Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category

Will Code for Food

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 by The Director

Literally. I saw this in the back of Ozark Farm and Neighbor magazine:

At the very cheapest, a domain registration + a year of simple hosting with domain purchase + use of templates and standard copy means that any beef above a couple of steaks is pure profit.

As A Wise Man Once Said….

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 by The Director

Check out this piece at Ministry of Testing:

When Your Mentor Moves On:
 Dealing with A Change In Ideal Leadership

When You Hide The Interface for Functionality

Thursday, July 7th, 2016 by The Director

You know when your company wires off some part of the interface because the functionality is incomplete or not ready for the release?

Yeah, it’s like that.

It, too, is a risky maneuver as it’s generally a last minute decision, which doesn’t leave you a lot of time to test to ensure it’s wired off completely in all areas where the user would encounter it.

And Sometimes Ends With A

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 by The Director

Security Starts at the POS.

In this case, POS means Point of Sale.

However, not everyone is familiar with the acronyms and argot you are, so be careful when using them without explaining them first. This applies to your interfaces as well as your written work.

Another Branding Failure

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 by The Director

A couple weeks ago, I pointed out the some flaws with inconsistent application of the trademark symbol. Today, we’re going to look at a failure of branding in a news story.

Can you spot the branding failure in this story?

After the refi boom, can Quicken keep rocketing higher?:

Quicken Loans Inc, once an obscure online mortgage player, seized on the refinancing boom to become the nation’s third largest mortgage lender, behind only Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Now, with the refi market saturated, Quicken faces a pivotal challenge — convincing home buyers to trust that emotional transaction to a website instead of the banker next door.

Okay, can anyone not named Hilary spot the problem?

Quicken Loans and Quicken are two different things and have been owned by two different companies since 2002. For fourteen years.

Me, I know the difference because earlier this year I did some testing on a Quicken Loans promotion, and the developers put simply Quicken into some of the legalesque opt-in and Terms of Service check boxes. So I researched it. And then made them use Quicken Loans in the labels instead.

After reading the story, I reached out to someone at Quicken Loans to see if they use “Quicken” internally informally, and she said $&#&^$! yes (I’m paraphrasing here to maintain her reputation). So maybe the journalist had some communication with internal people who used “Quicken” instead of the company name, or perhaps that’s what everybody but me does.

However, informal nomenclature aside, Quicken Loans != Quicken, and to refer to it as such could have consequences. If this story hit the wires and Intuit’s stock dropped a bunch, ay! Or something more sinister, which in this case means unintended and unforeseen consequences.

My point is to take a little time to research the approved use of trademarks, brand names, and company names before you start testing or writing about them. Don’t trust the developers (or journalists, apparently) to have done this for you.

An Oldie, But An Oldie

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 by The Director

Round round work around
I work around
Yeah
work around round round I work around
I work around
work around round round I work around
From job to job
work around round round I work around
It’s a real cool app
work around round round I work around
Please don’t make it snap

I’ve got little bugs runnin’ in and out of the code
Don’t type an int or it will implode

My buttons don’t click, the users all moan
Yeah, the GUIS are buggy but the issues are known

I work around
work around round round I work around
From town to town
work around round round I work around
It’s a real cool app
work around round round I work around
Please don’t make it snap
work around round round I work around
I work around
Round
work around round round oooo
Wah wa ooo
Wah wa ooo
Wah wa ooo

We always make a patch cause the clients get mad
And we’ve never missed a deadline, so it isn’t so bad

None of the data gets checked cause it doesn’t work right
We can run a batch job in the middle of the night

I work around
work around round round I work around
From job to job
work around round round I work around
It’s a real cool app
work around round round I work around
Please don’t make it snap
work around round round I work around
I work around
Round
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

Round round work around
I work around
Yeah
work around round round I work around
work around round round I work around
Wah wa ooo
work around round round I work around
Oooo ooo ooo
work around round round I work around
Ahh ooo ooo
work around round round I work around
Ahh ooo ooo
work around round round I work around
Ahh ooo ooo

I don’t want to make you feel old, old man, but most of your co-workers don’t remember “Kokomo” much less “I Get Around” and probably think the Beach Boys were the guys on Jersey Shore

Third Party Dependencies And Your Site’s Security, A Dramatic Recreation

Monday, June 6th, 2016 by The Director

The chain is not as strong as it’s weakest link; it’s as strong as the link you assumed someone else affixed.

I Am A FogBugz Overachiever

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 by The Director

It looks as though FogBugz has decided to offer a little advice in the defect report’s description field:

Its placeholder says:

Every good bug report needs exactly three things: steps to reproduce, what you expected to see, and what you saw instead.

Exactly three things? Well, I must be an overachiever then when I add some analysis or relationships to other bugs, logs, and so on.

But that’s my way.

The Right To Scowl

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 by The Director

Employers can’t stop the QA mindset:

The NLRB’s ruling last week said that requiring employees to maintain a “positive work environment” is too restrictive, as the workplace can sometimes get contentious. You can’t keep your employees from arguing.

To celebrate, I’m going to turn this smile upside down. Which is just as well, as co-workers fear my smile more than my frown.

(Link via.)

The V.5H Bug

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 by The Director

How prepared is your software for this sudden shift?

Venezuelans lost half an hour of sleep on Sunday when their clocks moved forward to save power, as the country grapples with a deep economic crisis.

The time change was ordered by President Nicolas Maduro as part of a package of measures to cope with a severe electricity shortage.

I’m calling this the V.5H bug.

