Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paraprosdokian sentences

A co-worker sent the following email today --
A paraprosdokian (from Greek "παρα-", meaning "beyond" and "προσδοκία", meaning "expectation") is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect..

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Monday on Wednesday

I have been 'allocated' to test fixes for upcoming patch releases for 2 different projects.
I haven't touched Project A since last August and felt rusty. Project B was just released a week ago and the customer reported a bug that must have been introduced shortly before the release. The team missed it as we were too focused on the last minute fixes and, in my case, exploratory and functionality testing. We ran out of time for regression testing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Big Book of Pictures and Puzzles

My son brought home a Big Book of Pictures and Puzzles that some fellow testers may find interesting. On the cover it says “With Over 4,000 Things To Spot”. The book contains pictures about different people and places from history such as early cities in Mesopotamia, Egyptian Pyramids, European castles in the Middle Ages and many others. It also has sections on the World, Castle and Dinosaur search.

Friday, September 24, 2010

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Buddhist Proverb

And he did. I met James Bach, a teacher, consultant and guru in the software testing field this week.

Here is how it happened. I am a recent involuntary Agile convert after 5-6 years of a solid waterfall testing career. In the course of the last Sprint, while continuously running exploratory tests to no end, I realized that crucial changes need to be made to my testing approaches or I would go crazy. I felt that I could not keep up with the pace of the project cycle. I tried to follow the old patterns of designing elaborate test cases based on high level user stories specs, but I was unable to as the requirements kept changing. My test cases kept getting obsolete, updating the cases slowed down my testing, and I was losing track of time and direction. Plus the whole team was under a lot of pressure. We needed to deliver a product every 3 weeks and we were at the end of the release. I felt anxious and frustrated. I blamed it on the Agile Scrum that I was forced to embrace a few months ago and on the overwhelming number of epic user stories that frequently made no sense. All of this helped move me out of my introverted comfort zone – I now had to talk to developers daily and IN PERSON.

I blamed myself most of all for not being to cope with all this better. I looked through my testing textbooks, I Googled for information on rapid and Agile testing and I read other people’s testing blogs and forums. Soon the realization hit me that what I am going through – growing pains – is not an uncommon phenomenon. Many colleagues of mine also started their quests for answers on how to better themselves and there is a growing ‘army’ of non-conformist testing professionals that consider agile, rapid testing and context-driven testing as a golden opportunity to learn, test effectively and make clients happy.

Somehow I landed on James Bach’s blog site – It felt as if someone directed me right to the site. I noticed that he would be in Virginia within a week to teach his seminars on Rapid Software Testing. Wow! The timing could not have been better for me.