Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Testing Moving Targets

In some organizations, not anywhere I have ever worked, testers feel they are undervalued and not respected. The vibe is felt when management sends them off to test a moving target knowing that they will be throwing their work out when the new release-candidate version is produced by the hard working software engineers who fixed so many bad bugs to get the product ready. (The programmers didn't do a good job and/or the schedule was bogus so the development schedule had to slip but since the release date can't slip we will have to test harder and faster.)

Sometimes is it tough to dig in deep when you know that the "real product" will be significantly different from what you are testing today.

"If it is going to be changing significantly, then it is not ready for validation testing."—K.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hip, 3 months

Three months post-op all continues to go well.

Back to working my regular full time job in Benicia. 90 mile commute each way, five days a week. The first week was tiring but the end of the second week back to the normal work related fatigue. I realize that the 2-3 hour Friday commute home is exhausting because I have to pay close attention to the road the whole time, no day dreaming or down time.

I have not use the cane for over a month. For longer periods I forget that I have had the surgery. But the handicap parking is great and I use it whenever I can (need to open car door all the way to get in and out, not enough space in the standard parking space.)

Continue with the walks. Sharon and I have started doing weekend hikes again.

Haven't been to physical therapy since early March. Do the stretches on my own and a lot of walking (30 -60 minutes per day).

Full weight barring on the right leg without reservations. Not feeling tentative about anything any more. I'm sure I'll be able to continue Karate and Jujitsu without a problem come July. Looking forward to doing a lot of dance classes at band camp this summer as well.

The adhesions created by the incision are essentially gone. Bruising is gone and the bundle in my inguinal crease is gone. Just a nice clean scar with a cool indentation.

Putting on my right sock is my biggest obstacle. This weekend I was able to do it without assistance.

PS-Looking forward to replacing the left hip in the fall.

Shred ASAP

Thank you [Jaya] for your sage advice about shredding. I am going to use your comment in advising all my clients that if you let it pile up on top of the shredder you are just conveniently locating sensitive material for thieves to steal more efficiently!—Marcia S.

Software Tester Attributes

A watched a Microsoft webinar today about a new test tool integrated into Visual Studio, Test Professional 2010. I like that they are attempting to make a tool for the way most of us work, not asking us to work the way an expensive tool requires. (You had us spend all that money you damn well better use the tool.)

They had a slide in the introduction that listed attributes of a professional software tester that pretty much describes us.

Background & Motivations

  • Typically does not have any formal CS training or background [not me]
  • Quite often was once a user of the product being tested [not me]
  • Sense of achievement comes from making users lives easier
  • Feels like the customer advocate
  • Likes tracking down hard-to-find bugs
  • Competes with developers [don't understand this]
  • Has no desire to become a developer [been there, done that, no thanks]

Focus & Approach

  • Driven by requirements
  • Assessing quality
  • Scope is user centered and scenario driven
  • Often exploratory or ad-hoc
  • Likes to be able to spend time with users
  • Finding bugs, not running tests
  • Tests defensively [test then code]
  • Provides detailed and accurate bug reports
  • Dislikes ambiguity

Authoring Tests

  • Automation for repetitive tasks
  • Elucidate designs
  • Hand-on approach to catch unforeseen bugs
  • Doesn't believe in 100% automation [$$$ from Nigeria]
  • Wants tools that help find bugs
  • Creates flexible, reusable tests
  • May not always use formal test cases to find bugs
  • Always looks for opportunities to find bugs

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables have more complex flavor than steamed or sauteed. The charring adds depth in my opinion. The wood flavors are simply a bonus.

Heat the gas grill on high for about 15 minutes until you have a 2 Mississippi heat five inches above the grate. Clean the grill and oil it.

Coat the vegetables with the butter sauce and grill with the cover open. Anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes per side. You want a deep char marks on both sides. Since they are vegetable and may be eaten raw there is no requirement to cook them all the way through, its up to you how crunchy they are.

  1. Combine the butter and the flavoring (see below) in a small bowl.
  2. Brush the vegetables with the butter mixture.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  4. When grill is hot clean it.
  5. Oil the hot clean grill using a paper towel.
  6. Grill veges until good grill marks then turn over (2 to 5 minutes).
  7. Grill second side until just tender and caramelized.
  8. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Butter Sauces

Garlic Butter Flavoring

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 small cloves pressed garlic (about 1.5 teaspoons)

Chili-Lime Butter Flavoring

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

Orange-Thyme Butter Flavoring

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves

Friday, April 16, 2010

Password Security

We are always hearing about password security and the need to create passwords for logins all across the internet and at work. But what is a good password? blah blah blah

Password Meter was suggested to me by my insurance company. Read about it or just use it. ;)

Click the image to see the analysis of Bodhr4n +ippEr as a password.

I like it because it lists the requirements that make a strong password and it scores the passwords you enter in real time. I suggest you uncheck "Hide:" so you know that you are typing in is correctly.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

City Museum, St. Louis

My buddy Ted just sent me an email about his visit to the City Museum in St. Louis Missouri.

Looks like the kind of sculptures that fascinate me. Add this to my list of places to visit someday.

My Irish Whiskey

My favorite single malt whiskey is the Connemara 12-Year Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey. The 12-Year is superior to the standard bottling IMHO.

Distilled two times (2 column distillation) where others makers do more than two distillations.

Bourbon barrels are use to age the whiskey. These barrels are used no more than three times before they are retired. The whiskey is chill filtered.

Someday I would like to tour their distillery (Kilbeggan Distillery).

Thanks to The Scotchcast for turning me on to this grand dram.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Forest Hill Divide Loop Trail Overlook

[Click the pictures to view.]

Forest Hill Divide Loop Trail Overlook is a nice hike sutable for out of town guests that are not trekkers. Some steep grades to get you breathing but not too challenging for people who walk regularly. The hike from Foresthill Road out to the Overlook and back is less than an hour.

The Overlook is a nice picnic spot with a grand view. Today there were wild flowers everywhere.

The following is from the American River Canyon Hikes guide by Ferris, Lynch and Toner (outstanding book) pages 16-17 (PDF).

At 1 mile, a side trail to the right leads to an overlook with a magnificent panoramic view of the Middle Fork American River from Poverty Bar to the east, to Brown's Bar to the west. This side trail adds 0.8 miles and 200 ft. of elevation change. meanders in and out of shaded foothill woodlands ecosystem and sunny chaparral dominated by manzanita, buck bush and chemise.
The trail is on the right heading toward Foresthill. Google maps has a picture of the "road" off Foresthill Rd. but this unpaved road with gate is not recorded on the map.
View Larger Map

Found this solar panel installed by the USGS that I assume is part of their seismic monitoring system.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Software Tester's Life

This 3:33 video illustrates what I do for a living.

Thanks to James for making it.