Monday, 14 February 2011

A bass case - Classical Thump

I have been given another piece of Victor Wooten magic to practice.  Now,  I like Victor Wooten but, I find his stuff quite hard to play (on account of him being one of the best bassists in the world).  Generally his work is heavy with percussive fills and little extra slaps and left hand mutes. So in principle the bass line is straight forward but made complex by the superb technique.

Previously I have attempted to learn "You can't hold no groove if you ain't got no pocket" which I just didn't practice enough to get it technique wise.  So I had mixed emotions when presented with the sheet/tab music for "Classical Thump" I have resolved to really work at this as it shows some great style and is generally rather cool.

So here's a rather old (check out the 'tache and hat) Wooten clip on YouTube to give you an idea.

Now you see what I mean?

OK,  the key as with everything bass wise as I have come to appreciate more and more is to break things down.

I'll follow up with another post on how I break it down.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Destined to fail - Software development pessimism

It may be slightly pessimistic to say but, are professional software developers and programmers on a futile path to failure?

Its inevitable that an application will fail in some way,  and thus an unwritten rule of software development.

There will always be bugs.

As a professional solution developer for about a decade now I've developed a thick skin to the bugs, yes it's annoying but, necessary and frankly I should be thankful that perfection is impossible thus ensuring more work.

But it does lead me to ask a couple of key questions.

  1. How can we reduce bugs?
  2. What is the measure of a successful application?

1. From my experience the key incubators for software, solution, application bugs can be attributed to the following factors.

  • Poor requirements gathering / problem analysis 
  • Incomplete specification
  • Scope / spec creep
  • Unrealistic time frames
  • Inadequate testing

2. I would argue that this maybe slightly harder to quantify  but I think it is a good start to consider the following markers.

  • A satisfied customer
    • Makes their task easier
    • Impresses them
    • They enjoy using it
  • Repeat business
    • Could it do this as well?
  • Customer recommendations

I don't profess to be an expert but my experience as highlighted some areas  but what do you think?

So, what is the measure of a successful application?

Monday, 7 February 2011

The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else.

I'd like to share something.
One crucial thing I have learnt throughout my academic and professional career.
It's very simple but effective.

The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else

Frequently I've found if there is no one about or no-one that really gives a monkeys about what your studying (propositional calculus any one?) you can teach it to some imaginary person.

With that in mind:
I've been playing bass for a few years now and love to play.  I don't think I am very good and I largely play for my own fun.  However I'm going to blog from time to time on what I am practicing.  Hopefully blogging will help me to learn and understand.
So thanks in advance for being attentive students.