woensdag 24 december 2008

Low power

December is - for me- always a month which seems to be full of activities that require al lot of energy and when my personal activity level is on low.

First there is 'Sinterklaas', the day children get their way, too much presents and have the opportunity to cry, get sick on too much sweets and 'pepernoten' and be ungreatfull. My own tradition is to make a very good swiss cheesefondue with a good bottle of white wine and afterwards a good cappuccino with Australian chocolates.


Between 'Sinterklaas' and 'Santaclaus' there are a couple of weeks with obligatory christmass drinks, receptions, 'last things before the holidays', hectic work and deadlines, mixed with overcrowded shops and supermarkets and commercials on perfume, expensive clothes and jewelry and off course my end-of-year assessment interview and the end-of-year bills of the companies who want to pay their employess a royal end-of-year bonus as well.


I resent the 'jolly' days; the people who I want to celebrate it are dead or have another mindset on those days, so I feel mostly sad those days. Normally I don't celebrate my birthday but instead our family celebrated christmass with lots of presents. My husband hates this tradition (and the whole christmass thought) so alas...

This year I won a Wii on EuroSTAR though. I decided to buy the MarioKart and wheels and bought Guitar Hero with two guitars and a microphone. Allthough I allready had the oppurtunity to find a bug in Guitar Hero (it got stuk when I won the easy level on Rock Legends) I find this very amusing and a good way to break with traditions.


of other traditions to be broken; normally I'm a real cuisine on christmass (this my husband really likes this part) this year I don't cook a luscious meal but 'saurkraut with pork and sausace' instead so I have more time for the Rock on Sock!


Happy Holidays!

btw: pic is taken from http://icanhascheezburger.com/ makes me laugh in the sad days!

zondag 30 november 2008

Wanted: Tester

This night when reading some newsletters that had accumulated in my mailbox, I was triggered by an article about an intelligent pill (sorry, the article is in Dutch). This pill had a built in processor which is able to determine where it is located in the body and where to drop certain medication. I found it a very beautiful innovation. But I couldn’t stop wondering: Who has
done the testing? And what test cases where designed. What were the quality characteristics?
More so, because I attended a lecture by James Whittaker where a movie was shown about future appliances (also in the medical sector), and he was apparently sitting beside a group of testers widely grinning and when asked, they said ‘There’s no way this is going to work man!’ (believe me if I say it was funny when he said it). I immediately connected this movie and the given reactions to the article. Not that it will not work, it probably will, since the article states that Philips has got a prototype which is ready for mass production. But on the testing area I started to imagine the following user acceptance test, yes: in this case taken literally.

- insert pill
And this immediately is THE issue, isn’t it? How and where is this pill to be inserted exactly? Not that it matters: A good tester always tests the wrong and the right way and I don’t mean try the ear or nose. Get the picture? Still keeps me wondering who the test team is; if you see people walking funny in or near the Philips labs, please let me know, I would like to ask them about their testing infrastructural appliance and how they managed.


Philips komt met 'intelligente pil'
12 november 2008 door: Freek Blankena
Philips heeft een prototype ontwikkeld van een 'elektronische pil' met ingebouwde microprocessor. De iPill moet medicijnen kunnen afleveren op een specifieke locatie in het lichaam. Naast de processor bevat de 'intelligente pil' een batterijtje, een radiozender/ontvanger en een klein medicatiereservoir met een minipompje. Ook heeft de pil een sensor die de zuurgraad en de temperatuur van zijn omgeving meet en waarmee de pil kan 'zien' waar
hij zich in het spijsverteringskanaal bevindt. Met de iPill wordt het volgens Philips mogelijk
aandoeningen in met name het spijsverteringskanaal, zoals de ziekte van Crohn, meer lokaal te behandelen. Zo kan de hoeveelheid toegediende medicijnen beperkt blijven. Volgens Philips is het prototype klaar voor massaproductie.

donderdag 20 november 2008

Brainwave

I'm starting a new business: it's called IsShoes and it makes shoes.
Those IsShoes can be made in India at a cheap price or in EasternEurope.
Hughe IsShoes from the States and the latest IsShoes from that special designer.
Then a new hype will start and everybody will have IsShoes!
and then a magazine that is called 'D-Facts' will have a special issue on IsShoes!

