Embedded Systems is a prevalent term. Because of this I'll give an short overview of what do Embedded Systems means for us. In our context Embedded Systems mostly are parts of machines (e.g. tool machines or large manufacturing plants).
Therefore Embedded Systems are a conjunction of software and hardware and have to interact with a huge number of other components (mechanical, electrical, electronic, real-time software, non real-time software). Our experience is based on our university background and our work together with major corporations during the last ten years. The quality of the software in this kind of systems has a major influence on the quality of the whole system.
The system (this means the machine/plant) typically costs about 500.000 $ up to several million of $'s. Additionally there are safety critical elements, especially in any conjunction with medical devices.
At the Technical University, Munich I studied mechanical engineering and as I was interested in software engineering I took some classes in computer sciences. While I was doing my PhD in developing a robot simulation system, which I got in 1993, I improved my knowledge in software engineering. From 1993 until 1997 I was working as a Research & Development Manager at Zwick Company, Ulm - Germany.
Since 1997 I have been one of the General Managers of Software Factory GmbH, Munich. In addition, since 1998 I have been working with the Munich based firm itq GmbH as a General Manager. Together, Software Factory GmbH and itq GmbH form the Software Quality Center. With some partners of the Technical University of Munich and VDMA (German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers' Association), we work on approaches to improve the quality especially in the field of embedded systems.