Five QA Things To Do In San Francisco

As some of you might be aware, I spent last weekend in the San Francisco area. What did I do? Things worthy of QA, of course, and here’s what you, too, can do while visiting San Francisco and capturing a bit of the flavor of the area worthy of QA.

Eat at NaN

NaN restaurant

A restaurant called NaN? That’s just screaming for QA’s dining dollars.

Oh, but the actual QA world in San Francisco let us down. It’s NaR (not a restaurant). So no Korean fusion for you or me.

Visit Sonoma Valley for the Wonderful Mobile Testing

The Sonoma Valley, partly known for its wines, also has low to no mobile data connectivity. Did you know there’s an icon on your iPhone that indicates just cellular service? I do now. Now, what happens to my app under test when I am in a tastefully comported Faraday Cage, sampling Cabernet and adding records to the DB?

Also, there are some wineries around, which gives you the proper answer for any “Why would the user do that?” questions you might get: “It was the third winery on the tour.”

Take a Bay Cruise to Find the Null in Geolocation Testing

In at least one spot on San Francisco Bay, I discovered I was (null) miles away from Sausalito. Can you find that spot?

Granted, that was an error in geolocation in this particular app, but what happens in your mobile application when you’re on a boat?

Never pass up an opportunity to try the mobile app out in unexpected circumstances (What street address do I get when I’m flying over the building in a helicopter tour?).

Although strange and extreme, they might uncover conditions and application behaviors that would occur in less extreme circumstances.

Traverse the Golden Gate Bridge in the Fog and the Wind in an Open Car or Bus

Brothers and sisters who are not in San Francisco: Just because San Francisco is in California, that does not mean it is warm. Your stereotypes only apply to southern California.

Crossing the Golden Gate bridge in the morning in a convertible or one of those open-topped tour buses allows you to prove your toughness and endurance, and it provides a handy metaphor for the software development life cycle. You’re in a fog, you can’t see anything, suddenly something large looms over you, then it passes.

Additionally, crossing the same way on the southbound, windward side of the bridge is a particularly moving experience that will bring tears to your eyes and proves to be an endurance test not unlike a lessons learned meeting.

Walk the City. Then Take A Cab

Walking around San Francisco (or any other geographically bound and dense city) allows you to get up close to things and to view the emergence of the architecture and whatnot slowly.

Then take a cab and see how those familiar with the city and who have a particular goal in mind use the city streets and alleys to accomplish their goal.

It’s different, but they’re both San Francisco.

That’s a bit of a stretch and overt metaphor for testing, but I needed a fifth item because the title says five.

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