Thursday 22 April 2010

Attitudes to tests and documentation

On a fairly regular basis I hear people saying that documentation needs to be produced as early as possible, because otherwise it won't get done.

By the same rationale, test driven development must be considered a good way to ensure that software has tests.

Alas, the ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff is still seen as effective.

Saturday 10 April 2010

Talking Heads

I was reminded of a line from a song recently, "You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything".

The rest of the lyrics aren't relevent, but that line sums up my thoughts after a recent presentation.

It was like going for a meal and expecting a big feast, only to discover that the host is only going to serve hors d'oeuvres.

Is it just me, or do most software developers like similes and metaphors?

Thursday 8 April 2010

Apache config

I used to be the administrator of a handful of servers as well as having regular developer responsibilities. At the time I saw it as a way to make myself more of a valuable resource to the company, which almost backfired during the dot bomb era when billable hours were the main measure of value to the company.

In recent weeks I have had to take on responsibility for configuring production servers once again.

There have been a mixture of feelings:
- expectation that I would be delegated the task
- curiosity at why the estimate for my work was lower than that for the original resource, despite the requirements increasing

It's been reassuring to see that I can still find my way around the configuration of Redhat and Apache, but I know I don't want to be stuck doing this long term.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Trust me

Lately I've been liking the expression, "Sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission".

In my case it's not a matter of doing something without asking, but rather not doing what has been instructed.

Past experience just won't allow me to schedule testing with a third party when my client still needs to verify their approach has been approved. Admittedly it's nothing as critical as aircraft landing (that was a previous project), but it still has potential to waste time and money.

Of course I will never see that money as it was never mine, and I will inevitably be criticised for the communication delay.

Explaining will take longer than apologising, but I'm not the kind of person to apologise for doing what I feel was right.