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Showing posts from July, 2012

Traditional Test Engineering is DEAD

Here's an outline of Jason Arbon's arguments for Agile methods leaving traditional test engineering in the dust.

In the Better Software (May/June 2012) article "Traditional Test Engineering, Your Days are Numbered; Turing Software Quality on Its Head."

"In this shift to agile, late cycle or manual testing efforts are often dropped or, worse, the program management and development teams embrace agile and continuous practices, but the old world regression test cycle is left hanging around like an archaic ritual that adds a few days or weeks to an engineering process that wants to be continuous."

Test Plans - quick cycles out pace the ability of managers to create the traditional test plan. Modern software development teams do more concurrent testing than was ever done in traditional processes.

Regression Testing - ninety some precent pass all the time, is this a good use of time and energy. Create a risk view of the application under test. Use automated tool…

Active Listening: The 5 Second Rule

Learning to listen is a difficult skill to teach. On the surface it appears to be a passive activity. It is the reflection portion of the listening activity that might need enhancement. Here is a group exercise that will strengthen your team's ability to listen. The 5 Second Rule. After a person speaks, everyone must count to 5 (5 seconds) before anyone speaks. If you wish to speak next, you must physically count on your raised hand via fingers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Practice this a few time, counting slowly (maybe extend it to 10 seconds if there are lots of fast counters). If two or more people raise their hands to speak next, then they (not the group) decide the speaking order. This pause in the immediate point, counter-point might allow the conversation to become multi-perspective, rather than percussive-discussion, like a ping-pong match. Most teams will expand their views and learn to be inclusive during dialogues with this technique. When multiple people want to speak t…

Missing Affordances

What are the affordances that are missing from the virtual task board?  There are quite a few.

The perceptual psychologist J. J. Gibson coined the term in the late 1970s to mean the relationships that an actor (person) can have with objects in the world.  Then Donald Norman popularized the term in his book "The Design of Everyday Things."

You may think these affordances don't matter much.  But after you have them (via using a physical task board) you will find they are sorely missing.

I can:
Hold a task and show it to you. Now you know exactly what I'm talking about. Many virtual task board have no way of denoting a selected task. Pick a different task and hold it. Now I know you are talking about that one, but I'm still referring to the one I hold. Move a task. The motion is the affordance. Not the before and after location of a task - don't confuse position with motion. Pass a sticky note to you, now you have it and this denotes responsibility to perfo…