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Showing posts from May, 2018

Cambridge Lean Coffee

This month's  Lean Coffee  was hosted by  Linguamatics . Here's some brief, aggregated comments and questions on topics covered by the group I was in. As a developer, how can I make a tester's job easier? Lots of good communication. Tell us about the test coverage you already have. Tell us what it would be useful for you to know. Tell us what you would not like to see in the application. Tell us what is logged, where, why, when. Tell us what the log messages mean. Tell us how you think it's supposed to work. Show us how you think it's supposed to work. Give us feedback on our testing - what's helping, what isn't. Offer to demonstrate what you've done. Say what you think are the risky areas, and why. Say what was hard to get right, and why. Recognise that we're not there to try and beat or show you up. Help us find our unknown unknowns by sharing with us  How can we help you, as a developer? Give good repro steps in you

UX or Ex-Users

It seems like yonks ago that I stumbled across Steve Krug's book Rocket Surgery Made Easy and loved it , so I eagerly took the chance to see him talk at the Cambridge Usability Group in a double-header with Andy Morris. In the first half, Andy talked about how Onshape try to engage and empower and delight and retain users while at the same time gathering data that the company can use in their design and support efforts. In the second half, Steve reprised some of the key points on usability testing from Rocket Surgery.

You Are Not Alone

Abstracta's recent review of Hiccupps for their 75 Best Software Testing Blogs list says "James [shares] learnings from events and fun sketchnotes he makes."  Learnings here are from this week's Cambridge Tester meetup at Linguamatics   and, while the notes might be fun, the subject matter is less so. First up, Chris Kelly previewed his Testbash Dublin talk, The Anxious Tester, a story of how his anxiety has affected his work as a tester and some suggestions for fellow sufferers, those around them, and those they work for. That was followed by a video of The Fraud Squad where Claire Reckless presented background material on impostor syndrome , talked about her personal experience of it, and gave advice for supporting oneself  or others when the unfounded fear of being found out hits. These are timely topics during Mental Health Awareness Week , and it's worth noting that the speakers shared a recommendation for anyone experiencing difficulties

Tomorrow Never Nose

At CEWT #3 , back in October 2016, I presented a definition of testing I had been toying with, a definition which later became this : Testing is the pursuit of relevant incongruity After hearing me out, one of the participants asked a strong, strong question: did I think my definition of testing could also define something else? I love this. It's a way to test the explanatory power of the proposal. On the day, I think I said that I thought it could also be a description of science. Yesterday, I read a review of The Happy Brain by Dean Burnett in which Katy Guest said: He rattles through studies, building a picture of what exactly tickles the human brain and why ... Laughter, it turns out, may originate among the temporal, occipital and parietal lobes, whose role is to "detect and resolve incongruity". Bzzzzzttttt!!!!!  Arrooogggaaa!!!!  Honk! Honk! And with a jolt of recognition, I realised only 18 months after the fact, that I would also say my definition cou

Testing and Checklists

Our team's book club at Linguamatics is looking at the The Checklist Manifesto . I found it exceptionally readable, commendably short, and very direct about its key message, which I'd summarise as something like this: checklists can be extremely valuable, take care when writing them, and use them to free people up rather than tie them down. For fun, I thought I'd try to extract a small set of checklists for checklists. what problem are you are trying to solve? (e.g. whose perception, desire, situation ) what kind of problem is it? (e.g. simple, complicated, complex) what kind of list do you need? (e.g. doing, reviewing) what kind of items do you want? (e.g. actions, communications) what kind of triggers do you have? (e.g. start of a task, decision point, review of result) can you identify any critical items? (keep them) can you assume list users will just do any of the items? (remove them) can you leave room for judgement? (probably a good idea) can you s

Heuristics for Working: Doing

For a while now I've been collecting  fieldstones  on the topic of  heuristics for working . Some of these are things that I've said to others, some of them are things that I've thought about when considering some aspect of myself or how I work, and others have come from books I've read, talks I've attended, and workshops I've participated in. I've made a handful of rough categorisations and I'll put each set in a post under the tag  Heuristics for Working . But what do even I mean by heuristics for working? Good question. I mean rules of thumb for situations that arise in the workplace. They are bits of advice that can be useful to consider but don't offer any guarantees and will not always apply. The collection is surely idiosyncratic, context-sensitive and perhaps too specific and too general in turn. Welcome to my head. I haven't sat down and tried to elaborate or enumerate more, or to try to fill the gaps. Everything here has aris