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Thread: Making mistakes

  1. #16
    Brian Copeland Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    Hi James,

    Thanks for the advice...once I figured out what CYA meant heheh.

    Seriously though, I understand what you are doing. However, you are
    entering an environment where essentially you are either automating an
    existing system or updating an existing system, hence having experts in the
    field, as it were.

    My place of employ doesn't work that way. I get a copy of the survey and
    have to create a user interface (and database) for the telephone agents to
    use. However, 99/100 times the agent is given the same survey when i start
    programming the UI. During this time, the survey is done 'manually', and
    kept on paper, until the UI is done and the users then will enter in the
    'manual' surveys. Then everything goes live on the telephones. There isn't
    an 'expert' in place to say this is how the program should go, or this is
    what th eprogram should have. I have to program based completely on the
    appearance of the survey given to me.

    I can try using the CYA sign off system, so at least if I have to go down ,
    everyone else is coming down with me <G>


    "James Dooley" <james@siteknowhow.com> wrote in message
    news:39c61029$1@news.devx.com...
    > 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
    > >
    > >

    >
    >




  2. #17
    James Dooley Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    Hi Brian,

    Even so, your user should be able to take some of this 'manual' data,
    calculate
    what the expected out put should be and then pump it through your system to
    check
    that it's producing the right out put...... Users can always come up with a
    1000
    reasons why they can't test a system - their decision not to test a system
    is their
    responsibility not yours.

    Best Regards,

    James.

    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote in message
    news:39c61b1e@news.devx.com...
    > Hi James,
    >
    > Thanks for the advice...once I figured out what CYA meant heheh.
    >
    > Seriously though, I understand what you are doing. However, you are
    > entering an environment where essentially you are either automating an
    > existing system or updating an existing system, hence having experts in

    the
    > field, as it were.
    >
    > My place of employ doesn't work that way. I get a copy of the survey and
    > have to create a user interface (and database) for the telephone agents to
    > use. However, 99/100 times the agent is given the same survey when i

    start
    > programming the UI. During this time, the survey is done 'manually', and
    > kept on paper, until the UI is done and the users then will enter in the
    > 'manual' surveys. Then everything goes live on the telephones. There

    isn't
    > an 'expert' in place to say this is how the program should go, or this is
    > what th eprogram should have. I have to program based completely on the
    > appearance of the survey given to me.
    >
    > I can try using the CYA sign off system, so at least if I have to go down

    ,
    > everyone else is coming down with me <G>
    >
    >
    > "James Dooley" <james@siteknowhow.com> wrote in message
    > news:39c61029$1@news.devx.com...
    > > 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
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >

    >
    >




  3. #18
    Brian Copeland Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    "James Dooley" <james@siteknowhow.com> wrote in message
    news:39c6ff7a@news.devx.com...
    > Hi Brian,
    >
    > Even so, your user should be able to take some of this 'manual' data,
    > calculate
    > what the expected out put should be and then pump it through your system

    to
    > check
    > that it's producing the right out put...... Users can always come up with

    a
    > 1000
    > reasons why they can't test a system - their decision not to test a system
    > is their
    > responsibility not yours.


    Thanks for the advice James...i will implement it on the next project.



  4. #19
    James Dooley Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    Good luck!

    James

    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote in message
    news:39c764f2@news.devx.com...
    > "James Dooley" <james@siteknowhow.com> wrote in message
    > news:39c6ff7a@news.devx.com...
    > > Hi Brian,
    > >
    > > Even so, your user should be able to take some of this 'manual' data,
    > > calculate
    > > what the expected out put should be and then pump it through your system

    > to
    > > check
    > > that it's producing the right out put...... Users can always come up

    with
    > a
    > > 1000
    > > reasons why they can't test a system - their decision not to test a

    system
    > > is their
    > > responsibility not yours.

    >
    > Thanks for the advice James...i will implement it on the next project.
    >
    >




  5. #20
    Ethan Allen Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    Boy, do I hear you, brother !

    Of course we all make mistakes. That's how we get better. Your managers
    make
    mistakes all the time too.

    However, they say every mistake is an opportunity ... so ...

