Category Archives: Week 5

Decision Table – Based Testing

For the fourth assignment in software testing, we had to create a decision table testing. A decision table is a black-box test technique that visually presents combinations of inputs and outputs, where inputs are conditions or cases, and outputs are actions or effects. A full decision table contains all combinations of conditions and actions. Additionally, it shows the causes and effects. Therefore, this technique is also called a cause-effect table. A well-created decision table can help to sort out the right response of the system, depending on the input data, as it should include all conditions. It simplifies designing the logic and thus improves the development and testing of our product. 

The decision table works on input conditions and actions. We create a Table in which the top rows are input conditions, and in the same vein, the bottom rows are resulting actions. Similarly, the columns correspond to unique combinations of these conditions.

Advantages of Decision Table Testing

The system behavior is different for different input, both equivalent partitioning, and boundary value analysis won’t help, but decision table can be used.

It can be easily interpreted and is used for development and business as well.

Help to make effective combinations and better coverage for testing.

Any complex business conditions can be easily turned into decision tables.

In a case we are going for 100% coverage typically when the input combinations are low, this technique can ensure the coverage.

Disadvantages of Decision Table Testing

The number of inputs increases the table will become more complex.


From the blog CS@Worcester – Tech, Guaranteed by mshkurti and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Dig Deeper

For this week I want to talk about the Dig Deeper apprenticeship pattern. This is a pattern that everyone in computer science understand it well and doesn’t need to many words. The main point of this pattern is that no matter what tool you decide to explore, learn to dig deep into it. Acquire the depths of knowledge to the point that you know why things are the way they are.

In today’s world there are so many tools that is so hard to keep track with. I’m sure anyone can learn a tool or language if they have enough time to explore and understand it. If that’s not the case then you only ever learn the parts of a technology that you need to get your portion of the system working, and you depend on other members of the team to learn the other parts. So, with what you end up is a superficial knowledge of a thousand tools and you’re not even aware of how little you know until something or someone puts you to the test.

Another thing that I like, and I don’t like at the same time is depend on other members of the team to learn other parts. There are serious students or coworkers who will do their job but also, we have the other side of coin. There are people who don’t take it seriously, so you end up doing all the work by yourself or have misunderstanding. Solution to this is to hope you have time to learn and explore more of the tool and finger crossed to have someone driven to learn new things working with you.

Another advantage of digging deep into a technology is that you can actually explain what’s going on beneath the surface of the systems you work on. The book explains how in interviews, this understanding will distinguish you from other candidates who can’t describe the software they’ve helped build in a meaningful way because all they understand is one little portion. Once you’re part of a team, it’s the application of this pattern that separates out those who are making random piles of rubble. So, you don’t have to fake it till you make it. If you invest your free time to learn something new you going to add more points to yourself.

Apprenticeship Patterns by Dave Hoover; Adewale Oshineye

From the blog CS@Worcester – Tech, Guaranteed by mshkurti and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Record What You Learn – Apprenticeship Pattern

In this post I will be discussing the apprenticeship pattern, “Record What You Learn” written by Adewale Oshineye and Dave Hoover in the book Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman, 2009. This pattern is design towards people who end up learning the same lessons over and over again or going through the same experiences or failures but can never get the details or reasons to stick.

The solution suggested is to create a blog, notebook, or wiki that you can treat as a journal and record important things that you learn. This is not to write down and forget about. Throughout your career you should return to this journal to review it and make new connections in your memory. When reviewing you should update what is written as more knowledge and experience is accumulated over time. The authors even suggest creating two blogs, one a public record and one a private. This allows you to share the lessons you have learned and also get feedback on what you have written with the public record and be able to be brutally honest with yourself in the private record. Internal and external feedback allows you to have an honest and accurate self-assessment. The main goal of this pattern is to keep a journal of your path to mastery so that you can reflect on and learn in the future.

I found this particular apprenticeship pattern interesting because this morning I was thinking about starting a notebook in which I can keep any important lessons as well as important details. This way I would be able to look back on it frequently and grow as a developer. This could include important concepts, design patterns or failures that I can learn from as I move forward. This book has provided a useful structure in which I can follow and also has inspired me to follow through with it since I have said I was going to do it a few times already but never have. Also, it has given the idea of two journals in which one can be private and one public. Maybe also different journals for different topics such as one for design patterns, one for lessons learned, one for important topics, etc.