Do you allready have your IsShoes?

woensdag 19 november 2008

My Testersheart is violated

My testerheart was violated today! I feel like nothing has meaning, nothing I ever accomplished, ever thought of, ever published, spoke about and learned others: nothing has meaning, seems pale.
I don't trust anybody anymore; for everything I confide somebody in, they will rip it from me, make sure I won't get the credits for work done, won't have any real say in it... Is this my punishment for the earlier mistake I made on the talk on TestNet fallevent?

What happenend?
Two years ago I joined a certain project, it was very rudimentary back then but very much fun. I participated by mail, discussed and followed all updates and progress. This year the group had something more substantial and asked participants. A certain somebody within my company send a question in our test community and a certain other colleague responded, at first not even that enthusiastic. So did I, because I wanted an official participation so much!, and I told the asking colleague that I was allready in the loop of the project. How I longed for this chance! But, today, alas I found out the true nature of my colleague! And I even did some extra work (how naive!) and got a (I'm sure really sincere, yeah right!) compliment on the action. I'm not to participate as member of the official delegation within this project...

And I am heartbroken.
Not only because I feel passed by but - more important- because of stupid reasons! The other person has 'a network' or has 'more years in the business'...what about 'personality?' what about professional enthusiasm? what about 'wanting it soooooo badly?', what about 'feel strong about it'?

I feel sick with anger, sick of grief.
I don't have the energy and enthusiasm to develop anything right now....why should I? somebody else will probably steal it from me, use it for their own use, use me, my ideas or would 'write a book quickly' because 'they are experienced' and quickly put their names on it (how about; youngster have to learn? how about: people who worked for it would also like a chance?).

I know I'm overreacting, but I'm so passionate about my work, my ideas. I feel like my little baby has been ripped out of my arms and is now to be raised by another parent and I'm allowed to debate in a group within my company to deliver ideas so this delegate can present them in the official group.... Like hell I will!

vrijdag 24 oktober 2008

Did you hear about the Phenomenon?

http://5x5m.com/lp/285/us.html

The Phenomenon on the yearlyJournal (US)

Testing and Ethics

Last month I've been particularly busy with the subject 'Testing and Ethics'. Not that I'm involved in an issue with regards to 'Ethics', but because I'm curious - and I also would like to write an article or whitepaper on the subject.

So I've posted two discussions on two of the Groups in LinkedIn where I'm member of and I started organising a so called 'Lager Huys' discussion session(debating program in the Netherlands, lager not translated as 'beer' but as 'lower')(to be held in January/February).

At first I got answers like 'I'm always honest' etc. But these where not the answers I was looking for, they are (mostly) not true anyway for if it were true the whole world would be a much better and absolutely coruptless place. I started the discussion to get to the edge of things and preferably to that part of the edge that was the most shady. Luckily some colleagues from the testing community are prepared to think along the subject and answered more extensively and went with me into the hypothecial (!) cases c.q. situations.

For now it seems that I will get enough information to write something and publish in March or April 2009. So stay tuned in if you are just as curious as I'm on the matter.

zondag 21 september 2008

De flossende Azijnzeiker

The column I wrote in the last newsletter of our COP is not translatable in English, so - alas- only the people who can read dutch are able to enjoy this one. Try not to translate this column with word or another program; you might end up shocked!

Tester zijn is onderworpen worden aan allerlei creatieve analogie├źn , uitgemaakt worden voor van alles en nog wat of verwijten krijgen voor zaken die gewoon je werk zijn. Tijd voor een ode *ahem* aan de ‘wat testers allemaal zijn’in ‘klare’ taal.

