All posts by MaikNog

EuroSTAR 2010 – TeamSTAR competition

Last week i saw the TeamSTAR news on the EuroSTAR website. A Team of four people could make a small (2 min) video entry, upload it to Youtube and get the chance to win the team tickets for the testing conference.  With a price tag from 850 to 2200 Euro,  i thought to myself to give it a shot. While in between some tests and waiting for the machines to process i scribbled down the rough idea, which came to mind.

Our company is quite global. We have production centers ranging from USA via Romania to India and Cambodia. Our production managers are working near-shore in Brighton and Bucarest.

Our headquarter is in Hamburg; which by itself is an old maritime city with trade roots dating back a millenium and first mentioned in the 7th century. Global and weltoffen1 by definition.

Anyhoodles, back to the topic. My idea for the video clip was based on the “global” idea. Even in the company we have a wide range of nationalities and languages; as is in the Test department.

How to show that and relate it to testing in the same?

My idea was to let the colleagues speak a few sentences in their own languages (basically a “Hello World, my name is Maik and i like to go to EuroSTAR 2010..etc.).

This gives the unsuspecting viewer of the clip a Babylonian language mix.

At the end of the clip i connect these single parts with the diversity of testing.

Each person brings in their very own experience.. influenced by there culture, gender and profession background.

Testing is as diverse as language.

We got black, white and grey box testing, we got functional and non-functional testing, we got unit, system and integration testing, we got ISTQB, ET and Agile Testing2 etc. pp.

Well, not a new breakthrough idea, but i just wanted to point it out; which i did in this clip:

Youtube – TeamSTAR 2010 – Diversity in Testing

1 cosmopolitan
2 Agile Testing

Bug reporting “on the fly” or with “timely distance” ? (Focus – Defocus)

Today i used BBTestAssistant to record some sessions.
I put my notes directly into the tool to make best use of the integrated timestamp and the option to jump directly to the scene in the movie. (HINT: Move mouse to bottom of screen and the notes window pops up and pauses the recording).

At the end of the day i went through my recordings and the observations and sorted them; mostly transferring them into the bug tracking system (TFS) , made nice screenshots with markers, etc.pp.

One of the observations i had already (mentally) put as “bug” and written some notes accordingly.

Now.. with some hours distance i saw that i missed another reason, why the behaviour could have happened as it was.

So i kept the entry on hold and made a task for myself to retest and verify with my new finding/assumption.

Next day i retested the observation with my new information at hand and – vòila – it wasn’t a bug, but a misunderstanding on my side.

Long story short:
Another example, where focusing — defocusing was helpful.

But.. Do i have the time for this in the daily treadmill? Mh, not always.
How many bugs were reported, where i could have provided more details? Or where it wasnt a bug at all?


Take the time if schedule allows to gather observations and review them at a later stage.

Odysseus, Hercules or an unknown crew mate?

Good question eh?
While i am not suffering from hybris, sometimes i feel like i do my part of the heroic deeds, the great heroes of their time did.

I like to invent my own version of the cruise of Odysseus and his ship.
In my version, all kind of other heroes are aboard his ship as well. Hercules, Icarus and you-name-it.

Makes its easier to find testing analogies..
Hercules cleaning out King Augeas stables?
Sysiphos and his stone?
Prometheus and his quest to give the fire to mortals?
Hercules (again) and the Hydra?

Maybe Hercules should have been the captain of the ships in the Odyssee… and why dont the ship has a name? Lets mix it up totally and make Hercules the captain of the Argo…
Mh, something to ponder about.

And who i am in this fantastic storyline? Well, i like to see myself currently as the unknown crew mate.
Not in a sense like in Star Trek, mind you.
Remember? You see Captain Kirk and his mates with an never-seen-before crew member? Well, dont bother, he is dead as soon as he leaves the teleporter…

No, i think more of the unknown crew mate, who works and lives side-by-side with the heroes and puts his effort into the mission of the whole gang. Maybe mentioned in a historic footnote. 😉

Avast and off we go.

A Testers odyssee

To keep in line with the theme of the blog … why did i choose it in the first place?
Well, for one thing i am a sucker for greek mythology and especially this story seems fitting.

People with a goal but not a certain route and a lot of obstacles and dangers in their way.. i see an analogy to testers/ testing here.

So lets enjoy the ride.