Tag: Software Quality

I have been an East-Coaster all my life. I’ve lived, worked and even attended college in states that all lie East of the Mississippi. However, throughout my 18 years working in the technology business, my clients have been spread out around the U.S. and abroad. I’ve found myself doing phone calls before the sun rises and well after it has set. That’s just the way it is in this business.

The Personnel Side of Technical Debt

I’m not one who believes in fortune tellers or those who claim to be able to predict the future. Heck, I don’t even read my horoscope and cringe whenever someone attempts to force it upon me. Only when my wife has attempted to read me my horoscope have I offered even as much as a polite “hmm.” Nevertheless there are many out there who swear by those who claim to be able to predict the future, especially in the financial industry.

Foretelling Facebook’s IPO Failure

When some poorly written code takes down your Twitter stream, that’s one thing. It’s something else entirely when a software bug prevents you from accessing the money you have in the bank.

Software Glitch Symptomatic of Consumer Banking Industry
The topic of technical debt or the down-stream costs of careless development is one of the fastest-growing software measurements. However, as most widely calculated technical debt is alarmingly incomplete. Pre-release quality costs are usually omitted from technical debt calculations. Even worse, the very high costs of projects that are cancelled and never delivered have zero technical debt.
The Errors and Hazards of Technical Debt

Before I could enjoy my Father’s Day brunch this past weekend, I found myself with a list of things to do around the house – cleaning out the garage, vacuuming the car, replacing our mailbox which “someone” in my family (not me) ran over. The latter of these tasks, of course, required that I go out and purchase some tools and supplies – a new post, new box, numbers for the box and a post digger - to get the job done.

Who’s Minding the Store?

Developing software, like almost any facet of business, often can be overtaken by some rather sinful thoughts and actions. This is why I really enjoyed a recent post on GigaOm by Magne Land, scrum master and tech lead at RightScale who compares issues within software development to the “Seven Deadly Sins.”

Overcoming the Need for Greed

Catchy slogans are catchy for two good reasons – the put an extremely true point into very simple, succinct language. This is probably why they call these true, simple statements, “catch phrases.”

One of the most effective catch phrases of my youth was for a product called Fram Oil Filters. Sometime in the 1970’s, Fram came out with a set of television and radio commercials where a mechanic would explain how a simple thing like replacing your oil filter on a regular basis could prevent major engine problems. The catch phrase uttered by the mechanic at the end of each commercial was, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”

Shortcuts Today Lead to Shortcomings Tomorrow

By definition, standards are supposed to be a set of bare minimum requirements for meeting levels of acceptability. In school, the students who took the “standard” level courses were those who were performing “at grade level” and just focused on graduating. Every April in the United States we need to decide whether we will take the “standard deduction” – the bare minimum we can claim for our life’s expenses – or do we have enough to itemize our living expenses and therefore deduce more from our base income before taxes.

Living Up to Standards

Over the past 10 years or so, it has been interesting to watch the metaphor of Technical Debt grow and evolve.  Like most topics or issues in software development, there aren’t many concepts or practices that are fully embraced by the industry without some debate or controversy.  Regardless of your personal thoughts on the topic, you must admit that the concept of Technical Debt seems to resonate strongly outside of development teams and has fueled the imagination of others to expound on the concept and include additional areas such as design debt or other metaphors.  There are now a spate of resources dedicated to the topic including the industry aggregation site:

Gartner Webinar: Get Smart about Technical Debt

I love my job!

I’ve always been an avid writer, even as a kid. So when it came to career choices my decision to enter a profession that demanded writing skills seemed like a natural fit.

I started out as a newspaper reporter, following in my father’s footsteps, but as the jobs and money there began drying up in the mid-1990’s I took my interest in Technology and made the jump to writing for high tech companies and have been happy doing this job ever since.

Quality is a Happy Place

Almost everyone has heard about the Titanic and the sinking of the unsinkable.  I guess if you assume your ship is unsinkable, having only 20 lifeboats for a few thousands people seems reasonable.  Maybe it gets overlooked when there are so many important “features” to get right on the maiden voyage.   I’m sure the pressure to ensure the comfort of hundreds of VIP’s must have been immense.  Sometimes it takes a real disaster for change to take place.

Is your Critical Application the next Titanic?

My tastes in entertainment are pretty broad. While I really enjoy attending sporting events and when Bruce Springsteen is in town I lay aside nearly everything else to attend his concert (as I did in Boston on March 26), I’m also one who enjoys catching a Broadway or Off Broadway Show now and then. In fact, I over the next six weeks I will attend two Red Sox games and two shows at the New World Stages theatre in Midtown.

Replaying the Data Breach Blues