Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Carol Hamer, PhD, CTFL

I just received my official certificate in the mail from the American Software Testing Qualifications Board certifying that I’m now a Certified Tester, Foundation Level. The funny part is in the letter where it says that I’m now entitled to put the letters “CTFL” after my name on my business cards and letterhead. No offense to the ASTQB (and ISTQB) folks, but the test is really easy, so I’m not sure how impressive it will look (especially following the old “Piled Higher and Deeper”).

That said, I felt the ISTQB course was fun and worthwhile. I was working for a QA consulting company in Switzerland, and instead of taking a formal course, the employees organized an informal study group. One colleague divided the syllabus into lessons, and then we met once per week to discuss that week’s assignment. Most of the concepts in the Foundation Level syllabus are the type of things that are simple (once you read them) but you might not have thought of spontaneously. So it’s interesting to get together among colleagues and discuss. For someone like me (who has primarily seen QA from the outside, while working in development), it’s useful to take the time to understand QA from the high level concepts to the practical techniques.

I didn’t take the test with the rest of my “class” because I left Switzerland before we were done. But since the ISTQB is an international board, it was simple to just take the test after arriving in the U.S.

A range of ideas and perspectives: iPhone Games Projects

iphone_games_projectsEven though I’m still playing with MIDP for the moment, it’s fun (and instructive!) to look over the shoulder of some of the people developing games for other device platforms.  I’ve done a little bit of work on the Android platform, and naturally I’d like to know what’s up with the iPhone as well.

So I picked up a copy of iPhone Games Projects by PJ Cabrera (and others).  This book is unusual for a computer book in that they gathered up ten highly successful iPhone game developers to give their best secrets and advice, so it gives higher-level project strategy ideas instead of spelling out all of the technical nitty-gritty.

Overall, the book answers the following questions:

  • What makes an iPhone game great?
  • How do you plan and execute a successful professional iPhone project?
  • How do you optimize for the iPhone?

The authors all present different perspectives on the subject, which naturally invites the reader to contrast them and think about their ideas! Continue reading

Hello BlackBerry!

It’s been my experience that all MIDP implementations are different, but some are more different than others.  BlackBerry Java smartphones are MIDP compliant, but they have a particularly unique flavor of MIDP.  They’re also becoming increasingly popular, so I decided it was time to get one and try it out.  Here’s my new (to me, actually used) BlackBerry 8700g:


By selecting “options > about” I got the convenient info screen above, which tells me that the version is 4.1 — one of the oldest BlackBerry handsets with Java.  (That’s OK, all the better to test backwards compatibility.)

The first (and IMHO most annoying, but critical) step is to set up the development environment and get a complete “Hello World!” from code on the PC built and running on the device.  Here’s my “road to Hello World” — the problems I encountered and their solutions — in hopes of saving the next person some time: Continue reading