Azijnzeiker, Mierenneuker, Kommaprutser, Puntenpeller, Codezieker, Pretbederver, Partypooper, Saaie muts (of was die voor mijzelf bedoeld ;-) ), Geinvenijn, spelbederver, spelbreker, haarklover, pietlut, zemelkont, zeur, zeikerd,“Jezus” (veel gehoord vooral vanaf ontwikkelaars hoek), bridger en muggenzifter.

Ik vraag me af waarom deze benamingen ons allemaal gegeven worden, we doen immers gewoon ons werk en achteraf is men maar wat blij als we de organisatie voor (grote?) rampspoed hebben behoed. In tegenstelling tot de belastingdienst die dezelfde bewoordingen worden toegedicht, ook gewoon hun werk doen, maar over het algemeen wel grote rampspoed veroorzaken in plaats van voorkomen. Dat laatste is natuurlijk mijn eigen perceptie al denk ik zelf dat ik niet de enige ben die deze perceptie heeft.

De gemiddelde tester gaat gebukt onder vooroordelen. We zijn de brengers van – over het algemeen een slechte – boodschap (de goede worden vaak genegeerd) en worden toch neergeschoten, hoe vaak je ook zegt ‘don’t shoot the messenger’. We lijken het slechte imago maar slecht te kunnen lozen. Hoe goed we ook poetsen; de gaatjes die er nu eenmaal zitten krijg je niet weg. Wat we dus wel kunnen doen is voorkomen dat er nieuwe bij komen, dus toch blijven poetsen en misschien zelfs wat flossen, met het tonen van een specialisme kunnen we laten zien dat testen een net zo volwaardig vak is als alle andere IT professies.

Krijgt mijn mondhygi├źniste me toch nog aan het flossen…

vrijdag 19 september 2008

The aftermath

Yesterday was a very hectic day, with lots of discussions.
The collegue who started the whole fuss, did so because seemingly one of the attendees to my presentation had called me "an embarrassment" for the whole company.
I found this what 'stern'language, more so because I value this persons opinion with high egards.
But come on: one presentation embarrasses a whole company of thousands of employees? I find this very hard to believe!
Because of this choice of words other people within my company found it necessary to perform 'damage control' and to set strict rules for presenting at events (even the consultants who have allready got a trackrecord must now submit to a pre-screening), but not only that; the whole external communication policy was now a discussion (what one presentation can cause;
N’est-ce pas?)

There was also an evaluation of my presentation; what it was, what I intended and what it could have been. After some discussion I found out that some parts that I found logical and common knowledge where not in there so that the subject didn't land. Some other parts where also pointed out, like setting the definitions on the usage of jargon. For example: I used the word (test)Strategy which was then perceived as the high-level document on (test)policy within an organisation; I ment the chapter within the testplan on which your 'plan of attack' (strategy) is described).

I've allready made a visual lay-out with help of the V-model to explain the principle. I have even set a couple of new (re-worked) definitions and decided to write a paper on this (which will off course have to be evaluated by a lot of collegues, since this is new policy).
It is to be continued!

I would like to remarkt that I also got a compliment: the presentation technique was OK as was 'the guts' to present on such a controversery / innovative subject.

donderdag 18 september 2008

Never again and public service announcement

I hereby solemly plegde never to change an article or presentation again because a couple of colleagues say so.
What happened? In the beginning of this year I made a synopsis about HumanBasedAnalysis (then called HumanBasedTesting as it was intended as antagonist of Risk or Requirementbased Testing), it was reviewed, but some colleagues said I should narrow the subject down. I did so, by applying it to the Teststrategypart and calling it thus HumanBasedAnalysis, wrong, wrong, wrong.
I got to present my piece at the Najaarsevent of Testnet last tuesday, it became a fiasco. Technically it wasn't bad, but with respect to the content, basically: it Sucked!
Due to 'jibbers' I mixed up a technique; namely Functionpointanalysis and ProductRiskAnalysis, this wouldn't have happend if I had stuck to my original plan, the HumanBasedAnalysis is namely applicable within all phases of the test-trajectory, allthough mainly at the left-upper part of the V-model- and not only at Strategy definition.
So after a couple of sheets I was 'saved' by one of the audience who said he couldn't quite put his finger on the spot. I tried to explain, but again, the mixup of techniques was my 'millstone'.
Luckily I got a bit of explanation done, but also I discussion had arisen in the audience.

