There's a pattern that crops up a lot in computing - indirection. It's sometimes a little bit disguised, but it's used to solve many kinds of problem. To introduce it I'll first use an example from outside computing, that I like for many reasons. Five freedoms for animal welfare It might be a bit odd … Continue reading Solving computer problems with indirection
The big and small idea
I was talking with a Cambridge University student recently, in particular about their University Card. It’s a very useful card, that in one way can be described very simply. As far as I understand, the card lets students, academics and staff across the university access rooms and services, by proving their identity electronically. That’s something … Continue reading The big and small idea
Looking for copyright music in live streams
My friend Ted has recently started exercising in earnest, to get fighting fit for when he can go back into schools, museums etc. to blow children's minds about creative writing. While he exercises, he plays music from CDs to motivate him and he live streams it to Facebook for accountability. Sometimes the live stream is … Continue reading Looking for copyright music in live streams
Does your website reassure and welcome?
If you have a website, it's probably to fulfil some purpose - to let people buy something, or look something up etc. This purpose can be articulated as a series of requirements (functional or cross-functional), which can be ticked off during testing. In this article I will use some buildings to illustrate a point about … Continue reading Does your website reassure and welcome?
Random numbers to protect privacy in a pandemic app
A computer system, like a car or a coffee machine, is something designed to meet some requirements. These requirements usually force the designer to make a compromise, based on which requirements get more attention than others. (Which is the best car? It depends on whether speed, size, sustainability etc. are most important to you.) One … Continue reading Random numbers to protect privacy in a pandemic app
Imagination might not be the first quality you think of when you think of people who build computer systems. However, I think it’s really helpful for many parts of the process – designing, building and testing it. Old English Digression First, a digression into Scandinavia via UK primary schools. This is my friend Tim Eagling … Continue reading Imagination
Trying to not get too ranty about documenting software architecture
This article is my thoughts on a video about documenting software architecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv8XedJTEww A summary of the video is: Domains other than software architecture, e.g. maps or electrical circuits, do a good job of capturing useful and important information in a way that communicates this well – this is mostly in pictures. Software architecture does … Continue reading Trying to not get too ranty about documenting software architecture