Geography and Platform

Monday, June 03, 2013 12:03 PM

(This had more structure in my head before typing it out, but I’m posting it anyways.) theory: if you don’t embrace remote workers, your geography dictates your platform choice — adam goucher (@adamgoucher) June 2, 2013 OK. This got enough attention that it requires some expansion. I live in the eastern suburbs of Toronto. As […]

Do you really know the business your startup is in?

Sunday, June 02, 2013 23:08 PM

Here’s a theory; most startups don’t actually know what business they are in. They do likely know the business they want to be in, but unless your company is guided towards that specific goal (and you have no small bit of luck) it is your customers who actually determine what your company is an does. […]

So you need to start caring about Security and Privacy

Thursday, May 23, 2013 01:58 AM

Every company has a moment where they are forced to care, I mean, really care about Security and Privacy. Sure, you should always care in the back of your mind, but at some point it comes front and center and a key pillar of everything you do. The question is whether you are going to […]

Am I Coming To Your Conference (or ‘Consultant Math’)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 03:50 AM

A pattern than I unwittingly did and have noticed in others is that you need to work out what your variation of ‘consultant math’ is for yourself. No matter how many people tell you, you need to blunder through to your own understanding of it. Often by going waaaaay overboard on conferences the first year […]

My notes from TorontoGROWtalks 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013 03:09 AM

So I’m in a pitch contest right now, and easily the biggest outcome is to switch me mentally from ‘talking about my app’ to ‘building my app’. And part of that shift was to got to TorontoGROWtalks last week. Waaaay too much stuff to absorb. (And thank-you startupnorth for the discount code!). Notes are as […]

My hair-brained scheme to kicking testing conferences out of a rut

Thursday, December 06, 2012 17:02 PM

The Call For Participation for CAST 2013 is out and includes We would like to hear your experiences, stories, thoughts, observations, demonstrations around the lessons that you have learned in Software Testing, as well as how these could influence the way that we approach testing in the future. And I expect a lot of interesting […]

Be Yourself!

Thursday, December 06, 2012 16:09 PM

Speak Up! is the latest of Jesse Noller’s community-oriented projects. [I'm pretty sure he has cloned himself to do all this stuff.] Having sat in many ‘how to give a talk’ talks (meta!) I’m amazed how often people focus on construction of slides, the narrative and practice (feh!) and forget the most important thing. BE […]

COP FLUNG A GUN

Monday, November 12, 2012 21:25 PM

One of the traditions in my wacky subset of the testing world is not only building mnemonics, but adding / remixing them. And so, I introduce COP FLUNG A GUN. Which is COP FLUNG GUN plus Automation. Automation The primary way to test mobile apps remains to be, literally, by hand. But we’re starting to […]

The Dark Tower

Sunday, October 28, 2012 16:20 PM

There are certain things that I can say have been with me most of my life. The Dark Tower series is one of them. (The Wheel of Time series, Star Wars, comicbooks have as well. Likely baseball too now that I think about it.) So last night I’m paying ish attention to twitter while watching […]

Continuity

Thursday, September 20, 2012 14:51 PM

I’m starting to get back into comicbooks thanks largely to the reboot of the Valiant Universe. I have almost all the original Valiant books in boxes in the basement and I think the reason I was drawn to them was its tight continuity within the universe. Events in one book directly impacted, and did not […]

Detail is Dead Wood

Sunday, September 09, 2012 01:06 AM

Beyond the Matrix is an excellent article for a number of reasons. Not only does it give a peek to how a major movie came together, but it also gives insight into the difference between writing a book and making a movie. Here is a paragraph from page 7. The set was rudimentary: the control […]

Notes from Blue Jays Winter Tour (Toronto) 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 23:54 PM

My son is presently baseball-mad and so went to training day with some Blue Jays last January as part of their Winter Tour. I have no idea how to coach baseball to kids, so I took some notes. They’ve been floating around the basement since then so I’m de-paper-ing them by putting them here. Stretches […]