Hoover, D. H., & Oshineye, A. (2010). Apprenticeship patterns: Guidance for the aspiring software craftsman. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Austins CS Site by Austin Engel and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Your First Language

I always feel that if you are better at the first language, the easier it is to learn the next one.

I learned Java in my sophomore year, and then I went to learn C, which felt easy. Because the logic of computer language is interchangeable. For example, if you learn English well, you will find some similarities between French and Spanish. Although French and Spanish maybe your second language, you will learn them much faster than non-proficient English learners. I think this applies to computer language learning as well.

Each language gives you the opportunity to use different patterns to solve problems. In the process of moving beyond your first language, you should look for opportunities to learn languages that approach problems in very different ways. Apprentices who are comfortable with object-oriented languages should explore Functional’s programming language. Students of dynamic typing should delve into static typing. Apprentices comfortable with server-side programming should take a look at user interface design.

You should not be “married” to any particular technology but should have a broad enough technical background and experience base to be able to choose the right solution for a particular situation.

Many people say Java is good because it is suitable for many kinds of software programming. Some people also say that C++ is good because its language is more advanced than Java; there are also people who have learned that learning C++ to learn Java or very simple. I personally hate to talk about what language is best, every use situation has a language that works best for it. Or if you have learned your first language well, mastering it is also a good option. But there are certain situations where C really has the best solution than Java, so we write our software in C. At this point, there is no need to stubbornly think that I am good at Java and I have to use the language I am good at to solve this problem. 

The spirit of craftsmanship is that you strive for the best in what you are good at, but in certain situations, we can’t stick to the rules. Modern society is a utilitarian society, we need to maintain the spirit of artisans while learning to adapt to the society.

From the blog haorusong by and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Expose Your Ignorance

The book Apprenticeship Patterns by Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye covers multiple patterns important to being an apprentice. One of these patterns is called “Expose Your Ignorance” and centers around the issue of not knowing enough about a topic kind of important to the task at hand. Many people’s first instinct is to feign competence in order to avoid worrying their peers and suffer through embarrassment. The pattern instead suggests that people admit their shortcomings and ask questions. It might be hard to do but the benefits far outweigh the risks like learning important information sooner rather than later for example. Doing this has the added benefit of developing the learning ability through enforcing a “not knowing” mentality which just means to approach a situation if you were a novice. This mentality pushes an individual to broaden their horizons rather than becoming an expert on a single subject in a specific context. It also allows one to form strong relationships since this will be showing others your learning ability and flexibility.

I’ve had trouble “Exposing My Ignorance” for most of my life since again, most people’s first instinct is to feign competence. And of course, that wouldn’t work out since people would get mad at me for not knowing something and I’d end up barely learning anything. But I would still keep up this behavior until either late high school or early college mainly because there were some people in my life that would get mad at me for even asking questions. The reason why I broke out of that habit is because as I got older, I realized that there was so much I had no clue of doing. So, I started asking questions without caring what other people thought because I wanted to learn. For example, I wanted to learn to do my laundry so I just asked my mom to teach me and now I still do my own laundry. The same principle applies to software development; If you either don’t know something or aren’t confident in your knowledge on a subject, ask questions since there’s no real harm in doing so.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Rainiery's Blog by rainiery and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Concrete Skills

Concrete skills are something I feel as though I have an abundance, and simultaneously, a lack of. I guess this depends on what kind of skills are being referenced. If data structures, algorithms, or Leetcode is in question, I have some confidence. Not only are these topics I enjoy, but I also have solid knowledge in these areas. When it comes to automating tasks, or something more applicable to my current capstone situation, such as getting a strong grip on Docker and how each part of the project can be integrated with it, I feel… less qualified. 

The problem is, I think I can get to the technical knowledge I have, but only via the technical knowledge I am lacking. These barriers become apparent when working on a large project like the capstone. I look at the backend components, and I feel solid, even with little JavaScript experience. But picking up Vue.js makes me feel like I’m swimming in circles. There’s no point in making a backend without a frontend to support it, and I know this, but I’m not happy to confront it as it means abandoning my comfort zone for some crazy new frontend world.

