will have 284 different sessions and you can start planning now: earchType=session&tc=0&sortBy=&p= earchType=session&tc=0&sortBy=&p=


For those who will not be able to attend, we will be streaming the keynotes live:


Summer SLUGs BBQ!

Posted by Steve Jun 28, 2013

Join us on July 16th for our annual Summer BBQ. This is a casual way to meet other LabVIEW Developers in the area and enjoy some good food.


Talos Embedded Systems will be hosting our BBQ this year at their facility in Bellevue. They have a great open-air roof where we can enjoy a great view of Bellevue, race RC cars, and eat some good food.


Talos is located next to Vetco Electronics in Bellevue, right off of 520. Park in the rear and take the elevator to the top level, suite 400. You'll find us there.


The event is 4:00 - 6:00 pm. Please register so we can plan food appropriately at s/lang/en.


Internship Opportunities

Posted by Steve Feb 14, 2013

Are you investing in the future of your group? Do you have a network of potential employees and relationships with local school programs? Do you have projects that need a boost which would be interesting to a new engineer just starting their career?

There are some great univesity and college programs in the Pacific Northwest graduating some excellent scientists and engineers. You can tap into that talent pool through a good internship program. Don't know how to find an intern? Let me know- my sales teams in Washington and Oregon work with all of the local schools and know many of the departments. We can connect you to a program where you can meet local interns and see if there is a good fit for an internship at your program. Just email me at and let me know if you are looking for interns.


We can also help your intern get ready for their summer job. If they will be using LabVIEW, we can work with them now to get them a copy of LabVIEW and training so that they start their intership ready to go. Again, just send me a note so we can coordinate the details.


FIRST Mentor Information Meeting

Posted by Steve Dec 10, 2012

If you happen live on the south side of Seattle, stop by a Mentor Information Meeting being held at Auburn High School. We'll have several robots set up and students available to answer questions about the program. We want to let you know what it takes to be a mentor so you can see if it is a good fit for you. We'll talk about the experience we need, how much time it takes, and how rewarding it can be.



Date:  Dec 12, 2012

Time:  5-8 pm (drop in anytime)

Location:  Auburn High School. Park in the PAC lot, then look for room 708- it's one of the closest to the lot.

Address: 800 4th Street NE, Auburn, WA 98002  (but enter from Main Street, the south side of the school)

Who should attend:  Anyone interested in FIRST Robotics mentoring. We need engineers, technicians, programmers, fabricators, fundraisers, project managers, advertising, and any adult willing to help with the many aspects of the program.


For more information:  Jan Erie,


Invite your friends!


On Nov 13 & 15 National Instruments hosted an event in Portland and Seattle. The NI Technical Symposium brought presenters from National Instruments out to share the latest technologies and trends in the automated test and embedded test markets.


These presentations have been posted to


If you'd like more information about any of these topics, contact your local NI Sales Engineer. He can talk to you about any of these technologies.


Window 8 support for NI Products

Posted by Steve Oct 26, 2012

Microsoft released Windows 8 today. It's an exciting announcement with a lot of expectations on the Microsoft development team. We are excited about Windows 8 at National Instruments - we continue to benefit from technology advances in PC technologies. Some of these technologies benefit us directly, while other technologies enable us to improve the development of our tools.


We started testing Windows 8 as soon as we could get a pre-release version of it. Over the last several months, we've tested most of our products and have a web site dedicated to what we've found - and what you need to know about NI product support in Windows 8. Visit to get all of the details, including known issues with Windows 8 and recommended workarounds


Now that Windows 8 is officially out, we'll soon release versions of our products designed specifically for this new OS. Until then, make sure you check this web site to handle your compatibility questions.


We have details for the NI Technical Symposium 2012! We'll once again host this event in Portland and Seattle.This is a great event to meet NI technical experts, see new technologies from NI, and network with other engineers from the Pacific Northwest.


Portland NI Technical Symposium

Date:  Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012

Time:  8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Location:  Tektronix Conference Center (Bldg 38), 3025 SW Zworykin Avenue, Beaverton, OR 97077


Seattle NI Technical Symposium

Date:  Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012

Time:  8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Location: Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036


We are excited about the agenda we have lined up this year:


For more information, and to register, visit and select the city of the event. There is no cost, but registration is recommended to secure a spot and help us plan for lunch.


Announcing the next Seattle LabVIEW User Group Meeting! We have a new location- our SLUGs meeting will now be held at Digipen Institute of Technology in Redmond. Come join us to see the new facility and to meet our presenter.


I'm excited about our agenda- Omar Mussa of JKI Engineering will present on Continuous Integration:

"Fire and Forget: Bulletproof Builds Using Continuous Integration With LabVIEW"

With continuous integration (CI), you never have to manually build code. A build server automatically builds the application when new code changes are checked in and sends reports when problems are encountered. Omar Mussa shows how JKI created an automated CI system for LabVIEW code using free, off-the-shelf tools and how this can add value to your project development process."


Omar presented this topic at NIWeek with great reviews. It will be a great topic for this meeting.