I thought the discussion was good though; it confirmed my original idea of Human Based Analysis (because part of the discussion broadened to the fact that this should also be used as soon as the phase where requirements are set; good; because requirements should be validated and verified (in my opinion with the end-user as reference). The discussion was also proof of that this kind of thinking is perceived as important but to put it in a context like I did, caused a great deal of controversy. Note: when looking at the V-model then the Human Based Analysis is done between Setting Requirements and Designing the FO.

OK, for keeping the peace: I'm solely responsible for the content on HumanBasedAnalysis. My company is not responsible and does not explicitly support me in this way of thinking, my idea is - seemingly - a bit difficult to understand and with controverse, so I still have a lot of explaining to do.
Let it be stated that when - in the future- it catches on; it was solemly my idea to introduce it
I stand by my subject and am proud of it.

For the people who attended: I'm sorry to have desillusionised you. Perhaps the following definition will clearify the intention somewhat more (I'm better on script than on speach)

Human Based Analysis
Human Based Analysis is a compilation of techniques where the end-users or experts - other than appointed stakeholders - are explicitly asked to point out the risks within the proces to be automated or the software to be developed or what requirements are the most important.

The Human Based Analysis is primarily done between Requirement Specification and Functional Design, but can be done on other part within the V-model allthough when at 'User Acceptance Test' level, you're (probably) too late.

The Human Based Analysis has in a lot of cases the consequence that two things are to be adjusted: 1. The requirements and 2. The testdesign


Hopefully to be continued....

woensdag 3 september 2008

Passed at a not wanted feature and long term requirements

I survived the weeks as "Management" and apparently I did a pretty descent job (not entirely on my own, but still...)

Now I'm back at my client's office again 'on the job' and I'm glad. I'm more in my element there, more on my territory. I'm just more a tech-person as a people-person, at least I know that now. My desire to specialize in the testprofession is now more profound then ever.

I set two goals for the future on my profession(al) development;
1. Get my master's degree (major: Quality/ Testing)
2. Becoming an absolute Testguru and TestArchitect
Not nescesarily starting with both tomorrow :-)

I challenge everybody to set their long-term goals and perhaps in a couple of years we can shake hands in our aspired roles!
MS Nathalie Rooseboom de Vries van Delft , Testarchitect. Has a nice ring to it doesn't it?

zaterdag 16 augustus 2008

Putting myself to the test

Last week and upcoming week I have the lead of our testpractice for a couple of days. All other management teammembers are on holidays or away for other reasons, so that makes me the person in charge!
I have always claimed that I'm not a peoples-person or managementmaterial, but a real tech, so this is really a challenge, putting myself to the test sort of speak.
I have survived thursday and friday so far; and no accidents have happened (no really big ones anyway ;-) ), people are not threatening to resign, clients are not complaining and no issues are popping up, so far so good.
Oh... I would really like to thank my collegues who are helping me with some tasks/ assignments, I could not have done the job without you!

dinsdag 5 augustus 2008

Testing holiday cut short

Yesterday we arrived at home again. We were supposed to stay one more week at our vacation adress, but alas; our canine familymember had a tumour on its paw so we went home to let it be removed by our own vet (first we thought it was a simple abcess that a vet on our vacation adress could remove, but it turned out to be worse, the whole toe had to be amputated...). I just got home with the (druggy) patient and he is doing fine for now, so much for testing days out in 'the Veluwe'.

