Semi-Technical – Intern to the Rescue Episode 93

New and Improved Bacon Flowchart

Occasionally I unearth a problem that I had no idea existed, but in doing so I save the world from something that they never even thought would be happening. Yesterday was one such event, and I saved Broadcom at least a week worth of debugging by spending a couple hours working with cursors and a temp database to check the integrity of our data after a major change to the contents. This is only semi-technical, so bear with me…


I am currently working on a project with high visibility within Broadcom. We have two disparate applications both tracking projects, their revision, a number of other overlapping fields and many other fields that are not shared. We defined one as the Master, because it has uniqueness and a number of data integrity checks, and the other as the Slave. The catch is that we have a many to one mapping between Slave and Master which means we have to look deeper.

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Automation Abstraction


For all things web development you have to be able to test them and confirm that they work. With the progression of AJAX and DOM altering JavaScript testing these web applications has become more and more of a chore. Unit tests and frameworks provide a certain level of quality assurance from the back but the user’s experience needs to be confirmed as well. The last four years of work at Broadcom has afforded me a number of opportunities to diversify and expand my skills palette, but no matter what I do I always find myself back in the role of a tester, unfortunately.

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Chronicles of Broadcom – How NOT to code

I have been writing a lot lately, unfortunately not in direct relation to my blog or public persona. I have been unable to code properly in the last month and it has been wearing my managers thin. We are trying to add a couple seemingly simple modules to a perl cgi application and I’m running into the age old problem of code complexity being the bane to all existence. I ranted previously about how goofy the code that the previous developer chose to use for the template engine, and I wish that were the end of the train. I have hit a weird stand point. It seems like adding anything to this is a pain. Let’s take a step through the code, together.

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Perl for dummies

In the hours of the early morning here at work i enjoy the silence. It allows my mind to unravel the craziness of the previous day and take quiet walks around the office space. Recently i have been noting the books that people have on their shelves, and its odd – many people have the O’Reilly Programming Perl novel sitting up on their desks/bookshelves here. I say this is odd because so many people dont know a god damned thing about perl or have a barely functional knowledge of how it works or how to code in it.

One such example is pertaining to a failed attempt to be a software developer. An application with a “Template engine” that is controlled by the function you run previously. This is one aspect of this application that should let you all know how complicated this has been devised. I am convinced that i could simplify the code base considerably, given the freedom to do so, but alas – i cannot.

Its odd that people purchase or borrow or share books when they are not willing to actually read them. There are a number of very interesting and necessary tidbits that sit just below the surface of Perl that are more than useful; that are more than powerful; that are able to correct code that you have just spent four hours working on instead of reading four hours yesterday. It’s called a Map. Use it.