We'll warm up with a "New features in LabVIEW 2012" presentation.


Here are the meeting details:


Date:  Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Time:  7:00 - 9:00 pm

Address:  DigiPen Institute of Technology, 9931 Willows Road Northeast, Redmond, WA


More about DigiPen:


We will meet in the cafeteria for pizza, then head to the meeting room for the presentations. As you walk in to the main entrance you will be directed to the right room.


Please register at s/lang/en




The season is underway for FIRST Tech Challenge. High Schools with teams of up to 10 students build robots that must fit into an 18" cube. Teams are building their robots now, and will compete in December against other teams throughout the Northwest. Many teams use this to train their First Robotics Teams for the big competition that starts in January.


We have an urgent need for engineers to work as mentors for the teams across the Northwest. You don't have be an expert in robotics- teams need someone who can approach a problem with a disciplined approach and can solve problems the way engineers do.


One school in particular in need of help is Franklin High School, near Seward Park south of Seattle. This school faces many challenges and FTC is attracting a large number of students who see this as a great opportunity. The program is in its first year at this school so the student interest is far out-stripping the available mentors.


If you can help out at Franklin HS, or any schools in the Northwest, please contact me at and I'll connect you to the team coaches.


Thank you!


I hope you are planning to attend NIWeek 2012! We are planning on another great year, with severals days of technical discussions, test-focused trade shows, and industry networking opportunities in Austin, Texas.


Early-bird registration saves you $150 but ends this week on May 31.


Let your local sales resource know if you plan to attend. We are organizing a couple of meetings for our local users to get together during the week, and we want to make sure you are invited.


May Presentation by Seneca5

Posted by YoungZaphod May 21, 2012

Seneca5 presented at the May 8th SLUG meeting. Seneca5 is a National Instruments Alliance Partner. We provide engineering, programming, and integration, specializing in National Instruments tools and technologies. You can contact us at


At the May 8th group, we spoke about our design process: Specify, Design, Implement, Verify. And we demonstrated our process in action with a simple cRIO demostration. Attached are the slides from the presentation and the cRIO code we demonstrated*.


(*In order to fully access the code, you will need to have LabVIEW 2011 for Real-Time and LabVIEW for FPGA. If you don't have those, some of the code may appear broken, other parts you will see, but will not be able to run.)


Here is the link to register - /lang/en


Craig Bedward (CLA) will present.


The presentation will be prepared in advance with soft copies of the material (PDF) and working code. We will put together a basic cRIO controller with some simple IO.

NI tools and products used,

LabVIEW developers suite (FULL, RT, FPGA)



Our presentation is using cRIO for a basic control application.

We will show how to use our four step method to






Clearly state what the problem is and what are the criteria for solving the problem.

For our demo the requirement will be an embedded controller that has two pushbuttons, a relay output and a serial VFdisplay

The operation modes will be






We will have a specification prepared that shows what each of these modes means and what causes them to happen, what the system displays during each, etc.


How we will solve the problem

A basic FSM -showing correct methodology

What goes where? PC, RT, FPGA

Network Published Shared Variables


A simple working demo on a cRIO with code precompiled and host code running on a PC on iPAD


A simple test plan to document correctness and functionality of our implementation


VI Directory Preview

Posted by Steve Feb 27, 2012

At our Developer Days Conference last week, we had some discussion around how to find the right VI when you are looking at a directory. Ideally, Windows Explorer would show you the Front Panel of each VI in the directory. But it doesn't. Mike Engle of Xerox sent me a great tool that solves this problem using LabVIEW.


This VI lets you select a directory, and it lists the VI's in that directory. As you click on any VI in the directory, it brings up an image of the Front Panel and the Block Diagram:



I added the code to this post. Feel free to download and use it, but it is fully un-supported code. If you make improvements, post it up for us to enjoy!




The presentations from the Developer Education Day are now posted at . These were great sessions, so take some time to review the material and implement some of these practices into your LabVIEW code. Thanks for supoorting this event - it's a great way to interact with our customers.


LabVIEW Developer Education Day

Posted by Steve Feb 14, 2012

We are excited to present our next LabVIEW Developer Education Day! We are working hard to improve the content at this year's event. One big change this year is that our Field Architects, professional LabVIEW programmers we've hired to work for us, are more involved in the agenda and content. We are fortunate to have Nancy Hollenback, long-time LabVIEW programmer and now NI Field Architect, presenting at this year's event in Seattle and Portland.


In addition to the great content you'll receive in these presentations, each attendee will also receive a $200 dicsount voucher toward training or certification. We have a lunch panel to discuss how to squeeze the most productivity out of LabVIEW, and we'll wrap the day up with prep sessions for the CLD and CLAD exams. And NI is providing lunch at the event as well.


There is no cost to attend, but we do need you to register so we can plan lunch appopriately. Please register at for Beaverton, Oregon or Lynnwood, Washington.



