Steve Rowe's Blog

Ruminations on Computing - Programming, Test Development, Management and More

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  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    How to answer a programming interview question

    • 1 Comments
    I spent a few hours on Friday doing mock interviews for CS undergrads.  The idea was to help them experience the interview process without the pressure of having a job on the line.  The session was interactive with lots of stopping for advice...
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    Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore, dies at age 83

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    Jack Tramiel was the founder of Commodore International which produced the Commodore 64 and the Amiga computers. It was also the company that made the once ubiquitous 6502 processor which powered the Apple // and the Commodore 64. The Commodore 64 was...
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    Behind the Scenes of Windows 8

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    Larry Osterman returns with another installment of his Behind the Scenes... series. This time with Windows 8. Larry is a developer for the team I work on. If you haven't caught it yet, take the time to read how the team developing Windows Runtime experienced...
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    Successfully Interviewing for a Developer Job

    • 2 Comments
    Having recently completed another round of campus campus interviews, several things stand out as advice that could be useful to those of you aspiring to get jobs in the software industry as a Developer or Test Developer. Always describe what you are doing...
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    If you ever wondered why Vim uses hjkl for arrow keys...

    • 1 Comments
    I tend to use Vim as my editor of choice. Even when using Visual Studio, I do so with the ViEmu plugin. I have always wondered why the directional keys were hjkl instead of jkl;. The latter are the home keys for the right hand. The former are not and...
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    How to Write Your First Developer Resume

    • 3 Comments
    I am returning from a recruiting trip to interview students on campus.  Because of this trip, I had a chance to read a good number of resumes.  Some were well done, many, however, were not.  They contained irrelevant information or were...
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    Steve Jobs on the Value of Saying No

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    I ran across a great segment of Steve Jobs talking at the WWDC in 1997 just after he returned to Apple. Similar to my post about pruning the decision tree , he speaks about the power of saying no to the bad ideas. "Focusing is about saying no," he says...
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    How much did Steve Jobs Mean To the Tech Industry?

    • 1 Comments
    This picture says it all. The front page of Hacker News is completely dominated by the news of Steve's death. Even as someone who never owned an Apple product, he had a huge influence and raised the bar. Not just once, but at least 5 major products from...
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    Pruning the Decision Tree in Test

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    Yesterday I wrote about the need to reduce the number of things a project attempted to do in order to deliver a great product.  Too many seemingly good ideas can make a product late or fragmented or both.  The same is true of testing a product...
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    Pruning the Decision Tree

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    A great post by Marc Randolph got me thinking.  He tackles the question of why Netflix made the moves they made recently.  Specifically, why did they spin off their DVD option as a company called Qwixter?  The answer: focus. What separates...
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    Follow my adventures at //build/

    • 1 Comments
    This week I'm attending the //build/ conference where Microsoft is revealing many of the details about Windows 8. If you want to see what is going on, follow my Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/steverowe , I'm posting some pictures, linking to summaries...
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    Listening to the team

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    There is an old saying in software that goes something like this, “ Scope, Timeframe, and Budget: Pick two. ” Being a tester, I would rephrase this a little as, “Features, Timeframe, Budget, and Quality; Pick three”. It’s...
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    The Sidebar is Back!

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    I'm apparently in the minority, but I really liked the sidebar in Windows Vista. On a widescreen monitor, there is horizontal space to waste and it was really convenient to have all of my gadgets showing over on the right-hand side. In Windows 7, the...
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    Netcast List April 2010

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    It’s been a long time since I updated my netcast list, but my habits have changed a bit.  Here is what I currently listen to regularly: This Week in Tech – Weekly Tech News Roundup GeekBrief – Daily snippet of gadget news Games with Garfield – Monthly...
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    Resume Advice: List Your Classes and Projects

    • 1 Comments
    It is campus hiring season and I have been reading a lot of college resumes lately.  One thing I have noticed on many resumes is that they do not list what I consider to be some of the most relevant information.  As important as it is that someone...
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    Pass Rates Don’t Matter

    • 2 Comments
    It seems obvious that test pass rates are important.  The higher the pass rate, the better quality the product.  The lower the pass rate, the more known issues there are and the worse the quality of the product.  It then follows that teams...
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    The Complexity Hammer

    • 12 Comments
    I’ve been doing a lot of interviewing lately, especially of college students. There is one tendency I see a that really separates those that are good from those who still have more learning to do. This is the tendency of the good programmers to see elegant...
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    Plan Intentionally

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    I previously wrote about being intentional , but focused mostly on intentionality in execution.  Being intentional is also important in planning.  When planning a new product or the implementation of a feature, it is important to explicitly...
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    Resolved: To Blog More in 2010

    • 6 Comments
    As the year closes I look back and see that my blogging really dropped off this past year. I intend to try to blog more over this upcoming year. My position at work has changed from a lead to a manager and that gives me a whole new perspective on things...
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    A Taste of Stack Overflow DevDays

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    If you missed Stack Overflow DevDays , there is some audio from it available on Stack Overflow Podcast #71.   I wish there was a longer version of this.  It’s only about 1/2 hour of outtakes from the conference, but it is still interesting to...
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    Design Patterns Are Not Outdated

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    A comment left on my answer to a question over on Stack Overflow has me a little worked up. I've seen this meme come out of programmers more and more and it just doesn't seem accurate. The statement goes something like this, "Design Patterns were only...
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    Is there really a benefit in lossless audio formats?

    • 9 Comments
    Lossless codecs are all the rage amongst those who aspire to be audiophiles.  Whether it is ripping CDs in a format like FLAC or WMA Lossless or listening the TrueHD track on Bluray movies, there are those who swear by it.   Most audio...
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    A Review of a Kindle

    • 2 Comments
    Six months ago I purchased a Kindle 2 .  I originally bought the Kindle to make travelling easier.  I tend to carry a lot of books with me when I take a trip and those books get heavy.  With the Kindle, I could carry just this one device...
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    StackOverflow DevDays

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    I spent the day at Benaroya Hall for the 1st (annual?) StackOverflow DevDays conference. Overall eight speakers took the stage on topics from .Net MVC to Python to the Google App Engine. The room appears to hold just over 500 people and it was filled...
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    Forging a Team Identity

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    For a group of coworkers to have a chance of becoming a team, they must share a common sense of purpose or identity.  Dave Logan in Tribal Leadership calls this a “Noble Cause.”  On small teams this often comes naturally.  Everyone is working...
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