Logic Problems & Programming in Interviews

Thursday, July 05, 2012 02:49 AM

Twitter is excellent for planting troll-bait one-offs, but the blog is better for planting long-tail ones. So this afternoon I tweeted something along the lines of this. Unless your are interviewing someone for a job that requires [stupid] logic problems, then they don’t have any place in an interview. And I stand by that. Though […]

Two of the most dangerous terms in Agile; Done and Whole Team

Monday, May 07, 2012 11:46 AM

I have come to realize in the last two weeks that there are two words in the Agile lexicon that really bug me. Not because they are bad per se, but that they are so commonly misused and abused. Not to mention being insanely context sensitive. I’m doing what might be considered an agility assessment […]

More adventures in magic automation numbers

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 03:09 AM

I’m most of the way through a client on-site engagement to do an ‘assessment’ of where their testing processes are and to suggest tweaks to how they do things. I have some broad recommendations that will morph into blog posts over the next month or so, but right now I am challenged by coming up […]

A Cool Graph, but…

Monday, April 09, 2012 18:01 PM

So this graphic is making the rounds today. qtp,selenium Job Trends Qtp jobs – Selenium jobs And while it is interesting (at time of posting, Selenium has crossed QTP and the trends are going the ‘right’ way), it is important to also remember this: Don’t confuse slamming your competitors with improving your own product. — […]

The ‘Un-Testing Conf’

Saturday, April 07, 2012 02:30 AM

The Un-Conf is a common event type these days; no scheduled speakers, just a bunch of smart people and a space to facilitate conversation. The success of these is entirely dependent on who is there. And there is the classic Testing Conf where speakers are selected, assigned slots and talk about things directly related to […]

Because that is how they got that way

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 00:21 AM

So last week I was in New Orleans for STPCon and one of the things I did was a 15-ish minute gabfest on Set Course For Awesome (as a ‘Career Tester’). One of my supporting ideas for it is that you need to shut up, listen, and figure out what it is you are supposed […]

Set Course For Awesome (as a ‘Career Tester’)

Saturday, March 24, 2012 03:44 AM

I’ve been asked to do a 15-ish minute talk as part of Anne-Marie Charrett and Fiona Charles‘ upcoming workshop at STPCon on being a Career Tester (as compared to going into Management or Consultant — even though I have been both). As I thought about this, I think this could actually turn into a keynote […]

The impact having an online presence makes to an author

Thursday, March 22, 2012 14:47 PM

I just finished readying Mary Robinette Kowal‘s book Shades of Milk and Honey which is often described as ‘Jane Austen with Magic’ which so far as I can tell is accurate. (There is magic and I trust that is Austen-esque.) This is clearly a large step outside of my normal Epic Fantasy genre reading and […]

Its all about the Bordens

Friday, March 09, 2012 03:18 AM

In today’s tech world (and I suspect non-tech as well) there are two basic funding models for companies; bootstrap and VC. I’m bootstrapped since I opened shop with only about 40 hours notice. I enjoy being my own boss, but as people I know de-independent themselves or I see their company gets acquired I think […]

How to ‘properly’ build multiple Facebook games

Thursday, December 29, 2011 05:39 AM

Want to absolutely kill my productivity? Introduce me to a timeboxed game on pattern recognition (Bejeweled, Tetris) or bubble stacking (Bubble Island). Facebook is very dangerous for these. One of my favourite is Diamond Dash by Wooga — which happens to have a number of other games too. A week or two ago I was […]

Really step up to the plate for the Open Web

Saturday, December 24, 2011 03:03 AM

The internets were ablaze this week with SOPA stuff, and in near-inferno around GoDaddy supporting (but that is a different post altogether). And while it is nice that the geek community is up in arms, its a bit concerning how little mainstream media attention it is receiving. Even more so from the media up here […]

Badges; carrot, not stick!