The sessions for Seattle and Portland include:

Best Practices for Designing Real-Time and FPGA Applications

Creating and Managing Reusable Code in LabVIEW

Best Practices for Deploying, Replicating, and Managing Real-Time and FPGA applications

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Functional Global Variables

Error Handling Best Practices

Designing Scalable LabVIEW Applications with Object-Oriented Programming

Certified LabVIEW Developer Preparation Class

Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer Preparation Class


See the full agenda at the registration link.


See you at the event!


Make sure to register for our annual LabVIEW Developer Day coming up on Feb 21st 2012. We have two LabVIEW architects visiting town. For more information on signing up, see the link below - /lang/en


See you then!





CLA Summit Dates Announced

Posted by Steve Dec 5, 2011

LV Architect.jpg


The 2012 CLA Summit dates have been announced - March 5-7, 2012 in Austin Texas. If you are a Certified LabVIEW Architect, put it on your calendar!


The CLA Summit is a free event for programmers with an active CLA status. This is a great event to learn new programming skills, share LabVIEW war stories with other CLA's, and meet other experts who use LabVIEW. You can see a video about the benefits of the summit at:


Registration is not yet open, a link will be sent to all of the CLA's at the beginning of 2012. If you want an invite, you need to get CLA certified- contact us to find out when certification exams are being held in Seattle and Portland.


If you are an architect, make sure you are participating in the CLA Community Page. You need to be a CLA to get access, but then you'll have a great group of programmers to discuss programming issues with.


NI Technical Symposium Slides

Posted by Steve Nov 10, 2011

Thank you for attending the NI Technical Symposium in Portland and Seattle, Nov 8 and 10. We had some good presentations, a great group of attendees. We are looking forward to another year of working with you on your applications.


Here are the slides from the Symposium:


The keynote slides are attached to this blog post.


0 challenge is out there! The official contest page is at - join this group for updates to the challenge. The rules are a bit free and loose - but basically, use LabVIEW and an Arduino to do something cool. Post your program to the challenge site, and next November we'll announce a winner - who will receive a CompactRIO chassis!


Don't have LabVIEW? For just $50, you can get a hobby version, including an Arduino board, at You will also need the LabVIEW-Arduino drivers at


This contest covers the several states, but I'm confident someone from Oregon or Washington can clean house on this one. Good luck!


NI Technical Symposium - Agenda

Posted by Steve Oct 20, 2011

The agenda for the NI Technical Symposium is now available, attached below. This is a great event to learn about new technologies and techniques for measurement and control system design. This full-day event features a keynote from NI leadership, more than a dozen technical sessions, hands-on labs, and a product exhibition. Don't miss this opportunity to gain insight into ways you can enhance your productivity, reduce your costs, and optimize your system’s performance.


This event is complimentary, including lunch sponsored by National Instruments.


We hope everyone can join us at one of the following events:


Oregon - Nov 8

Held at Tektronix, Beaverton Campus, Bdlg. 38

3025 SW Zworykin Avenue

Beaverton, OR 97077

(see map of Tektronix campus at )

Register for Oregon


Washington - Nov 10

Held at Lynnwood Convention Center

3711 196th St SW

Seattle, WA 98036

Register for Washington


See the attached agenda for specifics on start time and session abstracts.


See you there!


CLD/CLA Exam - September 19

Posted by Steve Sep 6, 2011

We have a CLD/CLA exam scheduled for Monday, September 19 in Bellevue, Washington. If you've considered taking your LabVIEW programming to the next level, now's the time!


For the CLD exam, we will provide the computers, you will be given a project specification and 4 hoours to complete the exam. You will be graded on funcationality, style, and documentation. You must have previously attained the CLAD level (a multiple-choice test taken anytime at a testing center).


The CLA exam is also 4 hours, and you are given a project specification similar to the CLD exam. However, you are instructed to focus more on setting up the architecture and less on the programming details, and the grading criteria reflects the programming architecture more heavily.


Review and preparation materials are available online for these exams. You can access these materials at:

Select "Certified LabVIEW Developer" and "In more than a week"


This will give you options, like the exam schedule, review materials, practice exams, and a webcast to prepare.


If you are ready to prove your skills, sharpen your resume, and join the elite group of programmers who have taken this exam visit the site and sign up. If you need information about preparing or signing up, contact your local sales person. We are here to help you pass this exam!


- Steve


This is a question we get all the time. Hundreds of companies in the Northwest have used LabVIEW for small, simple applications and wonder if it can be effectively used for larger, more complex applications. The answer? Yes- but only if you set up a process to use it correctly. Just as with any other programming language, solving complex problems requires sophisticated tools, proper training, and careful planning.


Eli Kerry posted a great article about the elements of a well-architected program, including the tools needed, and how LabVIEW works with those tools. If you are considering a large project and are wondering about LabVIEW as a fit for that application, read this article. If you need advice in getting started on the tools mentioned in this article, contact one of us locally. We can get you started on the right path to success.


Best Practices for Software Development




Number of customers have asked me for the NIWeek 2011 Technical Presentations slide set and the many demos in the expo floor. Here is a link of the same. Please let me know if you have any questions. 





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


This is still one of the top questions we get asked about- how to move data into Excel from LabVIEW. NI News just posted a great article on the many options available for doing this at:


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!

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