Friday, September 23, 2005

Alan Cox (yeah, the #2 Linux guy after Linus) talks about how to avoid software bugs

This is from an old email to myself from 2004.

From the point of view of a developer but this is very easily translatable into the client infrastructure management world.

Does a pretty good job of expressing why I'm so keen to get a QA person. Makes me realize we should probably try to budget for some tools for the QA person to use -- though I think there is a very high likelihood that the best such tools are open source or free as in beer.

Side note: it seems to me that the challenges faced by our distributed extended group are similar to those of multiple code contributors to open source and other collaborative programming projects. Now, those folks have been able to work out some tools and processes for making that endeavor work fairly well. It may be the case that I spend some time next year looking into technologies that could help our extd team work better together -- things like using a Groove workspace (or sharepoint, or RSS, or Live Comm Srvr, or jabber, or whatever) to open up a more informal venue for virtual water cooler conversations. I know I am far closer to [one guy at work who is based in Europe] than to anyone else in EU or AP and the real reason for this is that we are both on IM.

I'd like to make it possible to have that sort of interaction -- and then some -- with anyone who's interested. I expect that 90% of people will have 10% of the contributions, but each of those individual contributions will probably be very important for those people who just say one or two things, and no less likely to be valuable information or suggestions.

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