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  • Blog Post: CAST Away

    Last week found me braving the Grand Rapids, Michigan summer (heat! humidity! sun! loved it!) to attend my first CAST. While I propped it a couple years ago , I didn't actually make it until now. The short version: CAST is awesome, conference proceedings will soon be up at http://www.cast2010.org...
  • Blog Post: I'm A Twit!

    I'm on Twitter now; @humbugreality if you're interested. No promises whether I'll post there more frequently than I am currently doing here; so far I've twittered two jokes and am wondering what to say next. Judging from the tweets I've seen, Twitter seems to be a combination Facebook + instant messaging...
  • Blog Post: Sometimes Sausage Making Is Beautiful!

    Seeing Microsoft from the inside, I often don't understand what is going on. Sometimes, however, it's just beautiful! Recently I discovered that VPN no longer worked for me, so I dropped by Security to see what was wrong. Therein ensued a journey of frustrating details, one I am still working through...
  • Blog Post: I'm Stressed!

    David Treadwell once advised me to take a job where I knew what I was doing about fifty percent of the time and would be completely clueless the rest of the time, because that would be a good balance between comfort and extreme learning. Alan Page says to find the steepest learning curve . I’ve managed...
  • Blog Post: My Very Busy CPU

    Hmmm...I start a build and all eight of my cores gets busy - what's up with that? <g/>
  • Blog Post: The New Guy

    My first week on Windows Phone went great! Not that I did much of anything other than set up my new computer (eight processors! 6GB RAM! 1.3TB HD!), figure out how to build and run product and test code, and start getting acquainted with my new team. My primary focus for the next year or so is our...
  • Blog Post: Status

    2010 is going great for me! 2009, on the other hand, was the sort of year I wouldn't wish on anybody - and that I wouldn't give up for anything. The amount I learned about myself, why I do things the way I do, and what I could do about it - and what I have done about it - is directly responsible for...
  • Blog Post: Snow In Seattle On April Fool's!

    It is snowing here in Seattle today, 1 April 2009. Mum Nature evidently has a sense of humor!
  • Blog Post: Testing Curiosity

    What drew you to testing? What keeps you here? What would cause you to leave? I fell into testing by accident. Autodesk needed testers for a new version of AutoCAD, I had registered copies of AutoCAD, they asked if I was interested, I said "Oh yeah!", they sent me test builds, I sent them bugs. I...
  • Blog Post: Back In The Saddle Again

    One reason I have not blogged these last two months is that my wife took ill and I haven't been at work. She is home now and I am getting into the swing of work again. Another reason I have not blogged these last two months is that I have been doing some in-depth sorting through of where my life seems...
  • Blog Post: What I Will Do

    Commitments - "This is what I plan to do the next year and how you will know whether I am doing it" - are a vital part of the career development process here at Microsoft. Annual reviews and promotions are largely based on one's execution against one's commitments as well. Theoretically some or all of...
  • Blog Post: What Do You Do?

    Do you know the unique value you add to your team? I used to think I did, until a series of unfortunate events showed me that I did not. That set me off on a splurge of introspection regarding what I do and why I do it. Now I believe I really do understand the unique value I add to my team. Here is how...
  • Blog Post: Tester Center Tester Spotlight: Ivo Manolov

    I have another Tester Spotlight posted! Pop over to Tester Center - via Channel 9 - to see my interview with Ivo Manolov , Test Manager for the Windows Presentation Foundation team.
  • Blog Post: Nike Testing

    When I started writing this blog I had no idea what I was going to write about. I don't remember that ever happening before - usually I know exactly what I want to talk about and more-or-less how I want to say it. When I test, however, I find myself in a similar situation all the time: I sit down...
  • Blog Post: Yummy In My Tummy

    My wife and I recently spent several weeks traveling around England and Scotland. (One reason I wasn't at CAST .) An important part of our journeys was searching out nice nooks for noshing. We found several establishments which utterly delighted our tongues and our tummies. If you are ever in London...
  • Blog Post: Tester Center Tester Spotlight: Rob Straavaldson

    Check out my Tester Spotlight interview with Rob Straavaldson over on Tester Center !
  • Blog Post: Perfectly Solid Learning

    A few weeks ago I took Jerry Weinberg 's Problem Solving Leadership (PSL) workshop. Everyone I have heard speak about PSL calls it a life changing experience. I understood Jerry's book Becoming A Technical Leader to be a sort of offline version of PSL. (Turns out it is and it isn't. Although each covers...
  • Blog Post: It's A Live (Mesh)!

    A year ago I joined a team building a top secret project. Today we threw off our invisibility cloak and revealed ourselves as as Live Mesh . Come on over and browse around. Subscribe to our team blog , where I'll be posting from time to time. Then come back here, for two important reasons: We are...
  • Blog Post: Contracted Conversations

    A colleague: "I don't understand it. I lived with my wife for eight years before we were married and she never cared what time I got home from work. Ever since I put on this wedding ring, though, she expects me there at six o'clock on the dot!" Me: "Didn't you read the EULA on that ring?" If you...
  • Blog Post: AYE - Amenities

    The conference hotel was one of those every-room-is-a-suite places. I found having an extra room helpful even though I wasn't in my room much. The hotel food was standard hotel food which I didn't bother eating. (A healthier menu with organic ingredients next year please!) Fortunately an organic grocery...
  • Blog Post: AYE - Friday

    Friday I recuperated from the week of brain stuffing, intellectual and emotional stimulation, and long days by motoring up to Sedona, where I processed my week (and wrote this) with the assistance of an energy vortex or four.
  • Blog Post: AYE - Thursday

    Thursday was SHAPE Day, a gathering of those conference attendees who are also members of Jerry Weinberg's SHAPE Forum . We started out about twenty, which number dwindled throughout the day as people left for the airport. This was effectively a live, in-person version of the Forum, replete with much...
  • Blog Post: AYE - Wednesday

    Wednesday morning I took part in a writing workshop by Johanna Rothman and Naomi Karten , each authors of multiple books and copious articles. I picked up numerous tips, such as to ask reviewers for specific types of feedback rather than simply requested comments, and to replace verb+adverb combinations...
  • Blog Post: AYE - Tuesday

    Tuesday morning I took Naomi Karten 's Building Connections That Amplify Your Effectiveness. I thought it would be about networking. Nope. (I don't know why I thought that since the class description didn't mention that topic.) It turned out to be informative nevertheless. We did a variety of communication...
  • Blog Post: AYE - Monday

    Monday morning I attended Steve Smith 's workshop on Virgina Satir's Change Model. The short form of this model (see his popular article for the full skinny) is: Status Quo. Everything is stable and going well. A Foreign Element pops up. The person/group Resists the foreign element's efforts...
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