Very Short Blog Posts (14): “It works!”

“It works” is one of Jerry Weinberg‘s nominees for the most ambiguous sentence in the English language. To me, when people say “it works”, they really mean Some aspect of some feature or some function appeared to meet some requirement to some degree based on some theory and based on some observation that some agent made under some conditions once or maybe more. One of the most important tasks for … Read more

Very Short Blog Posts (13): When Will Testing Be Done?

When a decision maker asks “When will testing be done?”, in my experience, she really means is “When will I have enough information about the state of the product and the project, such that I can decide to release or deploy the product?” There are a couple of problems with the latter question. First, as Cem Kaner puts it, “testing is an empirical, technical investigation of the product, done on … Read more

Harry Collins and The Motive for Distinctions

“Computers and their software are two things. As collections of interacting cogs they must be ‘checked’ to make sure there are no missing teeth and the wheels spin together nicely. Machines are also ‘social prostheses’, fitting into social life where a human once fitted. It is a characteristic of medical prostheses, like replacement hearts, that they do not do exactly the same job as the thing they replace; the surrounding … Read more