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Showing posts from December, 2013

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking.....

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking. The ultimate cliché for those who are accustomed to public speaking.
For me though it was true, it was my first time up on stage, in front of the lights, with an audience I (mostly) didn't know. I was surprised. I was nervous, and I'm not a nervous person. But I really enjoyed it, and I think the audience did too. 
When I look back, these positive points come to mind: The subject matter was something I felt strongly about. I have wrestled with the subject for the past four years and had endured some hard lessons and some great successes, giving me real confidence. It was based on experience and not theory. Lots (and lots) of practice. Both in my head and out loud. This allowed me to get my timing right, tweak content and most importantly, the talk felt natural. As soon as I started, my brain knew what was up next and how long to spend on area.I went light on the slide content. My previous attempts at speaking had been focused on the slides…

Project Inception: The Forgettable Mnemonic

This blog is designed to help me to remember the thing that I'd created a mnemonic about, so I didn't forget. I did forget it, immediately after presenting on the topic. So, writing it down should help.
So, when you want to kick off your project in an expedient but sensible manner try my charming mnemonic, IWOOWI (pronounced I-WOO-WI):

Iterate, Man! If your engineering iterations are two weeks then limit your project inception to that period too. There is an excellent chance that more thinking than this will only ever beget more and more thinking at this point.


Who Feels What About Which or Whom and Why?  I know, this is awkward as you'll need to ask about feelings. Let me put it this way, how many rational decisions were made on your last project? Humans are inherently irrational, place no expectations of sensible decisions on your stakeholders. Discovering how they feel about a feature/deadline/other stakeholder is more useful information than what they know. As it will be wh…

I was wrong and we missed out

So, it was the office Christmas Party on Friday. 
A few beers and laughs were had, much discussion on our testing world but on reflection I missed a great opportunity.
I need to be vague but chatting to a person (currently a programmer, who will remain nameless) who said that someone who he knew 'took a step down the ladder and decided to be a tester.'
Now, my response contained more than a little indignation. I put together a polite but scathing comeback, wallowing in my own righteousness.
I was wrong. I had a chance to have a reasoned debate around why this person thought what he thought about testing as a craft. I could have asked:
Why do you think its a step down?Is working with a tester valuable to you?What skills do testers you know have?What skills do you think they should have?
I let that slip away when we could have learned something from each other. And another chance to progress the debate of the value of testers and what we bring to the world.
Shame.