This post discusses an example of legacy systems migration performed by Justin Kuo.

Background

Fresh Roast Systems (FRS) is a company in Palo Alto, California, which designs and manufactures high tech industrial coffee roasters. Their customers, owners of coffee shops, lease these machines to roast coffee in their cafes. Many years ago, FRS went bankrupt and the assets were taken over by the main investor. The investor received the roasters, some spare parts, and a thousand-page printout of the software code that ran the roaster, but all the employees associated with the bankrupt company were gone, taking with them their proprietary knowledge. Bankruptcy proceedings had also taken several years and by the time FRS was ready to resume operations, the roaster software and electronics were over 15 years old.

Embedded on the coffee roaster is a touch screen computer. This computer hosts the main software used by customers to control the roaster. Since the software was old and outdated, FRS wanted to rewrite the software and contacted General Electric, but they quoted a seven-figure price for their inhouse CIMPLICITY programmers to perform the job (the original software was written and owned by GE with their CIMPLICITY language). Thus, Justin Kuo was brought in to do the job instead.

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