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Showing posts from January, 2008

Leveraging functional test cases to perform Unit Tests

Ever since I have worked with quality process improvement I have heard a lot of excuses for not doing unit testing as it is wonderfully articulated in this article Excuses for not doing unit tests . Subsequently I have found that we are spending almost 50% of our total project effort on testing and defect fixing and the reason for this is because there is not enough unit testing done. So this got me wondering as to how we can change the process so that we can have more efficient unit testing done so that the defect fixing and testing effort comes down. As per the process after having the requirements defined we give off the same requirements specification to the development team (for design and development) and to the independent testing team (for developing the functional test cases). The functional test cases are developed using this template . Once the development team completes the design document it is used as an input to enhance the functional test cases to cover all the test ca

Rules for successful Offshore Application Development

I was reading an interesting series of articles on the Accurev blog on the rules for successful offshore application development Requirement 1 : Leadership is everything Requirement 2 : Business Interests Must be Aligned Requirement 3 : Match the Project to the Team I think the points raised here are very valid for the success of any offshore project but I feel that a key requirement is missing from here and that is Clarity in the requirement Offshore project development is about identifying a piece of work and getting it done away from the place that it is identified i.e. the person who has come up with the requirement (identifier) and the person who is implementing that requirement (implementer) are at two different places. What happens in this scenario is that when the requirement is transmitted from the identifier to the implementer there is a certain amount of loss or sediment added into the requirement which the identifier of the requirement will not know until the task is de

Website for free !!!

I had an interesting comment put on my blog today which went as follows "...you can do more with your blog spice up your blog, don't stop providing the simple blog you can provide more features like forums, polls, CMS,contact forms and many more features.Convert your blog "yourname.blogspot.com" to www.yourname.com completely free ..." The lines in bold caught my attention. As I have been setting up websites for a while and knew how to get my own domain as I already host multiple sites of my own ( http://www.dsouzaweb.com/ , http://www.ourspace.in/ ) I knew how it could be achieved. I also know that there are a lot of free resources available showing how one can achieve what ever this comment was claiming to do and if it was not there it is not too hard to develop it. So I decided to visit their website http://www.hyperwebenable.com/ to see what is the catch. How can someone give you something for free that would cost them at least 2 dollars to register th

Advertising my blog

Once you start writing a blog you get into a phase where you want to increase the number of people that are reading your blog. So I started to put my blog into a number of so called blog catalogs hoping to increase viewership of my blog. (See the end of this post for a list of sites where I put up my blog.) What I have realised after almost 2 weeks of putting my blog there is that there is hardly any traffic that came from there (courtesy Google analytics). Even the few users that came to my blog from those catalogs did not spend time on the blog. I have found that my traffic comes mainly from Google searches. What I have realised is that when the traffic comes from googles searches the user tends to spend more time on my blog and I think the reason for this is because the user is reading about something that the user searched for and is relevant to the information that they are seeking. Some of them like it and subscribe to the feed and some of them come back. The traffic has steadil

A private blog

A lot of people have told me that they would like to blog but are scared about what they write. They are scared for two reasons - one is because of their written English skills and the other is because they do not know what others will say when they read their blog. If you are one of those people then blogger has an answer for you - you can blog and make your blog accessible only to yourself or to a select group of people. Here is how you do it. Create a blogger account by going to http://www.blogger.com/ Go to the Settings tab and in that choose permissions and they you can set the Blog readers option of your blog. By default it is set to Anybody. See the image below for a screenshot of how it is on my blog. So now there is no reason to not blog. Happy blogging.

Changes in Birth Certificate - Day 2

To read the first article of this series please click Changes in Birth Certificate Having got all the details on day 1 - I then started collecting all the necessary documents. First to the notary to get the declaration on the Rs. 10 stamp paper. Got it done after about an hour of waiting and Rs. 120 in charges. The HUDA Maitrivanam building has a couple of notary's that can get this done for you and they also have the template on their computers. I then filled in the application and started my hunt for 2 gazetted officers to sign it. Not being too successful with people that I know I decided to go to the ESI hospital in Ameerpet and try a doctor. I went there and there were more than enough peons that were willing to help me out. Anyway for Rs. 30 more for the peon I was able to get that done. With all the proofs and the documents in hand I went back to the GHMC office and submitted all the documents I was given a stamped receipt with a number on it and I was asked to come back o

