Friday, December 17, 2010

Hey Look! Someone Likes What I Said!

I was chiming in on the Netflix Tech Blog in response to some comments about Netflix+AWS lessons learned, and someone really liked this quote of mine:

The scarcest compute resource in any organization is the one found between the ears. We have a horribly constrained limit on how many things we can pay attention to and focus on. Anything that liberates an engineering team from paying attention to anything other than delivering the next big thing is worth almost any cost.

Unfortunately, their name is also "Rob" and their profile was blocked, so people couldn't easily see that it wasn't me just praising myself.

Oh well, take the strokes where you find them. Thanks, Other Rob for the kind words.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 11th on September 15th

On my daily run, I ran by the Pentagon this morning, and I visited the September 11 memorial there.

It's a large, gravel paved, open space with some concrete paths, and surrounded by planters with different grasses and shrubs.

Diagonnally striped across the space are narrow channels defined by strips of stainless steel set into the ground. The channels are each labelled with a year, starting with 1930 towards the back of the area and ending with 1998 at the front. In each channel, for each person who died, there is a four or five foot long raised section that looks as if the gravel surface of the ground were peeled up. Engraved on the end of the peeled up strip is the name of the person who died. Underneath each of these elevated sections is a small pool and fountain.

There were five children visiting the Pentagon that day. As I first walked into the space, and I saw the markers and I saw the years, when I kneeled down to look at the marker next to 1998, I cried.

The memorial was surprisingly effective at conveying the scope and scale of the tragedy. As I'm writing this, I'm recalling watching on television the live coverage of the events of September 11, 2001, and realizing that these memories were from nine years, two jobs, and three children ago. It feels like it's been both forever and just yesterday. Some things affect you so deeply, that you don't even recognize that everything has changed until you look back from a distance.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just What is a Software Engineer in Test?

Sheesh. Just realized I didn't post the fact that I've left Netflix and joined OPOWER as their San Francisco office's test engineering manager. As a matter of fact, I'm helping to build the dev/test team in that office from scratch, and I'm looking for Software Engineers in Test. As part of that search, I have recently written a post to the OPOWER dev blog discussing the question of Just What is a Software Engineer in Test.

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Playing around with Chatroulette

Much to my mild embarrassment, I must admit to having mucked about with Chatroulette, even though I'm not:
  1. In college
  2. drunk
  3. naked and masturbating

There have been a number of articles describing the phenomenon, and there has been at least one on-line sighting of the application's creator.

Anyway. My approach was to use CamTwist to display a black surface that I could draw on, and then offer to draw the person in the other window:

Here's a sample of my artistic encounters:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Google Testing Blog: Testing in the Data Center (Manufacturing No More)

Someone at work pointed me at the Google Testing Blog: Testing in the Data Center (Manufacturing No More). Pretty insightful article, and a very healthy perspective on the process of delivering working software.

It was a very a-ha moment for me as far as how well this resonates with many of the testing practices used here at Netflix for the website. However, it really only focuses on applications delivered via the web. The analogy breaks down for packaged and embedded software.

I guess an extention of this metaphor for shrinkwrap and embedded would be like a person who is born, and is then shipped off in a capsule out into space. It can only rely on the resources sent on the journey with it, even though telemetry can still be sent home about how well it's doing.

Very interesting read, though, and quite thought provoking in general.

Monday, January 04, 2010

air hockey w Eloise and Lucy

Hm. I think that I sent a video of Eloise and Lucy playing air hockey, but I don't see it. Hm.

Well, here's the link from YouTube.