When offshoring can work

I can’t believe I’m writing about this, but here goes…

Offshoring is part of a continuing trend of economic displacement. In its current form, it’s been going since about the mid ’70s, when cheap bulk transportation (ocean-going cargo ships) combined with an increase in industrialisation in undeveloped countries (specifically: Japan and Taiwan at the time) started to result in manufacturing jobs heading to cheaper countries. This trend continued, and now the vast bulk of manufacturing work occurs along the Asian Pacific Rim (though I’d expect Africa to pick up if the political situation there ever stabilises).

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Adding unit tests to a J2EE application

I got asked a very simple question today: how do you go about adding unit tests to an already existing J2EE app? In particular, so you can test your logic standalone, without needing to go through a deployment cycle and test it in the server?

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Learning communties – damn, they’re hard to grow

In many ways, the essence of my role at work is to foster a learning community. This is more than just a “learning environment” – all a learning environment does is to supply resources for learning. Essentially, it’s passive, just like any environment is.

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Aliasing problems and final member variables

I hit a really stupid problem today, and I’ve only got myself to blame (as usual).

The problem was really simple. I was making an object that needed to know when it was created. This creation date wasn’t necessarily “now”, so I was passing a Calendar object in to the constructor of the object to represent the creation date.

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