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shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Thursday, February 18th, 2010 18:12

In their job application form, a company asked me "What's your motivation?". In reply, I pulled together the following mini-screed.

It's only a fragment of why I'm involved in technology, but I liked it enough to post it here. (Besides, their form has a bug which stopped me from being able to submit it, and I wanted to put this somewhere. Curse of the tester, I guess.)

As terrible as it sounds, I think that much of my motivation comes from frustration.

It's galling when I see a UI that's actively unhelpful. Encountering yet another easily preventable security problem makes me shake my head. Code that's a nightmare to test or debug makes us all want to scream. It's so frustrating, because I've seen all of these things done right, yet so frequently they're done wrong! So much so that most people have gotten used to them and think of them as ordinary.

I like code that's clear. Design that conforms to the user instead of forcing the user to conform to it. Features that are solid and robust. Applications that people rave about...or that just let them get their work done so unobtrusively that they're hardly noticed at all.

Things like that make me proud. That's the kind of project I want to contribute to.

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 01:12

I've been meaning to start a blog about technical topics for some time, leaving this one free for more personal stuff. Chris's creation of the writing-about-testing mailing list & conference plus the subsequent encouragement to write about tech stuff were the final impetus I needed to actually go and do it. There's naught but a "Hello world" post yet, but if you're interested, feel free to follow things at http://rickscott.posterous.com/.

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 22:52

(This post courtesy of my discovering a store of unfinished, half-written blog posts hanging out on my hard drive.)

A fair while ago, I read The Mythical Man-month, a truly legendary tome in software engineering. While the maxims, rules, and expertise it contains are what make it a classic, I was astonished at the accuracy of the predictions that Brooks laid out in an out-of-the-way table near the back of the book: (p203, Fig 16.1)

Exciting Products:


  • Unix
  • APL
  • Pascal
  • Modula
  • Smalltalk
  • Fortran


  • Cobol
  • PL/1
  • Algol
  • MVS/370
  • MS-DOS