Gray Flannel Dwarf


Various techy things

First of all, if you have any need to do any sort of linux system management, or if the idea even sounds remotely interesting, you really ought to get the func. Pretty terrific, dare I say, suite of functions designed to be a low-overhead, highly-functional system management tool.

In other news, work is getting busy again, but it’s amazing how much more well-oiled some things are. Specifically, this is the first time that I really have seen some sort of thing resembling an SDLC coming together, and the benefits are being reaped. That I got to see a nicely designed spec meant that I got to put together a nicely defined set of test cases. That I got to put together a nicely defined set of test cases meant that I got to tear some shit up — in a good sense. Yes, lots of defects have thus far been written, but the fact that I have this nice suite of things I downright expect to happen or understand to be the requirement implementation means I can get through a wide array of testing, covering a huge swath of the feature, without having such a large pit in my stomach thinking that we’ve missed something completely.

Now, it is true that we’ve had a fairly large number of test failures. Also, there have certainly been defects written that were certainly missed in the test case suite. But most can, if you stretch it a bit, fall into one of these existing cases. Quite simply, the fact that we were proactive and were able to generate this suite of tests means we’re spending less time running around being reactive and trying to play catch-up.

Talking to a colleague of mine today about this, he — a developer, no less — noted that, if the process was really working, there wouldn’t have been so many tests failed in the first place, because development would’ve seen, read, and grokked the cases and thus them into consideration when coding. And he’s right — that’s a prime example of where QA should be recognised and implemented as defect prevention versus defect detection. But you can’t win them all, and in the end, I’m a whole lot more pleased this time around, so far anyway, than in efforts past. As my seven-month old is quickly learning, you have to crawl before you can walk.

I am certain I sound like a broken record at work, with a mantra revolving around the notion fact that QA != Testing. But I’ve spent far too long in “QA” with people trying to throw the “tester” hat on my head. I just hope that, this time around, we see the real fruits of our labour result in a bountiful harvest.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 11:19 pm


Good times.

I have nothing against Old Company. I mentioned that, nearly a year ago in my resignation letter to them, and it still holds true. I’d recommend them in a heartbeat if someone was looking to use their services. That said, the contract gig I was on, through them, was a bittersweet experience. I learned a lot, had quite a few good (and memorable) experiences, but still… amidst the other issues I encountered, it was really the weekly RDU-DTW commute which pretty much sucked the most, there’s no way around it. It held especially true right around this time of year — when the weather starts warming up and the trees begin to bud here, whereas all the while Old Man Winter still has his gnarled grasp around the neck of the northeast.

Anyway though, don’t want to dwell on the bad times. Back to the good times, met a few really good people during my time there… and as it turns out, one of the guys from a different contracting firm just got the reverse commute, the (semi-) lucky dog. Long-term commuting can have its suck factor — but I would rather be commuting out of DTW than into it.

I may meet up with him this evening, or have him over… In any case, it will be good to see him. I hope he’ll eventually decide to move down here permanently — he’s Good People, and the more the better.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 2:09 pm


All I wanted was a box, just one box, and she wouldn’t give it to me!

(apologies to Suicidal Tendencies)

We’re all getting slammed at work, trying to finish up code for a release. Trying to help empty the QA queue, but it seems all the suitable test systems are reserved.

Asking around briefly whether someone might have one I could destroy, I didn’t get a response. I didn’t really expect one, but I was keeping up hope… and then I realised — oh yeah! I could set up a VM.

VM server #1 is stuffed to the gills. Not enough room to create a new VM

VM server #2 is not responding. Again.

This test should be easy to complete. However, lack of resources cause delays in things getting done. Just another example of what kind of bottlenecks occur in software development that can’t/don’t always get easily translated across the chasm to a project management perspective. Luckily, management isn’t wincing about this one little bug — there are bigger fish to fry right now.

Tags: — cswiii @ 11:32 pm


A moving experience

February 1976: Born in Newport News, Virginia
August 1976 (approx.): moved to an apartment in Alexandria, Virginia
1981 (approx.): moved to a house in Springfield, Virginia
1988 (approx.): moved to a different house in Springfield, Virginia
1994-1998: attended college in Bristol, Tennessee, but still lived, for official purposes, in Springfield house #2
1999: moved to an apartment in Fairfax, Virginia
June 2000: moved to a condo in Sterling, Virginia
November 2003: moved to a townhouse in Sterling, Virginia
February 2005: moving to a house in Apex, North Carolina.

Nervous? Yes. Unsure? Yes.

Fairly certain I made the right decision for us? Yes.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 10:44 pm