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Showing posts from June, 2013

Drawing Conclusions

You can learn a lot from your kids, and not just how much you hate High School Musical 1, 2 and friggin' 3. I play a game with my daughters (Hazel aged 5, Emma aged 3) that we call Follow the Leader, dreamed up one rainy afternoon. It's like the traditional game except that you play it on paper: one person draws something and the others have to copy along. When the pictures are finished we line them up and see how they compare. Here's three of our efforts from one recent game. In order below, Emma was the leader, Hazel sat next to her and I was on the other side of the table (click to enlarge the images): Emma likes to work bottom-up, incrementally building the big picture and often jumping from detail to detail without giving much, if any, indication of how they interconnect and which are the most significant. This is fine for her - she's a late-binding kind of leader - but it makes it harder for the followers to be sure they're building up the right

The Wit in Twitter

The joke was funny enough, but you've gotta love the punchline Twitter produced when I tried to add the tweet to my Favorites (click to enlarge): Image:

Trait Laced

Musing on the recent call for articles on skills for The Testing Planet I got to thinking about the difference between skills and traits. The former is sometimes described as something learned and the latter as something innate. A quick web search throws up plenty of examples of this (e.g. 1 and 2 ) but that explanation is too glib for me, particularly the second of those articles which advises "If you’re having trouble separating skills and traits, think in terms of action verbs for skills, such as: training, implementing, leading, promoting, developing, presenting, organizing, planning". Questioning? I've ended up in software testing and (on the good days) I like to think that I've got skills appropriate to the role. With the benefit of confirmation bias hindsight I can think of things in my boyhood that suggest I've always been the kind of person my colleagues think I am. Weinberg, amongst other things , challenges himself and us to find at least thr

Untried and Tested

One of the challenges of testing is coming up with new things to try. Sure, there are common software anti-patterns  to look for, and probably specific recurring kinds of issues in your particular product, that can form part of a test strategy. But, particularly as your application matures, you're more likely to find higher value problems with novelty than simple repetition. During a recent round of exploratory testing we spent some time brainstorming test ideas. As a driver for productivity, spontaneity and creativity we tried something we hadn't done before: a strict two minutes on each of the CRUSSPIC STMPL letters with every suggestion that was shouted out noted straight down on the whiteboard without discussion or elaboration. After a brief review and some aggregation and refinement, we generated a bunch of session charters which included some new general approaches. Here's a couple: tool-driven sessions: take a tool we'd never used but thought might be us