Archive for October, 2006

IE 7 is back on my machine

October 23, 2006 7:06 pm

With some help from Peter Gurevich, one of the IE 7 Performance PMs, I tracked down what caused IE 7 to basically lock up on my machine. Turns out it were the IE Developer Toolbar and IE DOM Explorer add-ons that were to blame. I disabled all but these two add-ons and saw no lockups any more.

I’m going to properly uninstall these add-ons so they’re completely gone and then I’ll be a happy IE 7 user!

Thank you Peter G for getting in touch!

So much for IE 7

October 18, 2006 9:14 pm

I installed the offical IE 7 release a few minutes ago, ran it, and it immediately started consuming 50% CPU time. The part of the UI where the Tabs get rendered (and the address bar / stop / refresh / search) was frozen and I couldn’t get the Favorites area to pop up.

Not good. Looks like I’m going to stick with IE 6 / Firefox for a long time.

Uninstalled.

My experience with offshore outsourcing software development

7:52 pm

I’m testing the beta version of the New York Times Reader (which I have a few beefs with, but I’m sure lots of people are already finding the same problems, so there’s little point in elaborating on those here). Beta testing it forced me to open a free account at the nytimes.com site. During the last few days the Reader happened to bring me this article about the challenges India faces in the software technology sector.

It got me thinking about my own experience with offshore software development outsourcing. Grossly simplified, what I see as the biggest problem is that the engineers you outsource the work to are good a cranking out code once they have a stable and very detailed requirements specification. But when it comes to testing and independent, creative work they fall quite short on what may be desired. If you don’t have detailed requirements, but loose goals, you’re in for a very bumpy ride in my experience.

Add to that the challenges of communicating clearly across time zones and cultures and you usually end up with delays and projects going over budget. Not to mention quality issues. It seems as if some coders don’t take responsibility for the initial quality they produce, but rely on testing at receiving end.

I’ve seen this personally in the last few months, and I’ve had reports from people I work with who have experienced pretty much the same thing. I know of several projects where the outcome was much much worse than expected.

I’m not saying that offshore outsourcing in general doesn’t work, but my experince tells me you need to be very very careful about who you pick as your contractor and you need to be even more careful about tracking the work on a week-by-week basis, possibly even a day-to-day basis.

The weasel way of doing Internet business

October 13, 2006 9:48 am

This just dropped in my mailbox yesterday.

 Weasel solicitation

I hate this tactic of attempting to get customers. 

I’m sure some unsuspecting people would think this is something they signed up for and have to pay. I know it says on there that it’s a solicitation, but making it look so much like an invoice is sure to fool some people. Which is what weasel companies like this count on. I mean, it even has a “Customer Number” on there for crying out loud.

Don’t be fooled. Don’t do business with these weasels.