Friday, 22 May 2009

Reflecting Bug

Just noticed a slight blip on the TestingReflections site - two feeds have become one
One from Steve Freeman joining with one from Michael Bolton

By happy coincidence it's his blog post where he gives The Software Testing Club a nice plug

Should give Antony Marcano something to think about

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Grand Designs

Projects not meeting the schedule.
Budget spiralling out of control.
Unforeseen problems.
An "anyone can do that it doesn't need a professional" mentality.

No, I'm not talking about the typical s/w project but a TV program, Grand Designs where people build their dream homes - though in the process the dream can become a nightmare. Nice to watch as a counter to those who claim that software projects can learn from the house building industry

The episode I watched last night was a classic - a couple building a home in the French Alps.

Highlights included:

  • Finding out the house didn't have a proper foundation so walls - and the entire house - were in danger of collapsing.

  • Tears and disbelief when the owner found out the builders were not following the spec.

  • The owner realising that trying to manage a building project in the French Alps from England was not working.

  • The owner not understanding the local culture and finding out that the workers would leave for lunch and also had different jobs during the summer which meant they stopped work on the building.

  • The main building foreman being called Monsieur Bastard

Good viewing for project managers ( and a source of ideas for when I land that big lottery win....)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Give That Man A Job

One of the hot blog posts doing the rounds at the moment is One of the toughest job-interview questions ever where a candidate is asked:

"Explain how you would develop a frequency-sorted list of the ten thousand most-used words in the English language."

His answers might not be the best way to get the interviewer on your side but I like the way he doesn't jump into a techy discussion but tries to nail down the spec and reveals the problem isn't as straightforward as the interviewer would like.

Replace the word 'develop' with 'test' in the question and there you have a great interview questions for testers.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Treat Developers Like Swine

Not one to miss out on an opportunity to jump on the Swine Flu bandwagon, the Catch it. Bin it. Kill it campaign ( who wants an MP3 message for their speaking lift ??? ) and its message of stopping the spread of bugs should strike a chord with any QA Manager.

So order some of the posters and stick them on the developers cubicles.

Change the message in your speaking lift.

Stop those bugs before they spread to the users.

Although the above is flippant, it was inspired by reading a blog post about The biggest issue facing America all about the Health Care crisis.

One of the comments made an observation about the aversion to spending money on preventive medicine which reminded me of the technical debt debate and I wondered if any of the ways preventive medicine is sold could be utilised to sell the message of higher quality code...

I think something more than a speaking lift message about TDD is required though

Friday, 8 May 2009

Irish Space Pencil

In the news recently was the announcement that Ireland was going to scrap the Electronic Voting System that it has spent 51M ( Euro ) on and will return to paper and pencils

Why does this remind me of the NASA Space Pen / Russian pencil story...

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Posting for performance

Always on the lookout for new and interesting blogs, I sometimes come across ones that are anything but that. Blogs full of plagiarised content, blogs that seeem to be the entire ISEB glossary, blogs that are nothing but links...

Sometimes it was obvious that the blogs were there just to try and get some revenue from ads but it seems that some blogs are out there because the authors had been set a performance goal in their review to become involved in blogging. Having set someone that target then of course you have to measure to see if they are doing it and if you have set a target of posts/month and dont take the time to read the content then it's yet another example of how to game the system

More details can be found here - a genuine blog !