Friday, August 30, 2013

Reminder: "The Codebreaker": A film about Alan Turing-to youngstown state university, in two weeks

NASA's first-ever Software Engineering Handbook (SWEHB) released to the public

After years in the making, NASA has now released to the public their first-ever Software Engineering Handbook (SWEHB); NASA-HDBK-2203 (2013-02-28).

YouTube video showing how a person can navigate through the NASA Software Engineering Handbook to find software engineering related information. This video is about ten minutes long and can be used as a good training or awareness tool.

Each section of the SWEHB provides six areas of information per entry: the requirement, its rationale, guidance for implementation, notes for small projects, associated resources, and related lessons learned.

The 135 software engineering requirements for NASA projects are listed in a small, blue booklet, seventy pages long, called NASA Procedural Requirement (NPR) 7150.2 AKA NASA Software Engineering Requirements; View all pages in PDF. The new handbook is "A sort of hitchhiker's guide to the NPR". The handbook does not impose additional requirements; it is meant to be an assist.

Haley Stephenson explains how the SWEHB was developed as a collaborative Wiki in The Hitchhiker's Guide to Software Engineering at NASA. Many mangers do not seem to appreciate the value of using something like Dokuwiki to collaborate and document the development of a project. Without such documentation, years later, we are left to wonder "why did we use the red widget, rather than the better blue widget?". Perhaps they are afraid of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 26; Duty to Disclose; General Provisions Governing Discovery? See also Michael Barr's Dead Code, the Law, and Unintended Consequences.

Always keep in mind that Software never works in isolation. Safe Software is useless if the system as a whole is not safe. To that end make sure that NASA Systems Engineering Handbook (in PDF here) has a place on your desk or bookcase.

Related Documents:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My wife's Suicide

I have worked with many of you over the years. You know that I'd occasionally be absent for that planed meeting and recently was out of town for a few months to get my wife treatment for a Cerebral Spinal Fluid Leak (CSF or CFSL); Intracranial Hypotension.

Her problems started with a car accident 23+ years ago and it was only last fall that she learned, through her own studies, that the cause of her debilitating headaches were from CSFL.

Your brain is supposed to be floating around in your skull as a protective shock absorber. A leak of this fluid cause the brain to start hitting things and yanking on things that were never meant to be yanked.

Ultimately she could bare the pain no longer and this Wednesday, Aug./7th/2013, she took her own life to stop the pain.

There are no words to describe the emptiness I fell right now. If you have a wife/spouse/significant other make sure you appreciate all the things they do for you, and let them know it. Also make sure you know how to do the important ones too. At the moment I have no idea how to pay the gas bill on the on line account she setup. Would you know the passwords if you had to take over this duty? Fortunately I do in this case as she was good at keeping some of them written down, but alas not all of them.

Her funeral is tomorrow, August 12 2013.

The research into CFS Leaks is only about ten years old and Karen had this problem for nearly 24 years. We only know two people that are known to have had it longer at 26 and 32 years.

I refuse to let Karen's death be in vane. To that end I am paying for a private autopsy to be done Monday morning Aug. 12th, even tho the cause of death is known. The reason for the autopsy is to have her spine removed. It will be sent to Duke Medical School to be studied in the hopes something may be learned to prevent an other suffer of this painful condition from taking the same route Karen did to end her pain.

Karen touched so many lives that the outpouring of sympathy and support has been amazing that I can not keep up with the number of people she helped. I will be updating Karen's web site with more details and resources to help others, and most of all educate doctors about CSFL.

It was always hard to get Karen to leave the house on time for any event. She may indeed be late getting to her own funeral...