Changes in a birth certificate

A couple of years ago I got the birth certificate for my daughter at the GHMC - Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (earlier MCH - Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad) ward office. It was a fairly simple exercise of taking the birth information document that the hospital where your child is born gives you and submitting it at the office and then collecting it a couple of days later. What I did not realise then was that in the information that in the information that I had given the hospital I left out my middle name. So today when I applied for a passport for my daughter there was a mismatch in my name in her birth certificate and my passport and so the application was rejected. So then started a whole new ordeal of getting that rectified. So I first visited the GHMC ward office from where I picked up the certificate and asked them if I could get the change made. I was informed that they can make the change only if the change was requested immediately after application before the d

Beware of Vodafone

Today I heard an interesting conversation between a Vodafone sales person and a customer. Let me give you a background first. The customer is on a post paid plan and wants to increase the credit limit. The audio file below is the recorded conversation between the customer and the Vodafone sales executive (you can read the transcript below). Download VodafoneSalesPerson.MP3 ... Sales person : what is happening ma'am actually through credit card if you are paying the bill we need one of your credit card front and back xerox copy Customer : Can you repeat that please Sales person : if you are paying through credit card if you want to avail this service through credit card Customer : ok Sales person : we need one of your credit card front and back xerox copy ma'am Customer : ah ah Sales person : and we are having one credit card form in that all your details and signature Customer : right Sales person : that is needed and on this we are getting free holiday packag

Broader roads : Only makes it worse

I went out today after a long time on a weekday and the state of the traffic on the roads did not really make it a pleasure to drive on. Anyway it got me thinking about an interview I read the other day in the newspaper and the interview was with someone from the transport department of London and he said that the experience that they have had with highly populated areas is that the more roads they built the more they got filled up and there came a point where they could not build any more roads and it has now reached a point where they have a congestion tax to go into highly populated areas like Central London in your own vehicle. Which made me wonder - "Why can't we learn from other cities?". When we had traffic jams we built flyovers, we then broadened the roads (not consistently many a time - some places are broad and some are not thus turning the not so broad areas into bottlenecks) and all of this eased the traffic flow a great deal temporarily. But what happened i

Functional Testing Template - One that works

I have seen a lot of templates around for capturing functional testing test cases but I have not been happy with many of them - so I started an exercise to take the good aspects of many of them and come up with a testing template that works. I have been using this template for close to 6 months now and it is working very well so I decided to publish it so that others can benefit from it. I have published the template using Google Docs and have opened the template to changes. Before going any further lets first open the template. Functional Testing Template ( http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=p a7wK2WZheXh4MmuoIWCPJA&hl=en ) The key requirements for me were the following Easy to understand and use Should contain a status sheet that will give me the exact position of the testing phase Have clear definitions for everything such as severity, status and priority Come up with a consistent naming convention for the test cases Be able to organize the test cases Let me start by exp

My Mom on CNN-IBN

My Mom who makes many Christmas delicacies like Plum Cake, kulkuls, Date roll and a lot more good stuff featured on the secret kitchens program on CNN-IBN. Along with my dad my Mom has written a cook book that got featured in this program and this cook book will soon be available online at the D'Souza Website . Part 1 Part 2

Keeping up with all your online reading

I have an RSS Feed on my blog for a while now and it looks like this but not many people have used this RSS feed and I think the reason that they do not use it is because many do not know what it is for. In this post I will try and explain what is an RSS feed and what is the use of it. What is RSS ? According to wikipedia RSS is defined as follows ... known colloquially as "Really Simple Syndication") is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts. An RSS document, which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel", contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them manually. How do I use an RSS Feed ? Continuing on the article in wikipedia on how you can use an RSS Feed... ... RSS content can be re

Running competitions to popularize your blog

I was reading a couple of interesting posts about having competitions on your blog in order to popularize it. The idea here is to have a competition on your blog that will either encourage your existing readers to do something that you wished for them to do like subscribe to your feed or to leave comments or to try and attract new readers to your blog. Here are the two articles that caught my attention The Costs and Benefits of Running a Competition on Your Blog How to Run a Successful Competition on Your Blog So I decided to check out some competitions that are going on and here is one example Get to Know the Blogger… ME!!! (And win a free ad spot, too!) and a shortcut to all the other competitions out there Blog Catalog - Blog Competitions This surely seems like an interesting way to draw traffic to your blog but what I have learnt over time is that readers who read your blog will come to your blog as long as they can relate to the content on your blog. So it really does not

Isn't this scary for anyone who is going online ?

