Software For Code Reviews For Only $5! A 5-Day Offer

Posted by Mike Ramm on July 14, 2009

Code review

The SmartBear company celebrates the version 5.0 of its product CodeCollaborator and makes a great offer to sell 5 licenses of its lightweight product CodeReviewer for only $5!

This offer will be available for only 5 days: July 13-17, 2009 only.

I was very interested in the offer and made the effort to read a little more about the product. It seems to be very useful if you practice code reviews in your company. And if you don’t – you probably have problems in your code.

For $5 you don’t get the full-featured product CodeCollaborator but its “younger cousin” CodeReviewer, which has quite less features. You can see the differences between the two products here but you can easily see that features that CodeReviewer has are quite satisfying for any team that wants to improve their code writing practices and the price is totally worth it.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!


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Funny Computer Quotes

Posted by Mike Ramm on July 8, 2009

IBM/360

Funny quotes about computers and programmers. Enjoy!

“How many hardware engineers does it take to change a light bulb?”
None: “We’ll fix it in software.”

“How many software engineers does it take to change a light bulb?”
None: “We’ll document it in the manual.”

“How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?”
None: “Let’s define darkness as the industry standard.”

“How many tech writers does it take to change a light bulb?”
None: “The user can work it out.”

Anonymous

Line Printer paper is strongest at the perforations.

Murphy’s Law of Line Printers

The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at least until we’ve finished building it.

Anonymous

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.

The Complete Microsoft Internal Jokes, Vol.III

When the program refuses to work as intended, change the specification to fit the program. It’s easier than vice versa.

Briefing for new programmers joining Microsoft, 1995

Information Center, n.: A room staffed by professional computer people whose job it is to tell you why you cannot have the information you require.

The Devil’s Dictionary to Computer Studies

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong.

Norm Schryer

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What Kind Of Programmer Are You?

Posted by Mike Ramm on June 2, 2009

Long time ago, at the dawn of the computer era there were funny legends about The Real Programmer who writes only in FORTRAN, drinks a lot of coffee and beer and NEVER, I mean NEVER writes comments. Today the things are different and the programming is not that mystery magic it used to be and all bosses respected. Today even the children know how to click on the keys and how to write program code even before they know how to write pothooks in their notebooks.

The same logical process happened to the evaluation of the Real programmer’s qualities. It is based on a scientific ground and there is nothing subjective or accidental anymore. A psychological test have been developed that determines your programmer’s personality. The authors claim that it is based on Myers-Briggs tests and that it is absolutely serious although I found some of the questions very funny.

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Krishna Kumar Did An Interview With Me On Software Development

Posted by Mike Ramm on March 24, 2009

Krishna KumarMy fellow blogger Krishna Kumar from Thought Clusters asked me a few questions about the situation of the software industry in Bulgaria and my blogging inspirations.

His blog is devoted to project management and he has original ideas about how to manage people. I think he believes that we lack some thinking and understanding for the others and this is why I feel his blog so close to my blogs PM Stories and Stop and Think!. And probably this is the reason why I like his blog so much.

Read the interview here. You may find some food for thought.

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My First Article In Quality Matters Magazine

Posted by Mike Ramm on January 14, 2009

Quality MattersThe first issue of the Quality Matters magazine is out and there you can find my first article in a magazine called Why Cutting Off Testing When The Project Is Late Is A Bad Idea. The magazine is available only online in PDF format and you can download it absolutely free (52 pages!) from its web site (only a short registration is required) and I hope that very soon it will be available on paper, too.

The magazine is devoted to the quality assurance in the software development field and has the ambition to present some of the best authors in that area. I am really proud to be one of them! The articles are very good and Quality Matters raises the bar very high with its first issue. I wish the publishers faith and devotion to keep it valuable and useful. I hope that I will have again the opportunity to write for the magazine in the future.

Don’t miss it!

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Follow The Sun – Tips For Offshore Development

Posted by Mike Ramm on September 17, 2008

Bas de Baar pointed me to this great advise for offshore distribution of the work process – Follow the sun:

Build in Asia
Design/Review in Europe
Test in South-America
Every day.
Every 24hrs.

