The Peter Principle by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull

I think I first came across the Peter Principle in the context of The Dilbert Principle.

Where Scott Adams states in a satirical fashion that “leadership is nature’s way of removing morons from the productive flow”, Peter and Hull just say that everybody in a big enough hierarchy always gets promoted to a position where he no longer can succeed and so reaches his personal level of incompetence.

Pretty  shocking, huh? Continue reading “The Peter Principle by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull”

Code Kata: Roman Numeral – Part 1

Christmas is over, so we get rid of the Christmas Tree.
Today I want to show You another Code Kata: Roman Numerals. The task seems to be quite easy. Write a program which converts a decimal number into a string which contains the equivalent as a roman literal. E.g. convert 1984 into MCMLXXXIV.

The requirements

We just use the characters from I to M.

Symbol I V X L C D M
Value 1 5 10 50 100 500 1,000

We first write a simple conversion function which ignores the abbreviation syntax, so instead of IX for 9 we write VIIII. To do so we use integer division and modulo operation.  We start with the highest number and work our way down. Have a look: Continue reading “Code Kata: Roman Numeral – Part 1”

New Year’s Resolutions & Technology Learning Roadmap 2017

I made a list of technologies I’m going to learn – or at least get an overview of – in 2017. I’ve already started to look into Rust and also did some web tech tutorials on codecademy. Because I read “4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Learn to Code from Codecademy” I will not leave it there but am going to introduce one or more of the following technologies into some actual projects at work. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions & Technology Learning Roadmap 2017”

Code Kata: Christmas Tree

Inspired by a blog post of Dave Thomas I started to implement my technology learning roadmap by writing little code katas.

To kill two birds with one stone I first solve a programming puzzle with my lingua franca Python. That helped me to concentrate on solving the algorithmic part of the puzzle because I don’t have to constantly worry about syntax and semantics.

Then I did the whole thing again this time in the language I want to learn: Rust

To give You an example how that works I will elaborate on the Christmas tree kata. Continue reading “Code Kata: Christmas Tree”

#SWEC16

I was reading “The Passionate Programmer” by Chad Fowler and came across an action point which literally read “go to a software conference”.

But spending hundreds of euros on a conference like OOP in Munich with travel costs and expenses for hotel and meals wasn’t quite the way to go as a father of two infants and plans of building a house.

A friend of mine – Thomas Berger – was always fancy about little independent conferences and barcamps which are very common in Berlin where he lives.

Sometimes You just have to keep your eyes open. And lo and behold I found a barcamp hosted by method park just 500 meters away from my company’s site. Like driving to work, getting home in the evening. Except on a weekend.

I purchased the ticket via openspacer and payed 29 €. I had not so high expectations because some colleague of mine stated that this event would likely be a recruiting thingy of the hosting company. Oh Boy, was he wrong! Continue reading “#SWEC16”

Review “Lessons learned in Software Testing”

I became aware of James Bach through the Google Techtalk “Becoming a Software Testing Expert”. Then I quickly got his book “Lessons Learned in Software Testing”.

In this book Bach presents with his colleagues Cem Kaner and Bret Pettichord 293 tips and tricks (“lessons”) from the test practice.

Divided into 10 chapters, this book covers almost every aspect that can be encountered in daily SW test work.

Similar to Rework, the strength of this book lies in the small, self-contained chapters. You can individually rate and apply each tip individually or not. The authors are advocates of the context-based test strategy; So there is no all-encompassing concept / strategy that works for every kind of SW product.

Therefore, the recommendations are sometimes deliberately contradictory, e.g. whether SW tests according to IEEE 829 should be documented or not. Just as a doctor only makes a diagnosis after a detailed medical history and then treats the patient, “lessons” are tools that are only to be used after a detailed analysis of the situation (industry, company, team, project, product).

At the beginning of this analysis, the tester must scrutinize himself and his mission in the development process. Insights such as that you can never find all the mistakes and therefore never completely test, sound obvious, but should always be kept in mind to get your own motivation.

The tester does not verify that the product is working, but shows that the product has a defect at a certain point. Word!

The fact that the tester primarily supports or relieves the developers is an idea that is far too rarely taken into account in practice. Test departments are often perceived as opponents rather than as partners.

The following chapters cover the handling of test techniques, bug reports, automated tests, test documentation, the exchange with the developers, as well as the management of the own test team.

The conclusion of the book are the two topics career in SW-test and creation of a test strategy.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a strict roadmap that simply has to be implemented one-to-one to ensure software quality, you will not find it here. On the other hand, if you are looking for suggestions and critical questions to continuously improve yourself and your work, you will find enough material in this book to deal with it for several weeks to months.

Review “Rework” by Jason Fried und David Heinemeier

Today I introduce you to one of my favorite books, “Rework – Business Smart and Simple” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. The two authors are the founders of 37signals and have developed the framework Ruby on Rails, on which most of their products are based. After devouring their first work Getting Real in the online edition (http://gettingreal.37signals.com/), it’s time to spend the money on a hardcover. I like books that pragmatically approach the topic of business start-ups / company founding, so get straight to the point: Continue reading “Review “Rework” by Jason Fried und David Heinemeier”