Archive for July, 2009

Now Tweet This

Friday, July 31st, 2009 by The Director

How much malevolence can you fit into 140 characters?  Find out by following QA Hates You on Twitter.

Everything You Need And More

Friday, July 31st, 2009 by The Director

eWeek thanks me for requesting a new subscription even though I was only filling out their quarterly “annual” subscription update.  Additionally, they included a typo in their e-mail:

What is that, a Euro sign?
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You know what I don’t need?  An e-mail with a Euro sign in it.  If you’re going to talk to me about money, use a real currency, please.

Three Bullets In The Fountain

Thursday, July 30th, 2009 by The Director

In a cast-a-wide-net e-mail from recruiter, I note three distinct bullet styles:

Variety is not the spice of quality.
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We have:

  • Hyphens (-)
  • Xs
  • No bullets

I love the amount of conscientiousness spent here trying to woo a quality professional.  You know how they say that when you interview with a company, you’re interviewing the company, too?  Well, I say when you send me your documentation about a job, I see your resume.  And I’m not going to call back something this rife with errors.

Because this recruiter would no doubt take as good of care of Applicant 9748 (that would be me)  as he did of Blast E-mail 298.

Cicero On Putting Developers In Their Place

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 by The Director

From On Duty, Book One:

It may sometimes, however, be necessary to express disapproval.  On such occasions we should perhaps use a sharper tone of voice and sterner expressions, and even put an appearance of anger.  But we should resort to this kind of reproof seldom, and with reluctance, as we do to cautery and amputation, and never unless it is necessary, and no other remedy can be found.  And there must be no real anger, for anger that prevents all fair, considered action.  In most cases a mild reproof is enough, but gravely administered, so as to show its seriousness and avoid insult to the feelings.  We must make it plan too that whatever harshness there was in our reproof was intended only for the good of the person reproved.

As a grain of salt, remember Cicero was executed for reproving Mark Antony, so you can draw an important lesson from this: reproval of someone with legions and swords trumps reproval of some dude feigning anger in a meeting.

Showing Contempt For Listeners?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 by The Director

WISN in Wisconsin might be tipping off a little contempt for its users when it flashes the following on its screen when its media player loads:

 So what are you saying about me?
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I suppose it could be displaying a zeroish variable valuable that indicates no listeners are chatting or that that module is not activated.  But, as QA, I walk around with a perpetual chip on my shoulder, and I assume that they’re talking about me.  Are they?  ‘Cause I don’t see anyone else here.

Not To Mention What Happens When You Throw It Against The Wall

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 by The Director

Optimists vs. Pessimists vs. Testers and others in the IT pantheon.

Thanks to gimlet for the pointer.

Banner Ad Failing and Failing and Failing

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 by The Director

The Washington Examiner provides a healthy dose of lessons in hosting Web banner ads.  Let’s enumerate them.


Sesame Street Not Brought To You Today By The Letters Q and A

Monday, July 27th, 2009 by The Director

Who can spot the problem within this page of a Sesame Street book?

Who are the defects in your neighbrhood?
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Would you have let that slide?  Me, either.

Current Jeopardy! Champion Is QA

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 by The Director

The current Jeopardy! champion, Stefan Goodreau, with three wins as of Wednesday, is described as a video game tester.  Hey, it might just mean he sits on a couch and plays the latest releases as they come out, but he’s winning consistently and hopefully making the “cerebral” developers question themselves.

Ha, just kidding.  Like vampires, developers have no reflection.

Note to job seekers:  Stefan has already won more this week than you will earn in any job posted on Craigslist.

Remember The Subdomains, Or Make Them Holey

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 by The Director

Evenflo produces a number of gerbil machines for children, including the new ExerSaucer® WalkAround™ device which looks like a training system for medieval whipped-man driven millstones.

The main Web page looks like this:

Going with the Evenflo
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Go to the Safety/Recall page, though, and you’re in for it:

Evenfluh oh
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Aside from the fact that the application tips some document information the first time you visit it, it springs a JavaScript error for you. The resource isn’t playing well across subdomains, it seems, and my pngs are unfixed since I’m using Internet Explorer.

As a reminder, you need to pay close attention when your Web site uses different subdomains.  Make sure your developers haven’t used relative paths to resources that aren’t there and that they haven’t locked parts of your site out from resources they actually need.

