Many Bits under the Bridge

I’ve been in the testing business for 14 years – when I started in late 2002 it was all about using HP Test Director 7.6 – in a browser… There was only one model of testing, v-model, and only one book of testing the ISEB (later ISTQB) vocabulary. And only one expected output of testing: Testers designed test cases, executed and perhaps wrote both a test plan document and test report document. Test process improvement was a thing, but even so testing was often a pointy cog…  

Many Bits under the Bridge Later

It is not about the test cases any more, it’s about being part of a team – that delivers an IT solution to the business. First of all, if it’s just about the test cases then it is a race to the lowest paid off-shore location, a run to the bottom in repetitiveness and mechanic activity. Checking! with more focus on crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. We have tools for that now – the plates are shifting.

When testing professionals puts “writing test cases” on their LinkedIn description. It seems to me that they are stuck in the testing world of 10 years ago. Standing still and not seeing that Testers are Knowledge Workers – not workers of producing artifacts. It is much more important to see beyond the visibleUncovering better ways and seeing testing as an activity to provide information to the stakeholders, based on experiments and observations.

Skill up and be smarter! And don’t listen to old tapes – it’s not worth it :).

See also this from QA Symphony & Ministry of Testing:

The Software Tester: Modern vs. Traditional [Infographic]
The Software Tester: Modern vs. Traditional [Infographic]
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Read for your kids – special interest edition

If you are a parent to (early) school children you should know that it is important to read  to your kids. Reading the words out trains vocabulary, recognition, imagination, wondering etc etc. So I read subtitles from movies… because

The boys currently have Star Wars as their special interest [1], and wanted to see the “people” movies. The have played the scenes via the LEGO Video Games (GC) and have a range of the LEGO sets – so they had the basic plot already. Feature movies like Star Wars are usually subtitled in Denmark – while animation movies are dubbed [2]. So in order both to keep up with “PG” [3] and helping them read the titles – I get to watch the movies and read the subtitles…

Poor daddy, it’s almost as hard as when he has to finish the ice cream they can’t 😉

In the last months the (soon to be) 9yo have cracked the reading code and have gone from LIX11 books to the shorter subtitles. The 11yo have rest covered, but some of the longer texts are tricky (I’m looking at you – opening Scroll).

2015-04-04 16.51.08

I tried reading Harry Potter (in Danish) but even if the story was very elaborate and detailed it didn’t catch their interest. Neither did classics from when I was a kid (Sorry Bjarne Reuter), so I had to rethink the acceptance criteria for “read for your kids“.

See these two boys are not as easily motivated – it has to tie into something they can see a direct interest in. Their autism makes them very picky on the choice of subject. What I try is to meet them where they are, expand their competencies and give them a lot of positive feedback until they master it on their own.

Links: The yardstick of mythical normalityAcceptance is more than what can be measured

  1. special interest, as in overly dedicated into the topic and cannot talk about anything else.
  2. The Danish “dubbers” are usually world class, luckily.
  3. Episode 3 is still to come, though.

Mapping testing Competencies

[ Recognise and Acknowledge Your Skills  | Ministry Of Testing – The Testing Planet | June 2013]

The below model is directly inspired by the Vancouver Agile Quadrant introduced in “Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams” by Crispin and Gregory 2009 based on the original matrix from Brian Marick in 2003. It consists of four primary branches – as seen on the illustration. It is not a matrix or a table, but four directions with each their cloud of buzzwords. For specific contexts a mind-map will be a better choice of illustration – try drawing your own competencies.

Tester Skills Matrix
Tester Skills Matrix

The yardstick of mythical normality

Those that accepted me, worked with my neurology not against it. Their yardstick was not a mythical normality but the potential that they felt that I could achieve. They recognized that my way of doing and learning certain things was different. Instead of proceeding from the assumption that was somehow wrong, they worked with it and helped me to find the place where my neurology and the world could safely mix. 

What Acceptance Means to Me | Published on April 20, 2013 by Lynne Soraya in Asperger’s Diary on http://www.psychologytoday.com ]

streetview

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER…

[ Recognise and Acknowledge Your Skills  | Ministry Of Testing – The Testing Planet | June 2013]

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER… Is a matter of applying a square lashing… that squeaks under pressure? It is a model combining the skills recognised and organised with a skill acknowledgement for each. As with all testing work, the results are mostly for taking decisions – while the key learning’s are in finding the results.

clove hitch

Even a self-acclaimed guru breaks the rules

The similarity between a guru and a newbie is that they both break the rules. The difference is that the guru knows he’s breaking the rules.

A Newbie, a Trainee, an Independent, an Expert and a Guru enters a bar….

The LEGO Death Star Canteen #EddieIzzard
  • The Newbie doesn’t know what a bar is, orders a cup of coffee  
  • The Trainee knows what a bar is, orders a beer
  • The Independent repeats a successful experience and orders a beer
  • The Expert, having written the drinks list orders a whisky
  • The Guru orders a  cup of coffee, because he needs a go***** cup of coffee

In this model the difference between a guru and an expert is – that the expert thinks he knows everything, while the guru knows he knows nothing. Even this model falls to the relative rule about X. If the Newbie doesn’t know what a bar is. Then how can he enter it?

Newbee Never heard of X No skill – no training or experience
Trainee Heard of XContext-oblivious Basic training has been received. The only experience gained has been in a classroom and/or experimental scenarios or as a trainee on-the-job. You would be expected to need some help when performing the skill.
Independent Can do XContext-specific Repeated successful experiences have been completed. Help from an expert may be required from time to time, but you can usually perform the skill independently.
Expert Wrote the X bookContext-imperial You can perform the actions associated with this skill without assistance. You are certainly recognized within your immediate organization as “the person to ask” when difficult questions arise regarding this skill. You have extensive experience and could teach the subject if you had teaching skills. You are probably also known outside your organization as an expert.
GuruMaster Know the limits of XContext-driven You can answer any question about the skill and most any question related to the field where the skill is used. The “expert” would come to you for advice. You have probably published a paper on the subject.

See also: Establish yourself as an expert or thought leaderAll oracles are fail-able