Jane Bailey

Jane Bailey is a self-published author of urban fantasy novels as well as a part-time blogger; in her day job, she works in SQA, where she sees plenty of WTFs.

What Bugs Beneath

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Fly-swatter

During the interview, everything was gravy. Celestino Inc. was doing better business than ever before, and they were ready to expand their development center. They had all the keywords Gigi was looking for: Java 8, serving up a SPA for a hot new streaming product, outsourced from a company with money to burn but no developers of their own. She loved the people she'd interviewed with; they were smart people with great ideas. It'd been a long, grueling job hunt, but it'd been worth it. Gigi was eager to work with the technology, not to mention having plenty of budget and a greenfield to work with.


Who Backs Up The Backup?

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Call Before You Dig Sign

A lot of the things we do in IT aren't particularly important. If this or that company doesn't sell enough product and goes under, it sucks for the employees, but life goes on. Sometimes, however, we're faced with building systems that need to be truly resilient: aviation systems, for example, cannot go down for a reboot midflight. Government services also fall toward the "important" end of the scale. The local mayor's homepage might not be important, but services like Fire and Rescue or 911 are mission-critical.


A Case of Denial

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RGB color wheel 72

On his first day at his new job, Sebastian wasn't particularly excited. He'd been around the block enough times to have grown a thick skin of indifference and pessimism. This job was destined to be like any other, full of annoying coworkers, poorly thought out requirements, legacy codebases full of spaghetti. But it paid well, and he was tired of his old group, weary in his soul of the same faces he'd grown accustomed to. So he prepared himself for a new flavor of the same office politics and menial tasks.


The Helpful Manager

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Computer-security-incident-initial-process.png

Git is a divisive piece of technology. There's a number of people who insist that it's the best of all possible version controls, often citing the fact that a complete repo copy is on everyone's computers in case of emergency. There are also a lot of horror stories of people screwing up commands and ending up neck-deep in tutorials, desperately trying to undo what they did. Recently, I was involved in a discussion about the merits of Mercurial. The usual git fans stopped by to ridicule the lack of history-rewriting in Mercurial, insisting that it's a necessary part of any version control. Which reminded me of this reader submission ...


Easter Eggs

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Station Velo Antwerpen

Ada worked in QA in the Netherlands, testing a desktop application for a German bank. The app was simple: a C/C++ app that scanned in paper forms, read them with OCR, and processed their contents. It was constructed, as was the fashion at the time, from a number of separate DLLs, each serving one and only one purpose. It was usually fairly boring work, but it was paying for her education, so it was worth putting up with.


Just The Fax, Ma'am

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Muirhead fax machine - MfK Bern

Gus had been working at his new job for a month. Most of his tickets had been for front-end work, making it easier and more efficient to manage the various vendors that the company did business with. These were important flags like "company does not accept UPS deliveries" or "company does not accept paper POs". The flags had been previously set via an aging web-based UI that only worked in Internet Explorer 6, but now they were migrating one at a time into the shiny new HTML5 app. It was tiring work, but rewarding.


Exceptional Handling

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Sonic 2006

Enterprise Resource Planning software, or ERP for short, is crucial to the operation of many large businesses. Several popular ERP systems have plugin-friendly architecture, the better to sell upgrades their customers will never want or use. This software is primarily aimed at businesses with too many complex process flows to manage by hand—making it the perfect domain for a small, lean startup with 3 developers and 1 customer.


Test Overflow

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WidCo was a victim of its own success. It had started as a small purveyor of widgets: assembling, storing, transporting, and shipping the widgets to their small client base in their podunk state. They'd once had the staff to fill orders placed by phone. As they'd begun to make a name for themselves in the surrounding tri-state region, however, their CEO had caught wise to the value of "this Internet thing."


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