Making mistakes


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  1. #1
    Brian Copeland Guest

    Making mistakes

    I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make mistakes.

    In most of the programs I had made over the past year they have been bug
    free (well neglible anyway).

    Well the last program I made was during a very stressful time at work,
    things were changing, and chaos reigned. The program went live, and it ran
    its course, and everything was fine in the land of Oz. However, we are now
    doing analysis of the data retrieved, and found out due to errors in my
    code, a lot of information was missed and therefore saved the wrong
    information. I admit that I made the mistakes.

    However, now, there are many many grumblings from everyone about my
    incompetence, and inability to do a good job anymore. The fact is I work
    very very hard and have (and still do) produced many great easy-to-use error
    free programs.

    What I want to know, does anyone out there make mistakes? No seriously
    though, does every company really expect their programmers to be perfect 100
    percent of the time?

    Since I am only human, I can't achieve this lofty goal, does anyone have any
    advice to make myself as perfect as can be? I wrote this program rather
    quickly, but I did spend a lot of time debugging, correcting, and making
    sure all of the data entered was the same as the data saved, however, I did
    miss a few things, that in code were very minor, but unfortunatley had major
    ramifications.

    The company budget does not extend enough to hire another programmer to
    assist me (not that these programs are two people jobs anyway), and no one
    has the time to check my work, other than testing the user interface. No
    one wants to look into the databases,other than me. Its always a matter of
    'Is it done yet? Then install it and lets get going'. On occasions in the
    past, with other programs I finish the coding and made to put the software
    live right away, where I am not even given any time to properly check for
    everything still stable and functional. Am I just making excuses about the
    situation?

    What i want to know is for many of you programmers out there, do you have
    people to check your work? check data integrity and quality, etc? Or are
    you all alone on a long and dark highway hoping nothing falls apart when the
    program goes live?

    I guess I am rambling a bit here. I can't achieve perfection, but can I
    expect the world to realize that I am only human?

    At wits end,
    Brian



  2. #2
    Larry Serflaten Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    I can't help much on the work conditions, I just wanted to point out that
    this is a fact of human nature. You are expected to do the right thing, all
    the time, without (much) praise or reward. But when you mess up, you
    can bet people will notice.

    Consider the guy who barely eeks out an honest living for 20 years and
    suddenly finds himself in dire straights, in need of money to feed himself.
    In a momentary lapse of good judgement, he tries to rob a bank and
    gets caught red handed, convicted, and set to prison. Nevermind the
    20 years of honest living, after he gets out, he is an ex-convict, the rest
    of his life.

    Your situation may not be as detremental, but, like him, you can't
    change the past. What you can do is find out what caused you to
    miss the error, and strive to do better, in every other project you
    set about to do...

    Good luck
    LFS


    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote in message news:39b94b2a@news.devx.com...
    > I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make mistakes.

    ...[snip]..
    > I guess I am rambling a bit here. I can't achieve perfection, but can I
    > expect the world to realize that I am only human?
    >
    > At wits end,
    > Brian
    >
    >




  3. #3
    Thomas Eyde Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    A pretty good description of the situation I found myself in a few years
    ago. When I look back it is easy to recognize my own lack of experience and
    my superior's lack of knowledge of what I am really doing.

    We missed on almost everything possible, I was the only one to run and
    manage the project, and at the same time I also had to run and manage a
    different project going almost as bad.

    You have to educate your management of what you are doing, of the
    consequences of not doing it right. A failed project cost a lot in bug
    fixing, but more interesting are the missed opportunities because of that.

    --
    /Thomas
    thomas.eyde@eunet.no


    Brian Copeland <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote in message
    news:39b94b2a@news.devx.com...
    > I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make mistakes.
    >
    > In most of the programs I had made over the past year they have been bug
    > free (well neglible anyway).
    >
    > Well the last program I made was during a very stressful time at work,
    > things were changing, and chaos reigned. The program went live, and it

    ran
    > its course, and everything was fine in the land of Oz. However, we are

    now
    > doing analysis of the data retrieved, and found out due to errors in my
    > code, a lot of information was missed and therefore saved the wrong
    > information. I admit that I made the mistakes.
    >
    > However, now, there are many many grumblings from everyone about my
    > incompetence, and inability to do a good job anymore. The fact is I work
    > very very hard and have (and still do) produced many great easy-to-use

    error
    > free programs.
    >
    > What I want to know, does anyone out there make mistakes? No seriously
    > though, does every company really expect their programmers to be perfect

