Five for Friday – February 7, 2020

  • I just finished a re-read (or the first read of the second edition) or Release It! It is crammed full of things that everyone working on a website or software service should know – including this painful nugget:
    GitHub currently shows 288,093 commits with the title “Removed password.” Tomorrow that number will be higher.
  • Sometimes I don’t remember how I found an article, but I do know that it resonates. This article on Systems Thinking for Product Design aligns a lot with my approaches
  • Yet-another – but probably the best list of how-to-git is here
  • I’ve become one of those people who ocassionally uses icons as small graphics in their presentations. I’m sure I’ll bore of it soon – in the meantime, The Noun Project is the best source I’ve found for CC-licensed icons.
  • In years of helping teams improve, one consistency I’ve noticed is that teams usually don’t recognize all of their technical debt. This article on a Wall of Tech Debt is one way to help with that deficiency

Five for Friday – January 31, 2020

Early edition this week before I jump on a 10 hour flight home.

  • An interesting article on the dark side of expertise
  • Mot of you have heard of Google’s Testing on the Toilet initiative (one pagers on testing and engineering posted on stall doors). Now, here’s an academic paper on the topic
  • For a decade (or two?), I’ve found value in code check-in metrics. Noah Sussman has a fantastic article exploring this topic
  • I attended an internal conference this week, where I gave presentations on achieving quality without qa, developing a quality culture, and co-presented a root-cause analysis workshop. You can get a brief recap by viewing the #unityqweek hashtag on twitter
  • I don’t agree with this article – Monoliths are the future – but there are interesting points. Coincidentally, I recently read Team Topologies (I’ll share quotes in a future FfF), and for me, it definitely set my frame for reading this article.

Five for Friday – January 24, 2020

This is the special time travel edition of FfF (I lost a day – mentally – while traveling).

Five for Friday – January 17, 2020

  • 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).

Five for Friday – January 10, 2020

A little late today – I got so focused on finishing a presentation, that I forgot to even look at my todo list.

Five for Friday – January 3, 2020

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).

The Angry Weasel Decade in Review

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.

Five for Friday – December 20, 2019

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).
    <deep breath…>
  • 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 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.

Five for Friday – December 13, 2019

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.”

Five for Friday – December 6, 2019

It’s that time again.

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.