Wednesday, 26 November 2008

VATs Funny

Maybe not so funny if your company has VAT hard coded at 17.5%

Wonder how many have, wonder how many companies even thought about this happening and had plans for it or will it be a minor Y2K type problem...

I'll be scanning the news to see how many people get bitten by it and how many unforeseen implications there are

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A Reminder

One of my blogging pals and Privateer Scholar Matt Heusser wrote a recent blog asking for ideas for what people wanted to read about - ranging from Kanban to uncertainty to the hard-to-define 'ilities' such as usability, scalability

Just a nice reminder that the testing field is wide open

And full of great intelligent people wanting to talk about it

Monday, 24 November 2008

Unit Testing Freebie

Came across this so might as well go for it and see if I can learn something...

Typemock are offering their new product for unit testing SharePoint called Isolator For SharePoint, for a special introduction price. it is the only tool that allows you to unit test SharePoint without a SharePoint server. To learn more click here.

The first 50 bloggers who blog this text in their blog and tell us about it, will get a Full Isolator license, Free. for rules and info click here.

All Set For Version 2 ?

One of the '-ities' I rarely see discussed is maintainability
Are companies so focussed on getting Version 1 to work that they don't think about what happens if it's a success and has customers clamouring for Version 2 ?

As an ex-programmer I am embarrassed about some of the code I left behind and whenever I feel my ears burning I know that some poor programmer is trying to work out what the heck I had for breakfast that day to produce such a mess

Taking over someone else's code was one of the bugbears of being a programmer
Was the code a complete nightmare where you just wanted to start from scratch and rewrite it all ? Or had the code been written by an uber-geek using advanced programming concepts that you'd never come across and you didn't even know which file to start looking at and even if you did the contents seemed to be written in some alien language ?

Given that most projects spend most of their life in maintenance mode then shouldn't testing to see if the code can be easily maintained be a priority ? Or at the very least, something that is thought about ?

Maybe I've just been unlucky and worked on the wrong projects where it's never done but the regular readers of The Daily WTF seem bored with having horrific code samples sent in

Anyone considering maintenance, please leave a comment
And I'll see if anyone on the Software Testing Club does it

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Presentation, presentation, presentation

Gave a quick 5 minute presentation at the monthly company meeting which is a great opportunity to practice presenting skills in front of a friendly audience.

I borrowed the idea of "how many points in a 5 point star" fromGojko Adzic ( who in turn got it from Jerry Weinberg's book Exploring Requirements:
Quality Before Design
) and used it to demonstrate how hard it is to get requirements right
( The answers I got were 5 and 10, no strange values like 11 or 15 as Gojko got )

The presentation seemed to go well, I avoided Death By Powerpoint ( Presentation Zen has given me some good ideas as has sitting through many deathly dull ones ) but I got the ending wrong by ending with a question.
Which got no response

I should have taken the advice of an Open University lecturer on my Management Challenge weekend. He did some amateur dramatics so had a lot of tips and tricks for improving presentations and he said that one guaranteed way to get applause when you end was to wait 5 seconds and then do a rising three's phrase. The classic example of this was Tony Blair and "Education, Education, Education"
I should have finished with "Requirements, Requirements, Requirements"

But good learning for next time...

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Nearest Book Phrase

Phrase from your nearest book is the latest meme that a lot of blogs are picking up on - so here's my contribution

Grab the nearest book.
Open it to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

well page 56 was blank so I'll use page 57

Fitnesse allows you to view, change and create Web pages containing documentation and test tables that are to be run by Fit

"Fit for Developing Software. Framework for Integrated Tests"
Rick Mugridge, Ward Cunningham

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Management Hint #1

Neville the new QA manager was assigned to a project halfway into its lifecycle
Determined to make a good impression he sent round an email promising a one-to-one meeting with all the testers on the team to find out their skillsets, problems and targets

The email had a mixed response

Eric the Enthusiast felt excited, maybe at last the project would start to really get moving and he jotted down his ideas in his notebook
Clive the Cynic scoffed at Eric and told him it would never happen, he'd seen and heard it all before
Frank the fence sitter chuckled at Eric and Clives squabbles, he had a little hope that Eric would be proved right but also suspected that Clive would be vindicated

Neville's first week went in a blur as he learnt about his new project and he sent out an email aplogising for not meeting with everyone but it was firmly on his agenda
Eric felt disappointed but still made another addition to the list in his notebook and tried not to look at Clive

Neville thought his second week had gone much better, he'd written some reports for the senior managers and had useful meetings with other managers on the project. Deadlines were tight but once he'd got his team motivated....
He started to draft his email

Eric's notebook had stayed in the drawer all week and instead Eric and Clive got together to draw up a sweepstake on when their meetings with Neville would happen