notes and rants

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

  • notes and rants

    Reasonable Career Paths for Testers

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    I once saw a presentation at a conference with the same title as this post (or close – I didn’t bother looking for it). I went in with high expectations and was completely and utterly disappointed. You see, the message of this presentation was that even...
  • notes and rants

    A place for testers

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    Not a physical place - but an organizational place. Test #3 of the Test Test says that the test manager should be a peer of the development manager (rather than a subordinate). The reasons for this are clear, but if it isn't the case, how can you fix...
  • notes and rants

    Schedules

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    More tips on how to go from 1-11 on the Test Test . Test #2 on the Test is " The test team owns their own schedule ". I like this test for a lot of reasons. One of the most obvious reasons is that it ensures that test time isn't sacrificed at...
  • notes and rants

    Microsoft - Our Testers go to 11!

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    (thanks to my colleague, John, for the Spinal Tap match - it's perfect even if not every test team at MS is an 11) When I first wrote the Test Test , my thought was that if you were whining about your job, you should find a new one - one where test positions...
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    Insights from the Test Test

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    Every once in a while, I write a post that gets a comment - my last post (the Test Test ) had half a dozen comments, so I know I must be on to something. I had two mini-revelations reading the comments. The first, from Catherine , was regarding test #5...
  • notes and rants

    The Test Test

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    I am always frustrated and somewhat sad when I hear testers whine or complain that they are not treated fairly; or that they are not respected; or that their development peers look down on them. I've been sitting on this post for many months wondering...
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    Is it that hard?

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    I hate "meetings" where everyone has their head buried in a laptop. I prefer to "meet" at meetings - I can read mail or do other work just as well or better at my desk. What bothers me even more is how many people fail to mute the...
  • notes and rants

    Myers Briggs and Me

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    Occasionally, a pattern will emerge from the chaos in my head. Sometimes it happens slowly, and sometimes I can hear the POP as ideas converge. I was reading the braidy testers ’ posts on Myers Briggs, and it reminded me of when I took a MB test as...
  • notes and rants

    Testing Problems (with pairs)

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    I'm teaching in Vancouver, BC this week (incidentally, I think this is the first time I've taught a testing course since February or so). As usual, all of the students are smarter than me, so I try to make up for it by telling stories about testing and...
  • notes and rants

    JW on Testing

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    James Whittaker (author of the "How to break software" series) is now blogging . And to top it off, the guy can actually write pretty well - so well, in fact that I'll give you this short bit of advice: Add his blog to your reader / favorites...
  • notes and rants

    Am I a robot?

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    This post comes from the “I had to share, but didn’t know who to share with” category. I’m neck deep in a research project – which means that I’m relying heavily on my search-fu to find some information. Tonight, I managed to type in a search that got...
  • notes and rants

    Fear of Measurement followup

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    A few weeks ago, in this post , I asked the following question: Consider the following metric, then tear it apart and make it better. Tell me what could go wrong with it, how to make it more accurate or actionable or any other way it could be improved...
  • notes and rants

    Another perspective on the experience

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    What's more important, security, or quality? Of course, the answer depends entirely on context. Or, the answer could be - "Neither - the experience is most important". For me, a bad software experience is simply defined as something that didn...
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    Waterfall, waterfall

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    I feel a little sorry for the waterfall model. Poor waterfall gets a lot of grief from the agilists – many who live in a black & white world where anything non-agile must be waterfall. I was doing some research this weekend and read this paper from...
  • notes and rants

    Fear of Measurement

    • 5 Comments
    Every time Shrini posts something, I want to write a whole post just to comment. His latest post is no exception (my response hasn't shown up yet because Shrini is one of those bloggers who insists on approving comments - no offense to Shrini, but I hate...
  • notes and rants

    "Experience" and the non-expert

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    I was thinking about my last few posts this week and I recalled a story that may help in my point. Background: I send a short monthly newsletter to all testers at the company. Other discipline owners (e.g. my counter part in development or program management...
  • notes and rants

    “Experience Quality” and the senior tester

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    I’ve spent some time over the last few weeks investigating the role of test and the “experience” of quality software. Between the Customer Experience Improvement Program , Windows Error Reporting , Send a Smile , and connect , there is ample opportunity...
  • notes and rants

    Quality and the Experience

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    I'm beating a dead horse here (or at least beating an old post ), but I have a story to share about quality (product names removed to protect the guilty). Recently, I had an experience where a piece of software I was using notified me that it would stop...
  • notes and rants

    Help Microsoft User Research

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    I thought this might be interesting for some of you. My editorial comments are in maroon . Software Test Professionals Needed for Microsoft User Research Study Microsoft is conducting a usability study in order to gain insight into how you would like...
  • notes and rants

    Testing: Functionality vs. Experience

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    I spent some time last night getting caught up on my test blog reading; and this morning, I'm attending some sessions on product quality at an internal forum. Something in the jumble of thoughts triggered a random thought I would like to share: I wonder...
  • notes and rants

    Test Estimation

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    I just read a post from Shrini on test estimation , and it triggered a thought that was tangential enough that I thought it made sense to try to capture it here rather than as a reply to Shrini. Numerous writings exist on estimation for programmers...
  • notes and rants

    Working Together

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    The Engineering Excellence group recently remodeled their office space to include “Team Rooms” for each of the discipline focused “Excellence” groups. Microsoft’s policy of supplying individual offices to engineers is well...
  • notes and rants

    Test to Developer ratios - you're probably doing it wrong

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    I haven't actually posted about testing for a while, so I thought I'd pull up something from the drafts folder and finish it. I would bet that just about any testing forum contains at least one question or discussion on test to developer ratios. Microsoft...
  • notes and rants

    The power of feedback

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    Yeah - I know.  Of course feedback is important. We've read the studies that say you should say 3 positive things for every negative thing, and keep people updated because it's bad to surprise people at performance review time. Today I was thinking...
  • notes and rants

    Apparently, I have a double

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    I finally received my feedback from the futuretest conference. When I get feedback from a talk or class, I usually take about 3 seconds to look at the overall numbers, then start reading the comments. The numbers are nice, but I find the comments to be...
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