          The learning pattern on concrete skills puts some much-needed pressure on me. It points out that I can have all the knowledge of theory and all the ability to learn quickly in the world, but if I can’t put real technical skills on a resume, I’ll never make it past the first round of hiring interviews. Rather than trying to find ways around the difficulties I face in everyday software development life, I should highlight my weaknesses and mark them down as learning opportunities.

          There has been a plethora of times in my CS career at which I confront a problem I have been avoiding and the knowledge I gain suddenly seems to apply everywhere. For example, last semester I learned the state design pattern, and because it came with some confusion, I dropped it quickly enough. Now, as I tried to make a Markov chain simulation in Java for my Math Modeling independent study, I realized a state pattern was a perfect fit. It took a couple hours, but I got it down and it feels great not only to have learned and used something new, but to know I have the knowledge to use whenever I need it going forward.

          I think my first focus should be some more surface level skills. As the chapter points out, the question, “If we hire you today, what can you do on Monday morning that will benefit us?” is one of the most important questions of the interview. If my best answer is, “Try really hard to get up to speed,” I’ll be job hunting for a long, long time. My new goal is to collect the skills I don’t know or feel uncomfortable with that are more common and focus my spare time on them. It will make daily life as a developer easier and take me further in my career faster.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Marcos Felipe's CS Blog by mfelipe98 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Breaking Out the White Belt (Disambiguation)

As someone who has been a caddy, industrial mechanic, butcher’s assistant, retail manager, letter carrier, web development intern, substitute teacher, and referee over the course of my life, it’s safe to say that I’m no stranger to breaking out the white belt. The chapter sets up the scenario wherein you’re a competent programmer with a narrower-than-desired field of knowledge and although your competency allows you to feel confident in your day-to-day operations, this coziness with your language or technology stack has limited your ability to wrestle with the novel in a meaningful way. The suggested solution is to embrace the unknown and throw away your preconceived notions about what it means to program or write software, actively avoiding the temptation to relate your previous world to the task at hand. The authors call this mindful approach to limiting context “maintaining a not knowing stance”, an ethos that I would argue is truly the heart of science and fundamental for discovering something new. The case here is that we (the readers) are software developers and the personal discovery is the new world of idioms, approaches, and paradigms that we will hopefully be able to synthesize and, upon achieving contextual competence, apply.

The pattern certainly confirms to me what I already know; being humble is an evergreen approach to learning, however the authors chart territory that I do not know in the chapter and that is the premise given at the outset where one hits a level of competence and plateaus there. I’ve not really been able to wrestle with any technology stack or programming language long enough where I feel competent or fluent to meaningfully contribute, let alone act as a guiding beacon for peers. While I may not be ready now to apply what I’ve learned in the pattern, if I imagined myself a competent C++ developer accustomed to the object-oriented programming paradigm, I would then make an attempt to learn a declarative paradigm, perhaps functional programming. Ultimately one’s next foray in software development will tend towards whatever is productive for their endeavors, occupational or personal and should likely reflect the adage of “picking the right tool for the job”.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Cameron Boyle's Computer Science Blog by cboylecsblog and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Apprenticeship Patterns Blog Post #3

After completing my apprenticeship introduction blog post and two different patter reviews, I am excited to keep reviewing more. For the next pattern from the textbook that I have chosen to review, I chose the “concrete skills” pattern. The book describes a situation in which you are trying to work with a group or at a job in which you do not have a very strong background in yet. This is ofter one of the most inconvenient thing when looking for starter jobs. Most jobs want individuals who have a good background so they know you will be a good fit for the job. The book also supplies us with a great solution to this problem however. Basically, it states that you will have a better chance getting the job if you can prove that what you lack in background work, you make up for in your ability to learn quickly and work hard to learn new things on your free time as well. The more jobs and projects you can accomplish/work on, the better your portfolio and background becomes overtime. Eventually you will find it easier and easier to get where you want to get, and it all starts with your first several projects/jobs. This specific apprenticeship pattern resonated with me primarily because I personally do not have a great background yet and am trying to create a good one. The advice from this section was super powerful, and to be honest, this might be one of the most important concepts discussed in the entire textbook!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Tim Drevitch CS Blog by timdrevitch and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Software Frameworks

