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  • Blog Post: CAST Away

    Last week found me braving the Grand Rapids, Michigan summer (heat! humidity! sun! loved it!) to attend my first CAST. While I propped it a couple years ago , I didn't actually make it until now. The short version: CAST is awesome, conference proceedings will soon be up at http://www.cast2010.org...
  • Blog Post: Book Review: Mistress of Molecules

    Last fall Jerry Weinberg sent me a review copy of his scifi novel Mistress of Molecules . I pretty much read it straight through, and then didn't blog for six months so never posted my review. So here goes: I enjoyed it! Although I guessed the major plot points and some of the details well ahead of...
  • Blog Post: How To Increase Your Chances Of Surviving A Microsoft Interview

    I've talked with several people recently about how they can increase their chances of making it through their upcoming interviews at Microsoft. After noticing definite patterns in their questions, and in my answers, I decided to record them here where they may help a broader audience. I'm so nervous...
  • Blog Post: How We Test Software At Microsoft (Sometimes, Somewhens)

    Some time back, Alan Page sent me a review copy of How We Test Software At Microsoft (HWTSAM), which he, Bj Rollison , and Ken Johnston published late last year. I was curious to read this and discover whether their view of testing matches mine. Now that I have finished HWTSAM I can say it more or less...
  • Blog Post: Banking Expectations

    For weeks now I have been seeing ads for a local bank. These ads consist of a vast expanse of white space disturbed only by the phrase "(This space intentionally left blank)". These ads baffled me. Yesterday, however, I realized that the last word in these advertisements was not "blank" - it was "bank...
  • Blog Post: Testing Curiosity

    What drew you to testing? What keeps you here? What would cause you to leave? I fell into testing by accident. Autodesk needed testers for a new version of AutoCAD, I had registered copies of AutoCAD, they asked if I was interested, I said "Oh yeah!", they sent me test builds, I sent them bugs. I...
  • Blog Post: Falsely Responsible

    Newbie testers often believe they can actually stop their product from shipping. Product teams often foster this belief by forcing their testers to sign off on their product before shipping it. Can you imagine the result if we decided to exercise our alleged power and elected to not sign off? CEO...
  • Blog Post: Heuristical Madness

    Recently I was thinking about the plethora of Test Heuristics floating about the blogosphere. HICCUPPS , CRUSSPIC STMPL , FCC CUTS VIDS , and on and on and on. Eventually I became overloaded and started searching for a heuristic to help me sort through and remember all of these heuristics! Then I...
  • Blog Post: What Do You Do?

    Do you know the unique value you add to your team? I used to think I did, until a series of unfortunate events showed me that I did not. That set me off on a splurge of introspection regarding what I do and why I do it. Now I believe I really do understand the unique value I add to my team. Here is how...
  • Blog Post: Games Testers Play

    What are you favorite testing games? I learned Headline News from Elisabeth Hendrickson many years ago, and it has since become one of my favorite games. The idea is to dream up headlines involving your application or feature which you really do not want to ever see, the more dramatic the better....
  • Blog Post: Tester Center Tester Spotlight: Ivo Manolov

    I have another Tester Spotlight posted! Pop over to Tester Center - via Channel 9 - to see my interview with Ivo Manolov , Test Manager for the Windows Presentation Foundation team.
  • Blog Post: Nike Testing

    When I started writing this blog I had no idea what I was going to write about. I don't remember that ever happening before - usually I know exactly what I want to talk about and more-or-less how I want to say it. When I test, however, I find myself in a similar situation all the time: I sit down...
  • Blog Post: Rhymeless References

    If you want to learn more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, personality types, neuro-linguistic programming, and representational systems, I suggest you start with the following. (Full disclosure: I have no affiliation with any of these websites, companies, and authors.) Personality Types ...
  • Blog Post: Finally! The Finish!

    So that is MBTI, and that is NLP. Which still leaves the puzzling, mysterious A&P. I know some about "A" and much less about "P"; Your doctor knows much more, that I guarantee! "A" is for "anatomy", where you learn to see How to tell your elbow from your hand and knee. "P" describes your insides...
  • Blog Post: Trio Of Tastes

    Visual people learn with their eyes. They peek and they look and their world clarifies. "I see what you're saying!" they exclaim with a cry; Use picture words back else you'll be in disguise. Auditory people learn with their ears; Tho some choose to read rather than hear. "Sounds good to me" lets...
  • Blog Post: New Lingo Please!

    NLP is a science (tho some say it's not) Which claims to explain how people come to a thought. Neuro Linguistic Programming can help you avoid being caught In the communication perils with which life is fraught. This science holds that people think, say, and learn In characteristic ways, and that...
  • Blog Post: Timely Play

    "J" is for "Judging", though not the critical kind. It simply describes the way we unwind. Or don't, for we often put our play far behind Our work which we want to be completed on time. "P" stands for "Perceiving"; however I call it "Play"! For us Ps care for naught but having fun all the day. "Structure...
  • Blog Post: Feeling Logical

    "T" is for "Thinking", so called because we Decide with our brains, not our feelings. We use our logic to decide and to see Exactly how we want our world to be. "F", on the other hand, logic deplores At least when it means pushing people down to the floor. While "Feeler"s do use logic, it leaves them...
  • Blog Post: Concretely Abstract

    "N" means "iNtuitive", and people like us Think in abstractions, big pictures we suss. Ideas and theories are where our minds thrust; Ask us for details and our minds go bust. "S" is the other side, and this I have too; We "Senser"s sense everything; we live in a zoo Of details and feelings and smellings...
  • Blog Post: Intro, Extra, Energy

    "I" stands for "Introvert". We need time alone; Invite us to parties and we respond with a groan. All of that talking! Soon our energy is spent And back home we flee to recharge in our tent. "E" is our counterpart, "Extravert"s they Count everyone as best friend and love to say "Hey!" Talking and...
  • Blog Post: The Gang Of Four

    They developed four axes, with two letters each; One on the left side, quite out of reach To those on the right side, far across the breach Of personality conflicts which cause many to screech. The first set describe how you get energy; Whether you like people, or they cause you to flee. The second...
  • Blog Post: Tester Spotlight: Bryan Lipscy

    I have another Tester Spotlight posted over on Tester Center ! This time I talked with Bryan Lipscy, who tests all of the help in Windows XP, Windows Vista, and the not-yet-released Windows 7. Watch my interview with Bryan to learn why he is excited to be testing help!
  • Blog Post: Myers And Briggs And Their Guinea Pig

    Some years ago a lady named Briggs, Her daughter Myers, and their guinea pig Into personalities started to dig And found explanations they believed were quite big. They wrote up their findings and collapsed them into A Type Indicator instrument meant to let you Determine your type preference and those...
  • Blog Post: Types And Styles And Body Parts, Oh My

    MBTI describes how I interact with the world. NLP explains why I write and do not make murals. A & P claims to know why I am a boy not a girl. And... What's that? I've set your brain a-whirl? How to decipher this alphabet soup? How to apply it to you and your group? How to do this yet not make...
  • Blog Post: One Fish, Two Fish, Sensing Fish, Intuitive Fish

    The more I learn about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), the more I understand about how my brain works and why I do the things I do. The more I apply MBTI and NLP to other people, the more effective my interactions with those other people become. Of all the...
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