Last week we didn't do much either. We ate chicken at 'Juffrouw Tok' in Ede on Sunday (reservation not required, but highly recommended!) which was very good (and spicy).
We swam a little in the camping-pool , we rode some routes in the surrounding area by bike and I read 'Lichamelijke oefening' from 'Midas Dekker'.
On Wednesday we went to Friesland in search for a new (more dynamic) camping for next year (Burgumermeer in Sumar); it was hot, but testresult was 'Excellent!'.
On Thursday we ate a pancake at the Panoramahoeve in Bennekom (large portions of good quality! crowded!)
On Friday we went to the vet in Bennekom. Saturday we went to a place called 'De ommuurde tuin' a quite peaceful place with biologically grown vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Sunday we didn't do much because of the rain and yesterday - as allready said- we went home.

The rest of our vacation is dependent on how the patient is doing. We hope he will get well soon and that we'll be able to test some more days out.

vrijdag 25 juli 2008

FunTESTic on vacation

Last week I tested the following:

Heideweek in Ede: Uhm, nothing special there. Just another market, no special activities.

Bee-expo in Bijenhuis, Bennekom: Fun! educational. Did you know that the food they get is repsonsible if a queen is developed or that a bee becomes a 'worker'? Movie of half an hour and then a guided tour through the expo-room (about an half hour/ hour).

Bat-walk, Natuurcentrum Veluwe, Ede: Fun! educational. Did you know each bat has a different sound and that there are 16 species in the Netherlands? even a 'waterbat'?

Oud Veluwsemarkt in Barneveld; Crowded! some fun-stables, mostly standard stuff. A lot of sun and a long wait at a coffeeshop (half an hour for a cola, an ice coffee and two pieces of applepie). Merchants are wearing traditional clothes and there are some traditional trades to be seen. It will keep you occupied for an hour of three max.

Pluimveemuseum in Barneveld; eductional, fun for at least two hours. Did you know brown chickens cannot lay a white egg, but white chickens can lay white as well as brown eggs? This is not because of their feather-colours, but because of the colours of there lobes. I found it particularly fun (and cute) to hold some baby-chicks and the participation in an 'egg-auction'. Also fun on a rainy day.

Lavender-gardens in Stroe. The folder promises more then there is to be seen. This is a very young company which still has a lot to develop. You can cut your own bundle of lavender. You can drink tea in the garden. I expected some more lavender-scent there. The products are not their own, but are general 'provence' lavender products. I saw a lot of missed oppurtunities. Nice stop when on a bicycle or car-tour, but a 'maybe' visit it on 'stand-alone'bases. I would not recommend this on a rainy day.

And still two weeks of testing to go... :-)

donderdag 17 juli 2008

Testday

Dutch Testevent (Testday) organised by my own company and our 'concullega's' from Valori.
And: free of charge! more information: www.testdag.nl

maandag 14 juli 2008

Emotional taxes.

Past week some of the euphoria I had of passing my ISEB exam was a bit tempered.

First I got a letter from 'de Belastingdienst' (taxadministration) that I was 'randomly' selected (I get selected every year so I think not so random) and that I had made an error in the incometax declaration (mind: this was a declaration which I send in in the 1st quarter of 2007! (over 2006) of my late mother who passed away in april 2006.
Probably the error has no effect on the amount that I have payed or have received (I hope) but the emotional impact was enormous. I just cannot understand why the taxadministration doesn't think twice about these very emotional declarations and send these letters a year and a half after the declaration was made. The emotional damage is much larger then the financial benefit I would think. It seems I cannot close the chapter on mourning, wounds are kept open this way.

Second I had my own income tax declarions still on my to-do list. Every year I wonder on the part where taxes are divided among the partners; you have to do this by yourself and find the most optimal balance. Is the taxadministration really that stupid that they think somebody will set the balance so that the amount isn't the most favourable? I also wonder on the parts I have to fill in which are the same for everybody. And why do I have to fill in all the parts which are standard for everybody? And why can't I just fill in the deviations and make the work more easy and shorter since they get my income-data from my employer every month? They should have the money to develop such a product because I'm paying enough every year!

