notes and rants

My new blog is at http://www.angryweasel.com/blog

  • notes and rants

    Patterns on the MSPress blog

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    I guest-posted on the MSPress blog today. Check it out for an article on test patterns.
  • notes and rants

    Growing your career as a tester

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    Every month, I send a newsletter to all testers at Microsoft. About six months ago, I started asking a “question of the month” in the newsletter. The questions vary from yes / no to long essay-ish answers. Each month, I write a short follow up on the...
  • notes and rants

    HWTSAM Video Podcast – Chapter 3

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    Ken and Bj and I are back with another video recap of a chapter from hwtsam . Take a look and let us know what you think. (I do have to warn you that Ken experimented with a green screen on this video, and I’m not exactly sure what he put in the background...
  • notes and rants

    Careful with that hammer

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    There’s a saying that goes “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” I see a lot of people swinging their hammers at things – sometimes they swing at nails, and sometimes they swing at things that look like nails. Other times,...
  • notes and rants

    Give ‘em what they want

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    Last night, I was sitting in bed reading the latest issue of TapeOp (music recording magazine). I used to be moderately involved in recording music, but these days I mostly just follow the trends and try to stay sharp. TapeOp has a lot of interviews with...
  • notes and rants

    Working on the Duc

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    Although it’s Saturday and I’m currently doing a bit of work, I’m happy to say that I have had a bit more time lately for non-work projects. In addition to a few small projects around the house, I’ve had a chance to do a bit of work on my motorcycle ...
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    What's the REAL question?

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    I’ve been in a lot of meetings recently, and I’ve been observing the way people ask questions. There are a lot of different ways of asking questions (of course), but I started to notice patterns. For one of the patterns I discovered, people tend to stick...
  • notes and rants

    Another HWTSAM Video Podcast

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    This one is a recap of chapter 2. We’ve filmed though chapter 8, but we’re a little behind on production. We hope to catch up by end of summer.  
  • notes and rants

    Papers, Presentations and People

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    I finished another draft of my pnsqc paper today. I still have a few tweaks I know I need to make, but I sent it off anyway so I can get feedback in parallel. I’ve had so much “day job” work lately that I’ve had a hard time prioritizing the “extra” stuff...
  • notes and rants

    Testing is Hard

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    I was talking with some colleagues about test design today – most of us learned to test by being told “here, test this”. Over time, we add tricks to our toolbox, and eventually, we can all fake our way through testing ( slight sarcasm intended). Then...
  • notes and rants

    Cat Herding Tips

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    For better or worse, part of my current role requires me to get really busy people to answer my questions or give me information so I can ultimately help them do their jobs better. For example, I’m currently gathering some information on business challenges...
  • notes and rants

    Earn it or Demand it?

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    I was recently talking with a colleague about someone he knows who is currently in a “senior” position at a software company. He mentioned that the person – let’s call him “Tim” was having some problems with his employees. The problem Tim had was that...
  • notes and rants

    More HWTSAM reviews

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    Been incredibly busy lately, but wanted to share a few other HWTSAM reviews. There’s a review on stickyminds that’s pretty good (and yes, I agree that Ken may have been a little to “rah-rah” about testing at Microsoft, but to each his own). There’s also...
  • notes and rants

    Interruptable?

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    I was thinking about my last post – as well as the “stuff on my plate”, and thought it may be interesting to share some examples (and simultaneously share a bit about what I’m working on). To quickly recap, I discussed how I try to get rid of as many...
  • notes and rants

    Productivity

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    In the world of twitter, facebook, email, cell phones and IM, I sometimes wonder how anybody gets anything done. Too many studies to count mention the effects of multi-tasking and interruptions on getting work done. Think about it for a moment – you’re...
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    Quality isn’t always free

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    I went to the dentist this morning for a routine teeth cleaning and to get my yearly x-rays. My teeth were fine, but the x-rays showed something interesting – the crown my dentist put on last year didn’t appear to sit correctly on the tooth. My dentist...
  • notes and rants

    Want to say something nice?

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    Work on the Korean version of HWTSAM is wrapping up, and we’re looking for a few more of what the editors like to call “praise quotes”. These are the nice things people say about the book that either go on the back cover or on the inside pages. If you...
  • notes and rants

    Another review of HWTSAM

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    So far, the blogosphere in general has had a better experience with the book than the amazon reviewers :) Here is a link to the latest review I found. Thanks Michael for taking the time to write this up.
  • notes and rants

    PNSQC 2009

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    It looks like (pending paper composition and acceptance) that I’ll be heading three hours south this October to present at the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference in Portland, OR. I’ll be presenting on “The role of experienced testers on software...
  • notes and rants

    Odds and Ends

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    It’s been busier than normal for me at Microville recently. My friend (and frequent soccer match viewing partner) James Whittaker ended his 3-year run at Microsoft last week. James still lives locally, and I expect that we’ll continue to collaborate in...
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    Words and Status (and rants!)

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    Words are funny things. We use them to convey meaning - but there's more to words than that. We also use words to try to change the way people view things. In real estate advertisements, for example, you see words like "rustic" used instead of "old",...
  • notes and rants

    Metrics common sense

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    I still owe you some posts covering my recent metrics presentation, but wanted to pass this along in the meantime. I don’t post links to other blogs often, but I thought this was appropriate – especially to the crowd who thinks that because metrics can...
  • notes and rants

    STAR East metrics presentation

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    Been a busy week, but wanted to send a link to my materials from STAR. My presentation style is generally more discussion based, so you may not get a lot from these, but I’m happy to answer questions if you have them. I will take some time in future blog...
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    iTWire review of HWTSAM

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    Another review of HWTSAM is here . My favorite quote: All in all, this is an impressive work with a great deal of wisdom and principles – underpinned by sound theory – that would be of interest to any company that produces software of reasonable complexity...
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    STAR epilogue

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    I’m on a plane returning from Orlando  / STAR east. As expected, it was a fun week, but by Friday I’d had enough of the 95 degree weather – it’s nice to be heading back to 65 degree Seattle. I thought my presentation on metrics went well  -...
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