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Showing posts from March, 2015

What Are You Like?

As a tester, comparison, and confidence in your ability to compare, are key parts of your toolkit. So, like me, you might find this video humbling. It talks about metamers (where different things look the same) and anti-metamers (the same things look different) and shows how easy it is to mislead our visual systems even while explaining how the images were created and why the optical illusion works. Video:

On Being a Test Charter

Managing a complex set of variables, of variables that interact, of interactions that are interdependent, of interdependencies that are opaque, of opacities that are ... well, you get the idea. That can be hard. And that's just the job some days. Investigating an apparent performance issue recently, I had variables including platform, product version, build type (debug vs release), compiler options, hardware, machine configuration, data sources and more. I was working with both our Dev and Ops teams to determine which of these seemed most likely in what combination to be able to explain the observations I'd made. Up to my neck in a potential combinatorial explosion, it occurred to me that in order to proceed I was adopting an approach similar to the ideas behind chart parsing in linguistics. Essentially: keep track of all findings to date, but don't necessarily commit to them (yet) maintain multiple potentially contradictory analyses (hopefully efficiently) pack

Why Not a Testing Standard?

The Cambridge Tester Meetup  last night was a discussion on testing standards. Not on the specific question of ISO 29119  (for which see Huib Schoots' excellent resource ) but more generally on the possibility of there being a standard at all. It was structured along the lines of Lean Coffee with thoughts and questions being thrown down on post-its and then grouped together for brief discussion. I've recorded the content of the stickies here with just a little post-hoc editing to remove some duplication or occasionally disambiguate. The titles were just handles to attach stickies to once we had a few in an area and I haven't tried to rationalise them or rearrange the content. Enhance/Inhibit Testing Testing is a creative process so can't be standardised. Testing doesn't fit into a standard format, so how can there be a standard for it? (Do we mean "good testing" whatever that is?) New tools, technology might not fit into a standard. Standardis