This article caught my attention on the 14, Jan, 2008's Times Of India, Hyderabad Edition newspaper. First of all let us go into why was he put in jail and this excerpt clearly tells us why. " Lakshmana had been falsely accused of an Internet crime—posting unseemly pictures of Chattrapati Shivaji on the web—and was arrested on the basis of an IP address (Internet connection number) supplied to the police by his Internet provider, Bharti. As it turned out, the IP address was not his, but by the time the police confirmed this and acted on it, he had already spent 50 harrowing days in Yerwada Jail with hardened criminals, lathi beatings, and a bowl which he had to eat out of and use in the toilet as well. " Then the article goes on to talk about how his experience was in jail and to put it in one word "harrowing". " Lakshmana says he was stripped in front of other inmates, including women officials, beaten with lathis and told to pluck grass from patches

Is our education system really good ?

One hears a lot about how our education system is one of the best in the world and that we have the most number of young educated people. Well it may be true that we have a lot of educated people but the question is did they get the right education to be able to do their job competently. From my own experience I feel that the education that I got only gave me the opportunity to get a job through a campus placement and in all the years in the industry I have not really used anything that I learnt in college, I was either trained in it after I joined my first job or had to learn the stuff on the job on my own. There are a lot of young people that I meet each day who have fancy degrees such as B. Tech's, BE's, MCA's and MBA's who are desperate for a job, any job. The question we have to ask ourselves is why aren't they getting jobs? Why are there so many training institutes teaching people what they should have learnt through the education system? Why is there a short

Anonymous Blogging

There was an interesting discussion on NDTV yesterday in the program "We the People" on the topic "Should blogs be moderated ?". This talk show had my mind working on a lot of things and one of the topics was "Anonymous Blogging". Anonymous blogging is blogging without letting your identity known. Now why would one want to blog anonymously ? There are times when I wish I was an anonymous blogger too - the reason being that I have certain thoughts and views which may be a bit controversial or can have an impact if known to others. So what happens when you blog with your real identity is that you start becoming reserved in what you write and say since it can have repercussions. On the other hand when you blog anonymously you can be totally candid and open about everything in the world since no one knows who you are. It is known the world over that in order to become famous you need to be either controversial, titillating or just absolutely provocative in w

Traffic is directly proportional to the content

When I used to post not very frequently I noticed that I used to have only about 2 or 3 visitors daily and many a time they were not repeat visitors but for the last couple of months I have been posting almost daily and I notice that I have a min of 15 visitors to my site everyday (Metrics from http://analytics.google.com ). So I have been convinced that the key to driving traffic to your site is the content of your site. The more content that you have the better are your chances of people finding you in Google . I have found that 50% of my traffic is driven from people who find my site in Google search. This was not the case earlier when I did not have much content on my website. If you are a technology blog then the chances of people finding your site are a lot higher since there are more technical searches in Google . On the other hand other blogs get a fair share of searches too so don't get too worried. The biggest drivers of traffic to my website are software quality, CMM

How expensive is it to go online ?

If you are running a small organization or a business that is looking for an online presence then it is really not that hard and expensive. Let me clarify what I mean by an online presence before we get into how to achieve it A Website that people can visit ( eg . mysmallbusiness .com) An email address that has your website address as the suffix ( eg me@mysmallbusiness.com) A common place to put all your documents ( eg . docs.mysmallbusiness.com) A calendar that all your employees can use to schedule their meetings ( eg . calendar.mysmallbusiness.com) Now how do we implement this and what are the costs involved. Step 1 : Registering a website - Max 10 USD After you have come up with a name for your website you have to register it. There are a lot of websites where this can be done and I have used 3 of them so far. http://www.domaing8.com - Excellent user experience. If you make a mistake and they charge you for it then they promptly refund your money. They have excellent features

Why can't we host websites that work ?

