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


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


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.

vrijdag 4 juli 2008


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]