Team efficiency and division of labor

The concept of paradigm as described by Thomas S. Kuhn is quite profound, I have seen object-oriented software design authors quote him when illustrating the difference between other methods of software design. Yet, it is an illustration taken from another context and we software people should take care not to misinterpret it. (As we have…


Under the Hood: WinINet

We often have to work with customers to understand why a specific IE scenario fails.  In some instances we may have to enable some custom logging and data collection to get to the root cause.  However, understanding why we are doing what we are doing is crucial from our customers’ standpoint especially in the post-mortem…


Mailbag: What version of the .NET Framework is included in what version of the OS?

Question: I recently installed Windows Vista.  When I looked in the Programs and Features (formerly known as Add/Remove Programs) control panel, I didn’t see the .NET Framework 2.0 listed.  Therefore I decided to install the .NET Framework 2.0 by downloading it from this location.  However, running that setup displays an error message stating that it…


What are programs?

Curiously enough, the books and references about software development and software engineering I have read… «There are people who prefer to anchor themselves in the comfort of a limited level of knowledge. They consider themselves practical and ‘real-world’-ish» — Andrei Alexandrescu «This is the answer to our question. Programs aren’t physical objects,such as reams of…


MathML and Ecma Math (OMML)

Before comparing these two math XMLs, I’m excited to point you at Jennifer Michelstein’s nifty post on Equations in Word 2007. It comes complete with instructive videos demonstrating how to enter mathematical expressions using the Equation Ribbon as well as using the linear format discussed in my earlier postings. Jennifer plans to add other posts…


I like it even more!

There is one thing that I like even more than writing code and that is: the code were be useful for somebody. This is just another aspect of good design, to elegantly and efficiently solve user’s problems. Hence the need for systematic methods of design, with closed-loop feedback processes that adapt and approximate to the…


I like it!

I like to write code. Reflecting about what this activity of design and programming trigger on me, I see kind of “a fundamental feeling that is hard to define but that people desire to experience”, also known as “pleasure”. A song by Dee Snider and Twisted Sister rock band comes to mind: “It’s only rock’n’roll”,…


Charles Sterling Bio

Charles Sterling came to Microsoft from being a marine biologist working for United States National Marine Fisheries doing marine mammal research on the Bering Sea. He started out at Microsoft supporting Excel and moved through a couple of support teams to being an escalation engineer for Microsoft SQL Server. Taking his love for customers (and…


Is software engineering what professional programmers do?

I originally understood and believed (what I wanted to believe, in fact) that software development trade is a branch of engineering discipline. I studied the work of Watts Humphrey, Mark Paulk and others at SEI and related organizations, looking to improve my understanding and my practice of software development. I was especially interested on these…