This was the headline in the Economic Times - with the following text "...Over 2.3 lakh students who appeared for a shot at the seven IIMs and another 100-odd B-schools logged on to the common site, www . cati im.in, only to find their results inaccessible..." I have heard of this time and again - every time there are any results for competitive exams published online the website goes down. Why is it that even though we are a country that is supposed to be leading in producing software engineers not able to put up a website that can service quarter of a million visitors at a time. I think this has nothing to do with the lack of knowledge it has everything to do with carelessness and an attitude of not ensuring that every single aspect is tested. IIM is the premier institute in India where students get phenomenal jobs at the end of their course - these institutes compete with the very best in the world. How can we aspire to be in the top if we cannot even host a website t

How to manage your home loan ?

Having control of the interest portion of the home loan is the most important part of managing a home loan. The reason is because the interest portion of the home loan is an expense. And controlling this expense is very important in order to save money. After having a 20 year home loan for sometime there are a few things that I have learnt in the course of it which I would like to share. Even if you get a tax break for 30% of the EMI (Equated Monthly Installment) on a home loan remember that the remaining 70% is an expense so unless you are making up that 70% either by renting out the home that you have or are saving it in rentals (if self occupied) it is not worth having the loan. Always keep track of your home loan by using an amortization sheet. You can use a sheet that I prepared by reading this post . This sheet calculates the principal and interest payments that are going out based on the interest rate and principal outstanding at that point of time. The issue with this sheet is

Wires support pumpkins too

One thing about India - you will find a lot of wires hanging about electricity wires, telephone wires, cable television wires, banner wires, broadband internet wires and a lot of other miscellaneous wires. The other day on the road I noticed a pumpkin creeper growing on a bunch of telephone and cable television wires and look - there is a pumpkin too pulling on the wires !!!

More learnings from the sale

Here are some more learning from the sale. If you want to read more about the sale then go here . When you do something like this be prepared to give up a lot of things that you would have done otherwise. During the Christmas sale we had to give up all the preparation for Christmas because we were busy with the sale. You will have to be present from morning to evening at the business doing sales and many a time you will have to spend the night doing strategy or marketing - so you pretty much don't get time to do much other than the sale. There will be times of insecurity and doubts. It is important at these times to back yourself on what you planned and believe that it will work. You should not let your shoulders drop. At these times it is important to evaluate and change direction if needed but these changes have to be subtle and small. If the change in direction is too big then you might lose focus. Have different people to do sales and marketing. Since we were only 2 of us to lo

Hyderabad Zoo

On Sunday I paid a visit to the Hyderabad Zoo and it was a lovely experience. The name of the zoo is Nehru Zoological Park and it is present on NH7 which goes to Bangalore and it is fairly easy to find using Google maps . View Larger Map Timings of the zoo It is opened from Tuesday to Sunday and every Monday is holiday. April to June: 8.00 AM to 5.30 PM July to March: 8.30 AM to 5.00 PM Tickets : Entrance : Rs. 20 for adults and Rs. 10 for Children. Camera : Rs. 20 and Video Camera : Rs.100 Own Car : Rs. 200 with free entrance for five members. Visitors Van : Rs. 25 for adults and Rs. 10 for children. Safari : Rs. 25 for Adults and Rs. 15 for Children. For more information visit their website . We reached the Zoo at about 10:30 in the morning. The Zoo is 380 acres and it is nice and green. What we realised that by about 1:00 PM it gets really crowded with a lot of cars and its not a pleasure to drive around the zoo anymore. So get in early and get out by about lunch. T

Incompetent ICC

With all the furore over the current test series in Australia there is one thing that is coming out very clearly and that is the incompetence of the ICC. I feel that the ICC is incompetent due to the following reasons Having laws that are vague - the law regarding racial discrimination is very vague and is completely left to the interpretation of the person who is administering it. With so much tension created by bad umpiring the ICC should have made sure that there was an amicable settlement to the racism issue by intervening and ensuring that it did not become the issue it is now. Dragging its feet on umpires - it does not have any method where umpires have to be accountable. Right now an umpire can do how many ever mistakes they want and there is nothing that can be done to them. It has hardly acted in a powerful manner as a governing body should - it has dragged its feet and let things escalate to a situation that it may be hard to come out of. Its time the ICC woke up and made it

