donderdag 19 februari 2009

Municipality Menace

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday (a big thanks for everybody who send me a message!) and it was fun until the evening, then the municipality of Alkmaar thouroughly ruined my day within ten minutes of time!

In the evening we decided to go out for dinner. Our choice was 'the Eetpaleis' in the center of Alkmaar. It was a quarter passed seven as we drove away from home and arrived in the city center round half past seven. We parked in a street called 'Laat', and walked to the parking machine. Mind you: it is February, no shops are open because it's wednesday, no events and Alkmaar wants you to pay for parking till eight in the evening (idiocy!). But okay; I call my husband, because I left my wallet at home. My husband only has his paycard with him, because he also didn't expect a fee for parking at this time. We decide to walk over to the bank to load money on the 'chipknip' (sort of e-purse) to pay for the parking. As we come walking back there is it; a parking ticket!

For 50 EURO's (plus the hourly fee of 2,30 EUR) and the parking survaillance is no-where to be seen anymore! So, my dinner was ruined, no money for desert now.... It is now 46 past 7 (about ten minutes have passed since we went to the bank and returned to the car, the car is still hot of driving) and I'm angry and frustrated like hell! Happy birthday by the Alkmaar Municipality Menace.
A funny happy birthday card

zondag 15 februari 2009

Sustainability Testing

In the last couple of months I've been seeing more and more articles, messages and initiatives ( (claiming black is more environmental friendly than white, because the pixels use less energy)) about the environment and IT. The latest was a large frontpage issue on the 'Automatisering Gids' (a weekly, dutch, newspaperlike magazine about IT), about 'Green (web)Sites'.
Then it occured to me that a new quality characteristic is 'born', not yet foreseen in both TMap(R)'s or ISO 9126 list of characteristics: Sustainability.

Sustainability is affiliated to efficiency I think, but doens't cover the overtones.
Sustainability is a set of attributes that bear on what degree the software will be sparingly on the (ecological) environment
  • use of energy/ energy-saving
  • supportive of environmental initiatives (i.e. webbased that reduces travel)
  • climate neutrality

A colleague of mine also talked about testing in the light of Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR. So I think this is one aspect of the three area's mentioned in there (People, planet en profit). I see a whole market for testingspecialists in the area of sustainability (perhaps wearing goat-haired socks and using solar-powered laptops). There's still a lot to be developed on this area, but the world is changing into a more envrionmental focussed one, so I thing sustainability will be a serious topic to research for testing goals. And to be far ahead of things, I even think the 'people' part will be a characteristic to be tested one day.

'Humanability', a set of attributes that all bear on what degree the software supports the well-being of people, is affiated to usability, but doesn't quite cover the overtones.... I will meditate on this a bit further....

zaterdag 14 februari 2009


With money you can...

Buy a house, but not a home
Buy a clock, but not time
Buy a bed, but not sleep
Buy sex, but not love
Buy a book, but not knowledge
Buy status, but not respect

free translation of a chinese saying

donderdag 12 februari 2009

Well begun is half done…

2009 has just started but already the publications on software and the bugs they contain are starting to come in my mailbox regularly. The ‘automatiseringsgids’ as well as the blog of Michael Bolton (the tester, not the singer) publish about the top 25 blunders made in software that lead to cybercrime. ( (Dutch) and
If I’m to believe the saying ‘well begun is half done’ then I have half a job to do this year! Uhmmm… can I put some questionmarks here?

2009 has just started and the ‘calls for papers’ and invitations are pouring into my mailbox. A super start thus! I saw a call for paper from EuroSTAR some time ago and to my horror I realized the deadline is on the 27th of February! I saw a very good initiative from our own Knowledge SIG to boost the (testing)information on [internal]wiki; every third Monday in a month they organize a writers evening. I saw an invitation to a SEPA training and the invitation from TestNet for their first meeting. This is where I really start to doubt the saying… this good start doubles my work instead of halving it!

So I hereby can say: I tested the ‘well begun is half done’ statement and concluded that it failed. My advice on this is to change the saying to a more accurate approach. Well begun, means lots of work still has to be done!
Please comment for all other suggestions!

Have a good 2009 with loads of activities within the testing profession!

***this Blogpost is from my column in our Internal Newsletter on Testing ***

zondag 1 februari 2009

Testing and Ethics II

I held a common house discussion last week on this subject at my office, with help of a colleague. Alas there where a lot of no-shows, so the group was small. Fortunately the people who showed up where fanatic and did some good work on the discussion.

I had prepared, again with help of a colleague, 10 statements on which half of the group were obligated to defend this statement (pro) and the other half were obligated to take the opposition (against). This made it really fun and answers where suprising at least! I'm writing a piece (synopsis) to submit for EuroSTAR 2009 in Stockholm toghether with another colleague for a workshop because I would really like to follow up seriously on this subject.

Don't underestimate the power of the Dark side... is a famous quote among fans an is surely applicable on this subject.

Below are the statements I prepared, I you would like to contribute to this discussion please leave a comment or look for the discussion on LinkedIn - groups.
Have fun!

  • You can break the law to get meet your test goals

  • To protect yourself and/ or your company you may not mention (certain) results

  • Manipulation of test is allowed:

    • Execute only the right-paths

    • Execute only cases you know will have a positive result

    • Execute those cases where you want to have the answers on

  • You must always tell the truth

  • You must always be able to use Privacy sensitive data to test

  • You can drop test cases to your own insight if necessary to be ready on time

  • You must always pass on your work when your own standards and values get into a corner

  • As tester you should set aside your own standards and values to test thoroughly

  • As tester you shouldn’t have professional ethical code because it hinders the good execution of tests

  • Testing and ethics don’t mix