Debt and investment

 We all have friends or relatives with money problems. There are three sources of those problems: a lack of income, a catastrophe, or a lack of self-control. There are whole industries devoted to solving the income issue—I’m not going to cover that here. Insurance and the kindness of friends and family are built to cover…

5

Production is a mixed blessing

 There is one service design flaw that engineers repeat day after day, month after month, year after year. Scalability? Nope, though it’s popular. Security? Happens, but not that frequently. Serviceability? Getting warmer. Give up? Don’t care because you don’t work on services? You will, and when you do, you’ll care. The pervasive service design flaw…

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Sustained engineering idiocy

Plumbing channels waste water into a series of larger and larger pipes till it is expelled. That’s because sewage flows downstream, which explains the quality of goods that test, operations, and sustained engineering teams receive. After all, they are downstream of design and development. I’ve written about pushing quality upstream for testers in “Feeling testy”…

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Nailing the nominals

People are always looking for that amazing breakthrough technology or process that solves all their problems—enhances their love life, trims their waist, and improves the productivity of their development team. That’s why process manias like Agile and Six Sigma are so enticing. Just splat the Scrum tag on your development team and “bam!”—your team is…

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Crash dummies: Resilience

I heard a remark the other day that seemed stupid on the surface, but when I really thought about it I realized it was completely idiotic and irresponsible. The remark was that it’s better to crash and let Watson report the error than it is to catch the exception and try to correct it. Eric…

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Software performance: What are you waiting for?

You hurt your shoulder playing volleyball, so you make an appointment to see your doctor. You enter the office and wait in line for five minutes just to let the receptionist know you’ve arrived. He has you verify your contact and insurance information, which haven’t changed in ages, and then tells you to sit in…

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October 1, 2006: “Bold predictions of quality”

I. M. Wright’s “Hard Code” book excerpt  I’ve been busy dogfooding lately. It’s an ideal diversion for masochists. When it gets to be too much, I can always take respite in a nice horror film. Thank goodness what passes for dogfood now is a vast improvement over years past. Eric Aside Dogfooding is the practice of using…

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