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Best Practices are the Best Fire Extinguishers!

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Believe it or not, there are many people, as well as companies, that would argue whether best practices are beneficial or should even be followed. While I can respect other points-of-view on the subject, in my opinion following certified best practices needs to be the foundation of any processes and procedures.

Data Science Automation has invested a great deal of time and resources in retaining Gold Tier Certification with CSIA. CSIA Certification provides a standard approach to project management, offers financial benchmarks, quality assurance management, and other business aspects. As a systems integrator, I am proud to work for a company that is committed to delivering the highest level of quality, performance, and reliability.

If I am a customer looking at hiring a consultant, I would much rather pay for productivity that adds value to my project then for someone to “reinvent the wheel.” Take LabVIEW programming for example. I often find myself reviewing the discussion boards found on the NI forums. The input from diverse experts throughout many different industries is an excellent resource for learning new things as well as gaining insight into older things that I never questioned.

While the NI Discussion forum for LabVIEW is my favorite place for learning new techniques and approaches, LAVA and Info-LabVIEW have also played a key role in keeping current and learning a wide-array of “Best Practices”. Discussion forums and local user groups play an important part in growing the language we know as “LabVIEW.” Learning through the experience of others helps us develop better code and solutions, and makes us more efficient users of shared methods. This is very important for LabVIEW developers.

LabVIEW is unique from many other text-based languages. A single developer can produce a customized solution that would require a team of developers to accomplish in other languages. While a smaller development team is good for a company’s bottom line, the lone developer can suffer from “developing in isolation” and lacking the opportunity to interact with other developers.

Learning new or best practices from others either through certification, books, web sites, or local user groups enables us to try alternative solutions while minimizing trial-and-error learning. Additionally, it helps us retain a connection to the lessons learned by fellow engineers. I have had the opportunity to work with many “old-school” LabVIEW developers that are very talented. Most of them have voiced a common theme before our work together was complete. “I did not know that!” Consequently, I have had the same experience learning a new way to accomplish a task that saves me time and my customer money!

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