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Showing posts from February, 2021

The Spec, But Why?

  I'm in the middle of BBST Bug Advocacy at the Association for  Software Testing right now.  As you might imagine, on a course with that name there's been plenty of talk about what we mean by terms like bug, value, and quality. One of the great things about the four-week course is the mix of book work and application, so we students are repeatedly challenged with situations in which the learning can be practically applied. I have a lot of time for both Seth Godin and Shane Parrish so I'd have been listening carefully to Seth's appearance on the Knowledge Project podcast anyway but, given the context I'm in, the passage I've transcribed below stood out. It's about how the concept of quality is concretised as conformance to spec, and how that in turn directly drives physical actions. It starts at around 1:04:45: There's lots to be said about the spec. First lets talk about Edwards Deming and what spec and quality mean. Quality is not luxury, quality

Secret Agency

I've listened to every episode of Gene Kim 's Idealcast , a podcast about "the important ideas changing how organizations compete and win." If that terse statement sounds desert dry to you, then think again, the show is a wide open ocean of practical experience and considered theory. I particularly enjoyed the one with Elisabeth Hendrickson whose playbook has chapters on management, software development, people development and more, along with the testing chops of Explore It! that she's particularly known for in our field. Gene's presentation style is that of a knowledgeable friend, making space for his guests to lay out their perspective on a topic, and giving each insight a big "yes, and". He injects verbal sidebars into the podcast from time to time, pausing the interview to zoom in on a point that was made in passing and direct the listener to references that will give background, or talking about how a specific example made the concept click

Bog-Standard Testing

Bear with me, there is testing here but first we need to talk about my toilet.  Yeah, my toilet . Its flush was getting weak and though I was pleased to have a preliminary diagnosis ( siphon membrane ) I wasn’t happy about the likely treatment. I’ve changed siphons before and it’s always taken me ages, with a lot of pieces to disassemble and reassemble.  Worse, I have never managed to get all the bits refitted on my first attempt without a drip appearing somewhere. That’s usually how the second attempt goes too. Worse still, on this toilet all of the moving parts are hidden behind panels. How was I supposed to do anything with that? But I know from past procrastination that I get nothing accomplished without starting, so I began by looking and feeling, wondering whether I’d need to apply some force to flex a sprung catch, undo a screw thread that hasn’t moved since Noah was a lad, or pull a stiff doodah out of a tight watchamacallit.   I’ve l