Thought of the day: Graphical information takes much longer to produce than text, but is interpreted faster and more accurately.
Friday, March 07, 2014
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Developing software is all about writing code and making changes.
1) the changes affect/break other things in unforeseeable ways
2) the changes are misunderstood and implemented incorrectly
3) the programmer just plain makes a mistake
Nearly all software bugs are a result of one of these 3 causes.
Class 1) bugs are nearly unpreventable and are a function of the software's complexity. This increases with every new feature and custom branch.
Class 2) bugs are 100% preventable. I spend a lot of my time on both ends (clients and developers) trying to clarify and organize communication.
Class 3) bugs are sometimes preventable. This is where we do analysis and prevention, aiming not make the same (or similar) mistake twice.
I work on preventing Class 2) bugs by improving communication and tracking via PMRobot.
When a Class 3) mistake is made, we analyze why and determine whether there is a cost effective way to prevent it from happening again.
When Class 1) bugs happen, we analyze the root cause, then try to refactor, reduce complexity, or add more automated testing to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence.
We learn everything we can from Class 1) bugs, but in mature, complicated software, it's sometimes better to fix the problem quickly and cleanly, and move on.
When it comes to bug fixing (and life), time is often better spent focusing on the things you can control, rather than what you cannot.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
1. Download sketchy .exe file from Internet.
2. Double click it.
3. Press [next] about 5 times.
1. Download sketchy .tgz or tar.gz file from Internet.
2. Google the right command line options to extract it.
3. Change to the new directory.
4. Look through all the files and try to guess which is the install script.
5. Run the install script.
6. When the script crashes, Google the library incompatibility errors.
7. Search for different versions of libraries and attempt to install them.
8. Break other stuff while attempting to install new libraries.
9. Bang head against desk.
10. Google more error messages.
11. Spend a few hours trying various suggestions from the Internet.
12. 50/50 chance of a) finding magical solution, or b) deciding it's not worth it and giving up.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Interesting North American stats from the McGill online nutrition course I'm taking.
On average, compared to 1970, we eat 11% more food by weight: 18.2lbs up from 16.4lbs.
On top of that, our consumption of grains has increased 42% -- mostly wheat and corn flour.
Perhaps most disturbing is the 59% increase in fat consumption -- mostly cheap cooking oils like canola and soybean.
Could this possibly have something to do with the obesity epidemic? Seems more than likely.