Category: blogging

Total 4 Posts

Podcasts I Listen To

Some 12 or 13 years ago, I worked at a company that had a great developer library. Before the advent of the web, this was a great resource for coming up to speed on a variety of topics. Within this library, the company had purchased video tapes of training sessions, sessions at conferences, etc. I systematically checked out every video tape. I would watch them while I exercised on the treadmill. It was a great way to be exposed to new topics (and it made exercising something I looked forward to…)

With the advent of podcasts, I am getting many of the same benefits I received from watching those tapes. In addition to listening to podcasts while I exercise, I also listen to them while riding the bus and doing errands around the house and the yard. Even when the podcasts do not directly apply to what I am working on, they are a great resource. I often find myself pondering a comment or a topic mentioned — which at the time seemed to have no relevance to what I am working on — only to find that it is spurring my rethinking of some aspect of my current project.

With that in mind, I thought I would list the various business and technical podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis. I am excluding those general interest, science, news and hobby podcasts — which I enjoy immensely — but are outside of the topic of this blog.

Business Related Podcasts
APM: Marketplace Conversations from the Corner Office
MBA Podcasts
NPR Business Story of the Day

General Technology News
Buzz Out Loud from CNET

CNET daily tech news podcast
eWeek News and Views
InfoWorld Daily Podcast
this Week in Tech

Open Source
FLOSS Weekly

Quality Assurance & Software Engineering
Gray Matters Podcast
Quality 101
Software Engineering Radio
The StickyMinds SoundByte Podcast

Security Related Podcasts
CNET Security Bites
Security Now!

Microsoft Technologies
Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott


Validate But Realize You May Not Be In Control

In a previous post, I wrote about the value of using the HTML validation services available on the web. After I wrote that post, I thought I should run the validation on the blog site. Keep in mind that in my case, I have very little control over the HTML generated by the blogging software provided by my ISP. The software is WordPress which may or may not be customized beyond the default options by my ISP.

Overall, I have not noticed any errors rendering the blog site in a variety of browsers and a variety of operating systems. My initial impression is that the software appears well written and supported.

When I compose a post, I have the option of using either the rich text editor WordPress provides or write my own HTML. Currently, I use the editor provided. As such, I am completely at the mercy of the WordPress development staff.

Results of Validation

When I ran the validator against the blog site, 18 errors were identified — none of which appear to impact the functionality of the site. (FYI – the site is identified as XHTML 1.0 Transitional.)

1) (1 time) document type does not allow element “li” here; missing one of “ul”, “ol”, “menu”, “dir” start-tag.

This is from a system generated entry in the left hand menu.

2) (3 times) document type does not allow element “h1” here; missing one of “object”, “applet”, “map”, “iframe”, “button”, “ins”, “del” start-tag.

This is the title of a post

3) (14 times) document type does not allow element “p” here; missing one of “object”, “applet”, “map”, “iframe”, “button”, “ins”, “del” start-tag.
This is within the content of a post and is generated by the rich text editor.


While striving for cleanly validated HTML is a worthy goal and will help prevent issues it is not always achievable. Identify those errors and warnings which are important to you and investigate work arounds when you do not control the HTML.

Why Another Blog?

The question anyone should ask when they start reading a blog is why. Why is this person writing this? (or perhaps the question is what — What is their intention? What do they get out of spending time writing these posts?) It may be that they are promoting their company or themselves. It may be they just want to share their perspective on the topic at hand. It may be that writing is their hobby.

My intent in writing this blog is primarily personal. Throughout the work day, I am researching topics or explaining items to the members of my teams. Likewise, my team members come across items or explain concepts to me. I think it will be useful if I captured some of these items in writing for my personal reference. Writing a post will help clarify my own thinking on a topic. By writing, I hope to improve my thinking on a variety of topics related to software testing, software quality and software development. The posts will primarily be on topics that I encounter at work. I find writing to often be a difficult exercise. My hope is that by writing on a consistent basis, my writing will improve and the ease of writing will improve. Finally, a presentation by James Bach spurred me to action. His video presentation at Google on “Becoming a Testing Expert” included a slide of advice which encouraged people to write.

I hope others will find value in what they read. If you find an item to be useful, than this exercise has been successful. Looking at my preliminary list of topics, I don’t think anything will be considered controversial. If something I write encourages people to discuss, then I have accomplished more than I hoped.

Working full time and being a Dad mean that this will not be updated daily. I am aiming for a weekly post. Whether that is realistic or not is yet to be seen.