- It’s that time of year again. It’s time for folks to fill out the annual State of Testing Survey. Remember that testing is an activity, and not necessarily a role, so if you’re involved in software, you probably have valuable input.
- I’m a bit of a Michael Lopp (Rands) fanboy – Managing Humans remains one of my favorite books on management. Here’s an interview with him posted this week.
- I’m not really a remote worker, but I sometimes end up working from home four days a week. Although this article on How to work from home and actually get stuff done is a few years old, I find it quite applicable.
- I’ve been taking the Brave browser for a spin for the past week – so far, I’ve been mostly impressed. There are some issues with emoji display on my Linux browser, but the speed is noticeable on many sites. It’s chromium based – which means that most Chrome plugins work perfectly as well.
- Like most people who travel a bit, I occasionally run into networks that are difficult to connect to – usually because the redirect is puking (that’s a technical term). Sometimes I get around this by attempting to directly connect to the access points IP address, but NeverSSL is pretty handy too. It allows connections over the most basic vanilla http possible (thus bypassing a lot of redirects that the browser or network may otherwise attempt).
A little late today – I got so focused on finishing a presentation, that I forgot to even look at my todo list.
- My very first rock concert was a Rush concert in 1980. I have my ticket stub somewhere ($8 IIRC). Along with a lot of other folks in my demographic in the world, I was sad to hear that Neil Peart passed earlier this week.
- Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory wrote a post sharing their take on the Modern Testing Principles.
- Ryan Kitchens is going to think I’m stalking him – this article on Characteristics of Next-Level Incident Reports in Software is excellent
- I also enjoyed this article on Clear and Present Leadership
- For an example of futility that may make you feel better about your life – check out this thread on getting C# to run on Windows 3.11
I’m back for another FfF earlier than I expected. Hope you find something interesting in these links.
- I enjoyed this article about the perils of SAfE.
- I found a few articles this week on learning from incidents – the first is on retrospectives at Inded
- The second is a few years old (but new to me) – it’s a presentation on learning from incidents at Netflix.
- An even older article worth sharing is the post from Thoughtworks on Hypothesis-driven development. This is something I’ve been talking about for years, but didn’t know it was already a thing.
- As much as the above link aligns with the Modern Testing principle on data, this article on Production Oriented Development is all about principle number 5 (you know – the one that pisses testers off).
It’s been a long time since I wrote a post that wasn’t a Five for Friday, but this may be my last chance to write a decade-end post.
Ten years ago, at the beginning of the decade, I was wrapping up a tour of duty in Microsoft’s Engineering Excellence group where I was a Director in charge of trying to educate and unite Microsoft’s army of nearly 10,000 testers (spoiler – they’re all gone now).
How We Test Software at Microsoft was just two years old, and still sort of relevant. I think that Microsoft recruiting bought more copies of that book than anyone else – they used to mail it to nearly all of the SDET candidates we were bringing in from Universities. That was probably the biggest impact the book had on the industry.
Early in 2010, I joined Lync (which was then called, Office Communicator, and then later changed to Skype for Business). There were a lot of great people on that team, but when the opportunity came up to join the team building (what became) Xbox One, I jumped on it. That job was probably the last time I wrote code as the majority of my job, and afaik, a lot of the tools and console code I wrote are still being used today.
In 2010, I also gave a keynote where I talked entirely about collecting customer data to understand how customers are using your software. While not even new back then, that topic is borderline boring today.
After Xbox, I followed my manager and worked briefly on a science project to make Android apps work on Windows Phone. It worked really well, but I knew from day 1 that it would never ship (I was sort of wrong, because the linux system on Windows came from that effort). I used the role as a Kata for learning Java, Linux, and Powershell (only the latter two were useful long-term). It was during this role that I took a month off to travel in Australia, and then two more months to hang out in the south of France.
Somewhere in the middle of my time on Xbox, Brent Jensen and I began our podcast together, and eventually sort of made a thing of the Modern Testing Principles (which, as we often say, aren’t very modern, and have nothing to do with Testing)
Then I had to get back to work, so I worked on Microsoft Teams for the remainder of my Microsoft Career. That story (as well as the rest of these) are well documented in this blog.
Finally, just short of 3 years ago, I gave up on Microsoft (The Breakup is worth reading) and joined Unity – first as a director of quality for Unity’s services, and more recently as a delivery director for Unity’s monetization business.