Coin Collection - Canada

1969 Uncirculated Coin Set 1971 Uncirculated Coin Set 1973 Uncirculated Coin Set (100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) 1974 Uncirculated Coin Set (100th anniversary of City of Winnipeg) 1975 Uncirculated Coin Set 1976 Uncirculated Coin Set 1977 Uncirculated Coin Set 1978 Uncirculated Coin Set 1979 Uncirculated Coin Set 2006 Commemorative Holiday Coin Set 1972 1 dollar - 2 coins 1974 Winnipeg - 1 dollar 1975 Calgary - 1 dollar 1976 Library of Parliament - 1 dollar 1977 Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee - 1 dollar 1978 11th Commonwealth Games Edmonton - 1 dollar 1988 250th Anniversary St. Maurice Iron Works - 1 dollar

Coin Collection - USA

1971 - Mint Proof Set 1978 - Mint Proof Set 1991 - Mint Proof Set 1992 - Mint Proof Set 1993 - Mint Proof Set 2004 - 50 State Quarters Proof Set 2004 - Mint Proof Set 2006 - 50 State Quarters Proof Set 2006 - Mint Proof Set 2006 - Unc mint coin set - Denver 2006 - Unc mint coin set - Philadelphia 2006 - Westward Journey Nickel Proof Set 2007 - Presidential 1$ Proof Set 2007 - Mint Proof Set 2007 - 50 State Quarters Proof Set 2008 - Presidential 1$ Proof Set 2008 - 50 State Quarters Proof Set United States Mint Canvas Coin Bag

Coin Collection - India

Platinum Jubilee of Reserve Bank of India 1935-2010 A set of Two coins (Rs.75-QA & Rs.10-Bi-metallic) - Ordered C.Subramaniam Birth Centenary - 2010 A set of Two coins (Rs.100-QA& Rs.5-Nickel-Brass) - Ordered 150 years of Comptroller & Auditor General of India (Rs.5) - Ordered 100 Years Of Indian Council Of Medical Research(ICMR)-2011(Rs.5)(Nickel Brass) - Ordered 100 Years Of Civil Aviation Of India-2011(Rs.5)(Nickel-Brass) - Ordered 100 Years of Civil Aviation of India-2011 A set of Two coins (Rs.100-QA& Rs.5-Nickel-Brass) - Ordered Platinum Jubilee of Reserve Bank of India 1935-2010 (Rs.10)(Bi-metallic) - Ordered Platinum Jubilee of Reserve Bank of India 1935-2010 (Rs.5)(Nickel-Brass) - Ordered Platinum Jubilee of Reserve Bank of India 1935-2010 (Rs.2)(FSS) - Ordered Platinum Jubilee of Reserve Bank of India 1935-2010 (Re.1)(FSS) - Ordered DR.RAJENDRA PRASAD 125TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY XIX COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2010 DELHI 60 years of Commonwealth PERARIGNAR AN

Learnings from the sale

The Christmas sale that we had in the church is over and although we did not make any money after 10 days of hard toil there is a lot that we learnt from it. In this post I will try and put down all the things that we learnt from the sale. I would like to thank all those that came to the sale and also for all the encouragement and support. The following are the phases of execution that we went through and I think anyone that is planning to do anything in retail should go through these phases Conceptualization Planning Procurement Marketing Setting up Sales Closure Conceptualization This is the dreamy phase where everything looks so wonderful. In this phase it is important to put down all your thoughts and ideas. You need to develop a mental picture of what you want to do and where you want to be. It is very easy to drift away into Neverland here but it is important to keep a balance between being too careful and being too crazy. If you are too careful in this phase then there is no

Food in Hyderabad

Its been a while since I blogged about food in Hyderabad. Well here goes... A few year ago if one wanted sizzlers and russian salad there was a hole in the wall in Banjara hills called Flame which subsequently closed down. Then we found Indi Joe's in the City Center mall in Banjara Hills. They have excellent starters and sizzlers. I especially like the Pomfret sizzler - its light and tasty. I didn't like the mexican and the pastas much - but then that might be a personal taste. Well we all know Paradise. The food there is cheap and good. But one day we decided to visit Persis Gold the fine dining restaurant in Paradise and even though the food was good I came out completely unsatisfied. The reason being that you are served the same fare as the takeaway but the prices are atrociously expensive. So my take is just do takeaway do not eat in the restaurant, at least not in persis gold. Green Park has some excellent food. We usually do the ala carte`. The hot tandoori rotis with