Thursday, June 30, 2005

      Unit Testing with NUnit and Configuration Files

"When you are using NUnit and configuration files, the name of the configuration file must be the same as the name of the assembly with the .config suffix appended. For example, the assembly that contains the tests is named DataAccessLayer.dll. The name of the configuration file must be named DataAccessLayer.dll.config and it must be placed in the same directory as the assembly itself for the NUnit executable to find it."
- Test-Driven Development in Microsoft .NET

Saturday, June 18, 2005

      Project Post-mortem Part 2

Finally, we are cutting over the project tomorrow. Hope that it will be a smooth one.

However, there's more to be done.

Under Release Management, we have to update source control on the latest versions of production codes. This is requied to ensure that we have baselined the production codes, so that they are available should patches to post-cutover be required.

For documentation, we still need to tidy up user manual and technical specifications.

As a part of this post-mortem, we need to establish:

  • a daily-built process for the next project. This is important to facilitate early integration and minimise integration bugs. How do we implement the daily built? When do we check in development codes? Other than codes, what other artifacts are required to be versioned; SQL scripts, code-gen templates? Who to implement daily built, perform smoke-tests? Who to enforce release management?
  • QA setup and processes. We need to setup a testing environment, other than the development environment, to facilitate testing. Test plans and guidelines for smoke tests, functional testing, regression test. Need to start teaching the team to use NUnit for unit testings.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

      Wrong man for the wrong job

I believe there is a serious yet fundemental issue in my current job.

My aspiration is to deliver large scale, enterprise level software solutions. This does not seem aligned with my company's mission whose core business is in telephony solutions. Everyone in the company, less my team, has little idea on what it takes to deliver software solution like that. I am not trying to belittle people here, but I think there is basically a mismatch. If the people's expertise is in telephony and hardware solutions, then might as well stick to it, and make good of it. Why venture into software?

If indeed there is a commitment to drive a new growth in the company, then why is there so much reservations in committing resources to this new endeavor? Frankly, I wonder if they truly are so naive to think that by employing a number of developers who can write codes, they consider themselves having software capability? I have serious reasons to believe so.

Firstly, there is lots of talks about importance to have a software product, via R&D. However, there is no willingness to commit headcounts into the R&D effort. Even the only developer assign full-time to this project seems too much, and has to take on additional custom projects for clients. The first version of Microsoft Word took 2 years of R&D, using nearly 200 developers. If only they have the slightest idea. Maybe they were using a different dictationary when defining the word "R&D".

Secondly, I was shoved a non-development trained guy to do data migration so as to cut cost. "Just trian him to run the SQL scripts", I was told. So they really think its that simple, huh? Sigh... I relented, and today that guy screwed up, and I have to clean up the mess. A pity I wasn't strong enough to stand my case.

Thirdly, there is the constant issue of not having enough revenue for new headcounts. Yet all the projects are almost always cut to nearly zero profit margin. "Your team is running on cost-to-cost," I was told again. Without profit margin and willingness to inject capital, how to grow capabilities? If there aren't enough projects to generate revenue, then what efforts are pushed by the sales to make this happen? They are still selling phones and PABXs only, for goodness sake.

So basically, at the end of the day, I am always on the losing end of this struggle. With the management not having any software solutions background, I often have difficulty in getting management buy-in, cause they just don't appreciate what it takes to get things done. Their action says that they are not really interested in developing new capability in delivering software solutions. They are just interested in additional revenue, quick and easy one at that. Sigh... That's half the battle lost.

Yes, this is a chicken and egg issue, and they exists in all companies; Do we have the product to sell and generate revenue first? Or have the developement team first to produce the product, but suffer increased cost? Well, that's no simple question to answer. But as far as I can see, I also lose the other half of the battle; coz the management wants the egg first without the chicken. Or maybe, more precisely, they expect a lot of eggs by giving me one skinny chicken.

This is really quite a negative blog, so much problem-orientation, so much bitterness. Not something that I would normally want to express, but I just wish to let off some steam here. I had tried to be positive and wanted to give this endeavor a chance many times. By now, I've realised that I am fighting a lone battle, against a whole lot of mis-expectations. I find myself asking, "what's the point of striving on? what are you trying to prove?"

In conclusion, there is either a whole lot of mismatch in expectations, in the mission of the company and my personal vision, or that I am simply not the right man for this job.

God knows how much longer I can continue this madness.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

      What a boring blogger I am

Happened to browse through a few fellow-bloggers' blog today, and find them quite interesting.
On reflection, I happen to find that my blog mostly seem so solemn and uninteresting. Well, maybe's that's just me. Who would be interested to read about my blogs when they are more qualified for some thesis papers in psychology, humanology or sociolgy? People like things that are interesting, funny or bright. These are things that appeals, as can be seen for these above blogs. And I must admit I do enjoy some of these stuff there; Puts a different insight for me. Sadly, I am not like that, and I choose not to blog like that.

Anyway, this blog is for me to reinforce my learning, not appeal to the mass; so fine with it.

Nonetheless, the short "trip" reinforce the thought of how diverse people's thoughts and perspectives can be. It's really interesting how much thoughts can go into a 19 year old girl. And how "well-exposed" she is in sexual aspects. The different facets of life is well-contrasted when I think about my blog's contents and hers. Interesting. I wonder how it is like to live her life. It does seem interesting, but does it really take her anywhere substantive? My life is seemingly much more mundane, but does it mean that I have something lacking?

Friday, June 10, 2005


Our attitude at the beginning of a job will affect the outcome of the job more than anything else.

Our attitude toward life determine their attitude towards us.

Our attitude towards others will determine their attitudes towards us.

Before we can achieve the kind of life we want, we must think, act, walk, talk, and conduct ourselves in ways characteristics of who we ultimately wish to become.

The higher we go in any organization of value, the better the attitude we’ll find.

Holding successful, positive thoughts in our minds will make all the difference in the world.

If we always make a person feel needed, important, and appreciated, he or she will return this attitude to us.

Part of good attitude is to look for the best in new ideas. So look for good ideas everywhere. We will find them in the most wonderful places:
On the bumpers of cars, on restaurant menus, in books, in travel, out of the innocent mouths of children.

Don’t broadcast personal problems.
It probably won’t help you, and it cannot help others.

Radiate the attitude of well-being

Don’t be embarrassed to share visions, desires, and goals.

Treat everyone with whom you come in contact as a fellow member of the human race-with all the rights, duties, and privileges thereof.

The Golden Rule still applies:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

      A glass of milk

From an email that I received, and I quote it here for sharing;

"One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?You don't owe me anything, she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."He said..... "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many years' later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled! They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case. After a long struggle, the battle was won.Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, and then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words....."Paid in full with one glass of milk" (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank you, God that your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands."

There's a saying which goes something like this: Bread cast on the waters comes back to you. The good deed you do today may benefit you or someoneyou love at the least expected time. If you never see the deed again at least you will have made the world a better place - And, after all, isn't that what life is all about?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

      Flock with the Best

"If you want to be among the best of your field, you have to mix with those superior to yourself in the same field. By mixing with those inferior to yourself, you are only consoling yourself."
- Kim.