Sacrifice me!

I’m on BVT [Build Verification Test] duty this week — lucky me (not!).  Each week we Sacrifice One Person (capitalized because that’s a Management Pattern, don’t you know; see http://Alistair.Cockburn.us for more info) to BVT duty.  On a good week, said duty is simple:  check the results mail from the overnight BVT run, see that…

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My brain hurts!

I spent last week in Santa Clara, California at the Software Development West conference (http://www.sdexpo.com).  This is the seventh SD I’ve attended, and I’ve already put in my request to go again next year.  It’s the only conference I attend, in fact.  I like it so much because it’s not focused on just developing or…

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This book exists because of me

Illinois Institute of Technology (which made the mistake of giving me an architorture degree I’ve been abusing and ignoring ever since) is a Technology School. It has some liberal arts classes, but nowhere near the range a state university or more-normal college would have. Being a Technology School, of course, IIT is chock-a-block full of…

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Scottie, spec me up!

Those of us lucky enough to have a program manager know that while PMs are a big help they certainly aren’t a magic bullet. Some PMs, in fact, are more hindrance than help. When a spec never gets past draft status (or, even worse, is in a perpetual state of One Page-ness), the spec is…

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When specs go bad

If your team writes specs before starting to code (as opposed to after, when it’s easy to do so, and the spec is more commonly called documentation) you certainly have cause to be happy, but you aren’t home free. Another bone of contention awaits: whether a particular bug is a code bug or a spec…

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When you don’t have a spec, everything is a bug

How many of you regularly get a detailed and complete specification document before Dev starts coding and before Test starts testing? Raise your hands, please. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Heh. That’s what I thought. My team takes a full month before each milestone to focus entirely on the specs for the next milestone, and even that…

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Adventures in Tabletting

I’ve had a Motion Computing M1300 for seven months or so now, and I love it to pieces.  I love the slate format, and the new Input Panel is 90%+ accurate recognizing my cursive “font” (one of three, and not my preferred one, but oh well).  Six of these months I went completely keyboard-free, relying solely…

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New kid on the blogk

So I’m the newest Microsoftee alternately enlightening you, scaring you, and boring you to tears with the gory details of my daily life at Microsoft.  I am a Test Technical Lead, which means I set the technical direction of my team:  how do we automate our testing, what our test automation infrastructure looks like, and…

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The Tester Song

If I had a theme song, this is what it would be: With apologies to Monty Python… [Fade in to a dev banging away on his keyboard muttering about linked lists and hash tables and third-order dependencies. A management type pokes his head in and tells the dev the feature he almost has finished has…

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