Why the good testers disappeared

… and why they shouldn’t have. It is relatively easy to see when and why some form of disillusionment occurred in testing world, after a few years of increasing hype around it. There were many healthy discussions around a tester’s place on modern Agile projects, and increased focus on test automation skills. It was when the context-driven school of testing put it’s hands up and fairly stated it could not be considered relevant. After all, what stays still in software development? The whole evolution is based on learning from mistakes, and improving programming. It is an interesting time, because once again testing has to reclaim it’s position, in the new surge of “testing is dead” mantras. Continue reading

Everyone’s a critic …

Corporate Monster

Waterfall … much maligned, and earned it’s label and reputation post-Agile. In QA, we know how easy it can be to slate anything in technology. In fact, being a critic is an easy position to be in, as the onus is not on the critic to provide a solution. The evolution of Agile did not happen on the back on Waterfall criticism – it was simply a move to provide alternative to the methodologies available at the time, that did not suit the demands of modern development.

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RIP Test Manager (Role)

The Test Manager’s role, as traditionally defined is becoming less and less relevant. As more testers are expected to plan and scripts, test manager’s role has devolved into coordination and more than likely, actual testing (if a 1-man band). This is not a negative thing, as I believe this role is being superseded by that of QA Manager (much more concerned with overall processes of delivering a product). As such, a much more valuable commodity.

This has happened more by accident than design – Agile’s focus on more rapid cycles, and lighter documentation has seen the Test Manager’s role evolve into more QA. In such a position you can better influence project processes, based on sound QA principle. Milestones are traditional business measure of progress, and although Sprint demos for stakeholder partly fulfil this, there really is no milestone until the end. This led to Waterscrum, where Sprints became lengthier in a more traditional Waterfall way. For Test Managers to survive they must become more flexible in scope of their roles.

Testing is widely misconstrued as a task rather than a role. Therefore the “task” is assigned to anyone half-relevant to a project. Anyone can test – that is true – but testing itself is the activity, but there are other tasks around it just as essential, which is ensuring the test process is planned executed and recorded in line with the overall project process. Also, testing is not just about finding defects, sticking rigidly to scope – issues can be raised against requirements, improvements, etc. With this wholesale delusion about what a tester is, suddenly the idea of a Test Manager seemed a little unnecessary.

Of course this is wrong, but the Test Manager role has changed – not through any formal change, it happened out there in the field – professional defining their role within a project, and adopting the same principles as development, i.e. being part of cross-functional team. The new Test Manager will be defining Test Strategy, contributing to Sprint planning sessions, coordinating with Product Owner on stakeholder demonstrations, putting forward plan for process improvements. The role has got bigger and become a QA Manager.

Track and follow your position with openlayers

Track and follow your position with openlayers – a less saturated alternative maps api to googlemaps, and gowing steadily in popularity and support. Click the Track button to find your current location, and it will update as you move as with any other map tracking application. Probably best viewed on you phone I guess!

Locate me!

Track my position

Loads more examples here

Usability – its an old man’s game

You can’t teach unless you can put yourself in the position of the pupil

“Where’s my Googlebox?!” – adventures in search for silver surfers » iheni :: making the web worldwide

Great quotable line from James Christie (comment 10).   And so true – younger generation may be more general savvy with technology, but it doesnt mean for a second they undertsand, or are able to pass on that knowledge.  This is in keeping with generation gap- the inspiration and drive of youth, tempered by the experience and caution or older generations.  You need the mix – weighting either way will lead to too much compromise.

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on-the-fly javascript

Just a good demonstration of things you can do with web pages, on-the-fly with javascript.   Example – Go to Google, clear address bar, copy and paste the text below into the address bar, then <ENTER>.  Make it a link on your toolbar, then click it again and again to change speed.

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.getElementsByTagName(“img”); DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position=’absolute’; DIS.left=(Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5)+”px”; DIS.top=(Math.cos(R*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5)+”px”}R++}setInterval(‘A()’,50); void(0);

Test, Don’t Test

johnny test

It’s easy to take testers for granted – the expectations is for testers to contribute to qulaity, while at the same time this expectation suddenly disappears when test results mean bad news for the release schedule. It is always a puzzling position for QA Manager, as part of the role is total adaptibility (within reason) to the project environment and demands. It is easy enough to reel off standards for Agile, SCRUM, RAD – but when it comes to enforcing them, it is amzing how quickly quality standards are suddenly seen as part of the problem by development, rather than highlighting problems.

Having pushed through project releases myself, when I didnt entirely agree with it, I know that working in QA can be sometimes precarious. I would like to think my reasoning for pushing releases through was sound – sometimes a short-term decision is needed to ensure the overall success of the project.