Author Archives: David Tobey

About David Tobey

I'm a web developer and consultant based in lovely Schenectady, NY, where I run SoftSlate, LLC. In my twenties I worked in book publishing, where I met my wife. In my thirties I switched careers and became a computer programmer. I am still in the brainstorming phase for what to do in my forties, and I am quickly running out of time to make a decision. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. UPDATE: I have run out of time and received no (realistic) suggestions. I guess it's programming for another decade.

Automated Functional Testing with JMeter

Jmeter bills itself more as a load testing tool, but we’ve used it extensively for functional testing as well. For us, functional testing amounts to pretending you are a (single) user hitting the application with various requests on the way … Continue reading

Posted in How To's, Programming, SoftSlate Commerce, Web Ops | 4 Comments

Apache mod_cache in the Real World

I thought I’d share our experiences implementing Apache’s mod_cache. We wanted to implement caching of product and category pages for the SoftSlate Commerce Java shopping cart application of one of our clients. The product and category pages of an ecommerce … Continue reading

Posted in How To's, SoftSlate Commerce, Web Ops | 3 Comments

Dave’s Lazy Testing Technique

I often find there’s an underlying assumption that when software breaks it’s because it wasn’t tested enough. Granted, there’s a lot of crappy, buggy software, but finding any one particular bug doesn’t signify that the app needed to be tested … Continue reading

Posted in Deep Thoughts, How To's, Programming, Web Ops | 6 Comments

Phone Number Formatting Fun

In my spare time, I enjoy researching how best to format phone numbers. That should give you some indication of the depths of the problems in my social life. Seriously, how many different ways are there to write down a … Continue reading

Posted in Deep Thoughts, Programming, UI Stuff | Leave a comment

Google Suffers from Home Page-itis

I had to look it up. It was Henry David Thoreau who said, “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” I always wondered why he said it three times. Would it have been simpler to say it just once? Google broke the rule in … Continue reading

Posted in Deep Thoughts, Rants, UI Stuff | 2 Comments

In Defense of the Legacy Application

It was an exciting time. At the small web development firm I worked at, we got the go ahead to rewrite from scratch one of our client’s websites. The task was to replace a Content Management System written in Cold … Continue reading

Posted in Deep Thoughts, Programming | Leave a comment

I Want to Invent a Term

The term I want to invent is “Feature Amnesia”. I don’t know if I’m the true inventor, but I don’t see it anywhere after Googling, so I hearby call dibs. I’ve never invented a term before, so this is exciting. … Continue reading

Posted in Deep Thoughts, Rants | 1 Comment

Software Is Complicated

It may seem obvious that software is complicated. But whether you’re a programmer or not, it’s probably more complicated than you think it is. I recently reread Fredrick Brooks’ The Mythical Man-Month, now over 30 years old but still remarkably … Continue reading

Posted in Deep Thoughts, Programming | 2 Comments