Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Interested in being a test developer? We're hiring.

If what I have said about test development excites you and you want to try it, now is your chance.  We are hiring.  We're looking for an experienced developer to work with audio drivers and related technologies.  If you want to get your hands dirty in the lower levels of the OS, come join us.  Details can be found here.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Sony's Cell Microprocessor

Things have been too busy for me to write any more articles lately.  To tide you over, here is something I found interesting:

The Cell Processor is going to be the heart and soul of the next Playstation.  It is a joint effort between Sony, Toshiba, and IBM.  It is supposed to run on everything from the PS3 to workstations.  More interesting than what it will be used in, however, is what it is all about.  What does the Cell processor look like?  What are its advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional CISC or RISC processors?  AnandTech takes a careful look at the Cell.  If you have any interest in processors, give this article a read. 

Update:  Here is another article on the Cell processor, this time by Ars Technica.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Quality Assurance != Testing

Stuart Feldman of IBM research has some thoughts on the issue of testing and quality assurance.  He contends that QA is a process whereas testing tends to be technology-based and an afterthought.  He describes the difference here: 

"What goes into QA? Testing, of course, is a key activity. There is, however, an adage that “you can’t test quality into a product.” A solid test plan should catch errors and give a measure of quality. A good QA plan ensures that the design is appropriate, the implementation is careful, and the product meets all requirements before release. An excellent QA plan in an advanced organization includes analysis of defects and continuous improvement. "

I think what we call what testers do is largely semantic but agree with Stuart on what this activity should be.  If testing is merely about finding bugs, it is insufficient.  It needs to be about assessing the quality of the product as a whole. 

Stuart also spends some time detailing the different levels of testing required for various levels of products.  This ties in well with the software engineering discussion we're having elsewhere on this blog.

hat tip to /.