From the monthly archives:

May 2009

During my time as a Quality Assurance Engineer, I would wind up explaining to curious people that what I did was more than just testing software. So, what is Quality Assurance if it’s not just software testing? Quality Assurance is an approach to developing software. It begins with software design and ends with documentation of the product.

Q. A. on Design

Usually there are two parts of the design. You usually have a requirements document and a technical specification. Requirements documents usually have more to do with business needs but can contain flowcharts for different processes involved in the software. Most good Quality Assurance Engineers excel at picking out areas where processes can break down. This skill set doesn’t need to be limited strictly to software processes. If there’s a business process like shipping or communication with clients or other employees, QA Engineers can be useful in making certain that these processes run smoothly by identifying possible problem areas. [click to continue…]

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I’ve been playing with Rails Metal for quite some time now. Under certain circumstances, one Metal would catch something I intended for another metal deeper in the middleware stack. Reordering became the order of the day. The only problem was that the Rails Guide was in the works and I didn’t want to hack my metal files to put them in alphabetical order to match the order I wanted them in.

So, without further ado, here is how you reorder your Rails Metal middleware stack:

Open you environment.rb file:

vi config/environment.rb

Then add this line inside the initialization block:

config.metals = ["FirstMetal", "ThirdMetal", "SecondMetal", "FinalMetal"]

The strings in the array are the names of the metal files in camel case.

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When I started writing part II, I started writing about models. As I got a little further along, I realized that it would be more helpful to provide an overview of the controller, which provides the data that goes into your web page, before I showed you how to get the data out of the database. My hope is that you’ll read this thinking of how you want the data provided, which adds context to part III on models.

Controllers are Where the Work Gets Done

Have you ever worked with one of those people who knows exactly where to go to get everything he needs. Can delegate his tasks effortlessly, and then pull it all together in the end. That guy would be our controller. When your website’s user browses to the page, the Rails engine picks up the request and decides which controller to send it to. More specifically, it decides which method in the controller to send it to. The methods on the controller are referred to as actions.
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