Archive for February, 2011

QA Music: Call To Action

Monday, February 28th, 2011 by The Director

It’s a clarion call to action this morning courtesy of the band Copper.

Get Your Bird Of Prey Serviced Here

Thursday, February 24th, 2011 by The Director

Apparently, the Quick Lube in Springfield, Missouri, is targeting the under-served Klingon market:


Either Klingon or the tongue of the Great Old Ones.  I'm not a linguist.
Click for full size

Either that, or someone mangled an embedded font and no one ever caught it.

I’ll leave it to you to determine which is the more likely scenario.

However, it does bring to mind a quick question: When your software passes off data to another organization’s application, how does that information look? Sometimes, any mangling might reflect poorly on you.

QA Music: Candidate Requirements List

Monday, February 21st, 2011 by The Director

I feel a little weird posting this, but this song has a pretty good list of characteristics you need to be QA:

It helps if you turn it up and then sing along in your best Dave Mustaine voice. Of course, singing along with anything in your best Dave Mustaine voice makes anything better, even meeting agendas.

Some Testers Are Just Distracted By Adriana Lima

Friday, February 18th, 2011 by The Director

Victoria’s Secret ran a contest leading into Valentine’s Day where you could send an e-card to your special someone and enter to win something.

If you entered Hamlet into the fields on the Tell-A-Friend panel, hilarity ensued:


Is there something to test here?
Click for full size

That edit box has more covering it than Ms. Lima, left.

Actually, my facile crack about distracted testers misses the mark. ePrize handled the promotion, and as we’ve seen before on this site, its idea of quality assurance is making sure the client’s checks clear.

You know edit boxes aren’t supposed to do that, right?

(By the way, if some of you are wondering if I’ve included Adriana Lima on this serious site just to boost search engine traffic, I do have to admit that the hits for Suzanne Sena and Alyssa Milano have been falling off.)

It Breaks A Home-Based Consultant’s Heart

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 by The Director

Over at making IT happen, one can find a list of 10 reasons to go to work every day.

Not all of them apply to the forty-second commute to your home office and testing lab. As a matter of fact, only 30% do.

I’ll leave you to guess which.

What’s The Sound Of One Mouth Foaming?

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 by The Director

Find out by listening to Matt Heusser’s TWiST podcast #32 (registration required; after 30 days, subscription required), featuring me as the rabid interviewee.

Thanks also to mkl-testhead for excellent work producing, which is podcasting lingo for cutting out all the stupid things I said.

I like the sound of my own voice and am considering a podcast of my own. What do you think? A Ten Minutes’ Hate?

QA Music: This Ain’t California

Monday, February 14th, 2011 by The Director

The band’s name comes from a mathematical construct, so they have a geek thing going on.

Warning: Spicy language included.

Nullset “This Ain’t California

QA Music: Iron Maidens

Monday, February 7th, 2011 by The Director

An all-female Iron Maiden tribute band? Why does it take me a decade to catch up with the latest?

Self-Scoring the Testing A– Quiz

Friday, February 4th, 2011 by The Director

Marlena Compton posted last week and asked if you’re a testing a–. She provides a quiz to help you determine if that’s the case. Come, take it along with me.

1. You secretly enjoy watching devs suffer and squirm.
False. I make no secret of it. Ha, that’s the glib answer. It’s true, though. I like to see developers suffer, squirm, flinch, and actually dodge my patented brush-back shot. At the foosball table.

Ideally, if the developers did their jobs right, I wouldn’t have to see them at all except at the foosball table. They’d write code that worked from specs that account for most user behavior, I’d test in my cubicle and find only minor things, and when the developers fixed those issues successfully, I’d close the bugs.

However, that’s not how it works, is it? Developers write buggy code and then deny the bugs exist, are important, or would happen among a large user base over a long period of time. There’s the rub. That’s what brings me to their cubicles with clenched teeth and clenched fists, demanding that they not spend more time arguing about a bug than it would take to fix it. If they suffer for their intransigence when I call them on it, so be it. I don’t care.

2. You have a small list of dev friends and a long list of dev enemies. You are secretly proud of both.
False. To my dismay, although I have a small list of developer friends, I don’t have any actual developer enemies. It’s not for lack of trying on my part. And the nemeses from days past, developers who would make me cry out their name like Kirk cursing Khan, that was all business, not personal enough to be enmity. Why, some of those very developers, once properly conditioned and QA-broken, became some of the friends in the first part.

3. You enjoy lobbing “innocent” comments into meetings that serve no purpose other than to humiliate or cause discomfort to the dev on the receiving end.
False. Curses, foiled again! Like Brittany Spears, I’m not that innocent. That said, however, my barbs and chides hopefully help identify problems. I’m not in this business to hurt feelings. I have the whole of the Internet and anonymous commenting to do that. I’m in the business to get it right this time and to get it right next time, and my comments are directed to that.

But I am not a therapist. I’m not here to build or rebuild egos. If I call a module a pierrot and the developer who built it has a fear of mimes, I’m not going to apologize for my blunt assessment.

4. You don’t make mistakes. When something goes wrong, you always find some dev to blame.
False. As you know, I trust QA as much as I trust developers. Because we make mistakes, too. Developers, sadly, seize upon QA’s mistakes to bolster their defense that they don’t have to correct their mistakes. So when QA errs, QA fixes it, fast.

Blame is such a loaded word. Let’s just say that sometimes I discover and assign responsibility. Did you code that bug? How did it happen? After you have fixed it, andfixityouwill, how will you avoid it in the future? That’s assessing blame if you’re locked into psychoanalysis of the politics of organizations. Hell, it might even be picking on the developer when you look at my tendency to blunt speech. But it’s doing my job.

5. Devs keep responding to your email with hostile reactions, which often escalate into “flame-wars.”
False. I don’t play flame war in professional e-mails. Before any real detached hostility begins, I’m in someone’s cubicle. It’s so much harder to really get hostile that way.

6. Devs always seem to react to your arrival by announcing that they have to leave.
True! They’re on they’re way to Starbucks. And if I can’t walk along, they bring me back something.

So, does that make me a Testing A–? No, but I am a tester who is unafraid of being an a– when necessary. What’s the description of that? Oh, yeah, effective.


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