My name is Brian Powell, and I'm a software architect on the LabVIEW R&D team in Austin, Texas. I've been with National Instruments since early 1988. So what have I been doing all this time?
LabVIEW is a graphical programming language that scientists and engineers use to design and develop test, measurement and control applications. LabVIEW is used for a seemingly infinite variety of applications by thousands of different customers. I've had the great fortune to visit many of our customers--including those developing spacecraft, performing particle physics research, developing automotive systems, manufacturing cell phones, and even a customer with computerized saws making furniture.
In my time at NI, I've essentially only had one job--developer on the LabVIEW team. On the other hand, I've had many different roles to play...
- Macintosh programmer (that's what got me the job)
- Email administrator (...!ihnp4!ut-sally!natinst!brian)
- USENET administrator
- Network administrator
- SunOS/Solaris programmer
- Web administator
- Project manager
- Group manager
Of course, my "real job" is adding features to LabVIEW and trying to make it a better product.
I work in the part of LabVIEW that's responsible for making all the I/O (NI and 3rd party) work well in LabVIEW. "Work well" means a lot of things--easier, faster, more powerful, more consistent. Since LabVIEW's all about the I/O, our group is often a vortex. If somebody inside or outside the company wants to integrate into LabVIEW, sooner or later, they'll almost certainly come through us.
I started this blog for a variety of reasons. Over the years I've learned a lot, and I feel I have advice and opinions that could be useful to the LabVIEW community. I often hear from users who ask about how best to write something in LabVIEW. I hear from 3rd party instrument vendors about how best to integrate into LabVIEW. I hear from users who want to know why we changed something, or why something behaves the way that it does.
So I hope I can provide a little insight, and that this blog turns out to be useful and maybe a little entertaining. If you have ideas you want me to talk about, please post comments or send me an email.