The Data Driven Quality Mindset

"Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem." – Mark Cook, VP of Products at Kodak I’ve talked recently about the 4th wave of testing called Data Driven Quality (DDQ). I also elucidated what I believe are the technical prerequisites to achieving DDQ. Getting a fast delivery/rollback system…

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Try.Fail.Learn.Improve

Try.Fail.Learn.Improve. That has been the signature on my e-mail for the past few months. It is intended to be both enlightening and provocative. It emphasizes that we won’t get things right the first time. That it is okay to fail as long as we don’t fail repeatedly in the same way. Try.Fail.Learn.Improve is a process…

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Plan Intentionally

I previously wrote about being intentional, but focused mostly on intentionality in execution.  Being intentional is also important in planning.  When planning a new product or the implementation of a feature, it is important to explicitly consider all aspects.  It can be a temptation to move past the hard problems too quickly.  “We’ll get back…

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Five Books To Read If You Want My Job

This came out of a conversation I had today with a few other test leads.  the question was, “What are the top 5 books you should read if you want my job?”  My job in this case being that of a test development lead.  At Microsoft that means I lead a team (or teams) of…

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Why You Get Nothing Done When You Have So Much Free Time

Interesting musings on a subject I can attest to be true.  Why is it we get so much done when we’re on a tight schedule but then fail to get anything done when we have a long vacation?  The same applies to work too.  Give someone a long time to get a project done and…

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Code Review Options

There are many ways to conduct a code review.  Here are a few ways I’ve seen it done and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Over-the-Shoulder Reviews Walk over to someone’s office or invite them to yours and walk them through the code.  This has the advantage that the author can talk the reviewer through…

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Code Review Rights and Responsibilities

Code reviews are an important part of any project’s health.  They are able to find and correct code defects before making it into the product and thus spare everyone the pain of having to find them and take them out.  They are also relatively cheap.  Assuming your team wants to implement code reviews, it is…

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10 Pitfalls of Using Scrum in Games Development

Interesting article about using scrum to manage game development.  Many of the pitfalls are true beyond games development.  The article is well balanced and has advice for how to overcome the pitfalls.  I don’t agree with all of the advice, but it is thought provoking.  For example, the article makes a good point that daily…

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Get Rid Of Your Security Blankets

A while ago I took  a class on Scrum and Agile Project Management.  During the discussion on Scrum, it became apparent to me that there are several unchallenged assumptions in many peoples’ minds that make accepting Scrum difficult.  People assume that Scrum/Agile takes away something they have, but in reality they don’t have it.  People…

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Two Software Development Worlds

I was recently listening to an interview with Joel Spolsky.  The main subject is interviewing and hiring, but in the course of the interview Joel touches on an interesting point.  He says that there are two major types of software:  Shrinkwrap and Custom (listen around the 40 minute mark).  These have very different success metrics and…

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