BDD pain relief

BehaviourDrivenDevelopment is all about GettingTheWordsRight. We find that when we use a consistent vocabulary, much of the traditional disconnect between Business and Technology simply disappears.

This is an alternative approach to BDD, which can help developers, in the form of using acceptance test frameworks such as Fitnesse (for which there a lot of plugins, to hook into to most IDE’s, including the montrosity that is TFS).  The scripting language is down to user choice, but if you a language compatible with the application under test, you can do some more fancy hookup between unit tests, and acceptance tests.  In BDD the onus is on the developer to write code directly from high-level user story/scenario. Using a good acceptance test framework will ensure:-
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Flash by name …

Who are the most insecure developers from a QA point of view? Flash developers without a doubt. This is mostly down to fact they know testers are disnterested with how pretty something looks – site style and look is important, but that is not an area of testing that raises many issues (mainly compromises to design or user flow requirements, if they exist on flash projects – they rarely do). Flash developers came primarily from design backgrounds, not programming and therein lies problem. The reaction of a flash developer to functional issues is stress and indignation – a very temperamental artist reaction in fact.

Any website done in flash can be done with Java, or simply javascripts/jQuery. But that would require a programmer mindset. Adobe Flex/Air has generated a new breed of flash developer that has more code competence, but still the same paranoia exists. This is a new-ish area to formal QA, but it will be all the better for it. Once flash development world acknowledges it cant live in its own walled garden, flash based sites will generally improve. Presently, if I come across a pure flash based site, I immediately switch to HTML versions, and if not available I will move on to another site. It doesnt matter how good it looks, to me flash sites always have the code equivalent of a huge band-aid to hold the fucntionality together. And it doesnt have to be that way, as long as flash development is approached with proper project management and development principles.

Code is still ultimately 1’s and 0’s – you can try and reinvent the software engineering rules, but ultimately it will bite you on your collective UI behinds.

Keep ISEB Out Of Testing

The flow incompetent ISEB testers seems to have stemmed now, which is good news.   BBC lost a lot of testers, through its bizarre ISEB/Nigerian hiring policy – a stream of  unskilled testers, made skilled by a little certificate.  “Yes, you can barely communicate to developers or managers, understand little about the web, work slowly and inefficiently, but hey – you have an ISEB, you must be special”.   But then the beeb were never the sharpest tool in the box, when it came to software  development.   Looking round the forums relating to ISEB, it is seen as some kind of holy grail to enter the IT contracting market.  Testing is not just testing – a tester who just understands testing principles (as ISEB see fit) with no other skills, is no tester at all.  Gradually there is realisation that all ISEB has done is reduced quality, not improved it.  It provided an easy platform for anyone to slip in through the back door, on the back of a 40 multiple choice exam, that can be taken as many times as you like.  And a lot of the examination centres are a joke – the one I took mine in, I was left totally unsupervised for the entire time. I actually had to go and find someone, because got tired of waiting after I finished.   When you look for a tester, dont just look at the ISEB and set your mind in a mode of  “I dont have to think anymore”.  Testers can qualify for ISEB,  and barely be able to string a sentence together in a bug report.  That no exaggeration – I have seen it, and sacked it.

Semantic Media Cloud

mediacloudMedia Cloud is a system that lets you see the flow of the media. The Internet is fundamentally altering the way that news is produced and distributed, but there are few comprehensive approaches to understanding the nature of these changes. Media Cloud automatically builds an archive of news stories and blog posts from the web, applies language processing, and gives you ways to analyze and visualize the data.

Media Cloud

MOSH by Nokia

After the innovative mobile venture Betavine from Vodafone, Nokia are playing catchup with the same concept – MOSH.  Hoping this is not cheesy reference to mashup, but I must say that this is a far better usability experience Betavine.  The design is very clear and follows the “Don’t make me think!” principles. Open source philosophy is in full flow on this site, as oppose to the still-corporate approach from Vodafone.   MOSH has some interesting apps, including a DJ mixer for the N-series.  I can see myself as a regular visitor there

I came across this site, via a social networking contact, Jason Nunes of Schematic, a seasoned user experience expert, and his work on this site demonstrates this.