September 08, 2015


Well, that's a wrap. Just attended the MAKS Aerospace show in Zhukovsky, just south of Moscow. Many days of talking to a fair number of people of all life horizons alongside Konstantin, an engineer from our R&D department who speaks Russian (I can order food and drinks, the rest is very much a work in progress). Konstantin was instrumental and an indefatigable worker that really made this show a success.

The show had hundreds of thousands of people. Of course, not everyone was a software engineer. But some of those who were found their way to us. Transportation worked pretty amazingly good given the sea of people that were involved, but that often meant pretty stuffed buses. Russians are patient if anything and just took this in stride. Well, except a certain lady that... Continue reading »

Posted by Steve Barriault in Journal Entry

September 02, 2015

On the road with Steve Barriault - Japan

Japan. Still the world's third largest economy and a land of boundless amazement. Tokyo certainly qualifies - massive number of people that in certain places flow like a mighty river (just stand in Shinagawa Station when a few trains arrive), yet the people are so polite that it still feels comfortable.

Tokyo also has its funny sides. I love trying to guess what motivated the posting of certain signs. Sometimes, the translation in English can be funny (as it can be in other countries), but then sometimes it is just... puzzling. Like this photo of a picture taken inside a bathroom. No smoking, no problem, but what about "no fire"?
Makes you wonder what kind of previous behavior motivated that posted sign in a huge conference hall's bathroom!

Posted by Steve Barriault in

September 01, 2015

Book Review

A few weeks ago I read: "The Phoenix Project" which is a novel about the IT group at a fictional company that is struggling with maintaining and enhancing their software systems and getting them into production (DevOps).  It is a pretty entertaining read for anyone in the tech space.  The story centers around an IT manager who is tossed into a dysfunctional department that is so interrupt-driven that they can never get any part of their planned work done.  He has a mentor who is teaching him the parallels between software manufacturing and product manufacturing.  In the end, IT saves the company by transforming their work flow for efficiency.  I think that anyone who has worked in software development for any amount of time will really relate to the characters and story line.  Here are... Continue reading »

Posted by John Paliotta in Journal Entry

August 21, 2015

The Internet of Things is already here

Many research firms often refer to the Internet of Things (IoT) as an “emerging trend” or “technology of the future”, but isn’t IoT already here? Embedded technology such as near field communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has been used to connect ordinary objects and devices for a number of years now. Beyond smartphones, IoT is bringing more and more things such as: cars, home appliances, thermostats, speakers, and lots of other goods into the digital fold every day. Today, consumers can buy “smart” versions of nearly everything that has an on/off switch.

Posted by Bill McCaffrey in Embedded Testing

August 04, 2015

On the road with Steve Barriault - Hangzhou

Just spent a few days in Hangzhou for training with a new client of ours. These folks are not in Railways, not in Aerospace, and not any of the usual suspects either. They are in Networking.

These days, we get more and more of these companies that, although their software won't kill anyone when it goofs up, may still end up killing market shares and alongside it peoples' jobs. The amount of code is just becoming too large to have an ad-hoc approach to testing. So, this new breed of clients wants highly automated, performance testing methods, and they get their clues from other industries that have been doing this for a while.

That certainly keeps all of us at Vector busy.

Posted by Steve Barriault in Journal Entry

July 27, 2015

On the road With Steve Barriault - when humans fail more than software (PART II)

3:30AM: Still in Osaka, Japan. Cannot sleep, sense something is not quite right. Cell phone flashes. Oooops, my flight Osaka-Hangzhou (my next stop) is canceled. I call Air China, and they explained that I cannot fly before Tuesday, no reason why. Cell phone call drops, call back, explain this is not acceptable, give me something else. "Just go to the airport early, here at the call center we do not have the authority to move you to another flight or airline, but at the airport they can".

Really? That leaves me incredulous.

OK, I take a look at Kayak. Flights available, decently priced. Shall I book and get Air China to reimburse the ticket? Nah, let's show up at the airport.

Went back to sleep.

Morning: Skip breakfast, take taxi then bus. Nice ride to... Continue reading »

Posted by Steve Barriault in Journal Entry