    >> we are now doing analysis of the data retrieved


    There's a problem with this, right ? Why didn't we do an analysis BEFORE

    delivering ? Because, bad process ...

    This is not your fault - but it is your opportunity. Need I say more ?

    Good luck !!

    "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
    >
    >



  6. #21
    doug Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    I'm a former long-time contractor. My position has always been to
    get a *reasonable* set of requirements and some representative
    (e.g. it's the customer's responsibility) test cases. Then we
    beta test the system for a set period of time, and I have them
    sign off on the system.

    It's the customer's responsibility to determine whether the code
    is creating *correct* results. I can only test against what I
    know, and I'm certainly not the domain expert. It's usually the
    fault of over-eager client managers, who are under the gun to
    deliver.

    I also cover my *** by keeping EVERY bit of email correspondence
    between myself and the client. I document EVERY known issue, and
    make sure I have multiple emails stating the issue, and what
    information they need to supply, and haven't.

    doug

    "James Dooley" <james@siteknowhow.com> wrote:
    >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
    >>
    >>

    >
    >



  7. #22
    Brent Schmaltz Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    Brian,

    I have been involved in software for years. One thing I have learned is
    that without good testing, there is no good software. If your organization
    doesn't get this, then it's time to move on. Everyone makes mistakes.

    Brent.

    "James Dooley" <james@siteknowhow.com> wrote:
    >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
    >>
    >>

    >
    >



  8. #23
    Coleen Christensen Guest

    Re: Making mistakes



    Brian, you've gotten some good advice so far, but I'd like to add a couple
    of points.

    You have the right to expect your employer to provide you with clearly defined
    specs for input and output. If it doesn't arrive up front, you need to ask
    for a meeting to clarify things before you can continue.

    (Your employer would probably prefer to dodge this, but this is where you
    define your limits as a programmer--that you can climb tall buildings but
    you need a rope and tools, you can't simply leap them with a single bound.
    If you generally preface your "buts" with a spoken indication that you want
    to provide the best possible results for them, you may get a little minor
    grumbling, but you should avoid any real annoyance on their part.)

    At this meeting, you take the specs and redefine them. To use a biology
    example, if your employer says "horse", be sure to rule zebras either in
    or out by asking whether it's OK for a "horse" to have stripes.

    Your employer will most likely have no idea that there is any other meaning
    for the word "horse" than what he/she initially had in mind, so the job of
    finding extreme examples to test the limits of the terms falls on you.

    If your employer isn't willing to do this, then "just say no". Or try the
    gimmick of saying (as often as necessary) that "After we get our terms defined,
    I will be able to start."

    I am also a lone programmer (although I do get some serious help with the
    debug process from users). There is one other (so far) unmentioned hazard
    with this, however.

    As a physics person programming for the insurance industry, I frequently
    need to request definitions of specialized business terms. For example,
    the terms "loss pick" and "loss fund" mean absolutely nothing to me. I expect
    my employer to have someone generally available to provide me with speedy
    definitions of business terms.

    The glitch happens when a different group of users, who will also be using
    the program, use one of the terms differently. (In the case above, the two
    terms have been reversed!!!)

    Coleen Christensen


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

    <snip> but can I
    >expect the world to realize that I am only human?
    >
    >At wits end,
    >Brian
    >
    >



  9. #24
    Pierre G. Boutquin Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

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


    Absolutely.

    You have to be tough and set correct expectations. Do not let yourself be
    pressured into unrealistic schedules and do not assume you do not need QA
    (we ALL do).

    So schedule testing (e.g. 3 days for a tiny app., 2 weeks for a bigger 1, 3
    months for a huge one). Let your users know: I'll be done October 15th and
    we'll go live November 1st. This may mean that you may have to negociate
    project scope as you only have three weeks to get things done. However,
    after consistently delivering reliable programs that get the job done this
    way, you gain respect with management.

    Another approach is advocated by the Extreme Programming advocates: they
    suggest that you should not write code without unit tests.

