Posts Tagged ‘SAAB’

The SS2000 Epiphany

I’m currently designing/writing the software component of a new air surveillance radar data processor that interfaces the radar to an existing, legacy combat control system. In order to test the software, I have to interact with the combat system’s GUI to issue radar commands and ensure that detected targets are received and displayed properly on the combat system display.


As the figure above shows, the acronym “SS2000” appears prominently on the GUI display. When I saw it for the first time, a sense of deja-vu came over me, but I couldn’t figure out why. After a few days of testing, I experienced an AHA! epiphany. Out of the blue, I suddenly remembered where I saw “SS2000” before. Ding!

Ya see, back in the early 2000’s, I read a Software Engineering Institute (SEI) case study on the concept of “software product lines. It featured a Swedish company called “Celsius Tech“. The report meticulously described how Celsius Tech painfully transformed itself in the 90’s from an expensive developer of one-off naval combat systems into an efficient, low cost, high quality, producer of systems. Instead of starting from scratch on each new system development, Celsius Tech “instantiated” each new system from an in-place, reusable set of product line assets (code and requirements/design/test documentation) that they diligently built upfront.

I was so enamored with Celsius Tech’s technical and financial success with the concept of software product lines that I concocted an executive summary of the report and aggressively pitched it internally to everyone and anybody who would listen. But alas, I utterly failed to jumpstart an internal effort to transform my employer at the time, Sensis Corp., into a software product line enterprise.

The name of Celsius Tech’s software product line infrastructure was…… SS2000 = Ship System 2000! But wait, the story gets eerily better. Celsius Tech was subsequently purchased by Swedish defense company Saab AB (yes, they used to make cars but they sold off that business a long time ago) – the same company that bought my employer, Sensis Corp., in 2011. As a result of the buyout, I currently work for Saab Sensor Systems. Quite the coincidence, no?


The Split

February 1, 2014 2 comments

While reflecting on my journey through professional life, I decided to generate a timeline of my travels to date:

My History

After a seven year stint at GE, I joined Sensis (SENsor Information Systems) Corporation in 1987 as employee #13. For 20+ years, the company flourished and grew until running into financial difficulties in 2009. After choosing Sweden’s Saab AB from a list of suitors as our future parent, we were purchased in 2011 and our name was changed accordingly to Saab Sensis Corp.

Due to the funky national security complications of being a foreign-owned company that does business with the US Department of Defense, it made financial sense to split the group in two – a subgroup that conducts business with the US DoD (Saab Sensor Systems) and one that doesn’t (Saab Sensis). A functional and physical split would lift the DoD security restrictions hampering the non-DoD business efforts of the Saab Sensis group.

After expressing a personal preference to be placed at Saab Sensis, I ended up being assigned to the Saab Sensor Systems group when the split was finalized in the fall of 2013. So far, it has worked out better than I initially thought it would. The high quality of the people and the work  is essentially the same between the two groups, but Saab Sensor Systems is roughly half the size of Saab Sensis (to me, the smaller the better). In addition, the near term business outlook for Saab Sensor Systems seems to hold more promise.

I’ve been a lucky bastard throughout my entire work and social lives. I’m grateful for that, and I hope my lucky streak continues.

Lucky BD00

Categories: business Tags: , , ,

New UML Apparel!

If you don’t know yet (and you prolly don’t, since about two fellow, hapless people read this blog and one of them uses the word “fish” in his sign on name when he occasionally comments on a post), my company, the Sensis Corporation, has been purchased by SAAB AB of Sweden. Since the deal concerns the purchase of an American aerospace and defense company by a foreign enterprise, the deal has yet to be sanctioned by the U.S. government. However, in preparation for a successful closing, I’m contemplating proposing the following logo and SAAB-Sensis subsidiary apparel for sale.

The SAAB-Sensis logo, which is anchored on the UMLhas a” relationship, is intended to kill two birds with one stone. It’s intended to promote both SAAB and Sensis; and it promotes the UML standard for representing software-centric systems.  The scheme is sort of like the SNL product that’s both a desert topping and a floor wax. (If you think I’m nutz, then you’re in the majority.)

Of course, if the logo gets adopted, the idea goes viral, and the orders start pouring in, I’ll fully expect a hefty percentage of the sale from each item in the portfolio.

Heartbroken, But Hopeful

June 30, 2011 11 comments

Well, it’s done. The public announcement has been made. The aerospace and defense industry company that I’ve been privileged to work at for 22 years, Sensis Corp., has been sold to SAAB AB.

I’ve been extremely lucky to have participated in the birth and growth of a vibrant, successful, and sovereign company. In 1987, I was recruited away from behemoth GE Inc. by some great people to work at tiny Sensis Corp. I checked in as employee number 13. Before painfully contracting  to 500+ people through recent layoffs and a post-layoff loss of some incredibly key engineering talent, the company steadily grew over the years from a core of 7 people to over 800+.

The second law of thermodynamics dictates that nothing stays the same forever. Like all natural laws, it’s impersonal and it applies to all people, things, and enterprises. Thus, it’s time to move on and work on new projects/products with new people. I’m heartbroken, but hopeful for the future because…..

“When you’re through changing, you’re through.” – Bruce Barton

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