            The link above leads to a website article that explains what a software framework is while giving some examples. The two main reasons I chose to write about this topic is because of one, it’s listed as one of the topics to be covered in class and two, I’m not too familiar with the definition of a software framework. According to the article, a software framework is essentially a set of tools that act as a foundation for software developers. These may include preset classes, APIs, compilers, code libraries, and predefined functions among other things. Examples of software frameworks include Microsoft’s .NET framework, Android Application Framework for Android, Cocoa Touch for iOS, and Cocoa for Mac OS X.

            From the definition given, the practicality of a software framework seems pretty apparent to me. Rather than creating classes and functions from scratch that will most likely see reuse, set them together in a ready to use package in order to save time and effort. It’s similar to how someone would buy ingredients at the supermarket rather than making each one from scratch. I’d imagine that software frameworks also have the added benefit of increasing portability for software that uses a specific framework. Take for example my computer which has .NET framework on it. If I were to create a piece of software using .NET, then another machine which has a similar version of same framework would be able to run my software with no additional setup needed. To be fair this is only speculation on my part; I haven’t checked whether or not this is true yet. But then again, I remember having to install a newer version of .NET framework in order for my computer to run software correctly so I might be on the right line of thinking.

In the case of porting software to machines with different operating systems, I’m not sure what role frameworks would take. I am pretty confident that software frameworks aren’t limited by operating systems. One example being Java Collections Framework or JCF for short which, as far as I know, isn’t limited to an operating system like .NET is. When a difference of frameworks is a factor, I assume that a software developer would have to make up for a lack of a framework’s components in a machine in some way. And that’s on top of the usual changes needed for porting software between operating systems.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Rainiery's Blog by rainiery and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.


As I was reading some articles, websites for my previous assignments, I came across the term refactoring a lot. However, that was not the only time seeing that as it is part of the course syllabus. I decided to learn more about refactoring and write something on it for my weekly blog post. After going through some resources, articles I finally settled on this blog post that talks about refactoring. The structure of this blog is made simple, easy to learn and understand especially for beginners and those new to the term. It also provides links to some terms, books and some other IDEs mentioned.

This blog defines refactoring as the process that involves editing and cleaning up previously written software codes without changing the function of the code at all. Blog talks about the importance of refactoring, reasons for refactoring and how to perform refactoring. It also provides some techniques on how to perform refactoring. Each technique is well explained and broken down into subtopics and/or steps with some diagrams provided. Also, blog talks about when refactoring is not needed, best practices for refactoring and general summary refactoring.

In this blog I learned that the basic purpose of refactoring is to make codes efficient and maintainable, reduce technical cost, improves readability, and help prevent future bugs. A term that I found interesting as I was reading about the importance of code refactoring is code rot. Further research from Wikipedia explained it as a software decay that is a slow deterioration of software quality over time leading to software becoming unusable or in need of upgrade. Refactoring is important as it help to avoid this code rot.

I also learn that the best time to refactor is before any update or additions to an existing code. This is so as it improves the quality of code and should be done in small steps as possible. Other practices include planning refactoring project and timeline carefully, testing frequently and involving Quality Assurance teams and striving to focus on progress.

I thought that refactoring is always needed especially dealing with very high coded software programs and systems, but I learned from this blog that refactoring is not needed when an application needs to be completely improved.

Some techniques of refactoring I learned are Red-Green Refactor, Refactoring by Abstraction, Composing and Simplifying methods. Before applying the Red-Green Refactor technique, there should first be consideration of what needs to be developed. These developments need to pass basic testing before improvements can be implemented. Refactoring by abstraction is used when there is a large amount of refactoring to be done. I learned that extraction, one of the processes in Composing method, involves breaking down of codes into smaller pieces to find and extract fragmentation. This code is then removed to a separate method and replaced by a call to a new method. This process also involves classes, interface and local variables.

I hope others find this blog useful as well.

From the blog CS@Worcester – GreenApple by afua3254 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.