Stealing from Science

The Helix Nebula is 700 light-years away from Earth, but screened before audience's eyes in reconstructed 3D in Hidden Universe, released in IMAX® theatres and giant-screen cinemas around the globe and produced by the Australian production company December Media in association with Film Victoria, Swinburne University of Technology, MacGillivray Freeman Films and ESO. The original image was taken by ESO's VISTA Telescope.

The Helix Nebula is 700 light-years away from Earth. The original image was taken by ESO’s VISTA Telescope.

I just finished the short but very powerful book A Briefer History of Time, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. Space and how the universe works is something that has always fascinated me. I think it’s all the unanswered questions and the urge to understand what it ALL means, and the wonder of what may be out there.

A Briefer History of Time is a result of feedback about the original book A Brief History of Time in which many people requested a more accessible version. I for one am happy this was done as it’s now a great introduction to Hawking’s (and other’s) work which was relatively easy to grasp. Now that I have a taste for it, and a slightly better grasp, I’ll continue on and read his other works.

As I read non-fiction books I often think about lessons that can be misappropriated and applied to software testing. This wasn’t my specific goal while reading this book, but one that lingers in the background all the time. It’s often been discussed that testing can take many queues from science, and specifically the scientific method. I’m not going to try and put a new spin on this, but did have some ‘light bulb’ moments when reading this book that I wanted to share.

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Australian Testing Days 2016 in Melbourne

For those that have missed this so far, take note that there will be a cool conference coming up in Melbourne with yours truly. My expectations are high for the 1st Australian Testing Days conferece. The lineup and topics look top notch. Have a look here: https://testengineeringalliance.com/australian-testing-days-2016/

If you decide to book use ERLEWEIN15 in the coupon section for a 15% conference discount.

ATD2016

Every Tester is a Performance Tester

…at least to some degree. Well, there are human conditions that distort the perception of time but it’s highly unlikely that you’re one of them. So you are a performance tester too.

The biggest annoyance for a performance tester is to get code into a performance environment that CLEARLY has issues that can be detected by the simplest means available (well.. second most annoying, as finding obvious functional defects is even worse). This is where you as a (whatever kind of) tester come in.

You know the times you drum your fingers on the desk waiting for that spinning wheel in the browser to come back? The batch job where the execution is exactly “making one cup of coffee” long? The usual response from you would be to shrug and say something like “This is just the environment. It’s system test afterall.” or “Let performance testing take care of it”.

Now, I can totally relate to such sentiments! We’re all busy and have deadlines to meet. I’d make the case though that you’d actually help the project as a whole and thereby yourself too by not ignoring such issues.

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Testing Trapeze

Testing TrapezeThe Australasian testing community has another reason to rejoice. We welcome the 1st issue of Testing Trapeze Magaine! Katrina has done a wonderful (and often hard) job of pulling together a fantastic magazine. And two of our own HTW writers, Aaron and David, are in it with cool articles that I am sure will rock some boats. So take some time over the weekend to have a look and read and I’m sure you will not be disappointed. And if you have something to say get in contact with Katrina to get published in future releases.

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When you fail, get back up and do it again!

community“This is the second KWST where I’ve woken up the next day thinking of looking for another career.  Sometimes the problems in testing can feel just too big to tackle, and that hits home to me after the event (depressingly so).” – Anonymous

So, yet another wonderful software testing community event has come to an end; KWST3.  Oh, did I mention I wasn’t there?  Grrr… damn bills!  However, I did follow it quite closely on Twitter and have seen some snippets of feedback since the event.  The above quote was something that I could both relate to, and take great concern over.

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Can we learn from History? [Updated]

Today something wonderful happened (31 May 2013). The Ministerial Inquiry into Novopay has been released. Not so wonderful for Novopay/Ministry of Education/Talent2 but one of the few learning experiences we all have to reflect upon what we do in IT.

A little bit of history. Novopay is the second Ministerial Inquiry into an IT project in New Zealand that I am aware of. The first one was the INCIS project from the 90/00’ies run by the Police. The difference between the two is that this report was actually supported by all parties involved, and it is on a project that actually went live.

Anyway, I don’t want to berate MoE or Talent2. I do want to discuss the general issues I see in  many projects and my take on what it means and sometimes how it applies to testers or testing.

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Testing Leadership Down Under

Well hello, Hello Test World.

Firstly, it’s an honour to be included as part of the team here.  What a great bunch of thinking testers to blog with!  Since KWST #2 in 2012 (where we met) I have formed a wonderful friendship with these Kiwi dudes, and have learned a great deal in the process.  Their passion for our craft is infectious, and for that I thank them.

The below article was originally put together by myself and Brian Osman for submission in The Testing Planet.  Unfortunately deadlines got the better of us and we didn’t polish it in time.  I thought it might be a good idea to share this with you all for my first ‘official’ post on HTW.  Being a joint piece helps with my HTW beginners nerves.  ;0)

First we discuss our thoughts on leadership, then what we’re trying to do for our little pieces of the world.  Oh, it’s long… but stick with it.

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Structured v Unstructured

Below is a response we wrote to the latest Tester Magazines Newsletter article; what’s All the Fuss About? Structured vs Unstructured Testing. This was email directly to the author Geoff Horne but after his reply suggested this be used in the next edition of his magazine we felt it would be best published on our own Hello Test World blog.

If you have any thoughts, we’ll be looking forward to the in the comments.

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Don’t Kid Yourself

Art01In every project (well, nearly every one) there comes the moment, when testing gets squeezed for time. Immediately the next question becomes how to cut back testing in a sensible way.

The immediate reaction of many a tester (especially if she went through some kind formal training) goes a little like this:

Use Risk Based Testing!

I agree but sort of don’t…

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