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  • Blog Post: Talking Clocks

    We have a set of clocks counting down the time until our next big milestone, one where all the testers are, one by the devs, and one by PM. I just noticed that they tell a story: PM reaches the end of the milestone first; Dev reaches it next; And Test reaches it last Isn't that how...
  • Blog Post: Reliable Intent

    I've been super busy talking with as many testers and leads on my team as I can, gathering data on what is and is not working for them. I'm completely unsurprised to learn that, as with many other teams I've talked with, they're having problems understanding what tests mean to test, finding and using...
  • Blog Post: Stressing The Matrix

    Recently I saw a way to describe any particular stress test that I liked: First, define the sets of qualities you care about: Input Execution entry point Resources Validation for example. Next, define the qualities within each set you are interested in; maybe: Input ...
  • Blog Post: My Very Busy CPU

    Hmmm...I start a build and all eight of my cores gets busy - what's up with that? <g/>
  • 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: Implementing Automated Software Testing

    Elfriede Dustin sent me a review copy of Implementing Automated Software Testing (IAST), which she and her colleagues Thom Garrett and Bernie Gauf recently published. I am familiar with some of Elfriede's work on test automation, so I was looking forward to an in-depth explanation of how she does test...
  • 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: Baskets Of Bugs

    My life of late seems to be one bug after another. It all starts with my product: Live Mesh for Mac. I have set some setting on my Mactop that prevents our Mac client from running on it. No one else has reported this issue, and I cannot reproduce it on any other machine, so it is unlikely to ever be...
  • 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: 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: Story Time

    How many different stories do you know about your product? Do you know the stories your best customer tells? The ones your worst customer tells? Your management? Help Desk? How much of your time do you spend inventing new stories, versus discovering stories of which you had not previously been aware...
  • Blog Post: Eavesdropping On Testing

    On the bus the other day I overheard a woman discussing her upcoming nuptials. She was quite the modern girl, it seems, and was not going for any of the traditional ceremonial wedding stuff. Well, maybe a small wedding party, like three bridesmaids and three groomsmen, definitely no more than that! And...
  • 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: 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: 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...
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