    100
    > percent of the time?
    >
    > Since I am only human, I can't achieve this lofty goal, does anyone have

    any
    > advice to make myself as perfect as can be? I wrote this program rather
    > quickly, but I did spend a lot of time debugging, correcting, and making
    > sure all of the data entered was the same as the data saved, however, I

    did
    > miss a few things, that in code were very minor, but unfortunatley had

    major
    > ramifications.
    >
    > The company budget does not extend enough to hire another programmer to
    > assist me (not that these programs are two people jobs anyway), and no one
    > has the time to check my work, other than testing the user interface. No
    > one wants to look into the databases,other than me. Its always a matter

    of
    > 'Is it done yet? Then install it and lets get going'. On occasions in

    the
    > past, with other programs I finish the coding and made to put the software
    > live right away, where I am not even given any time to properly check for
    > everything still stable and functional. Am I just making excuses about

    the
    > situation?
    >
    > What i want to know is for many of you programmers out there, do you have
    > people to check your work? check data integrity and quality, etc? Or are
    > you all alone on a long and dark highway hoping nothing falls apart when

    the
    > program goes live?
    >
    > I guess I am rambling a bit here. I can't achieve perfection, but can I
    > expect the world to realize that I am only human?
    >
    > At wits end,
    > Brian
    >
    >




  4. #4
    mrfelis Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    Programmers aren't perfect. When we mess up, things break down. From the
    sounds of what you describe, your software development is poorly managed.
    You need to educate your manager on how to properly manage you. Look around
    for a good software development book that targets managers and give it to
    your as a Christmass or birthday present.

    http://www.tenberry.com/nodefect.htm is a good start. Although this sight is
    directed at
    marketing their own code.

    Tell him is was a real interesting book and you thought he would be
    interested in it. Don't tell him that he's not mamging you correctly.

    --
    ~~~
    C'Ya,
    mrfelis
    mrfelis@yahoo.NOSPAM.com
    just remove the spam
    Brian Copeland <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote in message
    news:39b94b2a@news.devx.com...
    > I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make mistakes.
    >
    > In most of the programs I had made over the past year they have been bug
    > free (well neglible anyway).
    >
    > Well the last program I made was during a very stressful time at work,
    > things were changing, and chaos reigned. The program went live, and it

    ran
    > its course, and everything was fine in the land of Oz. However, we are

    now
    > doing analysis of the data retrieved, and found out due to errors in my
    > code, a lot of information was missed and therefore saved the wrong
    > information. I admit that I made the mistakes.
    >
    > However, now, there are many many grumblings from everyone about my
    > incompetence, and inability to do a good job anymore. The fact is I work
    > very very hard and have (and still do) produced many great easy-to-use

    error
    > free programs.
    >
    > What I want to know, does anyone out there make mistakes? No seriously
    > though, does every company really expect their programmers to be perfect

    100
    > percent of the time?
    >
    > Since I am only human, I can't achieve this lofty goal, does anyone have

    any
    > advice to make myself as perfect as can be? I wrote this program rather
    > quickly, but I did spend a lot of time debugging, correcting, and making
    > sure all of the data entered was the same as the data saved, however, I

    did
    > miss a few things, that in code were very minor, but unfortunatley had

    major
    > ramifications.
    >
    > The company budget does not extend enough to hire another programmer to
    > assist me (not that these programs are two people jobs anyway), and no one
    > has the time to check my work, other than testing the user interface. No
    > one wants to look into the databases,other than me. Its always a matter

    of
    > 'Is it done yet? Then install it and lets get going'. On occasions in

    the
    > past, with other programs I finish the coding and made to put the software
    > live right away, where I am not even given any time to properly check for
    > everything still stable and functional. Am I just making excuses about

    the
    > situation?
    >
    > What i want to know is for many of you programmers out there, do you have
    > people to check your work? check data integrity and quality, etc? Or are
    > you all alone on a long and dark highway hoping nothing falls apart when

    the
    > program goes live?
    >
    > I guess I am rambling a bit here. I can't achieve perfection, but can I
    > expect the world to realize that I am only human?
    >
    > At wits end,
    > Brian
    >
    >






  5. #5
    Matthew Jarboe Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    Brian,

    Since you mention that you are doing both the management and development
    of the software, as I once have, you may wish to consider fact that you are
    also Q/A and may not realize it. If you are not giving yourself adequate
    time to audit your own software using a production type scenario then you
    are cheating yourself. Don't rely on other people to tell you that your
    program worked.

