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Comment Re:Just to be clear on this (Score 1) 216

Programming is and isn't necessary to be a successful tester, but what is needed is a way to really get your mind around how the system works. For some, programming helps with that, for others, models, state transition diagrams, or a simple developer explanation of the architecture is sufficient. Let us also be clear, in saying, that knowing how to understand code, to read it, if you will, is a far cry from being able to code it, and to do so well.

I've met some top notch testers who would never be confused with a programmer, but they could get to know the system and all its quirks and business rules better than some of the devs on the project. I've always respected people like that.

So when an earlier comment says, we just fired all the bad testers and we had improvement, this actually doesn't surprise me. This is knowledge work, and that requires sapience and critical thinking a skill that both devs and testers need in good measure.

Comment Best Tech Scene and places to live? (Score 1) 464

the New River/Roanoke valley of Virginia which includes the city/towns of: Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Salem and Roanoke. Multiple colleges, Industrial parks where software firms are located (Ex: Rackspace, Corvesta, Qualtrax, etc. Check out the Roanoke - Blacksburg Technology Council for some articles about the region here: The RBTC We moved here a few years ago and this area is a fantastic place to raise a family, there are plenty of tech jobs and the cost of living is fairly low compared to other technology hotbeds.

Comment Re:Speaking for myself (Score 1) 320

I think the issue now, is cable networks are now so ubiquituous. Consider this you have

Nick Jr (Toons for Tots)
Nick Toons (Generally for upper elementary to HS kids)
Cartoon Network
Disney XD
Disney Jr
Sprout (PBS's All kids network I think)
The Hub

Did I miss any?

SO I think the issue, isn't that sunday morning cartoons are gone. People have migrated to other services that fill their niche, and away from Broadcast Television mostly. It had become rare that anything on Broadcast TV on Saturday was worth watching, that I hadn't already seen.

Comment Re:Automated test in is a minimum (Score 1) 152

Your mileage may vary. Sure you can write thousands of unit tests. That's maybe a good idea, if those tests bring enough value to continue to exist long term. However, the higher up the integration stack you go, to service layer, APIs, UI the further removed you are from isolation, and the slower, and more prone to flakiness automated integration tests become. Not only that, even if you somehow manage to NEVER have a flaky test, if a company like Google with all its billions of revenue, can reach a point (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyOHJ4GR4iU - GTAC 2013 Keynote: Evolution from Quality Assurance to Test Engineering) can reach a point where they have so MANY tests that they cannot reasonably run all of them often enough due to resource requirements, then you may find yourself in a similar boat as well. Simply automating all the checking isn't going to cover everything. This doesn't even begin to address usability issue, certain types of security testing, or performance testing, (which may require some automation, but will likely require a smart individual to maintain and interpret the results)

Comment Re:It may be too late, (Score 1) 252

Absolutely.... The fight with GKar and Michael York as a 'King Arthur' archetype fighting in down below and glorying over the battle. That line ranks among my favorite... along with the one who followed it, when GKar passes out, and Arthur turns to Marcus and says Sir Gawain had the same problem, and we dubbed him the 'Green Knight'... LOL Priceless. Lennier and Vir's 'They never listen..." followed by, 'same time tomorrow?' Was awesome.

Comment Dark Code for the Win (Score 1) 1

I think there can be a lot of value in releasing Dark Code. It may not entirely remove all branching in a source tree, but it will significantly reduce the places to where it is needed to very explicit reasons. I like the idea of also taking a code flag file and using it to choose what tests need to be run upon deployment as well.

Comment Re:Dietel & Dietel (Score 1) 364

I'm pretty fluent with C#, and competent with VB. I just worry about giving a youngster too much of an environment to play in off the bat, and since I came to C# from Basic->C->Ada->C++/Java->PHP->C# the experience I have with it gives me some confidence. However, I also wonder whether it might be too much for a younger child, even one as intelligent as my son is. I've been contemplating HTML, then throwing in some CSS and JS. I haven't decided yet. Part of me is interested in Ruby, Python, or PHP as a starter for him. I don't know Ruby or Python, but I know I could pick it up. I just wonder whether it is better to shoot from something I know pretty well, or if I should be more concerned with how terse the language is to start.

I decided yesterday that I could start with just some basic logical ideas, maybe flow charting type stuff, just to get him thinking about how control structures might work. 4th Grade might be too soon though.

Comment Re:Bravo. Sierra. (Score 1) 364

Some colleges still have so called CS 1 or CS 5 courses (or whatever they number them) that teach just that. I'm not sure where other universities put such training, if at all, but don't assume all Universities are the same. I never took the course, and I tutored a couple of folks who did as a Computer Engineering student. I don't think the issue is about devising a curriculum, but having a good quality text, even if its a tiny one can be a great help to a home schooler. You can have the child read and work through exercises on the computer or whatever. When I was in HS they had a text that fit onto the stands they used to use for keyboarding. Very nice actually. We basically learned to type, and then learned to use the word processor and type.

Comment Re:Dietel & Dietel (Score 1) 364

C could be a good Language, Ada is an interesting one also, but I wonder if VB or VBA is more useful? The other thing for home schoolers that I wonder, is what environment we let them run in. We home school our son, and he's starting 4th Grade, and i want to give him something small to whet his appetite. If he likes it then I'll provide more. If he hates it, I may still provide him more, but in lower dosages, LOL. I feel programming may become a skill like working on cars, where a lot of people will do it in their spare time, or in parts, without it being the focus of a career.

The real question I have about home schooling and programming is what environment to setup. For us we have windows machines so that limits us. I want to get him some basic ideas about programming, but I'd also like to keep him from offing my desktop that he would be using as well. So given that I'd like to give him a little protection as he starts to learn this, what do you guys recommend as a language that provides a lot of the basics. I'm less concerned about OO right now, as procedural style programming? Would you go VB? VBA within say excel or access? Would you use C or C#? Things like that are questions that really need to be answered before you begin a course like this I think.

Comment Re:This! (Score 1) 606

I also tutored as a Freshman Undergrad. They required all Engineers to learn some basics in C as an introductory course, so there were about 3 or 4 classmates that I tutored. I didn't do the work for them, I tried to help them learn how to think through the problems, and find a solution before they started writing the code. The sad part was our professor was a Civil Engineer, who really had no exposure to C before, and his idea for a Sort Algorithm made my eyes bulge. I coded up three better solutions I knew off the top of my head, and ended up having to present them in class. So I can understand some people's frustration there.

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