Test Guide

Making the invisible visible since 1987

  • Test Guide

    Problem Solving Heuristic #1142: Spin

    • 2 Comments
    I find that this Problem Solving Heuristic works when nothing else does. Situate yourself such that you can easily move about in a circle. Stand, sit on a chair with wheels, grab your kidling's spin toy, whatever. Now rotate yourself clockwise....
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    Problem Solving Heuristic #1128: How Interesting

    • 2 Comments
    Have you ever reacted to something you noticed by saying "Bizarre!" or "Weird!" or "How strange"? Example: "Hey, Michael's post is tiny this week. Weird!" Have you ever investigated to learn why what you noticed occurred? Or did you make an assumption...
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    Campy Bear Heuristics

    • 6 Comments
    Here's a puzzle for you: I am out camping. One day I mark my spot and then walk one mile due south, at which point I turn ninety degrees to my left and walk one mile due east. I pause to admire the scenery, am startled by a bear, and run one mile due...
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    CASTing For Participants And Papers

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    If you are looking to attend a testing conference this year, consider CAST 2008 . CAST is not your typical conference. While each session does start with you sitting in rows staring at PowerPoints, each session ends with you discussing anything and everything...
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    Zoning For The Holarctic Region

    • 11 Comments
    Last week I asked you to see how many different interpretations of this sign you could devise. After an hour or so I had the following: Cars may be parked for up to two hours unless any of the following conditions apply, in which case they may be...
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    Two Hour Parking

    • 15 Comments
    Signs such as this one are a common sight in Seattle's residential neighborhoods. I imagine the transportation department believes it to be clear and unambiguous. I beg to differ. Your assignment for this week is to devise as many different interpretations...
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    Check It Out

    • 2 Comments
    Recently I heard a tester venting about their developer. It seems this developer routinely complains that the tester keeps him from doing his job: "You never let me add features! You always say no! If it wasn't for you I would be up on stage demonstrating...
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    Developers Develop And Testers Test; What Else Is There To Know?

    • 2 Comments
    New Year's Day is traditionally the time when people sit down and examine their life and vow to make copious far-reaching changes...and then last night's egg nog wears off and life goes on as normal. <g/> If, however, you would like to see...
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    I Want A BVT Blocking Bug For The Holidays

    • 1 Comments
    [To John Rox's "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas", which has long been my favorite holiday song, and not only because it is accompanied by solo bassoon!] I want a BVT blocking bug for the holidays* A BVT blocking bug I'm asking for Don't want no...
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    Klutzes, Savants, And Mediums (Oh My)

    • 1 Comments
    Recently I overheard a developer describing how his wife constantly interrupts him when he is thinking (i.e., seemingly doing nothing) rather than waiting until he was at a place where he could process what she had to say. It seems he has taken to kicking...
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    Contracted Conversations

    • 1 Comments
    A colleague: "I don't understand it. I lived with my wife for eight years before we were married and she never cared what time I got home from work. Ever since I put on this wedding ring, though, she expects me there at six o'clock on the dot!" Me...
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    Call Stack

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    A Tester's Rejoinder

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    [To the tune of Van Halen's Finish What Ya Started] Come on Barry finish what ya started Into your office all these bugs I've carted Now fire up your IDE There's quite a lot I agree You wanted bugs, now you've got them Now fire up your big brain stem...
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    A Developer's Demands

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    [To the tune of Wang Chung's Let's Go] This is my application It is perfect in every way All that is left is for you to sign off So I'll leave you to your work And I'll go home to sleep It won't take you long, my code is so boff I wish you’d...
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    I Don't Think That's Exactly What They Meant, Exactly

    • 4 Comments
    A hotel I was in recently had a toilet: I found that sign over the toilet rather interesting: Um, I can think of at least two other things which are going into their septic system!
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    AYE - Amenities

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    The conference hotel was one of those every-room-is-a-suite places. I found having an extra room helpful even though I wasn't in my room much. The hotel food was standard hotel food which I didn't bother eating. (A healthier menu with organic ingredients...
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    AYE - Friday

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    Friday I recuperated from the week of brain stuffing, intellectual and emotional stimulation, and long days by motoring up to Sedona, where I processed my week (and wrote this) with the assistance of an energy vortex or four.
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    AYE - Thursday

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    Thursday was SHAPE Day, a gathering of those conference attendees who are also members of Jerry Weinberg's SHAPE Forum . We started out about twenty, which number dwindled throughout the day as people left for the airport. This was effectively a live...
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    AYE - Wednesday

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    Wednesday morning I took part in a writing workshop by Johanna Rothman and Naomi Karten , each authors of multiple books and copious articles. I picked up numerous tips, such as to ask reviewers for specific types of feedback rather than simply requested...
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    AYE - Tuesday

    • 2 Comments
    Tuesday morning I took Naomi Karten 's Building Connections That Amplify Your Effectiveness. I thought it would be about networking. Nope. (I don't know why I thought that since the class description didn't mention that topic.) It turned out to be informative...
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    AYE - Monday

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    Monday morning I attended Steve Smith 's workshop on Virgina Satir's Change Model. The short form of this model (see his popular article for the full skinny) is: Status Quo. Everything is stable and going well. A Foreign Element pops up. The...
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    AYE - Sunday

    • 1 Comments
    Sunday was a warm-up tutorial by Don Gray and Steve Smith . This was an all-day session meant to introduce newbies like me (and returnees looking for a refresher) to the lingo, vocabulary, and concepts used at the conference. First up was the Myers...
  • Test Guide

    AYE? Aye!

    • 1 Comments
    I spent the previous two weeks in sunny Arizona. Last week I hiked around Sedona. The week before that I was in Phoenix attending the Amplify Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference. AYE is not your typical sit-in-dark-hotel-rooms-listening-to-droning-speakers...
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    The Test Laboratory

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    [To the tune of Barry Manilow's "Copacabana"] His name is Bobby, he is a tester He finds bugs that crash his app and interrupt his devs' naps He knocks on their doors, and they see his grin They ask him what he found and into their office...
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    Doctors Are Testers Too

    • 1 Comments
    Jerome Groopman's book How Doctors Think is about doctors and how they think. It is also about testers and how we think. I find this to be true of most every book I read: regardless of its official intent, I find some relevance to testing. Such is certainly...
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