    Producing fewer programs of higher quality will earn you the respect of your
    peers faster than producing more programs of lesser quality.

    Good Luck!
    Matthew Jarboe


    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote:
    >I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make mistakes.
    >
    >In most of the programs I had made over the past year they have been bug
    >free (well neglible anyway).
    >




  6. #6
    Strider Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    Everyone makes mistakes, the companies responsiblity is to provide help with
    QA. QA, QA,QA, QA. I code and get things to work a certain way, if I didn't
    have QA or at the very minimum other developers look at the results of what
    I was doing, then the process is wrong and not the coder.

    John C
    Brian Copeland <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote in message
    news:39b94b2a@news.devx.com...
    > I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make mistakes.
    >
    > In most of the programs I had made over the past year they have been bug
    > free (well neglible anyway).
    >
    > Well the last program I made was during a very stressful time at work,
    > things were changing, and chaos reigned. The program went live, and it

    ran
    > its course, and everything was fine in the land of Oz. However, we are

    now
    > doing analysis of the data retrieved, and found out due to errors in my
    > code, a lot of information was missed and therefore saved the wrong
    > information. I admit that I made the mistakes.
    >
    > However, now, there are many many grumblings from everyone about my
    > incompetence, and inability to do a good job anymore. The fact is I work
    > very very hard and have (and still do) produced many great easy-to-use

    error
    > free programs.
    >
    > What I want to know, does anyone out there make mistakes? No seriously
    > though, does every company really expect their programmers to be perfect

    100
    > percent of the time?
    >
    > Since I am only human, I can't achieve this lofty goal, does anyone have

    any
    > advice to make myself as perfect as can be? I wrote this program rather
    > quickly, but I did spend a lot of time debugging, correcting, and making
    > sure all of the data entered was the same as the data saved, however, I

    did
    > miss a few things, that in code were very minor, but unfortunatley had

    major
    > ramifications.
    >
    > The company budget does not extend enough to hire another programmer to
    > assist me (not that these programs are two people jobs anyway), and no one
    > has the time to check my work, other than testing the user interface. No
    > one wants to look into the databases,other than me. Its always a matter

    of
    > 'Is it done yet? Then install it and lets get going'. On occasions in

    the
    > past, with other programs I finish the coding and made to put the software
    > live right away, where I am not even given any time to properly check for
    > everything still stable and functional. Am I just making excuses about

    the
    > situation?
    >
    > What i want to know is for many of you programmers out there, do you have
    > people to check your work? check data integrity and quality, etc? Or are
    > you all alone on a long and dark highway hoping nothing falls apart when

    the
    > program goes live?
    >
    > I guess I am rambling a bit here. I can't achieve perfection, but can I
    > expect the world to realize that I am only human?
    >
    > At wits end,
    > Brian
    >
    >




  7. #7
    Brian Copeland Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    John,

    Now you see the dilemma. I can't make myself perfect, but the company
    cannot afford to have a permanent tester person to improve the process. I
    realize that there is a problem (although everyone admits the problem is me
    hehehe).

    What can be done to improve the process? I have read Deborah Kurata's
    GUID's plan, and follow it as best as I can but I am only one imperfect
    person.

    What do other companies do (where there is only one programmer/IT person) to
    keep the quality of code high and the number of critical errors low, and
    still remain cost effective?