So the taxes caused two major negative emotions last week; grief and anger. I'm glad they don't claim emotional taxes...

dinsdag 8 juli 2008

Pass

I got the letter yesterday! The big brown enveloppe from the BCS (www.bcs.org) where I had been waiting for!

I passed the ISEB (ISTQB) Practitioner for SoftwareTesting Exam!

I did the exam the 14th of may, which was the last chance to do this exam 'the old style'. From now on the ISEB (ISTQB) certification is divided in three certificates; intermediate, testmanager and test analysis.

I'm sooooo happy and relieved! and -since yesterday- an official ISEB (ISTQB) Certified Test Practitioner.
http://www.istqb.org

vrijdag 4 juli 2008

Exposure

Yesterday I took the time to execute some actionpoints of my 'exposure plan'. One of my goals is to mean something within the Softwaretestingcommunity and thus: be known.
In 2006 I attended a keynote of Julie Gardner at EuroSTAR in Manchester and from this keynote I took two things that I used for my personal strategy.
1. Expand and maintain your knowledge on your expertise even if you have to maken investments of your own (create a library, read magazines, read internetsites, take courses)
2. Be known (you 'mean' something when your name is shown a lot on your subject)

So yesterday I started :
1. an MSN account (feel free to ask me my adress/id)
2. a Hyves account.

and last week I started this blog.

I was also invited as speaker on the TestNet (NL) event in september. (http://www.testnet.org/) where I have a track on People Based Analysis and I started an article on this. So my 'exposure' is on track for now.

donderdag 3 juli 2008

Law of objective mass

In the Netherlands there is currently an advertising campain where one is called upon to test 'days out'. You'll get a discount at various features. A lot of these features are free of charge, by the way, but this is not mentioned in the advert.
This made me think, these results are namely very subjective. Nevertheless, at some point, when the mass of respondees is large enough, the results are considered objective.
Can therefore be stated that 'subjective' can become 'objective' if the mass is large enough?
And is there a formula for this? Is this mass equal for every test? Is mass accountable for reliability?
It seems fun to me to investigate this.
I also asked a collegue tester on his vision on this subject. He responded that 'the law of the objective mass', as I 'baptised' the subject, only applies when the interviewees have not spoken to eachother before the test or have made agreements on the subject (influencing).
Well there is someting in this. I can remember a 'case' last year on a election of the best advertisementslogan. A site called 'geen stijl' called upon their readers to vote on a slogan of the brand WC-eend: "Wij van WC eend, adviseren WC eend" (trans: "We from WCDucky advise WCDucky"). The advert won, allthough the slogan 'Biertje?' from Heineken had been on number one position for weeks before.
Subjective can thus only become objective if the influence is smaller then a certain part of the interviewed mass.
I haven't pursued the subject any further yet, but I'm curious of other perspective on this subject, so... please feel free to respond to this, in short statements, in large numbers. I hope to sketch an objective image!
[this column was published in Dutch in the CoP Testing Newsletter of Capgemini NL, 2008]

zaterdag 21 juni 2008

Live at...

This weekend I'm going to:
'Lekker bij de boer', 'Alckmaria Feesten' and 'Dimmu Borgir'.

Open days at farmers who run biological farms (www.biologica.nl)
Alkmaar provides an unique view on the everyday living in 1573 (http://www.alcmariafeesten.nl/) and all other kinds of activities
In the evening I'm accompanying my 'hubbie' to one of his favourit bands in Haarlem.

vrijdag 20 juni 2008

The Creation of FunTESTic Fanatic

After much pondering I decided to start a BLOG today. I find it a good way to share my thoughts about my profession and perhaps sometimes personal life, which is pretty much the same. And - to be honest- it seems to be a 'must' to present yourself as a serious (software)test/ICT professional to have a BLOG.
So: here it is, my own BLOG, perhaps not so serious in name, but I hope interesting enough with regards to the (future) contents to provide some entertainment and food for thought about Software Testing!