Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amateur Designer's Block... Can we borrow ideas from competitors?

Last week I got into a debate with the programmers whether it is ethical to view and analyze competitor's public web applications and 'borrow' web design and graphics ideas. I was not talking about stealing ideas the way Microsoft has done it when they ripped off the tabbed browsing feature from Mozilla. I merely suggested that we could look at the example and come up with our own design based on what we have analyzed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Puzzles & Teasers #1

I attended a Learning Tree course on 'Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving: Making Better Decisions' this week which was an eye opening experience and fun. I will try and blog about it later. In the meantime I would like to post a few brain teasers that the Course Instructor challenged us with every morning - some are easy and some were tough. Needless to say that many can be found if you Google them. Try them on your own first. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Twitter is Over Capacity?

I am new to Twitter and don't get it yet. I created an account 3 weeks ago and logged in a few times to see what's going on. When I tried to get in today I received a 'Twitter is Over Capacity' screen with a whale graphic.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Selenium RC Experience

So I have decided to give Selenium RC a shot and try to automate some of our web app GUI tests. I worked with WinRunner in the past on a waterfall government project and was familiar with ‘record and playback’ features and editing TSL scripts. On that project we abandoned automated tools as scripts updating became too time-consuming and labor-intensive due to the fact that our test environment was never stable enough for automated regression testing. We successfully ran a few automated tests to validate URL links that we had a ton of and for navigation mapping. I both loved and hated using automated tools at the time. Execution time was fast when scripts worked. Debugging and re-writing scripts was not fun however.
In the case with Selenium RC I ran into a 1) lack of programming experience in Java and 2) lack of knowledge of the current application code issues.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Today's Tester Menu: Fresh Mental Borsch

I don't know what's going on in my head anymore. I have been reading, learning about context-driven and Agile testing, reviewing automated tools, playing with Selenium and trying to create at least simple regression tests in the process while waiting for my developers to finalize their research and design ideas.
It seems the more I play with automated tools the more discouraged I feel...and the less I know...

It feels like Ukrainian Борщ (borsch ) – everything is mixed up - beets, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, salt and spices.
 At least while cooking I have a clear mission and objective. I know what to do and I have an idea what the outcome will be. I have been cooking since I was eight. I learned to cook borsch by watching my grandmother. Most of the recipes and images of the final dishes are in my head. I can cook from scratch by making real stock or if I feel lazy I will make it with bouillon cubes. I improvise with different ingredients and spices. I can add cumin and clove if I want to or use a spice packet picked up from a local Russian store. 
I have upgraded to a really nice Scanpan cooking pot from some el cheapo one. Not sure it makes my soup taste any different but I enjoy the process a lot more.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I am a Tester...Why are you calling me QA?

I actually ask this question in a calm voice with a smile on my face. I make an effort to explain the difference between Testing and QA if the offender is open and willing to receive my message.

What I feel and what I hide from the offender is different from what I hope shows on my face and in my voice. It feels like my hair is standing up on the back of my neck. I feel that my evil tester twin wakes up and starts spewing fire at the offender. I feel like I am bubbling with indignation inside and will explode any second. I want to scream  "How dare you call me a QA? I am a friggin tester! I 'break' software. I don't monitor processes and methods to ensure its quality".