Programming Design Paradigm (PDP) Course Review : What, Why, and How to Get an A

Recently I noticed some discussions in NEU CS Facebook group about people’s comments on the PDP course. As always, there are people on both the positive and negative side. I’d like to join the discussion but I think writing in my blog would be better so people can read about it without joining the group.

I took PDP in Fall 2010, Prof. Mitchell Wand and Prof. Riccardo Pucella taught the lecture, but I believe the grades came from Prof. Wand based on the codewalk scores. Personally, I thought I and my partners did pretty good on most codewalks and I got A as final grade.

In this post I will tell you more about the setup of the course when I took it, why I think it’s one of the best course in MSCS program, and everything that I believe matters to get high scores. Continue reading →

Popularity: 13% [?]

Theory of People’s Shopping Behavior

Picture of house in cape cod
(photo by cbcs)

It’s been several years since I thought about this theory, but I just have the idea to post it in my blog for public.

I can say that I personally came up with this theory, and I didn’t copy this from anyone, though I don’t dismiss the possibility of someone else have formulated this, and even publicize it before me.

People’s consumerist behavior is an interesting behavior to see, because although most, if not all, people know that it’s better to save more money than what to spend, only few actually done it.

Sometimes, the irony is the people who need to save more are actually the people who spend more.

Obviously, the question is, why? Continue reading →

Popularity: 10% [?]

Boston Wallpaper

Boston summer skyline wallpaper.
1280 x 800

Popularity: 10% [?]

What is Computer Science?

The misconception

Probably the most common misconception about computer science is that people thought that the “computer” word in it is for “computer machines”, it’s NOT!

I think the more appropriate name for the degree should be Computing Science.

Why? Because although the field heavily uses computer machines as tools, at it’s core, it deals with calculation and computation, in short, mathematics.

Computer science already existed before IBM created what we call computers nowadays. In fact, the abacus can be considered as one of computer science tools. Continue reading →

Popularity: 11% [?]

On Software Testing and Quality Assurance : Letter to Self


(photo by Cierpki)

After weeks of software quality assurance course, it scares me how many software teams I’ve been in the past that don’t do some, or even most, of the testing and QA basics that I learned in this course.

Finally, it’s the last week of the course and I’m going back to the professional world soon. So, this is a letter that I address to myself weeks, months, or years from now. Now I maybe supercharged with what I’ve learned in class, about regression testing, automated test cases, boundary value analysis, metrics, and so on.

But as time passes by, as the pressure of completing projects come, as the lazy devil tempted me to not write unit testing (oh wait, I can blame the devil), and of course as my memory started to fail me about what I learned in this course, I might not do any of the QA practices.

So this is the reminder for “that” me. Never give up what’s right for a short-time gain. You are better than this, you have the discipline to overcome the temptation, review the SQA lessons and blog posts you have written when you believed that a good quality software requires various measures but they are worth the price. Continue reading →

Popularity: 10% [?]

Testing Automation Process and Tools

Multi Tools
(creative photo by johnnyberg)

As we’ve discuss in the previous post about testing in Agile software development environment, automation is a very important part to successfully to be agile. However, one doesn’t need to be familiar with Agile process at all to see the immediate benefit of automating the testing process.

This time we’ll see different testing automation tools that we can use to make our life easier. :) Continue reading →

Popularity: 11% [?]

trac Bug / Defect Tracking Software Review

trac is a very minimalistic defect tracking system that has been around since 2006 (six years ago). In internet years where software come and go in just 1-2 years, this is a very long time.

Used by some of the big names such as NASA, WordPress, jQuery, and BitNami, trac is definitely worth to check. Continue reading →

Popularity: 11% [?]

Agile Testing

Space Rocket
(illustration by Rybson)

Agile, the hottest software development lifecycle (SDLC) nowadays, was initially used in small projects and considered not suitable for medium and large projects. But now large companies have picked up the trend and adopting it into their major projects.

By now we’ve agreed about the importance of testing in all stages of software development project. Yet, those stages are actually closer to the waterfall or other iterative and incremental SDLC with longer phase period. Agile iteration, typically called sprint, are a lot shorter and only last for 2-4 weeks.

In this blog post we’ll see the challenges, myths, and how the testing in agile can be performed. Continue reading →

Popularity: 11% [?]

Outsourcing Testing and QA: Is it Feasible, Advisable, Risky?

outsource team
(photo by spekulator)

The exciting part of IT is, every several years there are always new trend in the industry where most of the people, even the experts and big companies, are riding the bandwagon. The new trend that promises that it will save costs, bring more productivity, and everything in between. The trend that usually disrupt the existing way of work and creates the pros and cons party.

Few years ago, such trend is outsourcing, and people and organizations have experienced it. Some had positive experience, some had negative ones, and some other had, probably, a bit traumatizing times. Continue reading →

Popularity: 10% [?]

Meet Our Two Friends, IEEE 730-2002 and IEEE 829-2008 Standards

two jumping people
(photo by lusi)

Whenever we see numbers mixed with letters such as the title of this blog post we know that we’re up to something heavy.

Be prepared, because this time we’ll talk about the IEEE standards for the Software Quality Assurance Plan (SQAP) and Test Plan.
Continue reading →

Popularity: 12% [?]