    "Strider" <jf_cantley@empowered.com> wrote in message
    news:39bfd464$1@news.devx.com...
    > Everyone makes mistakes, the companies responsiblity is to provide help

    with
    > QA. QA, QA,QA, QA. I code and get things to work a certain way, if I

    didn't
    > have QA or at the very minimum other developers look at the results of

    what
    > I was doing, then the process is wrong and not the coder.
    >
    > John C
    > Brian Copeland <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote in message
    > news:39b94b2a@news.devx.com...
    > > I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make

    mistakes.
    > >
    > > In most of the programs I had made over the past year they have been bug
    > > free (well neglible anyway).
    > >
    > > Well the last program I made was during a very stressful time at work,
    > > things were changing, and chaos reigned. The program went live, and it

    > ran
    > > its course, and everything was fine in the land of Oz. However, we are

    > now
    > > doing analysis of the data retrieved, and found out due to errors in my
    > > code, a lot of information was missed and therefore saved the wrong
    > > information. I admit that I made the mistakes.
    > >
    > > However, now, there are many many grumblings from everyone about my
    > > incompetence, and inability to do a good job anymore. The fact is I

    work
    > > very very hard and have (and still do) produced many great easy-to-use

    > error
    > > free programs.
    > >
    > > What I want to know, does anyone out there make mistakes? No seriously
    > > though, does every company really expect their programmers to be perfect

    > 100
    > > percent of the time?
    > >
    > > Since I am only human, I can't achieve this lofty goal, does anyone have

    > any
    > > advice to make myself as perfect as can be? I wrote this program rather
    > > quickly, but I did spend a lot of time debugging, correcting, and making
    > > sure all of the data entered was the same as the data saved, however, I

    > did
    > > miss a few things, that in code were very minor, but unfortunatley had

    > major
    > > ramifications.
    > >
    > > The company budget does not extend enough to hire another programmer to
    > > assist me (not that these programs are two people jobs anyway), and no

    one
    > > has the time to check my work, other than testing the user interface.

    No
    > > one wants to look into the databases,other than me. Its always a matter

    > of
    > > 'Is it done yet? Then install it and lets get going'. On occasions in

    > the
    > > past, with other programs I finish the coding and made to put the

    software
    > > live right away, where I am not even given any time to properly check

    for
    > > everything still stable and functional. Am I just making excuses about

    > the
    > > situation?
    > >
    > > What i want to know is for many of you programmers out there, do you

    have
    > > people to check your work? check data integrity and quality, etc? Or

    are
    > > you all alone on a long and dark highway hoping nothing falls apart when

    > the
    > > program goes live?
    > >
    > > I guess I am rambling a bit here. I can't achieve perfection, but can I
    > > expect the world to realize that I am only human?
    > >
    > > At wits end,
    > > Brian
    > >
    > >

    >
    >




  8. #8
    Vincent Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    Brian,

    I have no idea of your environment.
    So take this for what it is worth:

    Managers are to get more done for less. You might want more support, tools,
    training, .....to deliver the value that you expect, and avoid a repetition
    of a mistake.

    Life is too short and we work too hard:

    Get a mentor, find a professionally managed IT shop, get training; put yourself
    in the position to consistently deliver world-class products, in a supportive
    environment that promotes risk-taking, values its employees, understands
    the requirements for quality systems development and maintenance, and ( with
    your proven performance ) realizes that no one perfect.

    We often feel badly about the "acceptable products" we deliver because we
    knew, from the start that they could be better.

    In the "real world" of short-term goals, we do not have the luxury of the
    support of business analysts, testers, librarians, libraries of tested components/modules,
    or even measurable standards and oversight.

    In spite of the proven value of collaboration, a second opinion, real teams,
    shared knowledge...... , we sit alone cranking out customer service requests.

    I have found this is a good way to loose your people skills, get into bad
    habits, and get bored. Sometimes, the harder you work unsupported and unappreciated,
    the more isolated you become, and the more you work to get "rewarded". By
    witholding tools, pay, praise, compensation, businesses can get you to work
    until you drop.


    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote:
    >I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make mistakes.
    >
    >In most of the programs I had made over the past year they have been bug
    >free (well neglible anyway).
    >
    >Well the last program I made was during a very stressful time at work,
    >things were changing, and chaos reigned. The program went live, and it

    ran
    >its course, and everything was fine in the land of Oz. However, we are

    now
    >doing analysis of the data retrieved, and found out due to errors in my
    >code, a lot of information was missed and therefore saved the wrong
    >information. I admit that I made the mistakes.
    >
    >However, now, there are many many grumblings from everyone about my
    >incompetence, and inability to do a good job anymore. The fact is I work
    >very very hard and have (and still do) produced many great easy-to-use error
    >free programs.
    >
    >What I want to know, does anyone out there make mistakes? No seriously
    >though, does every company really expect their programmers to be perfect

