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Showing posts from October, 2016

Cambridge Lean Coffee

This month's  Lean Coffee  was hosted by us at Linguamatics . Here's some brief, aggregated comments and questions  on topics covered by the group I was in. How important is exploratory testing? When interviewing tester candidates, many have never heard of it. Is exploratory testing a discrete thing? Is it something that you are always doing? For one participant, exploratory testing is done in-house; test cases/regression testing are outsourced to China. Some people are prohibited from doing it by the company they work for. Surely everybody goes outside the test scripts? Is what goes on in an all-hands "bug bash" exploratory testing?  Exploratory testing is testing that only humans can do. How do you deal with a flaky legacy automation suite? The suite described was complex in terms of coverage and environment and failures in a given run are hard to diagnose as product or infrastructure or test suite issues "Kill it with fire!" Do you kn

Making Fünf Myself

The first post on Hiccupps was published five years ago this week. It's called Sign Language  and, reading it back now, although I might not write it the same way today, I'm not especially unhappy with it. The closing sentence still feels like a useful heuristic, even if I didn't present it that way at the time: Your audience is not just the target audience, it's anyone who sees what it is you've done and forms an opinion of you because of it. I've looked back over the blog on most of its anniversaries, and each time found different value: I Done the Ton : After two years I compared my progress to my initial goals and reflected on how I'd become a tester and test manager  It's the Thought That Counts : After three years I began to realise that the act of blogging was an end in itself, not just a means to an end  My Two Cents : After four years, the value of time series data about myself and the evolution (or lack of evolution) of my thoughts an

He Said Captain

A few months ago, as I was walking my two daughters to school, one of their classmates gave me the thumbs up and shouted "heeeyyy, Captain!" Young as the lad was, I congratulated myself that someone had clearly recognised my innate leadership capabilities and felt compelled to verbalise his respect for them, and me. Chest puffed out I strutted across the playground, until one of my daughters pointed out that the t-shirt I was wearing had a Captain America star on the front of it. Doh! Today, as I was getting dressed, my eldest daughter asked to choose a t-shirt for me to wear, and picked the Captain America one. "Do you remember the time ..." she said, and burst out laughing at my recalled vain stupidity. Young as my daughter is, her laughter is well-founded and a useful lesson for me. I wear a virtual t-shirt at work, one with Manager written on it. People no doubt afford me respect, or at least deference, because of it. I hope they also afford me respect b

And Now Repeat

As we were triaging that day's bug reports, the Dev Manager and me, we reached one that I'd filed. After skimming it to remind himself of the contents, the Dev Manager commented "ah yes, here's one of your favourite M.O. s ..." In this case I'd created a particular flavour of an object by a specific action and then found that I could reapply the action to cause the object to become corrupted. Fortunately for our product, this kind of object is created only rarely and there's little occasion - although valid reasons - to do what I did with one. The Dev Manager carried on "... if you can find a way to connect something that links out back to itself, or to make something that takes input read its own output, or to make something and then try to remake it, or stuff it back into itself ... you will ." Fascinating. It should come as no surprise to find that those with a different perspective to us see different things in us. And, in fact, I w

Rands in Review

Do you work with people? Are you a person? Can you read? Yes. Yes. Yes ? Read on. Are you reading a book? Yes?  Go and find that book and put it away now. Go on, and then come back.  No?  Good news, I am about to help you out. Ready? OK: you should immediately read  Managing Humans by Michael Lopp because it contains something of value to you. I can't tell you what it is, because I don't know you and your interests and your circumstances and your experiences and your co-workers and the other myriad things that make up who you are with your working head on. But what I can tell you is that there is something - at least one thing, and probably more - in here that will have you nodding along in agreement, or gawping at the perspective that challenges your own, or shaking your head at the unwarranted certainty of a curt categorisation of colleagues and then shortly afterwards finding yourself mentally fitting your company's staff to it, and adding the archetypes tha

Glory Be

Aware that I'm looking at resources for new managers at the moment, one of my team came across an article and pinged me a quick IM: Do you agree with this article? The article in question was Are You a Leader or a Glorified Individual Contributor?  by Joe Contrera. I looked at the article. It's in two parts. The first is a series of statements - mostly absolutes - about being a leader or an individual contributor, neither of which terms are defined except implicitly in the statements. The second is a sequence of "questions" (actually also statements) which permit only true/false answers, with responses being tallied at the end to determine whether the reader is closer to being an effective leader or an individual contributor. The article pushes some of my buttons and you don't have to look very hard to see a couple of pieces of evidence for that peeking out of the previous paragraph. Here's some more, for the button I label unjustifed absolutes . A