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.

A Case of Denial

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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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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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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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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."


All Zipped Up

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Moving to version control is hard. It's a necessary step as a company grows into developing more complex software, with more developers working on the various products, but that doesn't make it any easier. Like all change, it's often delayed far too long, half-assed, and generally resented until everyone's forgotten about the indignity and moved on to complaining about the next improvement.


Cache Congestion

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Recently, we featured the story of Alex, who worked in a little beach town trying to get seasonal work. But Alex isn't the only one with a job that depended entirely on the time of year.


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