    100
    >percent of the time?
    >
    >Since I am only human, I can't achieve this lofty goal, does anyone have

    any
    >advice to make myself as perfect as can be? I wrote this program rather
    >quickly, but I did spend a lot of time debugging, correcting, and making
    >sure all of the data entered was the same as the data saved, however, I

    did
    >miss a few things, that in code were very minor, but unfortunatley had major
    >ramifications.
    >
    >The company budget does not extend enough to hire another programmer to
    >assist me (not that these programs are two people jobs anyway), and no one
    >has the time to check my work, other than testing the user interface. No
    >one wants to look into the databases,other than me. Its always a matter

    of
    >'Is it done yet? Then install it and lets get going'. On occasions in

    the
    >past, with other programs I finish the coding and made to put the software
    >live right away, where I am not even given any time to properly check for
    >everything still stable and functional. Am I just making excuses about

    the
    >situation?
    >
    >What i want to know is for many of you programmers out there, do you have
    >people to check your work? check data integrity and quality, etc? Or are
    >you all alone on a long and dark highway hoping nothing falls apart when

    the
    >program goes live?
    >
    >I guess I am rambling a bit here. I can't achieve perfection, but can I
    >expect the world to realize that I am only human?
    >
    >At wits end,
    >Brian
    >
    >



  9. #9
    Flacco Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    > What do other companies do (where there is only one programmer/IT person)

    to
    > keep the quality of code high and the number of critical errors low, and
    > still remain cost effective?


    I'm a single programmer ( I wish I had team programming experience :-(... )

    Are you using new techniques/technologies in this project?

    I try to implement small, low-risk applications with new technologies before
    trusting myself with critical applications :-)






  10. #10
    Brian Copeland Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    "Flacco" <Flacco001_REMOVE_@twilight-systems.com> wrote in message
    news:39c09234$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > Are you using new techniques/technologies in this project?


    Well no not really new technologies. This program was a live telephone
    survey. And what happens is that as the survey goes on, depending on the
    answers to certain questions, it determines what questions get asked or
    don't asked...and then determine what gets saved to the database or not.

    I created the survey in a wizard format. Everyone here loves the wizard
    (even though they are a right and royal pain to program) but it makes the
    user much more efficient and helps them to do a better job. The user
    interface itself wasn't really the program.

    I wasn't using anything new. Just simple VB5 and DAO, what I have been
    using for over 2 years here at this company. The user interface is the
    ..exe, the classes are a .dll, same as I always do.

    > I try to implement small, low-risk applications with new technologies

    before
    > trusting myself with critical applications :-)


    Yeah its the same here. But I haven't used any new technology/techniques
    for about a year. I decided I wanted to start using classes on that sunny
    summer day.

    I haven't found a practical use for a flux capacitor yet....

    Brian



  11. #11
    N. Hanson Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    Brian,

    I have a CYA suggestion that you may or may not already be doing. It sounds
    like you thoroughly test your programs but you don't get much help from the
    users other than does the screen look appealing. What I would suggest is
    you make a thorough test plan consisting of scenarios or test cases. Better
    yet sit with the users and come up with scenarios, as many as you can. Along,
    with that document what the end results of those scenarios should be in terms
    of your softwares output. Once you have the scenarios documented I would
    then require that the users sign off on them as they are testing.

    Having the scenarios and having your users sign off on them does 2 things.
    First, it covers your behind if things go wrong because the users would
    be as much to blame as you are. Second, it gives them a sense of ownership
    in the application and therefore more at stake. If they are unwilling to
    do this I think it may be time to start searching for another job.

    I've had similar problems in the past and the best policy for this is to
    CYA. I'll finish by saying this is just one of the many techniques I've
    picked up in my career. Another is to make abundantly clear to the business
    area the implications of doing or not doing something. This includes testing.
    What it all boils down to is CYA and a lot of times this means documenting
    as much as you can. Often times I will email someone just so I have proof
    of what I talked to them about.

    Well, that's my 2 cents, I hope it's worth more than that to you.