Preach It, Brother

Friday, March 25th, 2016 by The Director

NPM & left-pad: Have We Forgotten How To Program?:

Finally, stringing APIs together and calling it programming doesn’t make it programming. It’s some crazy form of dependency hacking that involves the cloud, over-engineering things, and complexity far beyond what’s actually needed.

What’s worse is that if any of your code (or the 3rd party library code) has a bug or breaks, you won’t know how to debug or fix it if you don’t know how to program.

Events of the last week should make developers wary of third-party stuff, but they won’t.

Everything I Know About Testing I Learned From Zork

Thursday, March 10th, 2016 by The Director

Login Screen
This is a login screen before you can use the application, with an account name, password field, and a Log In! button.
There is bubbly copy and a licensed stock image of a bearded man holding a small boy.

> check copy

The copy is cheery, but not particularly informative. In a stunning turn of events, the words are all spelled correctly, AND they've remembered the serial comma.

> mouseover image

The title and alt text are set for the image and read "Welcome back!"

> type </html> into account name field.

The value displays in the edit box.

> type </html> into password edit box.

The value displays in the edit box.

> click Log In!

A Potentially Malicious Request warning displays! Oh, woe and agony! The site is eaten by a grue.

How I Became That Guy / The JavaScript Twofer

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 by The Director

I’ve set as a basic test visiting sites under test without JavaScript enabled, without Flash enabled, and without cookies enabled. It was a bit of an exercise for me, because who would visit the Web with JavaScript enabled?

Well, suddenly, that’s me.

I was running an old version of Safari on my iPhone because my client required a lot of backward compatibility testing. I don’t do a lot of processing on my phone, but I do a lot of reading, and suddenly Safari was crashing all the time. It was the ad content JavaScript, and once I turned it off, I could read on my phone again.

I’ve since updated the phone, but I’ve kept the JavaScript off because the pages load faster (if at all) and I’m using less data.

Which means I see all sorts of bad behavior. Not just counting unresponsive forms, but sites completely failing to load because they’re doing something JavaScript before page load with no alternative.

So I’ve set one of my browsers to block JavaScript by default just to see what happens when I hit a new test site. A lot of the time, I encounter something weird and start to log a defect before I realize nothing’s working because I have JavaScript disabled.

So I log a bug to indicate that the page should display a message in this case. That’s the first part of the two-fer.

Then, nine times out of ten, I retest and close that issue and open a new one to capitalize JavaScript correctly. Although I’m pretty clear in the defect, the developers type Javascript. All. The. Time. The JavaScript Disabled message is two bugs in one.

I’ve read memes and jokes on the Internet and Twitter that people who don’t use JavaScript are like vegans and CrossFit people and must tell everyone. Apparently, with this post, I have become that guy.

Oh, and I look forward to the first through one hundredth times I have to log a bug about capitalizing CrossFit correctly.

(Meanwhile, while we’re on the topic of JavaScript, also read Maybe we could tone down the JavaScript.)

QA Music – Better Relationships with Co-Workers

Monday, February 22nd, 2016 by The Director

“The Monster” by Eminem

I’m not friend with the monsters under my bed. I’ve frightened them all away.

New Software Development Employee Orientation Guide

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 by The Director

You owe it to yourself to make your new co-workers read this: Living in the Age of Software Fuckery: Ten Anti-patterns and Malpractices in Modern Software Development

Well, all except the new managers. They teach this stuff in MBA and MIS programs already. But as a good idea.

Link via iDisposable.

QA Music: One for the Introverts at the Conference

Monday, February 15th, 2016 by The Director

QA or the Highway is coming up this week, so now it’s time for our long distance dedication to the introverts at the conference. It’s Alessia Cara with “Here”:

To be honest, I’ve held entire jobs where I felt this way.

Item 1 On The List: I Can’t Finish The List

Friday, February 5th, 2016 by The Director

When you log into Slack, it provides you an inspirational message. How positive of the program. This particular item always gets me:

The first item on the list is that I couldn’t complete the list in under 24 hours.

Then we get into the physically impossible.

What, this is a rhetorical question? Then why ask it?

That Could Have Afforded A Couple Testers

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 by The Director

How to lose $172,222 a second for 45 minutes:

The tale has all the hallmarks of technical debt in a huge, unmaintained, bitrotten codebase (the bug itself due to code that hadn’t been used for 8 years), and a really poor, undisciplined devops story.

I’d always sworn I’d never work for a health devices or financial services company because the risks were so great.

Well, so far, I’m keeping half of that pledge.

I Feel Like I’m Repeating Myself

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 by The Director

Twitter is all a-tweet about this news:

Internet Explorer has long been the bane of many Web developers’ existence, but here’s some news to brighten your day: Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 are reaching ‘end of life’ on Tuesday, meaning they’re no longer supported by Microsoft.

Just because Microsoft stops supporting these things does not mean you can stop designing, developing, and testing for these old versions of IE on Wednesday.

When you’re thinking about browser compatibility, you have to judge based on actual market share and your user base’s browser statistics, not press releases.

Otherwise, you risk alienating a certain segment of your user base (“But just the uncool ones!” the kids will say) or frustrating your help desk who now has to handle the callers/emailers complaining about the site not working in IE 8.

(Actually, I am repeating myself.)

QA Music – Lee Aaron Threefer

Monday, January 4th, 2016 by The Director

I got the 1984 Lee Aaron album Metal Queen after the holidays. One listen, and I was transported back to that era amid some inexpensive smoke effects.

To celebrate, here are three Lee Aaron tracks, although only two come from Metal Queen.

“Barely Hanging On”:

“Head Above Water”:

And, of course, “Metal Queen”:


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