Steve Rowe's Blog

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

Posts
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    The Ultimate Geek Jacket

    • 1 Comments
    With Christmas approaching, here is a cool idea for the gadget-lover. The ScottEVest Evolution Jacket is a waterproof jacket with 25 pockets for all the cellphones, Zunes, PDAs, pens, etc. that we tend to carry these days. The jacket also has special...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Keep Process Simple

    • 1 Comments
    Year ago one of our Software Test Engineers was tasked with documenting our smoke* process. It should have been something simple like: Developer packages binaries for testing Developer places smoke request on web page Tester signs up for smoke...
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    The Need for a Real Build Process

    • 1 Comments
    Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror has a good post about how " F5 is not a build process ." In it, he explains how you need a real centralized build process. F5 (the "build and debug" shortcut key in Visual Studio) on a developer's machine is not a built process...
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    Don't Blame the User for Misusing Your API

    • 4 Comments
    A conversation the other day got me thinking about interfaces. As the author of an interface, it is easy to blame the users for its misuse. I think that's the wrong place for the blame. An interface that is used incorrectly is often poorly written. A...
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    Happy Halloween!

    • 2 Comments
    It is once again Halloween which, here in the U.S. means a time when all the kids dress up in costumes and go door-to-door "trick or treating" (which means begging for Candy). I like this holiday. It's fun to see everyone dressed up at the door. Unfortunately...
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    Vinyl Better Than CD?

    • 7 Comments
    An amazingly lucid discussion of the benefits of Vinyl over CD (or lack thereof) is going on over at Slashdot right now. So far the trolls are straying away. If you want some understanding of dynamic range compression, sampling, etc. Check it out. ...
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    A Little C= 64 Love

    • 2 Comments
    Here's a fun one for the weekend. A retrospective of the Commodore 64 and it's place as a great game machine. The C= 64 sold something like 17 million units and is, to this day, the single greatest selling computer model of all time. My first computer...
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    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...
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    New MSDN Tester Center

    • 0 Comments
    MSDN now has a home for test information. Check out the new MSDN Tester Center . It has articles, videos, and a collection of blog posts all revolving around the idea of testing. If you are a tester or test developer, bookmark this site. It looks like...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    What Self-Taught Programmers Are (Often) Missing

    • 5 Comments
    Some self-taught programmers can hold their own with the best coders out there. Others, although smart people, are fundamentally less good at programming. While there is variation among classically trained coders too, they are on average better than their...
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    More Amiga History From Ars Technica

    • 1 Comments
    Ars just released another edition of its history of the Amiga series. The first deals with the purchase of the Amiga by Commodore. I'll be updating this post as new articles in this edition are posted. Part 4 - Enter Commodore Part 5 - Postlaunch...
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    Helping Groups Succeed

    • 2 Comments
    or What to do when you aren't in control but neither is the leader. A while back I wrote about providing clarity as a leader. As part of that essay I mentioned some techniques for keeping groups on track. Those are well and good if you are the leader...
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    Another Project BBQ is in the can

    • 2 Comments
    It's October and that means it is once again time for Project Bar-B-Q . This is the premiere computer music/audio think tank event. It's a gathering of 50 people from all across the spectrum. There are those who make audio hardware, operating systems...
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    Interviewing the Experienced

    • 2 Comments
    This week there was an interesting conversation over on Slashdot. The subject of the post is an age discrimination suit against Google. However, the discussion has gone to other interesting places. The question is being asked if there is a difference...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Understanding MP3 Compression

    • 1 Comments
    Another great article from Ars Technica. This time about MP3 compression. If you'e ever wondered how MP3 works, this is a great article to start with. No math is necessary.
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Digital Audio Primer

    • 1 Comments
    Ars Technica has a new primer up describing digital audio. A good read if you want to introduce yourself to the concepts.
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Saying Goodbye to Illinois

    • 2 Comments
    I'm about to head out from my trip to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign ( UIUC ). I've enjoyed my trip. I was able to interview 23 bright students. The quality was very high. The school should be proud. I also had a chance to see the places...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Enjoying Pandora

    • 3 Comments
    I've really been enjoying listening to Pandora lately. It is a net radio service that builds a "station" for you based on your tastes. You begin by entering a song or an artist you like. It then plays music it thinks is similar. You are allowed to give...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    What Is A Microphone Array?

    • 1 Comments
    One of our program managers, Richard Fricks, just had a piece posted on the Windows Vista blog talking about microphone arrays . He describes what microphone arrays are, what they are good for, and how Windows Vista enables support for them. If you use...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    A Little Design Advice

    • 1 Comments
    A recent article on InfoWorld lays out "The eight secrets that make Apple No. 1." There are many things in the article that I disagree with but there are two that stick out as good advice for software design. The first "secret" is that engineering supports...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Metrics of Software Quality

    • 1 Comments
    This post over on TestingReflections brings up an interesting point. Michael answers the question, "What are the useful metrics for software quality" with another question. He asks, in a roundabout fashion, what is it that we value about the software...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Visiting UIUC

    • 4 Comments
    If you follow this blog, you'll know that I'm currently working on my Masters in Computer Science through the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I really like the program I'm in. Most classes are real. There are real people meeting on campus 3...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Do We Still Need Test Developers?

    • 2 Comments
    In my post, Test Developers Shouldn't Execute Tests , Antony Marcano asked if we actually need test developers or if developers would do. If the more traditional testing tasks are being done by one group and the automation by another, does it even make...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Apportion Blame Correctly

    • 3 Comments
    This is a follow-on to my post about Managing Mistakes . There is a particular kind of blame I've seen several times and which I feel is especially unwise. The situation is this. A person, we'll call him Fred, is working with another team to get them...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Test Developers Shouldn't Execute Tests

    • 6 Comments
    This view puts me outside the mainstream of the testing community but I feel strongly that test teams need to be divided into those that write the tests (test developers) and those that execute them (testers). Let me be clear up front. I don't mean that...
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