    <Pierre />



  10. #25
    David K. Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote:
    >
    >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
    >
    >


    Brian:

    I can totally sympathize with your situation. I have been there before it
    isn't fun. I have two pieces of advice for you. The first piece of advice
    is something I read in a programming book somewhere, but I don't remember
    exactly where (possibly _Code Complete_?). The best programmers out there
    are humble programmers. That is, they realize that they are far from perfect,
    so they go to great lengths to check, double-check, and triple-check themselves.
    They comment their code so that they can understand it when they come back
    to it in 6 months. They add in extra error checking to catch things that
    might go wrong. They retest their code when they make even the smallest
    change. They run their code in the debugger so they can make sure everything
    gets set the way they expect. Programmers who aren't humble are more likely
    to play it "fast and loose" thus they end up with poorly written code that's
    filled with bugs. So take heart... realizing that you aren't perfect is
    a good step toward becoming a better developer.

    Second, your superiors need to be educated in what it takes to write good
    software. They need to realize that time and money needs to be devoted to
    things like analysis, design, and testing. It's up to you to educate them
    that these things are part of the software development process, and not just
    afterthoughts. If they expect you to produce bug-free software, you should
    expect them give you the tools to make this possible. They may not be "technical"
    people, so you may have to educate them on what you need to be successful.
    At first, they may balk saying that these things are a waste of time and
    money, in which case you can point how how much of time and money was wasted
    on buggy software that was rushed into production. If they still don't buy
    it...well...there are plenty of employers out there whose environment is
    a lot more supportive...

    On a more practical note, if you haven't already, you should install some
    sort of version control tool like Visual SourceSafe, and some sort of bug
    tracking tool. Again, you may need to educate your superiors in the value
    of these items, but in the long run, these things will save you a LOT of
    time and effort.

  11. #26
    Brian Copeland Guest

    Re: Making mistakes

    "David K." <dgkroll@hotmail.comNOSPAM> wrote in message
    news:39de5745$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > are humble programmers. That is, they realize that they are far from

    perfect,
    > so they go to great lengths to check, double-check, and triple-check

    themselves.

    Hi David, thanks for the input. I already do check, double check and triple
    check, but as I have learned, the worst person to check the code is the one
    who wrote it...

    > They comment their code so that they can understand it when they come

    back
    > to it in 6 months. They add in extra error checking to catch things that
    > might go wrong. They retest their code when they make even the smallest
    > change. They run their code in the debugger so they can make sure

    everything

    I do try this as much as I can...although I have found when the crunch is on
    that the comments get less and less or worse, they are there but enigmatic
    and not really matching what the code does...its a bad habit.

    > gets set the way they expect. Programmers who aren't humble are more

    likely
    > to play it "fast and loose" thus they end up with poorly written code

    that's
    > filled with bugs. So take heart... realizing that you aren't perfect is
    > a good step toward becoming a better developer.


    Well I found my silver lining!

    > Second, your superiors need to be educated in what it takes to write good
    > software. They need to realize that time and money needs to be devoted to
    > things like analysis, design, and testing. It's up to you to educate them
    > that these things are part of the software development process, and not

    just
    > afterthoughts. If they expect you to produce bug-free software, you

    should
    > expect them give you the tools to make this possible. They may not be

    "technical"
    > people, so you may have to educate them on what you need to be successful.
    > At first, they may balk saying that these things are a waste of time and
    > money, in which case you can point how how much of time and money was

    wasted
    > on buggy software that was rushed into production. If they still don't

    buy
    > it...well...there are plenty of employers out there whose environment is
    > a lot more supportive...
    >


    I had this talk with the powers that be, and they agree...but right now the
    crunch for a deliverable isn't on. The same thing happened with the project
    I mentioned having the problem. They checked the UI once, said it was fine
    (and it was), no one would bother to check the database to see if the data
    entered was the same as the data saved. And as I said, I did make a few
    errors, so the data wasn't right. Before the project was launched I said
    this needs to be thorougly (sp?) tested. Everyone agreed. I put the
    program on a few test machines. All of the data for the program was being
    taken manually, on paper until the computerized version was completed. I
    told them to test it out, use the paper versions, enter them in, and if what
    comes out is the same as what goes on, we are ready to go. I checked the
    database the next day, not one bit of data was entered, and when approached
    about it, everyone (including my boss) said it was a waste of time entering
    this gathered data, if they were going to have to enter it again anyway,
    when the program is 'live'. So even though everyone was gung ho to get the
    program going, no one wants to check my work, because basically to everyone
    its _my_ work.

