Steampunk testing

Sex sells, that is a stock sales phrase, and it works – regardless of male/female, heterosexual/gay, we can all succumb to something that appeals to our passion side.  In testing?  Well, the technology world has transformed away from the realm of socially defective loners, to must-have accessory to your life. Most of what is sold, of course, we don’t need.  When fashion entered tech, it trivialised it as well as using it very effectively, for sales and marketing. Continue reading

A “George Constanza” moment

Just had conversation with an recruitment agent, who was calling me to ask me how interview went yesterday (I didn’t have one). For some bizarre reason, I said “it went well”, struggling to remember who agent was, and what interview I was supposed to have had yesterday. I should have simply asked what the job in question was, but I instantly assumed it was belated contact about an interview, not done in recent memory. Continue reading


Take a walk round Shoreditch and Old Street in the daytime, and see the increase in Nathan Barleys. Check out some of the impossibly fashionable cafe’s and coffee shops and yawn, as you feel you are approaching death before being served. Watch in wonder at the grown men, scooting along pavement on bmx’s, with their knees banging their elbows. And lots of pretty women walking along like someone has a camera on them. As this is the likely first area in UK to fully adopt Google Glass, probably good idea to practice not scratching your ass, picking your nose, or examining your tissue after you blown your nose. It’s meant to be a tech hub, but looks to me like collection of the worst excesses of superficiality in tech at the moment. Reminds me very much of the first dotcom boom era, and not in a good way.



I have had a few years of frustration at self-proclaimed “web saviours” amounting to little more than scattergun ddos attacks, ftp and database compromises. All, I should say, as easy to protect yourself against. For a start don’t use ftp! Switch that service off, and use ssh or a secure ftp protocol to deal with file management. I have had a few more experiences this year dealing with fallout from hacker attacks, along with some communication to some groups and individuals.

I have been a little hard on youth, as it is easy to lose focus by getting caught up in a moment. Sometimes I believe hackers confuse the web itself with their targets. Attacking random websites, just because you found back-door access into server or database, seems a little churlish and not in the least bit revolutionary. “Highlighting security flaws” is a pretty weak motivation, as who does it really benefit. The hoster? They nail that particular hole shut and go about their business. Meanwhile the hosters’ customers are the ones who sustain the actual damage.


One of the more publicly known of the more focused hackers is the “The Jester” – he calls himself a (US) Patriot hacker. Maybe not best of starts, but his targets are deliberate – mainly Islamist extremist websites, but occasionally sidesteps onto other projects such as the turgid Westoboro Baptist Church and the tasteless twitter trolling site that appeared quickly in the wake of the Newtown school shootings.

There is an arrogance in the hacker world – as with anything with tech, you get the stars and a million imitation drones. It is easy enough to create a presence on the web and declare yourself and Anonymous hacker. Take credit for other attacks, blame embarrassing boo-boos on other. There is a childish level of “blame culture”, but now the “stars” are easier to spot as they carry an agenda is that understandable and to varying degree, morally sound.

What currently interests me how few seem to challenge hackers online. For all the umprompted outpourings of opinions, no-one seems to challenge something so prevalent and so potentially damaging for individuals. Are you sure you don’t have an opinion? Usually with a little digging you can find responsible party for a website attack. Though there are truly anonymous hackers out there, most will publicise their action in some way. Even if it is just boasting in a readme file! My point is if you don’t voice up when you think something is wrong, how will they ever know. “Script kiddies” are getting to be a bit of a curse, rather than any help.

Agile Business

There are some good articles around at the moment about Agile and Business. The business approach to risk needs to change, avoiding Waterfall type check-points (milestones) to measure risk. An Agile project will stress under pressure of differing objectives between the Agile project and the business, if the old ways are not changed.
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Snowbird – Agile Review

As the Agile Manifesto approaches its 10th anniversary, SD Times is speaking to several of its authors to discuss the gathering at Snowbird, what perspective they brought to the meeting, and what they might do differently. The 12 original authors will reunite at the Agile Alliance Conference this August in Salt Lake City.

The #Agile Daily

It is a seminal moment – 10 years after original Agile manifesto, and a decade of misunderstandings and wacky implementations cuminating in Agile becoming a very dirty buzzword. And 100% unfairly. Its not new behaviour, but Agile was largely used to mask chaos. And power-crazy development teams used it to push out testing and project management. Ignorance is powerful weapon – as many did not really understand the mechanics of Agile methodologies, business latched on to the actual meaning of the word – “agile” sounds goods, sounds fast, sounds competent. I am hoping that lessons have been learnt in UK especially, as our sometimes unhealthy arrogance in world of IT has led to some abysmal implementations of what is fundamentally a logical set of processes and guidelines. Having no DBA is not “Agile” – skipping unit testing is not “Agile” – having no testers is not “Agile”. No-brainers you may think, but very common mindset.

Who is the NHS for again?

How gratifying  – the health system I have contributed to for 20 years, and have hardly used apart from broken thumb, is expecting me to be grateful of a guaranteed full health check every five years now I am over 40.   There was me assuming it was a right anway, but no – i have to wait until its too late to find out if theres a problem.   Then wait too long for treatment, only to end up stuck in a disgusting “exit ward” – and believe me, they are disgusting.  The NHS is largely geared towards people who cannot afford, or are unwilling to contribute to it – the rest of us might as well go private,  than relying on this limping self-serving dinosaur.   Its what they want anyway – contribute for a “public” service, but dont use it – pointless.   Already the plan is being deemed ill-concieved and ill-planned, but it is more rhetoric from government so far out of touch, its tedious.  Time for these parasites to just shut up and leave.  Anarchy is preferable to the joke of a government system at the moment.