Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2014

The Odd in Ken Dodd

I'll leave it as an exercise in creative thinking to come up with reasons I might have been buying a Ken Dodd triple album: That aside, is there a problem here? The Guardian (amongst others) has been enjoying in-store pricing oddities for a while and, on the face of it, there's something not quite right about this Amazon item either. But would you simply chuckle and shout  bug ? Let's make it an exercise in creative thinking to suggest scenarios where it's reasonable for it to be cheaper to buy the CD and the MP3s than to buy the MP3s alone. Stick 'em in the comments if you like. Image:

The Tester Connector

Connections. We spend our time searching for them, stumbling across them, postulating them, making them, questioning them, confirming them, creating them and breaking them. They might be between products, between bits of your product, between people, between the ideas different people have, between different ideas that you have, between what you've seen, what you're seeing and what you might hope or fear seeing next. finding associations (or the lack of them) between the system under test and something else.  connecting the product's behaviour with some notion of what it's supposed to do - or not do. building links between components in your mental model of how an application works. relating a new bug to previous ones. identifying areas of consensus or disagreement, bringing concepts and people together. I think therefore I am is fine and dandy, M. Descartes, but for testers I wonder if this would be better: If I am not connecting, I am not. I am. Or, at le

No F in Spec

One of the names I considered for this blog - and one that made it right to the final cut - was There's no F in Spec . It appealed to me for several reasons, including: The literal correctness. There really is no letter "f" in the string "spec". The indirect contradiction. "Spec" is short for "specification" and there is an "f" in that. The implied rudeness. See also There's Only One F in Fulham . The pun on the rudeness. As Homer says , it's funny cos it's (so often) true. The metaphorical contradiction. Even if there is no f-ing spec, or story, or whatever, there's  always   something  you can base an investigation on. The number of interpretations and nuances I could find in it. Part of our job as testers is to be able to recognise this kind of potential for ambiguity and multiplicity, maintain contradictory interpretations for as long as it's useful but then tease apart what can and should be se

Is it Like That?

The Dev Manager has just posted another of his  next-to-incoherent ramblings [1] . This one exposes a trait of his that I share: A recurring theme of mine is building flimsy analogies between software processes and other processes To give a very recent trivial, but valuable to me, example: I use filters aggressively for sorting much of my mail into a hierarchy of folders for batch reading or archiving.  However, there's a category of mail that I want to sort manually, not least because it forces me to read it. Over time, sub-categorisation within it has become more complex but for now I still see value in preserving it. This means that my manual filtering progressively involves more and more dragging and dropping through hierarchies of folders. This is inefficient and irritating. In this example it's no great conceptual leap to think of some kind of analogy between the mail client folder structure and a file system. When I move an email from one folder to another I am pe