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Showing posts from January, 2014

Tester Says No

So I wrote a Perl script this week. Just typed it straight in. Just ran it. Care? Schmare! The interpreter kicked it back. Minimal edit! Ran it again. Another error. Edit, run. Another. Edit/run. More. Editrun. More. Me: Done, run this for me! Perl: No, what about X? Me: Ah, yeah, perhaps this time. Perl: No, did you look at Y? Me: And now? Perl: No, have you seen Z? ... Ring any bells? I try not to be the interpreter these days, by avoiding the one-dimensional rejection that invites the instant edit/retry. Image:

My EPIC Process ASS

Recently a couple of my colleagues have asked me to comment on process that they're setting up. As usual, the problem was less what to suggest and more what to keep back to avoid the well-intentioned but often understandably poorly-received feedback carpet bomb (FCB). Fortunately, in the blogosphere you can't hear your readers scream , so here's an FCB of heuristics and aides-memoire that I use when setting up processes, guidelines, checklists and the like. They're most appropriate when intended to be used on projects with multiple people, probably across teams, to manage collaboration on something that is considered valuable by a person or people who matter. There are usually a handful of roles: customers - the people who want the process, perhaps with quite specific demands owner - the person/s responsible for setting the process up manager - the person/s responsible for ensuring it is used as intended agents - the people participating in the process Som

Write Now

The key points in Writing is Thinking  can apply more generally to the navigation of an idea from inception to realisation. Don't be blocked by starting; get something - anything - down; refine it until it's more signal than noise. And on writing itself: if you've never coded then writing for an editor is a reasonable approximation to the implement/bug report/fix cycle, with you as the engineer. Do you take criticism as well as you give it? Can you learn from that? What's stopping you? Image:

Last Orders?

I was on my way to see my brother just before Christmas when I stopped at Donington Park Services . While I was reviewing its compendium of value-for-money amenities, and trying to stop my young daughters running riot, I saw the sign above. Perhaps I just needed a drink, or maybe I've been at this game for too long, but my initial instinctive interpretation of this was that time was being called on alcohol. Is the space of all possible locations really covered by the restriction? Surely that can't be what it is meant to mean? For a bit of seasonal fun, I set my team and the Cambridge Software Testing Club Meetup this challenge: In my imaginary world (one where the compendium of value-for-money amenities at motorway services is a good deal larger) Moto have asked you to review their signage. Test this particular sign for them. You have 15 minutes to list questions, comments, interpretations, suggested experiments and so on.  I've recorded a few of the suggesti