Improving Wetware

Because technology is never the issue

Philosophy of Testing

Posted by Pete McBreen 22 Dec 2006 at 11:44

A really great article by by James Bach Philosophers of Testing that explains how philosophy is closely related to the art of testing.

The quote at the end really sums it up That’s how I became a philosopher: My father believes that I must think for myself, and I always agree with my father.

A classic quote

Posted by Pete McBreen 08 Dec 2006 at 11:27

The Bjarne Stroustrup interview continues with a great quote.

The idea of programming as a semiskilled task, practiced by people with a few months’ training, is dangerous. I couldn’t agree more.

Bjarne goes on to say We wouldn’t tolerate plumbers or accountants that poorly educated. We don’t have as an aim that architecture (of buildings) and engineering (of bridges and trains) should become more accessible to people with progressively less training. Indeed, one serious problem is that currently, too many software developers are undereducated and undertrained.

In praise of C++

Posted by Pete McBreen 02 Dec 2006 at 07:29

Saw a good interview of Bjarne Stroustrup recently, including a wonderful soundbite There are just two kinds of languages: the ones everybody complains about and the ones nobody uses.

Bjarne made a great understaement the average Bell Labs programmer was significantly more able than most people’s notion of an “average programmer.” Well that could explain why C++ is expert friendly.

But on that point Bjarne is clear that C++ has indeed become too “expert friendly” at a time where the degree of effective formal education of the average software developer has declined. However, the solution is not to dumb down the programming languages but to use a variety of programming languages and educate more experts.

I disagree that more formal education is needed, but we do need to develop more expertise in software development. Personally I have used C++ a lot in the past and was always impressed by the systems that we built using it.