HISC 2023 blog series: interview with Neil White, Solution Director - Intelligent Industry at Capgemini

Posted on October 05, 2023

HISC is now in its tenth year. What trends and technical advances have you seen over the past ten years which impact the trustworthiness of software ecosystems?

In 10 years there is no doubt that technology, and software in particular, has exploded into every aspect of our lives. I now pay for everything on my phone, trusting the security. Drones fly overhead mapping manufacturing process. My watch tells me how far I’ve walked today, and why another biscuit is not a good idea. Another key change is the frequency of in-field software updates. The same watch took a software update just this morning as I was having breakfast. Wider society is vaguely distrustful of software, whilst being utterly reliant on it, and not fully understanding the implications. Is software moving faster than we can build arguments about trust? Are we communicating those arguments correctly? The last 10 years have been exciting, but I think the next 10 years will be even more exciting!

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you’ll be covering in your talk at HISC 2023?

I’m doing a lightning talk, and I thought it would be fun to take a single technology and look at how it has progressed during the 10 years of HISC. I’ll be looking at drones – what was the state of play in 2014, what is the state of play today, and what can we learn as a software community from (spoiler alert) the expansion of drone use in the last 10 years?

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s HISC?

That’s a tough question given the diversity and strength of the speakers. I’m looking forward to engaging with other people combining cutting edge DevOps pipeline development with safety critical, particularly in the area of continuous certification. And as a confessed language nerd, I’ll be looking to see what new technologies are coming to market.

What lessons can we learn from the last ten years, and how can we ensure we build on experience throughout the next ten years?

I think the key lesson is that you can never overestimate the pace of change in the wider software industry or the novel ways in which people will want to deploy technology. For the safety critical community, we have to make sure we keep up, stay relevant, and allow all the exciting developments to happen … safely. We have to be seen as an enabler, not a drag.

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