IT departments – different standards, different policy/procedures

It's interesting: "large" (Fortune 500) companies with IT depts, each of them have their own way of doing things, their own policies and procedures, etc. Unisys was a bit "loosey-goosey" with the app I worked on, allowing the developers to move new code into production (I.e., having privileged / admin access). While, both Wells Fargo and USPS, definitely did NOT and do NOT allow this to be done … [Read more...]

Third Trivent Financial interview scheduled for Thursday

Thrivent Financial job update: Three weeks ago, initial 15-20 min phone "get to know you" interview with director in Appleton, WI. Last week, three person video conference interview with mgr (WI), team lead (MPLS) and a non-team tech (WI). Not sure if mgr is the mgr of the team I would be on, or mgr of other teams. Got the impression they were mgr of other team(s), but could be mistaken. Call … [Read more...]

Tesla, Auto-Pilot, and software development

Reading a pretty cool and short (text)book (yawn), called "A gentle introduction to the art of object-oriented programming in Java. (yes, a truly exciting two volume set) Uses as an example, the programming of a robot. Reading this book, and also reading the recent news posted by my former colleague Charles Rader, about the first fatal accident with Tesla's autonomous self-driving car, makes me … [Read more...]

Supporting really old applications

Article on supporting really old computer programs (opens in a new window) Really interesting story about supporting a 60 yr old "computer application"...and not being able to find people that know the older programming languages [they mention Fortran, Assembly, even ALGOL.] I know that some of the code (programs) I wrote in the early to mid nineties are still running - twenty or more yrs later … [Read more...]

U/ST Final grade for Object Oriented Software Analysis (“UML” class)

i'm just one lucky SOB [son of bob?]. Been logging into U/St. Thomas almost on a daily basis. Grade was posted today for the summer class: "A-", giving an overall GPA of 3.52. Last course starts after Labor day. … [Read more...]

U/Saint Thomas – Summer class final exam

So, the final exam tonight (for my "Object oriented software analysis & design" class) was closed book, but we could bring a double sided cheat sheet to use. I got there, and the whole row behind me (4-5 people) were poring over copies of someone's cheat sheet - font size 6, double column - I laughingly made a comment about the font size, so one person handled me a copy. I showed them that I … [Read more...]

BusinessWeek devotes double issue to “computer programming”

Not my quote: “It’s no longer acceptable to be ignorant about the ways it <BSW: "software"> works,” he said. “If everybody brought the same ignorance about software to medicine, it would be insane, we would be mocked.” “Software is a completely different discipline and we wanted to help to demystify it for the world that doesn’t think that way. What if you explain code in the same way you … [Read more...]

Mid Term for Summer Session

School-wise: As mentioned last week, I had my mid-term exam (for "Object Oriented Software Analysis and Design" - which is always a mouthful to say) a week ago. I don't do well on tests, I blank out, I don't study as much as I should before taking the thing, I can't remember "crap", and did I mention, I get exam taker's/writer's block?? Well, after taking it last week, I guesstimated I would be … [Read more...]

Summer class project assignment

Crap, got a school project team assignment due tomorrow night, having to create a VISIO diagram(s), not having the MS software on my machine (long story), running out of steam (due to spending 4 hours in the blazing sun, and not getting a good night's sleep last night), and last but not least, I'm being babysat by Lailah tomorrow so I won't have time to work on it during the day. Must. Do. Class. … [Read more...]

Part 2: Year long software development project finally goes “Live”

[It's really too bad I didn't really do any of the design nor programming on this project - I would have tried, at least, to make it a bit less complex than it currently is]. Anyway, after working on a particular software development project at <current employer> since January, 2013, it finally went live this past week, of all things, on April 1st. If you visit your local post office, and … [Read more...]

Class #4 at Saint Thomas: Software Process Management

Tomorrow is 4th class session of seven sessions (alternating Saturdays, started mid Feb.), so it's mid term exam tomorrow, just not ready for it. Course is Software Process Mgmt, which, I know most of you would find it to be a snore, but, this semester, I have a great instructor, and he really knows how to teach - just has a ton of energy and a great teaching style (quite unlike the instructor for … [Read more...]

Part 1: Year long software development project finally goes “Live” (NOT!)

In at work, at OMG, 4am, watching over the shoulder (logically, not physically) as my production support person installs my software release that I've been working on for past 12 months. Longest software development effort ever (for me). Not used to 's red tape of software development process. My effort was completed in early sept, and it's taken 4 months for it to move from customer acceptance … [Read more...]

U/ST class: Software Analysis and Design Tools – OVER!

Last night of class (System Analysis and Design Tools) was last night, submitted my video presentation on time (via YouTube, will share the link - haha - later), had a cold so my voice was pretty raw and didn't follow my script as much as I should've, but overall, I think I did a pretty good job with it. Still have a 2 page writing assignment due by next Tues. Although the class was on an … [Read more...]

Class #3 at Saint Thomas: Systems Analysis & Design Tools

Well, I started my third Masters course at U/Saint Thomas last night: SEIS620 – Systems Analysis and Design Tools – 14 evening sessions, a bit more than 3 hours per session. So far, the instructor is a hoot and based on the first night, he should make this topic quite interesting.  There are almost twenty of us, this time about 2/3s male and 1/3 female – unlike last semester where it leaned … [Read more...]

Final Grade: SEIS 610 Software Engineering Spring 2013

So, I went onto the Saint Thomas website today, looking for my final grade - I did this last week but apparently may have been looking in the wrong place, since Dr. Lai doesn't use the "Black Board" tool where grades were posted in our Technical communications class last Fall.  Anyway, I found my grade and I was pleasantly pleased to see it was a "B+".  One of my project group members received … [Read more...]

Teaching kids computer science (AKA programming) [Pioneer Press article]

Front page article from last Sunday's (4/27) Pioneer Press by Christopher Magan: Headline: Computer-coding classes teach students skills they're not getting in school. Obi Abulu loves computers. "He learned to click a mouse before he learned to write," says Attracta Abulu, the Woodbury seventh-grader's mother. But when it came to learning more about how the software and technology … [Read more...]

Software Engineering class

FSM (finite state machine), DFD (data flow diagram), PND (petri-net diagram), lions, tigers, bears, oh my. My head is swimming. Actually, I am getting most of this, and have been using some of these methods during my career (partially or otherwise), but, NOT consistently. Need to work on that! My class team of four met after class - 3 of us understand the term project, and are making good … [Read more...]

Computer Programmer vs. Software Engineer

Last week, I posted a short entry on my blog about “computer programmers”, “software developers”, and “software engineers”.  One of my friends (and, myself, many years ago), thought “aren’t they the same thing?”  [If you don’t like to read long winded articles, please skip this one].  Here is a quick generalization, with which you should take with a grain of salt, since the lines do blur, and … [Read more...]

Life at USPS

A colleague created an enhancement, and it was put in UAT (User Acceptance Testing) Environment yesterday, and he then left for vacation for a week - oh, and it's scheduled to go into production this Sunday.  He asked me to "test" it since the end users didn't really know "how" to test it according to him.  Anyway, I tested it this morning, and the enhancement causes an email notification to be … [Read more...]

2nd class at Saint Thomas: Software Engineering

First session of SEIS 610 Software Engineering was 2 weeks ago.  I was immedaitely impressed by our instructor (C. Lai).  He put up easy to read slides, and spoke toward them, not reading them word for word.  He spoke for the entire 6-1/2 hour class, giving us instruction on the term's group project, and the first 2 assignments, as well as enlightening the class about a "new" (read: different) … [Read more...]