November 17, 2015

A Software Manager walks into a cube ...

... and the software architect says:  I found two legacy projects that I think we could use as the foundation for our new project.  The first one has a million lines of code, but there are no test cases.  The second project has a really nice API and a well-documented set of test cases but no source code. We can only find the object code.  Which direction should we take?

Which approach do you think would most likely result in a good outcome?  Which one would be cheaper?  Faster?

Posted by John Paliotta in Software Quality

November 12, 2015

Automotive Transmission Testing

Rigorous stand-alone testing of the many physical components of automobiles is done as a standard part of the development process to allow manufacturers to work out the potential problems of a model before it goes into full production. After all, it is conventional wisdom that it's much less expensive to eliminate a problem before mass production begins than to discover a problem and have to fix it afterward.

Posted by Bill McCaffrey in Automotive

November 04, 2015

On the road with Steve Barriault: Asia's Breakfast of Choice!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In my experience, it is also the most difficult to find too, Fact is, we are all accustomed to a certain style of breakfast, and when we just get up, we aren't necessarily ready to adopt radically different foods to get going.

But to every rule, there is an exception. Why go to a hotel dining hall and pay $15, $20 and sometimes more for a breakfast buffet with oily bacon strips and dried bread when you can walk outside and find yourself a small restaurant with dumplings steaming? And then sit down on a table on the side of the road with spices and vinegar, a pair of chopsticks and revel in the taste of pork and garlic?

Delicious! And cheap to boot too! In China, that would set you back about $1 for 8-10 dumplings. In Korea... Continue reading »

Posted by Steve Barriault in Journal Entry

November 03, 2015

Are we doomed to make the same mistakes forever?

I've been thinking a lot about how the software industry has changed (or not) since I started my first job 30+ year ago.  I've come to the conclusion that things are much different, but very much the same.  The first application that I worked on was a legacy code base, completely written in assembly language and run on custom hardware.  The only development tools we had were an editor (EDT) a compiler, and a primitive debugger that supported a single hardware breakpoint.  Although the system was fully functional, the customer wanted to make some enhancements, and the decision was made to rewrite a large portion of the system using a high-level language. 

Posted by John Paliotta in Software Quality