The 2020s will undoubtedly bring more change. There’s a very reasonable chance I won’t be working (at least full time) by the time this decade closes, and there’s probably a more likely chance that most of what Brent and I talk about today regarding “Modern Testing” is irrelevant or so obvious that a list of Principles seems redundant.
And I’m sure there will be a lot of surprises as well.
I’m going to take a few weeks off to end the year – the next FfF will be in early 2020 (ish).
In the meantime, check this stuff out.
- I watched the impeachment hearings this week (spoiler, Trump was impeached). I tried to watch objectively, but Doug Collins being a shithead ruined it for me. It does remind me that Politifact seems to be unbiased in figuring out what’s actually true or not (regardless of the gaslighting we’re all subjected to constantly).
- I like this article on testing serverless applications – at least partially because they point out what a stupid label serverless is.
- I’m upset with myself for not knowing that gitignore.io existed. It does quick auto-generation of .gitignore files.
- HBR collected their favorite management tips from 2019 – they’re (almost) all quite good.
- The whole internet probably already knows about this, but cat pictures as http error codes is an excellent guide.
It’s the Friday the 13th version of FfF!
- New to me is this collection of culture decks – public slide decks describing the culture of several companies.
- A reminder that ‘Tis the Season for Technical Debt
- This is a year old, but I just found this series of articles from Steve Rubin on interviewing. Start Here
- With another series post here for you, here’s part 1 of a series on getting rid of the “testing” column on a kanban board
- I’m finally getting around to reading The Unicorn Project. It’s a (possibly too) contrived story of a company going through a devops transition. There are a lot of parallels in the book to Modern Testing Principles, including this line that matches our view of the test specialist role on a mature development team.
“Maxine knows that the developers will eventually be responsible for testing their own code, with QA taking a more strategic role, coaching and consulting.”
It’s that time again.
- Kathy Keating has a great article this week on how Engineering Leaders are Failing Themselves
- Netflix has open-sourced another interesting tool – Open-Sourcing Metaflow.
- This is a short and good video summary of one-on-one conversations with remote employees
- Once again, I’m working my way through Advent of Code – Day 5 this year was painful for me, but I pushed through it. Fortunately, Day 6 was a bit easier, so I’ll try again tonight (new puzzles release at midnight east coast time), and see how I do.
- I’m (still) reading User Story Mapping – which has this interesting story regarding Kent Beck:
In a talk in 2011, Kent Beck revised the manifesto item on Working Software over comprehensive documentation to:
Validated learning over working software (or comprehensive documentation)
…of course, it was never officially revised, but I like that nuance a lot more.
It’s the American Thanksgiving version of FfF – here are a few interesting things I want to share this week.
- A colleague shared this interesting article on The Epistemology of Software Quality and I’m sharing it forward.
- I’ve never liked shift-* testing terms – but I’m warm to the idea of omni-testing
- If you or your company have a login system, and (if you’re like my bank) have a bunch of shitty policies around numbers and special characters, please read and widely share The Ultimate Guide to Strong Passwords
- Just about every time Adam Goucher pops up, he has something interesting to say. Do we need a priest to bless our work? Great metaphors here.
- I’ve been thinking about software resilience a lot lately. A Lot. This week I found this article on The Many Definitions of Resilience that has helped me a bit in framing resiliency.
It’s been a big week…
- First off, who does not want a Cybertruck?
- Areti Panou had a nice post this week with Some Ideas for Reducing “Release Decision” Time
- I did a lot of reminiscing on past purchases when I found Amazon reports of all of my purchases back to 2006
- I like pretty much everything Lisa Crispin has ever written – including this article on How Devops Impacts Testing
- I was a huge Michael Moorcock fan when I was young, so I’m pretty excited to see that Michael Moorcock’s Elric Saga Optioned for TV
Here we go again…
- A Video of my talk at Oredev last week is available
- I enjoyed this opinion on the invalidity of the Iron Triangle
- Similarly, I liked the conclusions of this article on 7 Leadership Lessons over 2.5 years
- Martin Fowler posted an insightful look at waterfall, iterative, and agile processes
- I was lucky enough to watch the Seattle Sounders FC win their second MLS cup in person. No link – just a celebration photo.