Steve Rowe's Blog

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

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  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    How Much Memory Does Vista Need?

    • 32 Comments
    With Windows Vista coming soon to a retail channel near you, one of the important questions to ask is, "How much memory does it really need?" There are the official minimum requirements of 512 MB, but we all know that minimum requirements don't translate...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    StackOverflow DevDays

    • 2 Comments
    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...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Testing A Daily Build

    • 5 Comments
    It is becoming accepted in the industry that teams should produce a build on a daily basis. Every project at Microsoft does this as do most projects elsewhere. If you happen to be on a project that does not, I suggest you work to get one implemented soon...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Code Editor Learning Curves

    • 1 Comments
    A friend of mine put this together. It's a graphical representation of the learning curve for some common code editors. It seems quite accurate.
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    Three Reasons To Consider Being a Test Developer

    • 32 Comments
    When it comes to careers in the world of software most people think of programmers or what are more formally known as developers. Developers are the people who write the software which is consequently sold or utilized by the organization. I’ll call them...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Programming Language Hierarchy

    • 3 Comments
    My last post made me recall this programming language hierarchy I ran across some time ago. Read it for the humor, not the accuracy.
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Printer Problems on Vista x64

    • 14 Comments
    I've decided to take the plunge and I'm running Vista x64 on my primary home system. So far things are going well. I haven't found any x86 programs that don't run yet. I'm sure they are out there but I haven't run across them yet. The driver signing thing...
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    XP Machine Can't See Vista Computer - Solution

    • 6 Comments
    I'm at my brother-in-law's place and had to troubleshoot a network issue. I didn't see quite this situation on the web so I'll post it here in case it can help someone else. The issue was that his laptop (XP) couldn't see his desktop (Vista). The easy...
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    Prefer Composition Over Inheritance

    • 2 Comments
    It's probably about time to bring my "Design Principles To Live By" series to a close. This is the last scheduled topic although I have one or two more I may post. Let's begin with some definitions: Composition - Functionality of an object is made up...
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    What is a Test Architect?

    • 2 Comments
    I was asked a few questions via mail. Here is the first of some quick answers to these: What is the role of a Test Architect? There is not a single definition of the test architect role. A test architect is an advanced test developer whose scope is larger...
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    Crossing the Uncanny Valley

    • 1 Comments
    The " uncanny valley " is the name for a phenomenon in computer graphics where the closer something looks to reality, the more the mind rejects it as being real. When you see something like a cartoon--say, Finding Nemo --you don't think about it being...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    When to Test Manually and When to Automate

    • 11 Comments
    There's a balancing act in testing between automation and manual testing. Over my time at Microsoft I've seen the pendulum swing back and forth between extensive manual testing and almost complete automation. As I've written before, the best answer lies...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Why building software isn’t like building bridges

    • 23 Comments
    I was having a conversation with a friend the other night and we came across the age-old “software should be like building buildings” argument. It goes something like this: Software should be more like other forms of engineering like bridges or buildings...
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    Black Box Testing

    • 5 Comments
    I attended a talk on campus yesterday discussing various aspects of testing. Part of the talk discussed the need for testers to become better versed in the formalities of testing. I'll leave that subject for another day. A portion of the talk, however...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Too Much Test Automation?

    • 10 Comments
    There was a time when testing software was synonymous with manual testing. Now with the rise of test development and the advent of unit testing, automation is becoming more and more prevalent. Test automation has many benefits but it is not a silver bullet...
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    Unix vs Windows

    • 11 Comments
    Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to take an Operating Systems class at a leading University. During that time, I have been once again confronted with the whole Unix (*nix, Linux, Mac OSX) versus Windows argument. It became quite apparent...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    HD-DVD Launches

    • 4 Comments
    The first of the next-generation formats officially launched today. As of now, you can walk into a store like Best Buy and pick up an HD-DVD player and some discs. I know at least one person who already has one. I'm hoping to see what it looks like shortly...
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    So You Want to Be a Test Developer

    • 5 Comments
    So you have an interest in becoming a test developer, eh? You’ve come to the right place. In this paper I will lay out what I think is the best path to take to becoming a test developer or really any sort of developer. Test developers are really just...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Cause of "Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet Site" found

    • 1 Comments
    Perhaps you, like me saw a rash of sites giving the error "Internet explorer cannot open the Internet Site" yesterday. At first I thought one of my machines was messed up. Then I saw it on another machine. This one running XP. A virus perhaps? I can't...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Steve Jobs on the Value of Saying No

    • 2 Comments
    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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    Using a Sunrocket Gizmo with ViaTalk

    • 9 Comments
    If you happen to have found this page as a former Sunrocket customer, here is a way you can get a phone up and running quickly. One potential VOIP provider you can use is Viatalk . This is the one I chose. Sign up for BYOD service. Wait unil you get your...
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    Drobo + Windows Home Server = Goodness

    • 7 Comments
    I've been using Windows Home Server (WHS) for a little over a month now. While there is still an issue with data corruption if you work on files directly on the server, as a backup tool, it is great. The system is practically foolproof. Install the server...
  • 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...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Test Developers Are Real Developers

    • 11 Comments
    Through a few twists of fate, I ended up at Microsoft as a test developer (lead). It’s not something I ever considered doing before landing here and I’m sure it is not something a lot of you have thought much about. It is the goal of this...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    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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