Robert V. Binder

Archive for Blog

Technical Equity

March 27, 2012  |  Blog, Business, Process, Software Products  |  No Comments

Technical Equity is the value that accrues when a software system is well-formed.  Instead of burdening you with unnecessary excess cost, your codebase works for you. Technical equity pays dividends: you avoid wasted effort and the consequences of buggy releases, and gain the advantage of releasing sooner and/or with more features,…

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How Technical Debt turns into Technical Bankruptcy

March 27, 2012  |  Blog, Business, Process, Software Products  |  No Comments
Cosmic matter spiraling into a black hole

Technical Bankruptcy occurs when technical debt overwhelms the maintainers of a software system. I’ve previously blogged about a case study:  how the accumulation of poor development practices resulted in the business failure of highly successful Enterprise IT software company.
The technical debt metaphor provides a nice handle for a software development …

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Britannica Brat

March 19, 2012  |  Blog, Business, Technology  |  6 Comments

I’ve been reflecting on the recent announcement that Encyclopedia Britannica (EB) will no longer publish in print. Subscription to its web site is now the only offered media.

My full set of the 15th edition (1974) rests on the lower two shelves of a bookcase in the room where I’m writing this…

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The Spreadsheet Experiment

March 10, 2012  |  Blog, Mobile Apps, Software Testing, Technology  |  2 Comments

Having spent many years on the bleeding edge of test automation and model-based testing, I recently tried an experiment to see to what extent Excel could support a test plan for manual testing of mobile apps.
In a earlier post, I explained some of the thinking behind my new course “How…

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Testability Part 4: White Box Strategies

March 8, 2012  |  Blog, Software Testing, Testability  |  No Comments

This post covers part four of my 2010 talk on testability. White box testability refers to specific programming practices and components that can improve or hinder testability.
Since Dykstra’s 1968 note “Go To Considered Harmful,” practices for producing clean, well-structured, readable, and maintainable software have been the subject of extensive discussion,…

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What I Learned Building a Software Product with Tcl

February 25, 2012  |  Blog, Business, Networking, Process, Software Products  |  4 Comments

Through Google Circles, I happened to see David Welton’s very interesting reflection on the Tcl programming language (posted in 2010):
http://journal.dedasys.com/2010/03/30/where-tcl-and-tk-went-wrong/
About ten years ago, I chose to develop a commercial automated software testing tool with Tcl and Tk. This post explains that decision and its consequences.
Despite testing tools that tout “visual programming”…

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The Genesis of How to Test Mobile Apps

February 16, 2012  |  Blog, Mobile Apps, Software Testing, Technology  |  2 Comments

Around December 2011, the millionth mobile app was released. This is is an amazing milestone. It shows how important the mobile space has become and how rapidly it’s evolving.
I wondered, have any of these apps been tested? My guess: probably only a few.  So, I know what will happen — once users get…

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Real Users of Model-based Testing

I think’ve finally found a good visual metaphor for model-based testing. In Aliens, Ellen Ripley uses the power lifter suit to battle the Alien Queen. Model-based testing is like the power lifter suit. It has to be driven with intelligence and skill, but it’s your only hope against the super bugs that…

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Supporting Software Inspections and Reviews

December 3, 2011  |  Blog, Process, Software Products  |  6 Comments
Machinist's Gauges

In every software project where I’ve used some form of review process (formal inspections, walkthroughs, or reviews — for this post I refer to all as “reviews”), the gain has always justified the pain. Invariably, some developers really dislike this process, leading to tantrums reminiscent of Orange Country Choppers.
But I’ve regretted every time…

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If It Moves, Test It

The FDA has just published a new draft of guidance about mobile technology in FDA-regulated systems. This guidance is open for comment and isn’t binding yet.
So, what does this mean for testing FDA-regulated products with mobile technology?
The draft guidance defines when mobile platforms are considered as part of a regulated system or not. The criteria for inclusion…

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