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Category: Books and Resources

I just finished reading Steve McConnell’s Professional Software Development: Shorter Schedules, Higher Quality Products, More Successful Projects, Enhanced Careers. This is not a book about languages, software design, or coding techniques. It is a book about being a software professional, and about managing and leading software professionals. It is a book about the state of software development as a profession, and about what we should aspire for it to become. All that, and it is an interesting read. continue reading…

By arrangement with Amazon.com; we are now able to offer books for sale through the My 2 Cents Bookstore page. So it is, that over this long holiday weekend, I’ve spent many hours wading through the full catalog of Amazon; looking for a selection of books that would be well suited to the readers of this site.  If I can’t grow the readership simply through my writings perhaps the holidays will inspire droves of christmas shoppers to seek us out when looking for gifts for their favorite ultra-geek. continue reading…

As I’ve said before, MC/DC analysis is the bane of Level-A development under DO-178B. It is not well understood, either by developers or by verification engineers. Automated analysis tools will perform the analysis, but that may not occur until verification has begun. Fixes at this stage are far less desirable than avoiding issues in the first place. So how do we ensure that MC/DC issues do not occur in the first place? continue reading…

After my oh-so-recent review of Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review, I followed up with the author to inform him of the review. I also took the opportunity to tell him that I disagree with him on a few points, not the least of which is the concept that finding a larger number of defects is good. His reply was gracious, and I hope to have an opportunity to further discuss some of these points with him. Meanwhile, I was inspired to carry on my rant here on the home front.

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I just finished reading the “Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review (Modern Approach. Practical Advice.)“, by Jason Cohen. While this book is available from resellers at Amazon.com, for the time being it is being offered free of charge from Smart Bear Software, a software tool company founded by the book’s author.

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When I originally titled this article, I had no idea just how appropriate it would turn out to be.  Thanks to a series of events that has occurred over the past few weeks, this article has become a 3-time, self-referential do-over.  Self-fulfilling prophecy, or simply an application of Murphy’s law? continue reading…

I’ve read several articles and blog entries where experts argued over the semantics of “software construction” versus “software development”.  Personally, I see little value in the debate.  But I won’t let that stop me from contributing my 2 cents. continue reading…

What does an architect do?  This surely won’t be the last time this question is asked on this forum.  It is an important question, and somewhat hard to pin down; especially when one considers the many titles of a Software Architect. There seems to be a general idea of what a software architect does, but many software managers don’t seem to believe the role is necessary, or even distinct: “Can’t we just have one of our senior developers do that?”  Sure you can; If you have a senior developer who possesses those skills. continue reading…

Okay, that’s a bit strong, but it got your attention. In truth, I think design patterns are very useful things. They can aid in understanding software design, for documenting and communicating design, and for applying to or refactoring designs; but many people see them as something more.  I saw a consulting job requirement a while ago, and one of the required skills was that the candidate “must have used ALL of the design patterns” documented in the GoF Book.  Is this really significantly different than requiring that a building architect has applied every form of archway and flying butress ever used in the history of construction?  Isn’t awareness more important than past application? continue reading…

I don’t know who originated this trick.  I first read about in in P.J. Plauger’s “Programming on Purpose”.  It was probably first used by assembly language programmer’s when 4-bit systems were common and memory was paltry.  Still, it can be handy in a tight loop even on a relative fast processor. continue reading…