Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2012

Flotsam or Jetsam?

Around the time that the  Social Tester  was publishing his  36 Days of Web Testing  e-book I happened to be looking at some cross-browser issues. For reasons that I no longer recall - hey, it was exploratory  and that means you don't need to know what you're doing or why, right ? - I surfed over to Google's shopping site to find a surprisingly frank assessment of the state of internet consumerism, courtesy of IE6's text zoom, above. As Voltaire said : the progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error. Which keeps us in a job, at least.

Not Slippery When Wet

When I put my slippers in the wash the other night I didn't anticipate that I would need to spend the best part of an hour cleaning what looked like sawdust out of the numerous crevices and crannies that make up the insides of our tumble dryer , and then throw the slippers away. But unexpected consequences are not today's concern. When the shower packed up I thought it'd be easy to replace. I should have known by that point that the previous owners of our house never did anything with future maintenance in mind. But maintainability is not today's concern. When I chose a cheap bathroom appliance and bought budget footwear I knew I was taking a calculated risk. Immediate savings, when made with open eyes, can be a positive option. However, low costs today can also mean increased costs tomorrow, and those costs, and customer reaction to them, might not be predictable. Which is today's concern. I bought the shower because the it was the only one I could

Confirmation Biased

We all do it. We find an issue in passing and report it quickly and it gets triaged and it's P3 and no-one dies and that's that. We've all done it. We've found an issue in passing and reported it quickly and it got triaged and it was P3 and no-one died and that was that. Until the underlying problem, of which we'd only observed a relatively benign symptom, burst out somewhere else in the product and turned out to be P1 critical. Late in the project, natch. We all know it. We can't test everything, even if we wanted to. But we're naturally cautious and we'd always prefer to, when we see the P3 in passing, wonder whether there's a cheap check to give some confirmation of our assessment. And if there is, we can use our testing instinct to decide whether to run it. We all know it doesn't work like this every time: on a system I was looking at once, I noticed that a particular account was being rejected on login. The cause of the rejection w

QA it Again Sam

The other day, a developer of my acquaintance said "well, a click is just a click." To be fair, in that discussion in that context in the limited way in which he meant it in the environment under consideration for the purpose we had in mind on that particular occasion he was probably sufficiently close to something not too objectionable that I didn't bother to raise a red flag. Didn't bother and (a) by the time I'd thought all that the conversation had moved on and, more importantly, (b) I've been around long enough and burned myself enough times that I've finally realised that nobody likes a smart-arse . Me included. Especially when I realise it's me. (Have the same problem? Let it all out in a blog !) But the notion stuck with me: is a mouse click ever really just a click ? If we consider a mouse click to be an atomic action then a single click exists as an entity in its own right and distinct from other clicks. Distinct, yes, but it cou