Well, I am starting to believe that this is a great way to speed up the process but a small devil in me asks this stupid question:

What if at some point you need to talk with the people from the previous time zone?

Suppose you found something that you don’t understand in their specification or in their code, or it seems to be wrong. You want to discuss the issue with your offshore colleagues but their working day is over and they went home. Now you have to wait until tomorrow.

I think that the time difference is a huge problem in communication and although following the sun seems to be a good idea it is not a panacea and you have to develop a strong process to ensure communication abilities without disturbing the personal life of your staff.

There is one more great article Bas wrote on offshore software development that I highly recommend: 25 Rock Solid Tips to Supervise Offshore Development. Read it and follow those tips – they are really helpful.

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My day-to-day work as a Business Analyst

Posted by Peter Lefterov on September 1, 2008

Today our guest-author is Peter Lefterov – a business analyst at Bulgarian Telecommunication Company.

I notice when I talk about Business Analysis people often have a very fuzzy idea of what I’m talking about. And the deeper I go into defining the profession from a general perspective, the fuzzier it gets.

That’s why I decided to write down the things I personally do on a day-to-day basis, and I hope this will help build a better picture for the uninitiated. Other BAs might do different things, but usually there a level of similarity, otherwise there would not be a name for the profession.

1. Documentation – Most known and usually most tedious BA activity. The problem I’m trying to avoid with this is to have 5 team members and 3 major stakeholders and amongst them 15 different ideas what we are actually doing. The Business Requirements Specification is a tool for avoiding this, but not the only one and often falls short of achieving the objective.

2. Process Analysis – I don’t do enterprise analysis, at least not on my current position. What I do is more focused – when we change the systems people will change their work process. What I’m trying to describe is how things are done now (the AS-IS point of view) and how the work will be done after the change (the TO-BE process). The purpose here is to demonstrate to the team what the changes we are making will actually achieve. It also visualizes in front of stakeholders in detail what business result they have requested.

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Top-down Planning – Good or Bad?

Posted by Mike Ramm on August 28, 2008

I read recently an article in PM Hut blog by Keith Mathis where he categorizes top-down planning approach as a project management mistake. I didn’t agree with the author and I will try to put my arguments here hoping to start a discussion.

First point of the author is that top-down planning is old style. He says:

Top-down planning makes the assumption that upper management has the best processes and ideas to run a project smoothly.

I think the author confuses planning with management. Top-down planning means dividing the project’s work into several big parts, then each parts is divided into smaller parts and so on until we reach small enough tasks that we can estimate and assign to somebody. Nobody said that it has to be done by the upper management although I believe that the first steps in dividing the work should be made by the project manager not because she has the best ideas but because she has the best view of “the big picture”.

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CIO Top 100 Companies For 2008

Posted by Mike Ramm on August 26, 2008

The CIO magazine announced the top 100 companies for 2008 that are creating new business value by innovating with technology. The chart in the magazine’s site shows the winners and their winning projects. For each company you can see their industry or revenue, their project type and the main technology, the primary business function and its impact. You can click on the company name to get more details or you can click on the tabs to sort the data.

It is intersting to notice that giants like IBM and HP are always “subscribed” to charts like this while Microsoft, for example, is missing. What impresses me most is that a great part of the companies Jim Collins analyzes in his books Built to Last and Good to Great are present in this list. This means to me that he really found the right ingredients for creating a great company and I strongly recommend you these books.

Take a look at this chart and I will be glad if you share your comments about the companies enlisted.

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Loyalty

Posted by Mike Ramm on July 25, 2008

A great quote on loyalty by Stephen Covey. I found it in the Slacker Manager blog and I want to share it with you:

You can buy a person’s hands, but you can’t buy his heart. His heart is where his enthusiasm, his loyalty is.

- Stephen Covey

Of course, it is the most difficult thing to do – to win someone’s heart – but I believe that it is the best way to win their loyalty and devotion.

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