Opinion Pieces

20 June 2016

Strengthening the Foundations of Software Architecture

The term 'Architecture' seems to imply a plan that you can't easily subsequently deviate from. It's true that, if you abandon software architecture, you end up with a big ball of mud, but maybe the art of software is to make change much easier by planning how to implement each feature, tackling dependency issues, splitting functionality into small discrete components and considering how they should interact with each other.… Read more
16 June 2016

The IT Manager’s perspective: People as an Asset

Information Technology is fast-changing, but the people who work in IT need to have a good chance of a long-term career. That means keeping up to date, not only in their current speciality, but in the wider sphere of the technology they work with. IT managers must make sure that keeping up to date with technology is part of the day to day activity of their people. How should they make sure it happens?… Read more
10 May 2016

Continuous Delivery from the 19th Century to TODAY

It somehow feels like the end of an era. The National Weather Service of the USA's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides AWIPS 2 (The Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System) which has now advanced to the point that allows for the change to mixed-case letters. The switch will happen on May 11, after the required 30-day notification period to give customers adequate time to prepare for the change. Grief counsellors?… Read more
11 April 2016

The Practical Problems of Determining Equality and Equivalence in SQL

In theory, it is easy to determine whether data is equal to, greater than or lesser than a value. Real-world data types can be surprisingly tricky, even for gauging data equivalence. Because SQL cannot remain aloof from any application's data types, you need to be aware of the ways and pitfalls of individual datatypes and how you can test for equality, equivalence, similarity, identity and all that jazz… Read more
15 February 2016

Barbara Liskov: Geek of the Week

Barbara Liskov is one of the great pioneers of Computer Science, She was one of the first US women to achieve a PhD in computing and  is the inventor of  two computer languages, as well as contributing a number of ideas to system design, especially related to data abstraction, program methodology, object-oriented design, fault tolerance, and distributed computing… Read more
12 January 2016

Continuous Delivery: Building a Culture of Trust

Effective team-based software development has more to do with the organisation than the technology. Teams that must cooperate are most productive when there are high levels of trust between teams and within teams. To grow a culture of trust, the participants must take conscious steps to set boundaries, agree on protocols and models, and let a shared purpose emerge.… Read more
17 December 2015

The Boardgame of Office Politics

Sometimes the stress of interdepartmental friction within organisations can get on top of you, especially between the business and IT when the going gets tough. Simple-Talk's answer is a board game to put it all into perspective. Instead of getting carried away, play the board game instead and reach catharsis.… Read more
14 July 2015

SQL Style Habits: Attack of the Skeuomorphs

Although we like to think that our programming techniques are progressive and in tune with the bleeding edge of software development practices, too often they are directly influenced by restrictions faced in the post-war decades when computers first became mainstream. As these restrictions no longer apply, is it time to relinquish such things as cursors, 'tibbling', storing display formats, using short names for symbols and primary keys?… Read more
29 June 2015

Questions About Devops that IT Pros are Too Shy to Ask

DevOps isn't a particular technology, nor a job role. It is more of a software development method, initiating originally from system administrators, that promotes ways of enhancing collaboration and communication between development, QA, and IT operations throughout the entire software delivery pipeline with the aim of faster software delivery. Adam Bertrand answers the four most common questions that IT Pro's wonder about, but seldom ask publicly.… Read more
29 June 2015

Think You Can Be a Software Tester?

We all use software, and we all find it alarmingly easy to find bugs in it. Does that mean that we have a natural talent for testing software? Devyani suggests that there are some qualities that characterise software testers who are very good at their job. No matter whether you were born like that, or if you've worked upon, practised, developed and acquired them over time, they make all the difference.… Read more
12 June 2015

Software Engineering: Just How Immature is it?

"Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering" by Robert L. Glass has become a classic of Software Engineering as cherished as 'The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering' by Frederick P. Brooks. They seem as radical today as when first written, mainly because the software industry repeatedly fails to learn from its mistakes. Dwain Camps reviews the book.… Read more
08 May 2015

DevOps and the DBA

Michael Fal is a huge advocate of automation and many ways it can improve the lives of developers and DBAs alike, but you can't just automate all your problems away. The real challenge is breaking down barriers and having developers and DBAs functioning smoothly together. You may have heard of DevOps, and so Mike explores what the buzz might mean for database administrators.… Read more
06 May 2015

Developer-Tester Relationships

In a development team, there are times when the relationships between developers and testers can become strained. How can you turn this potential conflict into something more positive? Is it part of the skill of team-working to find ways of avoiding friction, or should one blame a system that relies on good social skills to work well?… Read more
10 March 2015

Meet the Faces of Software Release – Full House

Patrick Roach has already introduced us to the first set of software engineering Greats features in the Release! card game, and they already make up a strong hand. Now that the team at Inedo have interviewed everyone who's lending their face and support, Patrick introduces the rest of the roster, covering everyone from Kathy Sierra to Gene Kim, and points out just how they've contributed to our field.… Read more
10 February 2015

Meet the Faces of Software Release

Around the middle of last year, Alex Papadimoulis introduced us to Release!, the game about building software. With their wildly successful kickstarter, and enthusiastic support from many pillars of modern software development, the team have create a fun game with a strong pedigree. Patrick Roach is the lead game designer for Release!, and who better to introduce us to the software engineering Greats who have contributed their support and their faces to the game.… Read more
21 January 2015

Release Testing Is Risk Management Theatre

"You cannot inspect quality into a product" - Harold Dodge. The adoption of Continuous Delivery often leads to the discovery of suboptimal practices within an organisation, and the Release Testing antipattern is a common example. Steve Smith explores the questions: what is Release Testing, and why is it an example of Risk Management Theatre?… Read more

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