Marking your own work
Jan 30, 2024
I recently read an essay written by my sister. She’s on her second or third degree, training to become a teacher. She’s worked in education for over a decade, but until I proof-read her recent essay, I had no worldly clue how much I didn’t know about learning.
I recently wrote about Learning about Learning - how I manage the list of things I want to learn, and how I structure that time.
Continuous Learning about Learning
Jan 15, 2024
I spent time in 2020 focussing on learning teaching skills. I knew that I already taught people both at work and in the testing community, but I was also acutely aware that there’s an entire industry of trained pedagogues out there, with actual proper skills that I didn’t have, and I could certainly learn to improve. There’s probably another post in what I learned, but lately I’m trying to focus on being more aware of my learning.
Naming Things isn't hard, but it's local
Jan 11, 2024
People say that naming things is hard. This isn’t a problem I’ve had. Coming up with a repo name for a containerised test environment repository is easy. Coming up with a name for a test harness is easy.
What I can’t do is conjure agreement on names for the kinds of tests that exist.
My New Year’s resolution is stop caring about it, and to convince other people to stop caring about it too.
Considerations for Local Test Environments
Dec 15, 2023
Dev, Int, Ref, Beta, Pilot, Pre-Prod, and lots of other labels for deployed environments of software that aren’t The Production Environment.
But sometimes you just need your hands on it, to manipulate it the way you want, or to get the observability that you need. You need a local test environment.
Last time I planned a local test environment, I wrote some notes, and I’ve tidied them below.
Data What is the data?
Oct 10, 2023
Recently, I was part of a discussion on LinkedIn about whether a Test Automation Engineer was required in order to reach 100% coverage of a set of a new features, or whether a group of developers could get there without the specialist expertise.
The answers already sufficiently covered the fact that outsourcing your test code to someone else is a bad idea.
My bigger concern was the idea that 100% coverage even exists at all.
Tacit & Explicit Knowledge
Sep 4, 2023
Dual Process Theory says that our brains work in two ways, often in parallel. One is reasoned and methodical, creating and executing on plans, analysing information, etc. The other is emotional, instinctual and cultural, acting on impulses, and taught to us from stimuli throughout our lives. This model maps directly to software implementation and testing. Some bugs are found by creating a set of actions and expectations, executing them and flagging when an expectation isn’t met.
Jun 7, 2023
Whilst we’d love to be in a world without deadlines, pesky capitalism means not only needing to have external commitments and deadlines, but also internal planning and commitments to each other to complete work in a timely fashion, often with goalposts. They’re not deadlines, but they’re expectations.
When planning a piece of work, we might want to know the rough time it would take to get from the end of planning into users hands.
Scaling up is good, but the how is hard
Apr 14, 2023
Inspired by the CAST 2014 Keynote by Trish Khoo
Trish noted that in the Old World, devs would claim they couldn’t test.
“You do it. You’re so much better at it than me.”
Like a sibling avoiding doing the vacuuming.
Trish noted the fallacy of time saving through segregation - where a person implements in isolation, hands to test, who test in isolation, who creates a bug, that is later picked up by the dev in isolation.
Michael Bolton's Test Rap: Scorecard Edition
Feb 20, 2023
As part of his keynote at QAFest in Kyiv in 2018, Michael Bolton did a performance of his Test Rap, inspired by Hamilton.
He’s performed this a bunch of times over a number of years, with lyrics altering from time to time (since, like any test plan, or any software, it’s never “finished”), but one online source gave the lyrics as:
Experimentation, learning, freestyle exploration
studying and modeling, conjecture, observation
Testers aren’t threatened by ChatGPT
Feb 15, 2023
Testing, in every company the world over, has always been under threat.
Facebook famously didn’t hire them. Yahoo were the same. Plenty of companies, borne from when they were startups, or when they transitioned from Waterfall to Agile, decided that once they had developers writing tests in code plus POs to UAT, testers were just an expense.
First hand, I can say that testers are often deemed an unnecessary expense in a time of recession.