A Failure in the Process

Today, I experienced a costly failure as was posted in my previous blog.

My boss, the wise man that he is, realizes that since I was the one building the software – that I might be able to stare at it for hours and not see a thing wrong with it.

This lead to a discussion on the root of the issue, a failure of process.

I take the blame for my small failure to notice a missing file, but in reality if our process were complete – there would be no way for me to miss it. This point was the subject of an entire semester’s schooling at Trent University‘s Computer Science program.

The gist of it is this. Each project requires a document stating a list of requirements. This list of requirements shall state concisely and clearly each and every operation the project is to perform.

A ‘requirement’ must be testable to be considered a requirement and it should be stated with a ‘shall’ to make it completely unambiguous.

Afterward, all that is required of the developer of a project is to implement only those features that satisfy the list of requirements. If it is not written in the requirements document, it should not be in the project. If the project won’t work without some feature not included in the requirements document, the requirements document needs to be re-written.

If you finally get to a stage where you can test the project, testing is easy! The requirements document becomes a checklist. A developer, preferably someone who wasn’t coding the project in the first place but who understands its logic, shall read through the list of requirements one by one, checking off all which are fully met.

That’s it! It’s a lot of work, really… but when you consider that it really only takes a few extra minutes of your time and that mistakes in an industry such as information technology can be extremely costly (programming mistakes can even cost lives!), you should use proper processes to develop your software. There shouldn’t be any question about it. You need to spend the time on proper process. Otherwise you’re bound to make costly mistakes, sooner or later. Let’s hope it’s sooner.

Cheers

Friday, not a good day

Wow, did today ever suck!

I woke up and looked around my room with the feeling that I had missed something. Wait a minute, why is it so bright out?!? It was 9am – the time I’m supposed to be at work. I called the cab on my cell phone right away and threw on my clothes. Before I had the time to get my boots on the cab was outside honking. Then the bastard asks me “which laneway do you want?” and laughs at me when I told him to take a left onto the street where my work is.

I don’t use any laneway, my workplace is right at the front of a commercial condominium complex. As well, I just woke up… don’t laugh at me you jackass cabbie!

Anyway. After that I get to work, start working on translating some English CD-ROM content to French and my boss approaches me. I had forgotten to add an Excel spreadsheet to a CD-ROM I didn’t even develop. I screwed up bigtime and our company has to reprint 75 CDs at our cost. Needless to say, I was on edge all day. I’m pretty sure I have a job Monday morning, but nothing in life is guaranteed. Especially when the cards are stacked against you (and you’re the one who stacked them).

Couple this all with the fact that I’m just getting over something that has made me very sick and worn out for the past week and that pretty much wraps up a bad Friday.

Well, I think I’ll finish my work for the day and relax after work. ;_;

Anime Fan’s Strife

“It’s all your fault I can’t get any work done…,” she said to me on MSN, “…i keep watching elfen lied.”

It’s a common affliction among anime fans to watch episode after episode of fansubbed animation. The storylines are often riviting and end in cliffhangers or otherwise leave you wanting more.

I think my work is done here… ^_^

WoW!

World of Warcraft takes up a lot of my time these days. I have paid up a 6 month subscription on the service, which cost me $98 CDN with taxes (I think, I have yet to get the bill.)

It’s a great game, game of the year in 2004 I believe. It won a Gamespot Editor’s Choice award as well.

So other than creating this website, working and enjoying time with my friends & girlfriend (and trying to play guitar) – that’s what I do. 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day

Well people, happy St. Valentine‘s day.

My love is sleeping in her bed as the day wastes away… I suppose we’ll spend some time together later.

Myself, I like to wake up and enjoy the day. What is happy about today? If you don’t have a certain someone to share it with, could you share it with friends and/or family who have nothing to do as well? *shrug*

Well… This morning I basically did some work from home that I won’t get paid for. Server management stuff… and now I think I’ll be going out for coffee.

Cheers.

My friend and co-worker Corby a.k.a. Kork has set up a great place to discuss your XML related questions. Check it out! It’s http://www.discussxml.com/.

See you there!

[Edit 2009/01/29 – It seems Corby has taken down discussxml.com]