Saturday, December 17, 2011 14:35 PM

There seems to be two growing schools of thought about badges forming (or at least becoming more visible.). Not surprisingly, I think the origins of these have to do with who has what in the game. For instance, the StackOverflow folks have from the beginning talked up using points and badges as a recruiting tool. […]

Badges as the centre of the Web Maker solar system

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 18:25 PM

Shockingly, companies don’t just cede control of their roadmaps to me so I’m left to just blog about what I would do if I did wrest control of them. To continue a recent topic series, I’m tackling Mozilla. Mozilla appears to be downplaying Firefox as the only thing it does and is emphasizing its mission […]

Interesting things happen when you visualize stuff

Sunday, December 04, 2011 15:12 PM

David Christiansen runs TroopTrack and posted a bit of an analysis of your conversion rates; powered largely by a couple graphs. Its an interesting analysis, but what is really good from a startup perspective is the findings in the Correlation or causation? section. Customers who have a good experience with a support ticket during their […]

Scouts, Badges and Mozilla

Friday, December 02, 2011 21:01 PM

And so I continue to think aloud Badges and Web Makers. If you look at the badges at p2pu which is pilot project for the open badges stuff at Mozilla one thing stands out. They’re just text, and frankly, kinda boring. This might be enough for people who are used to static badges like those […]

Tags and Badges

Thursday, December 01, 2011 23:43 PM

Yesterday Scott Barber tweeted a link to The Certification Experience to which I responded (without reading it; and it is a good read) i’m now thinking something like the lovechild or open badges and entaggle is the route forward If you are not aware of it yes, Entaggle is site for ‘tagging’ people as a […]

Web Makers and the Open Web

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 14:50 PM

I follow Mark Surman on Twitter and it was there that I learned about his Web Maker ideas for MoFo. He has posted a 30 minute slidecast of the plans for 2012 on his blog; go watch it. I’ll wait. I haven’t had something ‘click’ this strongly in a while and its only just occurred […]

Continuous Delivery is landing at CodeMash

Thursday, September 15, 2011 13:35 PM

The speaker submission window is now open for the next CodeMash. For those under a rock, CodeMash is a conference in the middle of January, in Ohio — at a waterpark. Yes. A waterpark. No worries though, we’re in the indoor part. Anyways, one of the tracks for this year’s conference is Continuous Delivery — […]

The Business Model

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 19:37 PM

I’ve been ‘independent’ since the tail end of 2009 (one week before Christmas in fact) and have solely been doing work-for-hire stuff between now and then. I don’t scale to my ambitions, nor to my paranoias so I’ve been thinking about really figuring out what exactly is my business model, and I think I have […]

Two more podcasts on Page Speed

Thursday, July 28, 2011 13:38 PM

These are a little better than last night’s. Still not sure that I would spend the coin to go to Velocity though. But I suspect the really good talks are also the ones that would be hard to record. Performance Testing: Putting Cloud Customers Back in the Driver’s Seat Imad Mouline Podcast Video and Slides […]

Three Podcasts on Page Speed

Thursday, July 28, 2011 03:03 AM

One of the things I inevitably have to deal with at each site I visit is the idea that Selenium scripts are slow. Sure, they are slower than unit tests, but a lot of the perceived slowness is due to all the other stuff the page is trying to load. First, you don’t need that […]

Fixing the Android Application Development Culture

Monday, July 25, 2011 01:44 AM

As a tester and sometimes agile coach-ish I have some pretty strong opinions as to what makes a ‘good’ development culture. Respect, communication, and oh, Testing. While not an organization per se, I think the Android culture is terribly broken. At least from the perspective of its answer to testing. So here is what I […]

The TDD loop for Android Content Providers

Friday, July 22, 2011 14:49 PM

All Android applications are comprised of four major components: Activities, Content Providers, Services and Broadcast Receivers. What little testing and test automation that happens in this community is focused primarily on the Activity layer — if at all. A stroll down to your local tech bookstore all but confirms this fact. But what if you […]

How Not To Present At A Meetup

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 12:38 PM

I was at a meetup last night for a technology I am just starting to wrap my brain around. And while I didn’t learn anything about the platform I don’t think I did crystallize some thoughts around how not to present at a meetup. Something I like to think I know something about since I […]

A Facebook application checklist

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 21:48 PM

I have only ever casually tested a Facebook app (which now appears offline), but were I to, I think use a checklist that looks something like this to guide my thoughts. Sound, if present, can be disabled – One Mahjong game I play doesn’t have this option and is really annoying (and if it wasn’t […]

