Mood: :borg:

My boss sent me to a Construx seminar on software testing. I have no formal training so some of the concepts were interesting, some of which I’ll start using immediately and one I’ll bring to the boss directly, although I’m sure to get some resistance: peer review of code, which has a second programmer go over the code of the first before it gets to testing. Since testing revolves around what comes out of the program it’s really hard to tell when something small is broken inside.

There were 16 people including the instructor, and I was pleasantly surprised to see as many women as men, and not for the obvious reason, although there were a couple really cute ones. I’m happy that the male-dominated tech jobs are finally getting some more women, who (in my experience, anyway) are generally more detail-oriented, which is a boon in software testing. At work we only have 2 women out of the dozen-and-a-half people in tech support.

There were 5 people from Boeing in the class, four of who didn’t even know the fifth because she was from a different department/section. For a person like me who has only worked for small-to-medium size companies that’s just weird.

Construx takes care of their guests, with lots of juice, pop and snacks, as well as providing breakfast and lunch, but for $600 USD a day for seminars I’d have been pretty upset if they didn’t. Let’s see: 8 hours divided by $600 x 15 attendees = $320/hour, or $9000/day. That one seminar probably paid their rent for the month (they occupy most of the 13th floor).

Speaking of the unlucky 13th floor, reportedly earlier in the month they had to evacuate because of a large gas leak down the block, and on the second day we got an emergency announcement that there was an alert and we had to climb down 5 flights to await further instructions. We lost about a half-hour down there before being allowed back up. The elevators and (by the feel of it) the air conditioning were shut down during that time. While we were waiting one of the ladies revealed that she was in the WTC at 9/11 and had to climb down dozens of flights of steps, so since then she only wears sneakers when entering tall buildings.

The person who reserved my rental car left me with a whopping 2 1/2 hours to get from Bellevue, Washington to the Abbotsford Airport to return it. NOT ENOUGH TIME on a Friday at 4:30pm! I had to speed a bit once we got past the gas-and-brake dance which kept me at about 30 km/h up until Everett, but was only about 45 minutes late getting back.

The La Quinta was a nice inexpensive motel only a few minutes from the seminar. I recommend it.



 


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