Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Link Mania: 75 Links with Commentary on Testing, Security, Tech and Life

I have a friend who wants to get into security testing and asked for my help in broadening their education.  I assumed that my friend would have a good number of links on security, and so I would try to start with a broader set of testing knowledge.  They have a degree and know basic computer science, but in discussing needs, I decided that my primary goal would be to provide a broader understanding around testing.  I started by emailing some links I thought might be useful... but that quickly became clear that it was less manageable, so over a few months I put together groups of links I thought might be of value into a Google Doc.

I also wrote some notes on why I thought they were of value for my friend.  It should be noted that I cite myself frequently.  This is not because I'm full of myself but because I addressed specific questions my friend had and felt that my research + links I had in my posts would be of some benefit.  I did do some light editing of my notes, removing personal comments for privacy reasons, but this is roughly what I came up with.

One limitation to this sort of document is I could go on forever.  I certainly could have written several dozen posts around these links.  Before I turn you loose to all these links, let me give some advice.  I look in detail for things I need to know soon and skim general topics for data I might value in the future.  It’s a method that allows me to work well with a large set of disparate data.  It’s why I can talk about all sorts of subjects at some level, but am not an expert in any.  Knowing who actually is worth reading helps me filter the 'must reads' from the 'skims'.  So as you look at these links, look for what you want to learn about, and then look at the author.  If the data is useful, look for more of that author, even links I did not suggest. If it wasn't helpful, try a different author.  If you try about 3 different links in a row in this set, and all are not useful, either you are not primed to learn about the subject, or the type of data/authors I have gathered are not optimal for how you learn.  You will have to decide which.

Happy reading!

Links I Came Up With Before I Started Organizing [Mostly Test]


JCD's notes I literally wrote this for people trying to improve themselves. Lectures 2,3,5,6 in particular.  They are about 30 mins per lecture.  Great testing stuff.

The lecture has power point slides, which can be downloaded and are useful by themselves, HOWEVER, he talks about different points not just captured in the slides. Isaac’s effort to describe what testers should learn in ‘levels’. Good stuff. books I read that they recommend are good, thus I trust their recommendation enough to suggest taking a look at the list. An interesting thinker in the testing space. Bach, one of a hand full of people to affect the modern software testing world greatly with his words.  In one of his various attempt to define testing.  This one is of particular interesting, because it is about the art and act of doing testing.
Reflections are a mind-expanding technique to make code think about itself.
I really love Steve Yegge, he maybe one of the best writer-programmer combinations I know of.  I come back to his work frequently.  But he is a programmer, and as such, the one that really matters is the top link.  The rest are very programmer centric. Heard of Stack Overflow?  This guy made that (along with Joel Spolsky of Joel On Software, but Joel’s stuff is getting old).  He writes on a variety of topics and on his good days is really good.  That said, he’s still a developer, thinking like a developer.

Research in Life / Happiness / Living / The Mind / General Career Advice


JCD's notes
These have made me think about how I live my life.
Learn about what you should do to make yourself more valuable in life.  Learning about what matters in learning. How to deal with feeling like you don’t know enough, when in fact you’re driven to know more.

I have referenced this exact blog post more in my comments to other people’s blog entries than any other.  Often the people who care the most feel this way. Read the bullet points at the bottom.  In particular, “The Answer”.  The book reviewed is a little bit of a personal and spiritual look at science.  Somewhat like Sagan, but revolved around thinking.  You might like the book.
Isaac and I wrote a little bit about getting hired. These are some of my early blog entries, but you also get both the view of a person being hired by Isaac as well as, Isaac, the hiring manager's method of choosing to hire people like me.
More interview related thoughts, but from a developer side. (same guy as above, but more philosophical questions in specialization.)
The last set of articles Isaac and I have on interviewing. Fairly good.  Almost all true.  Interesting ideas and good set of resources. I would give this a lower priority because it’s long and this is not the first time I have found someone who says this and put it in the list.  Hopefully you see the patterns… and will learn. interesting description of the tug between the past and the future.  It seems to be a little dismissive of some problems, but the general picture is not wrong. hate the title, but the content is pretty good. It provides some insights into why generating reactionary, scripted systems does not scale well in creative work.