    N. Hanson, MCSD


    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote:
    >I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make mistakes.
    >
    >In most of the programs I had made over the past year they have been bug
    >free (well neglible anyway).
    >
    >Well the last program I made was during a very stressful time at work,
    >things were changing, and chaos reigned. The program went live, and it

    ran
    >its course, and everything was fine in the land of Oz. However, we are

    now
    >doing analysis of the data retrieved, and found out due to errors in my
    >code, a lot of information was missed and therefore saved the wrong
    >information. I admit that I made the mistakes.
    >
    >However, now, there are many many grumblings from everyone about my
    >incompetence, and inability to do a good job anymore. The fact is I work
    >very very hard and have (and still do) produced many great easy-to-use error
    >free programs.
    >
    >What I want to know, does anyone out there make mistakes? No seriously
    >though, does every company really expect their programmers to be perfect

    100
    >percent of the time?
    >
    >Since I am only human, I can't achieve this lofty goal, does anyone have

    any
    >advice to make myself as perfect as can be? I wrote this program rather
    >quickly, but I did spend a lot of time debugging, correcting, and making
    >sure all of the data entered was the same as the data saved, however, I

    did
    >miss a few things, that in code were very minor, but unfortunatley had major
    >ramifications.
    >
    >The company budget does not extend enough to hire another programmer to
    >assist me (not that these programs are two people jobs anyway), and no one
    >has the time to check my work, other than testing the user interface. No
    >one wants to look into the databases,other than me. Its always a matter

    of
    >'Is it done yet? Then install it and lets get going'. On occasions in

    the
    >past, with other programs I finish the coding and made to put the software
    >live right away, where I am not even given any time to properly check for
    >everything still stable and functional. Am I just making excuses about

    the
    >situation?
    >
    >What i want to know is for many of you programmers out there, do you have
    >people to check your work? check data integrity and quality, etc? Or are
    >you all alone on a long and dark highway hoping nothing falls apart when

    the
    >program goes live?
    >
    >I guess I am rambling a bit here. I can't achieve perfection, but can I
    >expect the world to realize that I am only human?
    >
    >At wits end,
    >Brian
    >
    >



  12. #12
    Strider Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    My recommendation would be to use other employees to test the results of
    your coding. I had a secretary I used at one place that was a world of help.
    She would do my testing for me. Watching the errors she was making
    strengthened my UI and then she would validate the results for me. The only
    way to create a bug free application without having a QA person is to use
    people in the company that will be using the application.

    John Cantley
    Brian Copeland <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote in message
    news:39c0d900$1@news.devx.com...
    > "Flacco" <Flacco001_REMOVE_@twilight-systems.com> wrote in message
    > news:39c09234$1@news.devx.com...
    > >
    > > Are you using new techniques/technologies in this project?

    >
    > Well no not really new technologies. This program was a live telephone
    > survey. And what happens is that as the survey goes on, depending on the
    > answers to certain questions, it determines what questions get asked or
    > don't asked...and then determine what gets saved to the database or not.
    >
    > I created the survey in a wizard format. Everyone here loves the wizard
    > (even though they are a right and royal pain to program) but it makes the
    > user much more efficient and helps them to do a better job. The user
    > interface itself wasn't really the program.
    >
    > I wasn't using anything new. Just simple VB5 and DAO, what I have been
    > using for over 2 years here at this company. The user interface is the
    > .exe, the classes are a .dll, same as I always do.
    >
    > > I try to implement small, low-risk applications with new technologies

    > before
    > > trusting myself with critical applications :-)

    >
    > Yeah its the same here. But I haven't used any new technology/techniques
    > for about a year. I decided I wanted to start using classes on that sunny
    > summer day.
    >
    > I haven't found a practical use for a flux capacitor yet....
    >
    > Brian
    >
    >




  13. #13
    Shawn K. Hall Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    I just love the "secretary beta" idea.

    At the last shop I worked at we did pretty much the same thing. I
    was the only programmer at the branch and the entire office only
    had 4 people (manager, secretary, business developer and me).
    When the secretary wasn't "busy" or during a crunch when I really
    needed someone to test my app, she would always test it.

    This does provide a wonderful means for beta testing, because
    secretaries are generally completely out of the loop when it
    comes to "what is the application supposed to do" - so you can
    find those little bugs that nobody that knew what they were doing
    would have found (there's probably a lot of these). But
    secretaries are often unfamiliar with the terminology so *you*
    have to learn "secretary-speak" in order to figure out what she
    means when she thinks there's a bug.