Jedis and Testing

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 16:59 PM

One of the part of James’ recent post that people have latched on to is this sentence. Context-driven testers strive to become the Jedi knights of testing. So I wouldn’t call myself a hard-core Star Wars geek, but I do know a significant amount about the Star Wars Universe. (I lived in Grand Cayman during […]

Choke

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 01:13 AM

I find I can’t read books on testing or automation anymore; at best I skim them only to really pay attention for a page or two before going back to skimming. (I know I’m paying attention when I pause the music for those who are curious.) This actually doesn’t bother me as I have believed […]

Startup Pricing

Thursday, January 20, 2011 15:29 PM

While at CodeMash last week, I wandered by an OpenSpace which I will broadly call ‘So I have questions about running a Startup — with chocolate’ since I can’t remember the official name and there was chocolate. The discussion ranged from hiring, to marketing, to twitter sniping. One thing that got mentioned was the area […]

Using skill in Bridge to guide tests

Sunday, January 16, 2011 01:37 AM

How a bridge champ beats the market discusses how a 10 time national champion Bridge player uses his skills in that area to run a successful (if small) hedge fund. One paragraph stuck out when reading it. The connection with bridge, says Moss, is the ability to decide what data matter, and then to have […]

Talent Is Overrated

Sunday, November 28, 2010 16:28 PM

Talent Is Overrated is one of those books that you wouldn’t know about unless you are bored in an airport and wandering the bookstore. But wander I did and am glad for it. Talent is Overrated is basically another take on the whole notion of Deliberate Practice which gained some publicity in Outliers and the […]

Software G Forces

Sunday, November 14, 2010 20:25 PM

In what could have been the the most important keynote at a Quality Conference this year, Kent Beck delivered his Software G Forces talk at STP Con last month. To me, the most impactful idea of the year is Continuous Delivery and this talk is about not just the technical problems you encounter, but the […]

Star West 2010 – Summary

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:41 PM

As part of my ongoing experiment of going to conferences to increase my visibility and promote my company I attended my first Star West conference this year. So far the experiment isn’t going so well and I lose money on every conference which is apparently not uncommon as the payoff from the speaker circuit takes […]

The HP Booth Staff (Goons) Owe Me an Apology

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:38 PM

So a curious thing happened to me while in the Dialogues session at Star West this year. As mentioned in the write-up, I was in the Getting Started group and by nature of being seated next to the easel, I took the marker to become the Secretary for the group. I think there were about […]

Handling Failures in Automated Acceptance Tests

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:28 PM

Alex Imrie’s talk has the distinction of being the one I took the most notes in. In a nutshell, it was about when and how to handle when things blow up in your scripts. And they will. In her intro she said that she “shouldn’t be here” since she comes from a linguistics background. I […]

Futility-based Test Automation

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:26 PM

Clint Sprauve did a pretty slick talk at Star West of the format ‘do these things and you will fail’ style that is popular these days. You know you are attending a talk in the US when it starts with a football metaphor; kinda worked, but likely could have gone better with a different audience. […]

Testing Dialogues: Automation Issues

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:24 PM

Thursday morning at Star West found me in a workshop held by Dorothy Graham and Mieke Gevers. It was actually two workshops split by the morning break. The attendees self-organized into 7 or 8 groups to talk around a particular topic. For the first part I went to the ‘Getting Started’ group as I certainly […]

State-driven Testing: An Innovation in UI Test Automation

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:20 PM

Dietmar Strasser talked at Star West 2010 about incorporating State into Keyword-driven automation UI tools to limit the amount of keywords presented and reducing use of keywords at the wrong time. It seemed to drift from product demo to cool idea show-and-tell but ended up not really being either as it is just an internal […]

Automating Test Design in Agile Development Environments

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:17 PM

Antti Huima loves algorithms and his talk at Star West 2010 reflected this. And that is actually a good thing. If V-Model is constructing a skyscraper, Agile is working on an oil painting (since oil never really dries and is constantly reworked). This is the best metaphor I think I’ve seen on the old vs. […]