I wonder if

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I wonder if… the Norwegian and Swedish texts are correct on this picture:

2015-10-29 21.38.35

I wonder if is surely among the things that I as a tester say  or think a lot. You will also hear me cheer when we find a critical bug. Every defect / bug / observation  / issue / problem / incident we find is our chance to learn about the product. It’s a natural part of the game to find things and then to handle them. Defer them if so inclined, mitigate the risks, fix the bugs, update the  processes – but always take a decision based on the new knowledge you have.

awesome

Here are some other things I often say:

revert_thatsodd  strange

Originally at the Ministry of Testing Facebook page,  but the twists above are mine.

The Expected

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Many test processes and test tools mention that you have to establish the expected results to every test. It is at best risk ignorance not to take the notion of expected results with a kilo of salt #YMMV.

If you can establish the result of your solution in a deterministic, algorithmic and consistent way in a non-trivial problem, then you can solve the halting problem. But I doubt your requirements are trivial.. or even always right. Even the best business analyst or subject matter expert may be wrong. Your best oracle may fail too.  Or you may be focussing on only getting what you measure.

When working with validation in seemingly very controlled environments changes and rework happens a lot, as every new finding needs the document trail back to square one.. Stuff happens. Validation is not testing, but looking to show that the program did work as requested at some time. It is a race towards the lowest common denominator. IT suppliers can do better that just to look for “as designed” [1].

Still the Cynefin framework illustrates that there are repeatable and known projects, and in those contexts you should probably focus on looking to check as many as the simple binary questions in a tool supported way, and work on the open questions for your testing.

Speaking of open ends – every time I see an explicit expected result I tend to add the following disclaimer inspired by Michael Bolton (song to the tune of nothing else matters [2]):

And nothing odd happens … that I know of … on my machine, in this situation [3]

And odd is something that may harm my user, business or program result

Significantly…

But I’d rather skip this test step  and work on the description of the test and guidelines to mention:

And now to something completely different:

See also: The unknown unknown unexpressed expectationsEating wicked problems for breakfast

1: Anyone can beat us, unless we are the besttodays innovation becomes tomorrows commodity

2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAGnKpE4NCI 

3: I’ve heard that somewhere…

Left to my own devices I probably would

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You can easily do a half-marathon

Yes I could, but the thing is it would need longer runs. I run with the Running Club Tuesdays and Thursdays before dinner. As a simplified example – if dinner get’s delayed the kids won’t eat as well, then they can’t fall asleep – and will need to eat past their bed time. They will sleep too late, and we (the parents) will have less time to the evening chores and being together. Every time there is something I’d like to do, there is always something else that matters that doesn’t get done.

Come to X-conference – it’s just a matter of priority if you’re one of the ones

Sure, it is – that’s easy for you to say.  But €2000 + travel is out of my private pocket, missing work hours is out of my pocket, being away from family is out of both my time and their time. And really €4000 is a lot of money in a family with two kids with special needs – where the income is one job, one early retired. Also it’s a stupid argument, as I can point to heroes of testing that I consider “one of the ones” that like me aren’t going to both this and that.

I can do a Test Bash, write blog posts* and articles for the Testing Planet etc. 

I can run 14km in 1½ hours. 

14km

(*: and I’ll try to get back to blogging more)

Quote Left to my own devices

and I could
and left to my own devices
I probably would
Left to my own devices
I probably would
Oh, I would

Related:

 

Uncovering better ways

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I am uncovering better ways of developing solutions – by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work I have come to value:

  • Apply the costs to add business value – over cutting costs
  • Being flexible and open  – over adding predictability 
  • Providing information for decisions – over ensuring the reliability

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Value of Information for Decisions

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If you ask “what is the ROI of context-driven testing” it is the same as asking:

  • What is the value proposition of providing information to the stakeholders?
  • Will management and customers pay for information?

Let me tell you a story: Just today I finally got around to changing tires on my car. Three months ago I bought a campaign voucher for a cheap switch of winter tires to summer tires – so it was about time. I booked a time and went to the shop with the summer tires in the trunk. BUT then … the front tires where out of shape due to wrong “tracing”, brake cables and other stuff worn and empty for lubrication. sigh!

So … the shop had to repair those critical defects (yeah, the vouchers a good business generator, #I’mOKwithThat). They gave me the keys to a replacement car for the day for free. And we discussed fixing some other stuff – the tricky ignition was Deffered/FixedUpStream but the defective brake lights added to the work order (New bug raised due to a hunch). I got an estimate and went for the day. The quote was pretty close, the repair on time and the requirements verified on the release bill. 

And then they provides me with a list of a few things they noticed along the way. 

  • I probably paid for an automated test and configuration of a “trace” balancing – I assumed it there.
  • We did discuss scope, price, schedule and timing – along with bug triage
  • The shop did provide me with enough information and estimation up front to base my decisions on
  • As the product owner I did not pay directly for the list of test ideas not covered – but I appreciated it!

The shop could have just swapped the tires for the voucher cost – and noticed nothing else. They could have chosen not to tell me about the additional bugs. They could not have offered me a replacement car for the day. They probably where more expensive than a moonlighting garage dude – I known now what the difference can be.

I value that they provide information to aid my business decision-making – besides just swapping the stupid tires. They will probably get repeat business from me – directly or indirectly. 🙂 And yes, Scott, they did have free coffee

pellesbil

Come join the Context Banquet

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We are setting up Dansk Workshop on Exploratory Testing (again) inviting testing people to join the banquet. We all test the software, the hardware, the context, the project, the environment the performance, – to give the decision makers information. We need testing people to have all kinds of backgrounds

| This is what the C-D-T is about |  Also know as the exploratory testing and the muh muh |  further more know as a jam |

Let me tell out about the invitation to the Context Driven banquet in another way: There once was this man who had a great fortune and many talents – and wanted to celebrate. He walked to his friends to invite them to come for the fiesta. One friend just landed a new job – but she was not yet as equal as the others. Another just had a new minivan, and had to test drive it (pun intended). But there where room for more at the banquet – so the invitation is sent to the insecure, to the un-educated, to the start-ups and the emerging thinkers, to the bloggers and the twitters, the black swans, the unicorns and the dancing monkeys….

Even a self-acclaimed guru breaks the rules

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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

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