The thing about LabVIEW is that you can break up functions into VIs and have VIs call VIs. Thus, code can be modular and reusable. But if you put too much into a VI, it'shard toreuse code but put too little in each VI and you have so many VIs that it can be hard to manage, even with the tools NI provides.
I learnt Labview a few months back for getting an automation setup running here and what jarred me most was the graphical programming interface. The fact that I could write NO CODE put me off but I got used to it(albiet unwillingly).
The reusability factor requires you to architect and think about it quite a bit before starting as moving lines/subparts around later can be annoying. All-in-all a nice piece of software to quickly get automated setups up and running as a lot of insturment libraries are available straight off the web although I don't find it particularly easy when compared to writing my own scripts in Python. A matter of preference I guess.
Martin: Welcome to the wonderful world of parallel computing. Come visit Texas next August and get the full feast at NI Week. You can watch the keynote addresses online to see some of the amazingly complex problems solved in LabVIEW. I took the week training course and then spent the next two weeks digesting the material before I felt comfortable with it. I hadn't exposed to Simple State Machines or Queued Message handlers before LabVIEW but I once I understood them, complex problems are easily solved. I have been doing some small Arduino projects in C and wishing I could use LabVIEW. The secret to learning LabVIEW is having a mentor to guide you through the rough spots.
I attended one of the half-day (free) introductory courses at NI in Sydney - for me this means a 7-hour round trip, but boy was it worth it. Labview blew me away the first time I saw it. If you are a student you can get a Labview pack with Labview plus their MyDaq hardware - a module with analog and digital I/O and a DMM built in - for $99, a huge saving. I'd thoroughly recommand this if you are a student. Woeful analog specs but very versatile and ideal for learning. I've also been to one of their full day update sessions and seen some incredible applications.
The weeklong trainings - which lead to certifications - are expensive, but you can get home study versions and write the exams for a fair bit less. They're on my to-do list....
All I need now is more time to play with it. I soooo need to win the lotto and retire.
I too, have been to a few of the 1/2 and full day trainings. I have also been to the week long versions.
My view has always been that the trainiers for LabVIEW have not ever heard the term of code re-use. They teach their drag down and drop from a blank slate and dis-allow the advantages of copying and utilizing perfectly good public domain submitted code.
It IS COMPLEX and I doubt a week or six weeks would be sufficient to master it at an intermediate level.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.