Steve Rowe's Blog

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

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  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Quality Assurance != Testing

    • 0 Comments
    Stuart Feldman of IBM research has some thoughts on the issue of testing and quality assurance. He contends that QA is a process whereas testing tends to be technology-based and an afterthought. He describes the difference here: "What goes into QA? Testing...
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    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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    Recommended Books On Testing

    • 3 Comments
    Another question I was asked via e-mail. "Do you know of any good books that explain the testing process in detail? I noticed you mentioned Debugging Applications for .Net and Windows, but I am looking for a book that really explains the basics of 'I...
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    FCC Broadcast Flag has a bad day

    • 1 Comments
    In 2003 the FCC ruled that digital television signals could carry a flag which, when set, required specific protections be in place in all hardware/software that handled the signal. This flag has become known as the broadcast flag. Recently, several members...
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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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    TDD - First Impressions

    • 6 Comments
    I spent the last two days in a class covering test driven development, unit testing, and refactoring. I hope to provide a more detailed discussion of what I learned at some later point but for now I thought I'd post my initial impressions. I've read a...
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    Information Technology Leaders

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    There is a local cable television station run by the University of Washington. On it there airs a show called Information Technology Leaders hosted by a woman named Laura Shildkraut . On the show, Laura spends an hour interviewing, you guessed it, leaders...
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    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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    Language Choices

    • 6 Comments
    It has been asked several times which language is better for a test developer at Microsoft, C# or C++? The answer really depends on what group you will be working in. Different groups require different skills. It is my perception that C++ is by far the...
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    Disclaimer - Please Read

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    These postings are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. This site contains my personal opinions and does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of my employer, Microsoft Corporation. The thoughts and opinions expressed herein are...
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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...
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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...
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    Advice for CS Students

    • 1 Comments
    Joel Spolsky (of JoelOnSoftware fame) is well-spoken and often has a lot of good advice for programmers. This recent essay gives advice to college students on what to study. His advice consists of: Learn how to write before graduating. Learn C before...
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    Best Software Essays of 2004

    • 0 Comments
    Joel On Software is compiling the top essays on the subject of software for the year 2004. The nominations are up now at http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?best04 . Go give them a read.
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    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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    Enjoy the Silence

    • 3 Comments
    I just recently got done with a round of upgrades to my computer. I didn't increase the amount of RAM or get a new processor. No, I got new fans. The difference is amazing. When I built the computer I has gone with a high-quality motherboard, case, fast...
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    Approaches To Unit Testing

    • 5 Comments
    I recently was involved in a discussion about unit testing. I'll simplify the issues. There are many more aguments each way and the area is more complex than presented here. I will lay out the supposed advantages and disadvantages of side of the issue...
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    MPEG-4 Is Dead

    • 5 Comments
    Just a quick link for today. An article on video formats I found interesting. I'll have something on XP and Test developers soon. Watch this space. MPEG-4 Is Dead. Or so says Jan Ozer of StreamingMedia.com. http://www.streamingmedia.com/article...
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    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...
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    Hello World

    • 2 Comments
    I guess everyone has to start off with a first post. Here's mine. Let's see how I do. In the infamous words of Admiral James Stockdale, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” My name is Steve Rowe and I'm a Development Lead in a test...
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