CAST Away

Last week found me braving the Grand Rapids, Michigan summer (heat! humidity! sun! loved it!) to attend my first CAST. While I propped it a couple years ago, I didn’t actually make it until now. The short version: CAST is awesome, conference proceedings will soon be up at http://www.cast2010.org so you can see what you missed,…

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Talking Clocks

We have a set of clocks counting down the time until our next big milestone, one where all the testers are, one by the devs, and one by PM. I just noticed that they tell a story: PM reaches the end of the milestone first; Dev reaches it next; And Test reaches it last Isn’t…

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I’m A Twit!

I’m on Twitter now; @humbugreality if you’re interested. No promises whether I’ll post there more frequently than I am currently doing here; so far I’ve twittered two jokes and am wondering what to say next. Judging from the tweets I’ve seen, Twitter seems to be a combination Facebook + instant messaging tool where friending someone…

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Book Review: Mistress of Molecules

Last fall Jerry Weinberg sent me a review copy of his scifi novel Mistress of Molecules. I pretty much read it straight through, and then didn’t blog for six months so never posted my review. So here goes: I enjoyed it! Although I guessed the major plot points and some of the details well ahead…

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Reliable Intent

I’ve been super busy talking with as many testers and leads on my team as I can, gathering data on what is and is not working for them. I’m completely unsurprised to learn that, as with many other teams I’ve talked with, they’re having problems understanding what tests mean to test, finding and using functionality…

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Sometimes Sausage Making Is Beautiful!

Seeing Microsoft from the inside, I often don’t understand what is going on. Sometimes, however, it’s just beautiful! Recently I discovered that VPN no longer worked for me, so I dropped by Security to see what was wrong. Therein ensued a journey of frustrating details, one I am still working through. This evening I emailed…

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John’s Favorite Bug

This particular one is more of a hardware defect than a software defect but it’s a good story nonetheless.   I was working at a major company that had just gotten into the PC business.  This was early in my career.  We had been shipped a prototype of their new computer that was about to…

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Stressing The Matrix

Recently I saw a way to describe any particular stress test that I liked: First, define the sets of qualities you care about: Input Execution entry point Resources Validation for example. Next, define the qualities within each set you are interested in; maybe: Input Concurrency of operations Data quality / noisiness Load / frequency of…

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Denise Signer’s Favorite Bug

Earlier this semester my capstone (= senior project) group wanted to print a 30-page Word 2007 document we’d been working on for a couple months. After struggling with the ink and paper issues of two printers, we finally held the document in our hands. But while we flipped through it, we noticed that two pages…

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I’m Stressed!

David Treadwell once advised me to take a job where I knew what I was doing about fifty percent of the time and would be completely clueless the rest of the time, because that would be a good balance between comfort and extreme learning. Alan Page says to find the steepest learning curve. I’ve managed to…

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