It’s not like the good old QA days …

I am starting to think those of us who grumble about misuse of term “QA” (Quality Assurance) are maybe in the realms of grumpy old men/women. I now beginning to realise that yes, people use the term far too loosely without thinking it through. But more is expected of the tester these days, than simply testing – and those expectation do fall within the realm of Quality Assurance. Quality Assurance and Testing used to be distinct areas, though testing came under the overall remit of a QA manager, as it’s a quality gateway task. Continue reading

Steampunk testing

Sex sells, that is a stock sales phrase, and it works – regardless of male/female, heterosexual/gay, we can all succumb to something that appeals to our passion side.  In testing?  Well, the technology world has transformed away from the realm of socially defective loners, to must-have accessory to your life. Most of what is sold, of course, we don’t need.  When fashion entered tech, it trivialised it as well as using it very effectively, for sales and marketing. Continue reading

Demonised self-employed

… ironic because company executives and human resources say they want self starters, innovative hires, a certain entrepreneurial spirit.

This article, Entrepreneurs need not apply: Companies shun the self employed, comes as no surprise, as companies attempt to hire contractors and the self-employed, as permanent employees. I have been in some comical permanent job interviews over the years, where it is plain they liked my wide variety of skills and experience, but plain nervous when we talk about terms of commitment. It seems that anything I say is met with suspicious eyes, unable to take in what I am saying. I do not lie, I don’t have to – as far as I am concerned, they should be persuading me taking a permanent job is worth my while.
Continue reading

Change always costs money

With Waterfall step-down process, a lot relied on skilled people – skilled analysts to interrogate clients for requirements, skilled project managers to keep project on track, skilled developers to code the requirements and skilled testers to ensure the beta release fulfilled the requirements to the letter.  And with Agile, it is exactly the same. A change in Waterfall costs more money, and same with Agile.  The point with Agile is that change was easier to introduce, and clients did not have to necessarily get all their requirements done from the outset.  I am not sure if this was a good attitude to have, given that Agile required a continual feedback loop that included the oft-unavailable client.  While clients and management liked the idea of Agile principles, at the same time, they behaved as if they didn’t apply to them.  More often than not, clients would become indignant if change involved cost, even though naturally increased time = increased cost.  Getting vision right from the outset is a sensible thing to keep in mind – whether Waterfall or Agile.

Incremental Automation

Firstly, it is pervasive problem that too many people talking at length about Agile and testing that haven’t a clue what they are on about. The invasion of fashionable buzzwords to make the mundane sound more exciting, has become a tedious norm. There is much bandying about of “Lean” recently, with no consideration of the skills required to implement such projects. That’s an aside, but relevant also to automation. The word “automation” excites managers, as it implies efficiency.  What it also implies is a possible nightmare.
Continue reading

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