Combined or subsumed



‘Years ago (before online resume submission), the mailroom delivered a box to me. When I opened it, it was a large origami crane, with a note — ‘Unfold me.’ It was a resume.’
Debunking common job-search myths

Have we reached a stage already, where positions such as developer and tester are feeling like holding onto the past? Are they yet another role where the tasks to be either divided, combined or subsumed?  The CV has be largely hailed as out of date, but nothing cohesive to replace it as yet. Perhaps we are in same state for how we think about people in the workplace, and we can’t yet exist without the pervasive labelling in company structures. We will be forced to change soon, however we personally feel.

Picking rice out the keyboard

Internet CafeI am constantly being wrong – as I predicted the end of texting with advent of picture/video messaging (I can get swallowed up in hype sometimes), I also thought there would be demise of internet cafe’s, with mobile companies offering “unlimited” (unlimited is alwasy in quote marks when it comes to web access!). But I find them handy sometimes – I have a nice Desire HD, but still prefer the comfort of browsing on a desktop PC, even when out and about. Mind you, you should check a little before committing – the state of some PC’s in London internet cafe’s are total health risk! The worst I saw was in a chinese takeaway, and the keyboard was so stained, I couldn’t read half the keys.

I have used a few and some are set up better than others. By default, cache should be cleared, but in many places it isnt. For example, the one I am in now, as soon as I kicked up browser and went to linkedin, the previous user was still logged in. And logged into Facebook, and hotmail and twitter and … well, who knows what else. It was a reminder to me not to be sloppy – if another less scrupulous person had come on the PC before I did it could have caused that previous person a lot of embarassment! So be careful in future, Andrea 🙂


Amanda2After a particularly long session in front on the laptop, trying to multi-task servers and development tasks (always a brain burner for the male),  this striking image came to mind, which I saw a few weeks ago  – Amanda Fielding, an artist who I read was a fan of trepanning, to extent of filming doing the procedure on herself, and videoing it.  She used a dentist drill, but did not make the process seem anymore appealing.  When I am working too long on all cylinders, my brain starts to feel like it swelling up like a football, and although the smart part of my brain says what madness it is, the other thinks wouldnt it be nice if it was that easy to relieve pressure!

The founder of the trepanation movement is a Dutch savant, Dr Bart Hughes. In 1962 he made a discovery which his followers proclaim as the most significant in modern times. One’s state and degree of consciousness, he realized, are related to the volume of blood in the brain. According to his theory of evolution, the adoption of an upright stance brought certain benefits to the human race, but it caused the flow of blood through the head to be limited by gravity, thus reducing the range of human consciousness. Certain parts of the brain ceased or reduced their functions while others, particularly those parts relating to speech and reasoning, became emphasized in compensation.

The People With Holes In Their Heads

Where Open Source meets Usability

A common problem in open source development (though forgivable, given nature of open source), is completeness. is an effort to redress this from a usability angle at least.  Still early days, but well worth supporting.

Getting to a state where it is usable for ‘the common computer users’ is one of the greatest challenges for Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS). During the last years, the awareness for usability has significantly increased among FLOSS developers. Still, little knowledge exists about the scope, the methodology and the application of a user-oriented design process.

Changing this is one the major goal of the OpenUsability project. It provides a platform to bring Open Source developers and usability contributors together. The idea is to establish a long-term relationship between usability and FLOSS development, and to foster the establishment of user-oriented design processes.

OpenUsability – Where Open Source meets Usability » Projects

Windmill Testing Framework

Features | Windmill Testing Framework

  • Full Featured Recorder: One click and the IDE writes your test for you
  • DOM Explorer: Explore the DOM, aids in test editing and debugging
  • Assertion Explorer: Quickly generate action validating the state of your application
  • Test Saving and Playback
  • Real Time Performance and Output Information
  • Firebug Lite integration for debugging in all supported browsers

