At SGI, "bringup" is a job description:
"What do you do?"
"OS development and bug fixing, but mostly, I do bringup."
Bringup is the process of taking a new piece of hardware and getting it working well enough to ship to customers. The process starts at poweron, which is when the part (or system) first has power applied to it. The process continues to FCS or RTM (First Customer Ship or Release To Manufacturing). After that, the bringup team pretends to care what happens to it, but they don't, really.
At SGI, the bringup process consists of software guys and hardware guys (they are called "guys", regardless of gender. I don't know why. Nor do I care all that much) trying to talk to each other about problems they are seeing with the new piece of hardware. This in itself is enormously entertaining. Hardware and software, like the Brits and Americans are two groups of people separated by a common language. We both claim we're speaking English, but very little actual communication is going on.
During bringup, the software guys get to spend extraordinary amounts of time in computer labs with logic analyzers, test benches and god-awful amounts of hardware. It's a programmer's wet dream. Typically, the software guys show up at the lab well before the hardware guys are willing to let them have a shot at the new stuff. They get there early in the morning and stay until the wee hours. They're glued to the keyboards, staring at monitors. They ask questions of the hardware guys that clearly don't make sense to them. Then, after a series of miss-starts, the light goes on and the hardware guy says something utterly incomprehensible to the the software guy. It's great fun.
The hardware guys, after they reluctantly turn over the new hardware to the software guys, get to watch as it slowly comes to life. They get to dazzle the software guys with their intimate knowledge of the guts of the hardware, they move arcane pieces of hardware around, connecting a spider web of wires and cables to the hardware, reading mystical displays that are somehow transformed by the hardware guys into the internal state of the machine.
After some amount of re-work, some number of chip re-spins, innumerable software hacks, the new whatever-it-is is ready for shipping. Suddenly, what was once the most interesting thing on the planet becomes boring. I mean, what fun is it now? It works.