notes and rants

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

  • notes and rants

    An inverse to Parkinson’s Law?

    • 1 Comments
    I asked in a previous post if Parkinson’s law ( Work expands to fill the time available ) also worked inversely – i.e. Does the work get done more efficiently given less time to complete it. The answer, like the answer to most questions I ask, is “It...
  • notes and rants

    Some Trip Statistics

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    I'm on my way home, and thought I'd share some statistics from my trip to Denmark Nights away from home 13 Number of different restaurants I ate at ~15 (dinner every night, plus some cafe's for lunch on the weekend) Number...
  • notes and rants

    A Special Company

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    I spent a few hours on the last day of my trip visiting Specialisterne , and meeting with the founder of the company. I don't think I could have been more impressed. For those who didn't click through to see what Specialistene are about, they employ people...
  • notes and rants

    Travel Notes - part 2

    • 2 Comments
    I travel frequently for work, but I rarely have much time to check out much more than restaurants. This is a long trip (which has several drawbacks as well) and I've had the luxury of a weekend to do whatever I want. On Saturday, I decided to take a day...
  • notes and rants

    A letter to installation programs

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    Dear Installation App, I'm sure you are happy that I invited you for a visit. I know that the product you belong to would like to be used by as many people as possible. I know I only see you for a brief time before the product installs, but our time together...
  • notes and rants

    Travel Notes

    • 3 Comments
    Travel notes below, but first, I have a question for you . Parkinson's law states that "work will always expand to fill available time" - that the lengthened schedule encourages procrastination or inefficiency. Is the inverse ever true? I.e...
  • notes and rants

    One more music post

    • 4 Comments
    I think I've mentioned before that I'm on the alumni board for the school of arts and humanities at my alma mater. I'm one of the few people on the board, however, that isn't still working in the arts - I think I was invited, in fact,because working at...
  • notes and rants

    Travel time again

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    If you’ve been paying attention, you would have noticed that I haven’t been travelling as much recently. I think my last trip was a short trip to Fargo a few months ago, and to Vancouver in June. I’m overdue for a long trip I guess, so I’m off to Copenhagen...
  • notes and rants

    Computer Music and Testing?

    • 3 Comments
    After my last post on music, a reader emailed me and asked me about computers and music. They drew an analogy of midi files as scripted tests, and live well-interpreted music as a much better alternative. This is an analogy that doesn’t work too well...
  • notes and rants

    Jamming on Testing

    • 8 Comments
    Over the last 15 years, on far too many occasions to count, I've explained to various people how software testing, and software engineering relate to music. I know other testers have made somewhat similar analogies, but I think I have a different take...
  • notes and rants

    Nostalgia

    • 1 Comments
    Yesterday, I visited my old college campus for a day long meeting (I recently joined the alumni board for the school of arts and humanities). The campus has changed so much since I went to school that it’s hard to be too nostalgic, but it’s always interesting...
  • notes and rants

    More on Finding the Answer

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    One of my readers (I'm so happy people actually read this thing) asked: Could you share some tips on how you find the best answer? This is a perfectly fair answer that I should have a great answer for - but interestingly, I don't. I suppose the best tip...
  • notes and rants

    Finding the Answer

    • 1 Comments
    For some reason, I’m expected to know things. The truth is that I don’t know that much – but I am usually good at finding answers. I owe all of my success to a Methods of Research course I took in graduate school. The typical homework for the week included...
  • notes and rants

    movin' on up?

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    <no test content in this post> For those of you not from the Seattle area, I'd like to enlighten you to something we call the "east side". There's a big lake (Lake Washington) that separates Seattle (where the cool people live) and Microsoft...
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    Why computer science knowledge helps testers: Example #1

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    There are many people who think Microsoft (and other companies, for that matter) hire programmers to be testers so they can write lot’s of automation. This, of course is not the case – we hire people who understand more about how computers work because...
  • notes and rants

    The "T", the "D", and the "DET"

    • 4 Comments
    I talk to a lot of testers at Microsoft. Testers at all levels and from all divisions. A topic that almost always comes up is the role of test at MS. It's something I've talked about before, but I want to spin the issue a different way. In many companies...
  • notes and rants

    A layer below the GUI

    • 4 Comments
    I wanted to expand on the main point of my last post – specifically on what a “layer below the GUI” means. All I mean is – don’t write automation that interacts with the GUI directly – instead, write automation that tests using an object model, or another...
  • notes and rants

    GUI schmooey

    • 16 Comments
    I answered a few questions this week about automating GUI tests. One question was about recommendations for GUI automation tools for non-coders, and the other was about how much time to spend on the GUI in an MVC (model-view-controller) application. The...
  • notes and rants

    Random Notes

    • 1 Comments
    I went through my drafts folder to pick a post to publish tonight, but none seemed appropriate, so you get nothing of interest. I finished up the "Test Test" follow up series last week and wasn't quite sure in what direction to go next. I just...
  • notes and rants

    Creating a Culture of Quality

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    The 11th (and final) question in the Test Test asks if the organization has a culture of quality. Does everyone care about quality, or do they consider quality to be the test team's job? If everyone doesn't care about quality, how do you get them to start...
  • notes and rants

    Trustworthy Testing

    • 4 Comments
    I think I can lump some ideas of how to improve #8 and #10 (Are tests built daily, and does test code have the same "rules" as dev code) from the Test Test into one post. let me put it this way. Code written to test the product is NOT throwaway...
  • notes and rants

    The value of Manual testing (or…The value of Automated testing)

    • 7 Comments
    I’m skipping #8 for a minute so I can get to #9. I hope we all agree that it’s silly to take a perfectly find manual test and automate it. It’s also silly to take something that’s highly repetitive and easily automatable and NOT automate it. So, as is...
  • notes and rants

    Staying organized

    • 3 Comments
    Test #7 of the Test Test asks if testers use test case management and source control tools. The only reason I can think of an org NOT to use these tools is if they were too cheap to buy them. In that case, use one of the many free tools out there for...
  • notes and rants

    Oh, Give me a Home...

    • 2 Comments
    I remember visiting a company once where the testers were lined up at desks along the wall...in a long hallway. There must have been a row of 20 testers lining the hallway while people walked back and forth on their way to lunch, the bathroom, or even...
  • notes and rants

    Value and Trust

    • 2 Comments
    Test #5 of the Test Test asks if the development team values the test team. Catherine pointed out that value needs to happen in every direction. I agree with her completely, and would also add that trust is a huge part of the equation. So, how do you...
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