    > On a more practical note, if you haven't already, you should install some
    > sort of version control tool like Visual SourceSafe, and some sort of bug
    > tracking tool. Again, you may need to educate your superiors in the value
    > of these items, but in the long run, these things will save you a LOT of
    > time and effort.


    This is a good idea...thanks for the advice. What are some good bug
    tracking tools?

    Brian



  12. #27
    David K. Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote:
    >"David K." <dgkroll@hotmail.comNOSPAM> wrote in message
    >news:39de5745$1@news.devx.com...
    >> Second, your superiors need to be educated in what it takes to write good
    >> software. They need to realize that time and money needs to be devoted

    to
    >> things like analysis, design, and testing. It's up to you to educate

    them
    >> that these things are part of the software development process, and not

    >just
    >> afterthoughts. If they expect you to produce bug-free software, you

    >should
    >> expect them give you the tools to make this possible. They may not be

    >"technical"
    >> people, so you may have to educate them on what you need to be successful.
    >> At first, they may balk saying that these things are a waste of time

    and
    >> money, in which case you can point how how much of time and money was

    >wasted
    >> on buggy software that was rushed into production. If they still don't

    >buy
    >> it...well...there are plenty of employers out there whose environment

    is
    >> a lot more supportive...
    >>

    >
    >I had this talk with the powers that be, and they agree...but right now

    the
    >crunch for a deliverable isn't on. The same thing happened with the project
    >I mentioned having the problem. They checked the UI once, said it was

    fine
    >(and it was), no one would bother to check the database to see if the data
    >entered was the same as the data saved. And as I said, I did make a few
    >errors, so the data wasn't right. Before the project was launched I said
    >this needs to be thorougly (sp?) tested. Everyone agreed. I put the
    >program on a few test machines. All of the data for the program was being
    >taken manually, on paper until the computerized version was completed.

    I
    >told them to test it out, use the paper versions, enter them in, and if

    what
    >comes out is the same as what goes on, we are ready to go. I checked the
    >database the next day, not one bit of data was entered, and when approached
    >about it, everyone (including my boss) said it was a waste of time entering
    >this gathered data, if they were going to have to enter it again anyway,
    >when the program is 'live'. So even though everyone was gung ho to get

    the
    >program going, no one wants to check my work, because basically to everyone
    >its _my_ work.
    >


    One thing has always confused me about managers who say, "Forget testing...
    we don't have time for that. Just ship it...". Sure you may put the product
    into production sooner, but you end up wasting even more time dealing with
    production problems that always crop up due to poor quality. In the end,
    you probably end up wasting time by rushing! Besides, as you've seen, when
    something doesn't go right, it's YOUR neck, not theirs, so it's worth fighting
    for more time and better processes. If they don't give it to you, update
    your resume and move on. You don't deserve that kind of treatment.



    >> On a more practical note, if you haven't already, you should install some
    >> sort of version control tool like Visual SourceSafe, and some sort of

    bug
    >> tracking tool. Again, you may need to educate your superiors in the value
    >> of these items, but in the long run, these things will save you a LOT

    of
    >> time and effort.

    >
    >This is a good idea...thanks for the advice. What are some good bug
    >tracking tools?
    >


    I've used TeamTrack which is a highly configurable, web based tracking system.
    Also, there's a product that I've started to use called "Bugzilla" which,
    I believe, is a free bug tracking tool from Mozilla.



  13. #28
    Brian Copeland Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    "David K." <dgkroll@hotmail.comNOSPAM> wrote in message
    news:39e66717$1@news.devx.com...

    > One thing has always confused me about managers who say, "Forget

    testing...
    > we don't have time for that. Just ship it...". Sure you may put the

    product
    > into production sooner, but you end up wasting even more time dealing with
    > production problems that always crop up due to poor quality. In the end,
    > you probably end up wasting time by rushing! Besides, as you've seen,


    Its probably a gamble for them....it we rush it and it works, we saved
    development costs. If it doesn't work, the programmer is incompetent...no
    matter what the program and programmer suffer...catch 22.