FirefoxSafariInternet ExplorerOpera

A little more positivity

Struggling to write more positive posts, but mind been distracted elsewhere. Consultant work has been dominating my life more than I want to, which has left me little time to explore what’s out there.  A little late, but discovering the joys of facebook, a far superior myspace alternative.  What I like about facebook is it has a better focus. I count myself as extremely web and technically savvy, but found myspace mostly annoying. I like the play the dumb user on the web, as that is how a site should operate – coaxing, nudging and informing me - I dont want to think, I do that at work! I am losing track slightly of web 2.0, but it is my nature to think “yes, thats interesting, but what next??”.  Social bookmarking seemed to start it all (happy to be corrected on that), though of course youtube was largely responsible for a mass acceptance (also happy to be corrected on that :)).Â

 In my early exploratory exercises in the late 90’s, using opens source LAMP applications, all these web 2.0 web applications existed back then, but the general web community was still in a pretty “static” state. As I have said many times - hindsight is a wonderful thing, now all i need is to build that time machine. I have accepted at this moment in time, my time is not here yet. My early attempts at video streaming/sharing venture in 2004, fell short at last post of funding. I found the fascinating trustedplaces post $1 Million in 83 days, a summary of their hunt for funding for the web 2.0 venture.  As well as inspiring I am sure to many, it also made me realise my mistakes back then.Â

 Am I just waiting for my new idea, or just hesitant of sinking my time and passion into something else? Well, I have a baby daughter now, who I want to ultimately inspire, so I am sure the ideas are sitting in my head somewhere.Â

No copyright on web content?

Creative Commons

One of the interesting movements of late, is related to web content and copyrights. Web 2.0 opened up the doors with content syndication, with a general unwritten rule that all content is fair game, as long as it’s credited. I raised the question on linkedin (some summary quotes of which are listed above) gathered responses which followed this view, but where the approach falls over is when someone is writing for a career – the journalist, freelance writers, etc.. Interestingly, although I raised the question on linkedin, and people volnteered answers, linked state that content copyright is linkedin’s. Linkedin skirts borderline of web 2.0, but the same philosophy applies – they need our contribution, our content, our involvement to grow and make profit. To my mind, linkedin’s content is fair game.

The concept of whenever content is put on the www, it inherently loses all rights, is a convenient philosophy, but does not seem instinctively a fair one. Web 2.0 is already being superceded by a new wave of social networking sites, who do not depend on other people’s content. As with surge of open source, creating a free space to evolve sometimes means that toes will be trodden on. In commercial sense, the idea to creating something, just because you love it, with no commercial agenda, doesnt fit into any traditional business models. Although the idea of money not being a driver for success, rather time/effort/love, is atractive. Unfortunately, we are still in the tail end of capatilist death, and as such money can still make or break an individual. Though I agree with the copyright ethos of web 2.0, I find that the people who are still continually bleating about fredom of the web, would also probably argue that all proprty is theft. And indefensible and lazy argument. So why do people take content?

People like what they’ve seen and want to copy it as it will make them look more professional from the start. Whilst copying can be seen as a form of flattery, the reality is that copying content is breaking copyright – the right of the owner who owns that copy.

Kathie M Thomas (

I had used a section of Kathie’s article to illustrate the question. Not because I was too lazy to think of an answer, but I agreed with her view. But taken a qalifying piece of content, crediting and providing a link back to her article, I have followed the unwritten web 2.0 rule. If I took the whole article, and published it on my own, it would be morally and legally indefensible.

QA Management on gaming projects

I have worked on online MMORPG gaming projects, in capacity of QA Manager. Though my focus was on international localization projects, I was able to apply more traditional QA processes successfully to the projects as a whole. Gaming projects, as a rule, rely on a more closed development environment, with testing limited to plain gameplay. While sufficient, I believe this approach restricts possibilities beyond the actual game. For the MMORPG developments I have seen, no real allowance was made for possible interest from external companies, or been prepared in a state for localization. In my QA capacity, these possibilites were obvious. I realise there are not too many QA managers out there with this kind of experience on gaming projects, but if there are, I would love to hear your experiences, especially if you managed to extend a game’s commerical viability using QA processes.