Wednesday, August 25, 2004

To School and Work

I really have a mesh of things that I would like to discuss today, though I really have no way of organizing it into something full of intelligence and whit for you all. I think about blogging just about everything that happens, maybe this is an unhealthy habit. In my family we like to analyze things, some would say we over-analyze, maybe that is why this whole blogging thing feels so appealing. It gives me the chance to analyze on a stage for you all to read and enjoy.

This entry started in my head early this morning as I dreamed about deleting registry keys all night. I like to pride myself on running a clean computer. I don’t like lots of garbage in the system tray; I despise the idea of having tasks running in the background that I did not will be there. So when my second computer (the one that I share with my sister) mysteriously got infected with noxious pop-ups it became something of an obsession to get rid of them. Sadly, this took more of my evening than I had counted on. I swear to you when I finished a recording session on the machine Sunday night, I hadn’t seen a single popup. However, when I got from work on Monday, my sister informed me that the machine was possessed. And possessed it was. When I went to bed last night there was still a pesky .dll that I was having trouble removing. I found some info on the web about it, and hopefully will get it cleaned up tonight. What does this mean to you? Probably nothing, but after manually deleting hundreds of registry keys last night, it explains two things: (1) Why I dreamed about registry editing last night. (2) Why when the alarm went off at 5:50AM that I hit snooze until 6:20AM and suddently decided that taking a 7:30 class was an insane idea.

7:30 class wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be though. The professor is an older gentleman, who would certainly belong to the “old school” of professorships. That sounds negative, but it really isn’t. His course webpage felt cold and uninviting, but his classroom manner was inviting, understanding, and exciting. I hope that it stays this way and that my perceptions weren’t those induced by my RedBull forced alertness. The class will be a challenge, there will be a lot of homework, but if I believe what I am told the class will be a good learning experience. Heaven only knows that I need to get a better grip on my calculus. When I was in high school, I would have told you that calculus would be the last class that I would be taking in college. Isn’t it interesting how people change with time? I guess that subject could be a blog of its own, so I will leave it at that.

I am still very excited for my CS classes tomorrow. I have been excited about that all summer. More Java experience! Not only is it super cool, but also it is also very relevant to work (another topic to discuss at a later date). Discrete Structures will be interesting, I gather from the introduction to the book that it is a class about mathematical proofs, yep there’s the M word again. It seems to follow me like a puppy, if only it were as cuddly and fun.

Sometime we need to have a discussion about QA standards. Why is it that no one loves the QA people? The programmers hate us; the users hate us, why? I think that being a QA tester studying computer science I have an interesting perspective of the development cycle. I am sure it isn’t unique, but it is interesting nonetheless. In school a great amount of time is spent placing emphasis on designing software. In my assignments I loose points for things such as “bad documentation” or “code that doesn’t meet specifications”. Somewhere in the business world there seems to be a breakdown when it comes to certain aspects of design. I understand the importance of cost benefit analysis, and have witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly of ROI. Yet through it all, QA nearly always seems to take the brunt of it all. If we put it out and there is a bug, we aren’t thorough enough. If we don’t release it because we know there are issues, we are too slow. When we return a program to the programmer because it doesn’t meet “standards”, all too often we have to battle with them to get them to understand that: “Yes it works, but it doesn’t do what we expected it to.” Oh dear… see I got going, and now you are all worried about this poor CS student who has rambled on about more than he probably should have in one blog entry. If you got to the bottom of this alive and still comprehending my ramblings, congrats! OH, and please, hug your local friendly QA tester!

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