What is Systems Engineering?

Back in the late 90’s, I remember taking a two-semester course at the University called “Systems Analysis and Design”. This course described how to define and design a software application in order to develop it afterwards.

Summarizing the course, it all started by defining who our customers where and clarify exactly what kind of application to develop. Once the stakeholders were clear, then, we would setup a series of interviews and surveys with them to obtain the requirements. …


I have frequently faced situations where people want to do something, but they don’t know precisely how. There are lots of books and methods that discuss how to do proper planning and execution. But, I will say that regardless of how many books and web pages you read, you can summarize the planning and execution activities using the model in Figure 1. Which I will explain in detail in this post. Once you get the grip of it, your planning and execution skills will increase.


Writing in different languages

Having a single computer keyboard (for instance, a US keyboard) and writing in different languages can be a hassle. My children speak German, Spanish, and English, and when they use the computer, it can happen now and then that they want to write a specific character for the target language that the keyboard doesn’t provide.
Switching between one configuration to another in the Windows Taskbar is ineffective, especially if you are writing in several languages in the same session. It isn’t enjoyable to double-check the settings on your laptop before writing anything, and you can’t always remember the keyboard layout…


Cesar Guadarrama 2020

Here is the thing. You hear or read everywhere people telling you all the great things people can do during the lock down to improve their career, but no one gives you some specific ideas. Well, here are my $ 0.02 for those of you who would like to learn about Systems Engineering.

I have listed several online courses that I have found useful for those of you who would like to have a better understanding of systems engineering. All of them are just fundamentals. …


I often hear people referring to German as inharmonious and ugly. It keeps coming in casual conversations, even among Germans. I always get a strange look when I say I like how it sounds. The truth is, there is no way to measure how melodic a language is, this is entirely subjective. However, a quick search on the internet for melodious languages will show French, Italian, Ukrainian, Persian, and Spanish somewhere on the top of the list and German (if appearing at all) at the very bottom. Could it be that German has always been considered ugly?

In 1880, American…


I was not able to write since September. The reason is quite simple, I was sick. As it happens so many times on these kind of situations, it just came all of a sudden. It started with a small minor pain on one knee and within very few days the pain skyrocketed with a swollen knee then, my other knee also swelled and from one week to the next, I was unable to walk so I ended up at the hospital.

Facing the day to day challenges is hard, but somehow waking up every morning and then facing the challenges…


I recently came across an interesting post on LinkedIn from Thomas Gallner, which showed the image of the Cynefin and Stacey matrix combined.

The diagram called my attention because it was trying to address a quite common issue on product development:

To decide what is the best methodology to develop a product which has unclear requirements and the technology is not mature.

I made a slight modification to the original chart by adding the design thinking box, which I will further explain down this blog, however, the chart was very similar to what I am now showing here.

Chart 1: Stacey / Cynefin matrix combined

The chart…


If we want to test something, the first thing that we need to know, is what we want to test. Sounds obvious, right?

Well, this is important, because depending on the system under test, we create the strategies on how to test it. Once we know what is our system of interest, we will have to decide where to perform Black box testing and where white box testing.


Thank you very much for the feedback received on my previous blog. It seems that it generated interest on the automotive community.

Following some questions and feedback from my previous blog, it called my attention that sometimes there is a confusion between Systems Engineering and A-SPICE.

This blog entry is to explain what similarities, differences and relationship exists between them.

As I have already described what systems engineering is, here, I will focus on what A-SPICE is.

What is A-SPICE?

A-SPICE is a framework which was originated from Software development and then adopted by the Automotive Industry. …


Of course, the statement above is a flaw, but…

How do we know is not a real statement?

Not so long ago, we believed that “If something was written, it had to be true.” Roughly 200 years ago (meaning about 4 or 5 generations), most of the society was illiterate. Only 12% of the population could read and write during the 1800s; therefore, those who were able to read and write were considered highly educated people. To have something printed, it implied that someone with high-level education and knowledge had said it. Thus it was valid and authentic.

Books were costly and difficult to print. It meant finding a…

Cesar Guadarrama

Citizen of the World, systems thinker, automotive embedded systems leader, and language lover. I write about what’s in my head and keeps me awake.

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