While working at Rockwell Collins as a systems engineer, I have come to appreciate the value of the top-down approach to design. We are building very complex systems with large teams and it is impossible for any one person to know how every widget works and fits together. Because of this complex interaction my first boss, Bill Piche, always reminds our team that “we are all systems engineers.” When he said this he wanted to make sure that all of the software engineers, hardware engineers, and control law engineers considered how their changes impacted the rest of the avionics system, the airplane, and the crew. After participating in the development of a system from requirements capture through test, it became more apparent to me why it was so important.
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