    I can't remember how many times she told me to "give her the next
    screen" - I was sure this meant she needed screen-shots of the
    forms for a brochure/promo. After having to explain to her what
    to "do" with a JPG or BMP I tried sending her an EXE once and
    suddenly she was satisfied. If she's competent with computers you
    probably won't hear a lot of the stuff I did (like "how do I
    close the application?" (you could try the "x" in the top right
    corner or "File>Exit") and "how do I save" (maybe the button that
    says "Save", the big floppy disk on the toolbar or "File>Save")).
    She did help me find a few nasty little bugs though. I found
    after about 3 months of her "testing" for me, that it was easier
    to use a logging system with EXACT date and time of events and
    dump ActiveForm properties every "x" seconds than to try to
    interpret her very "interesting" descriptions of problems she
    found. I made a "bug report" form which I instructed her to
    record the exact time (from the system tray) that the error
    occured.

    Good luck,

    Shawn K. Hall
    Please post/respond *only* in the newsgroups


    "Strider" <jf_cantley@empowered.com> wrote in message
    news:39c0f94d$1@news.devx.com...

    > My recommendation would be to use other employees to test the

    results of
    > your coding. I had a secretary I used at one place that was a

    world of help.
    > She would do my testing for me. Watching the errors she was

    making
    > strengthened my UI and then she would validate the results for

    me. The only
    > way to create a bug free application without having a QA person

    is to use
    > people in the company that will be using the application.
    >
    > John Cantley





  14. #14
    Brian Copeland Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    For N. Hanson and Shawn K. Hall.

    Thank you for supplying some great advice. I was already having some people
    test the applications (although not very thoroughly), but having them sign
    off what they have tested and that the app is ready to 'live' data is great!

    Thank you so much.

    Brian



  15. #15
    James Dooley Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    Hi Brian,

    I've work as a contractor for a long time now, so I may be a bit more
    experienced than most at doing the CYA bit. At the start of the project
    I point out to the user that they are the expert in the particular business
    area and that they must test and approve the programs before they go
    into production (including a formal signing off), if they are not prepared
    to do this, then I simply will not get involved!

    Regards,

    James.

    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote in message
    news:39b94b2a@news.devx.com...
    > I have just realized that I am only human and therefore can make mistakes.
    >
    > In most of the programs I had made over the past year they have been bug
    > free (well neglible anyway).
    >
    > Well the last program I made was during a very stressful time at work,
    > things were changing, and chaos reigned. The program went live, and it

    ran
    > its course, and everything was fine in the land of Oz. However, we are

    now
    > doing analysis of the data retrieved, and found out due to errors in my
    > code, a lot of information was missed and therefore saved the wrong
    > information. I admit that I made the mistakes.
    >
    > However, now, there are many many grumblings from everyone about my
    > incompetence, and inability to do a good job anymore. The fact is I work
    > very very hard and have (and still do) produced many great easy-to-use

    error
    > free programs.
    >
    > What I want to know, does anyone out there make mistakes? No seriously
    > though, does every company really expect their programmers to be perfect

    100
    > percent of the time?
    >
    > Since I am only human, I can't achieve this lofty goal, does anyone have

    any
    > advice to make myself as perfect as can be? I wrote this program rather
    > quickly, but I did spend a lot of time debugging, correcting, and making
    > sure all of the data entered was the same as the data saved, however, I

    did
    > miss a few things, that in code were very minor, but unfortunatley had

    major
    > ramifications.
    >
    > The company budget does not extend enough to hire another programmer to
    > assist me (not that these programs are two people jobs anyway), and no one
    > has the time to check my work, other than testing the user interface. No
    > one wants to look into the databases,other than me. Its always a matter

    of
    > 'Is it done yet? Then install it and lets get going'. On occasions in

    the
    > past, with other programs I finish the coding and made to put the software
    > live right away, where I am not even given any time to properly check for
    > everything still stable and functional. Am I just making excuses about

    the
    > situation?
    >
    > What i want to know is for many of you programmers out there, do you have
    > people to check your work? check data integrity and quality, etc? Or are
    > you all alone on a long and dark highway hoping nothing falls apart when

    the
    > program goes live?
    >
    > I guess I am rambling a bit here. I can't achieve perfection, but can I
    > expect the world to realize that I am only human?
    >
    > At wits end,
    > Brian
    >
    >




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