Who Validates the Validators?

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 by The Director

QA should, that’s who.

For example, if you take a little time to submit the comments form on this page without entering information, it throws up a JavaScript error:

It's a JavaScript error, but it doesn't tell me what.
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It kind of looks like it’s checking for a checkbox that isn’t on the form.  As if it was copied from somewhere else with a “Remember me?” link, such as a login.

Copied and not tested.  I’d like to tell you the trick for testing for this sort of failure, but the only trick is to test.

But it’s a Web 2.0 world.  Testing was so Web 0.9 (beta).

Somebody Has A Case of The Mondays, And He’s Going To Drink Them All

Monday, July 20th, 2009 by The Director

I got nothing this morning, so let’s turn up some AC/DC to get the week started, okay?

It Makes More Sense As A Free Verse Poem

Friday, July 17th, 2009 by The Director

Dustbury thinks it’s a formatting failure.  However, I think it’s more akin to a free verse poem, where the stage direction is spoken as well as the text that is supposed to be marked up.  You judge.

Putting the Random in Random House

Friday, July 17th, 2009 by The Director

An e-mail from Random House includes Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and social networking links:

I can share this e-mail in my Web e-mail client on Facebook?
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So how does that work?  Not well:

But of course.
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The link in the headline works and leads to the actual Web site, where these links work:

This Facebook link works.
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Random House seems to be generating the e-mail directly from its content management system to ill effect.  Of course, they’re not bothering to look at the e-mails in any detail before sending them out.  This is not the way adults should behave.

Casey Stengel on Successful Quality Assurance Management

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 by The Director

Sorry to go back to this well twice in one day, but:

 The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.

Make Errors Like A Major Leaguer

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 by The Director

A new promotion from Major League Baseball and Sharp AQUOS is not without its problems.

Like misspelling favorite:

Favoriate, as a verb, sounds rude.
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Now, say you’re filling out the fields and tabbing along, and you hit this:

Lack of focus is a problem in software.
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What on earth?  Well, if you dispel the error message, you will see the problem:

My password is lacking in character
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Sorry, my fault.  I needed to set the password to at least one number and one character.  It was all better when I set it to 0iago.

Finally, that birthday calendar widget doesn’t fit if it’s five rows long when viewed in Firefox:

Fortunately, this only happens a couple times a year.
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To quote a great philosopher, can’t anbody here play this game?

The Salami Attack Done Wrong

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 by The Director

Apparently, a problem with VISA debit cards charged a number of consumers $23,148,855,308,184,500.00.  Plus $20 for going over the limit.  Oh, and suspending the cards.

I have seen too clearly how few test cases are required to pass before a payment application is ready to go live.  Which is why I use the original on-line bill paying: wampum.

CAPTCHA and Release

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 by The Director

When relying on 3rd party Web services to handle your security, note that you might experience form abandonment even if your Web site is not actively sucking:

So I'm supposed to type 404 in the edit box?
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 Heckuva job, Brownie.

More Than One Error Has Occurred

Monday, July 13th, 2009 by The Director

I need to find the publishing house behind the standard developer dictionary and burn it down.

More than one error has occurred here.
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The development team behind this Craftsman NASCAR sweepstakes misspell occurred.  I don’t know why developers commonly misspell this word.  Are they copying and pasting it from the same Platonic nearly-ideal error message?  Is it misspelled in a default message in every IDE known to man?  Is it some hopeful invocation that the occult will cure the problem?  Who can read the minds of developers?  Whenever I try, I get gibberish interspersed with attention to shiny things.

When you’re testing out your application’s validation, watch for the single-R occured.  You will see them everywhere.

Budget: $5,000,000. Budget for Proofreaders: $0.

Friday, July 10th, 2009 by The Director

The White House has a budget of $5 million annually for its communications team.

However, apparently none of that has been wasted on proofreaders, since press releases and diplomatic agreements include numerous misspellings, including the President’s very name.

I was going to make some comment about having to pay extra attention to uncommon words such as brand names and people’s names, which often plagues interactive agency communications that misspell their clients’ names or even their own agency names.  However, this problem with the communications team seems to go far beyond that and into lack of attention to detail.

For $172,200 a year, I could head up the effort.  White House, click the Sez Who? link for contact info!

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