    >when
    > something doesn't go right, it's YOUR neck, not theirs, so it's worth

    fighting
    > for more time and better processes. If they don't give it to you, update
    > your resume and move on. You don't deserve that kind of treatment.


    I see your point. It amazes me though that companies take this rush rush
    rush attitude towards software. I am lucky in the way that all of our
    software is internal. No one outside of our company uses it, so there
    really isn't a chance to the company to lose face when something goes wrong.
    I wonder how many people would buy a house or drive over a bridge that was
    rushed rushed rushed....

    > I've used TeamTrack which is a highly configurable, web based tracking

    system.
    > Also, there's a product that I've started to use called "Bugzilla" which,
    > I believe, is a free bug tracking tool from Mozilla.


    I went to the Mozilla page and checked out Bugzilla...all I can gather from
    it is that it is a bug report facility for Mozilla products. I can't seem
    to find a downloadable version for non-Mozilla projects.

    Where can I find TeamTrack? Do they have an evaulation version?

    Brian



  14. #29
    David K. Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote:
    >
    >I went to the Mozilla page and checked out Bugzilla...all I can gather from
    >it is that it is a bug report facility for Mozilla products. I can't seem
    >to find a downloadable version for non-Mozilla projects.
    >
    >Where can I find TeamTrack? Do they have an evaulation version?
    >
    >Brian
    >
    >


    Bugzilla is used for Mozilla products; however, it is open source so you
    can download a copy for your own use. Go to www.mozilla.org/bugs/source.html
    for info on downloading it.

    As far as TeamTrack goes, the name of the company that makes it is called
    TeamShare. Again, I dont' have the URL in front of me but I think it's www.teamshare.com.
    If that's not it, I'm sure you can find it by doing a web search.

  15. #30
    Chris Miller Guest

    Re: Making mistakes


    I am not familiar with TeamTrack, but we have been using a web based software
    program called Defect Tracker. It has helped our team collaborate regardless
    of geographical location. I am in Geogia and my other team members are in
    Colorado. So far it has been a pretty effective program for tracking software
    defects, communicating on functionality specs, etc...

    "Brian Copeland" <bcopeland@frontlinefocus.com> wrote:
    >
    >"David K." <dgkroll@hotmail.comNOSPAM> wrote in message
    >news:39e66717$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    >> One thing has always confused me about managers who say, "Forget

    >testing...
    >> we don't have time for that. Just ship it...". Sure you may put the

    >product
    >> into production sooner, but you end up wasting even more time dealing

    with
    >> production problems that always crop up due to poor quality. In the end,
    >> you probably end up wasting time by rushing! Besides, as you've seen,

    >
    >Its probably a gamble for them....it we rush it and it works, we saved
    >development costs. If it doesn't work, the programmer is incompetent...no
    >matter what the program and programmer suffer...catch 22.
    >
    >>when
    >> something doesn't go right, it's YOUR neck, not theirs, so it's worth

    >fighting
    >> for more time and better processes. If they don't give it to you, update
    >> your resume and move on. You don't deserve that kind of treatment.

    >
    >I see your point. It amazes me though that companies take this rush rush
    >rush attitude towards software. I am lucky in the way that all of our
    >software is internal. No one outside of our company uses it, so there
    >really isn't a chance to the company to lose face when something goes wrong.
    >I wonder how many people would buy a house or drive over a bridge that was
    >rushed rushed rushed....
    >
    >> I've used TeamTrack which is a highly configurable, web based tracking

    >system.
    >> Also, there's a product that I've started to use called "Bugzilla" which,
    >> I believe, is a free bug tracking tool from Mozilla.

    >
    >I went to the Mozilla page and checked out Bugzilla...all I can gather from
    >it is that it is a bug report facility for Mozilla products. I can't seem
    >to find a downloadable version for non-Mozilla projects.
    >
    >Where can I find TeamTrack? Do they have an evaulation version?
    >
    >Brian
    >
    >



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