Paul Graham is fantastically interesting in general.  This is an interesting attempt to correlate technological outcomes to culture.  I recently heard from a friend who lived in Japan for a year about these Japanese workers at this company, whose company was bought out by an American company after it started to fail, had a real difficult time letting go of the quality of a product in order to get the product out the door. That story feels like a sort of quick CRC check for me, meaning this article probably does have some veracity. know I have talked about this before, but it is an interesting model of human behavior.  While I’m not actually a fan of The Office, I found it was mostly ‘translatable’.  It also offers small notes on the Peter and Dilbert principles which are also worth looking at.



JCD's notes is fairly good.  Some of the content might be on security. I have not watched all the 2014 (and soon 2015) videos, only the 2013 videos which were often very good. CAST 2015 is probably worth watching. I have yet to watch it myself, but I attended last year. use this as a tool, looking for things of interesting, read them, keeping note of who wrote it and if I decide I don’t like someone (for any reason), I mentally filter them out of the list.  It’s the firehose method, good for going in all different places, but you never know what you might get.

How SQL joins work. They are often used both for getting data for testing as well as part of how many reports are generated. broad strokes, I agree with Alan and appreciate his perspective with about 20 years at Microsoft. A video I watched long ago that is still in my notes.  Might be interesting from an automation vs exploratory testing perspective.  I have little memory of it though. Most people only teach the basics :( Like Alan, I agree with Huib broadly, and I find his view very interesting as he comes from a European background.

General Tech


JCD's notes How DNS works. software engineering is so difficult, and why consultants are sometimes looked down upon. Interesting set of interviews, the biggest point is that you should know your tools well enough you know what is wrong with them. think the data here is interesting, however, the meta is important too, even at a security level.  A DDOS attack is a security attack, but if I can DDOS you with one click, it is a security issue too.  Knowing how regular expressions work tells you about how a lot of systems work inside, which is how samy was able to defeat the defenses of MySpace ( ).  It’s also a huge part of getting things done. An interesting set of speakers, most very smart, all on the same topic.  The 2014 topic was interesting too. This might generate some interesting questions, such as:

What would happen if/when the #1 job goes away (Driving, at least in the USA; currently biggest economy in the world; last count ~ 3 million souls in the US do this)?  
What do we do with these people?  
What of those that aren’t capable or interested in more mind-oriented work or who are too old to change careers?  
What of my grandmother who doesn’t interact well with online work, in part because her hands are too crippled to do much with keyboards and did not grow up with this world?
What happens when machines categorize someone as an outlaw in some countries which others counties would recognize as moral and legal (such as being gay, or a political dissidents)? Who is legally and morally responsible for a 'thinking' machine?
Here is a mission in life -- how do you solve problems in which there is no solution?  (My only hint is find another problem.)  However, the point is, solving one of these non-trivial problems is a lifetime’s worth of work, if you want it.  See the intro of the second piece to see what I mean. by Yegge’s post… it’s an interesting read in and of itself.  It’s got some ideas I’ve not really researched.



JCD's notes Brilliant! I attend this live and you’ll see me in the end asking a question.  All the rest of the talks (I kept the list) are test related, but this is security related.

Famous security researchers blog. How to learn to be a security professional. Why we are all frauds and failures sometimes (As address in a link above).

A *practical* piece of tech that really applies around security of the web, he has other good posts too.
I liked the graph, purely from a ‘what do you mean by “security testing”’ question. NOTE: My friend suggested might also be useful. Read this a long time ago and it was a little helpful. upon this, no idea if it is any good. I did not get chance to really review it. be interesting, taken from a comment from...  Also interesting. have some interesting stuff regarding SSL but more importantly they might be a generally useful resource. example of a hack and how it can be done by defeating multiple layers and understanding history.



JCD's notes The technical subject is interesting and it provides insight into architecture. It ALSO gives a nice idea of levels and how you can’t really know what level you are at until you see the next level up. I actually have a more complex theory on this, but I have yet to write the blog post. Just plain useful in a practical sort of way. have not yet completely read it but it was recommended to me by a trusted source.  It’s long. long indeed, but worth reading.

You made it to the bottom?  And you counted them?  Only 74 links and you want your money back? Alright! Fine. Well I'm sure I can come up with a 75th link just for you, my bean counting friend.  How about something interesting?  Like really interesting.  Here you go:

1 comment: