The Half-life of Wonderful

March 13, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

Soon it will be blaah already. Whatever wonderful things we are presented with will quickly turn them into the norm.

I can still remember when we listened to the sound of a modem connecting us to the Internet for the first time in the computer classroom at our school like we were hypnotized. The entire world would soon be at our fingertips.

It did not take long before the boys thought of the first practical use for that wonder of science and as you guessed it, it was boobs.

Nowadays we fry our nerves in a second, if the net does not spew the bit stream at a level we require.

We are the worst kind of neophiles. We become accustomed to new faster and faster, and soon our expectations adopt everything that was initially so wonderful.

New and wonderful satisfied for but a fleeting moment. After that the game gets hard, because the defining factor will be something else.

How reliably can your product deliver on its promise? How sure is it that small bugs won’t ruin your game before the customer’s attention passes over to the next candidate? How likely is it that taking a moment to familiarize oneself in your product becomes a habit of using it tomorrow still?

Wonderful has a half-life and that half-life is short. Testing prolongs that half-life for just as long to give your product a fighting chance for real pay offs or turning in profits.

Test on time. Test often.

Tuna’s Bold Request – Look at the Picture!

March 8, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

Hi! I am Tuna. We may have met before on this blog. Last time I wrote about a deer in the headlights. If that blog entry passed under your radar, you may check it out here.

Well, this week my earpiece told me about the Tester of the Year 2016 nominees. Now, the headlights are on Tuna instead of the deer.


It is an incredible honour to be able to represent Prove in this nomination. Because, the gurus at Prove happen to be pretty awesome in what they do! And the other nominees are as awesome as well. But enough talk, let’s get this done with. I most humbly request your vote. I’m worth it.

The voting is fast and painless, and it takes place here.

I Work in the Field of Mental Health

March 1, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

An amazed gaze, often without an expectation, follows when I answer that one question. What do you do Antti? Or what does your firm do?

I work in the field of mental health.

Do you know that feeling when the app or software that you are trying to use just won’t work? How frustrating can it be? Argh!

Our work is to help software developers towards more spectacular results. We catch the bugs before they can get underfoot.

That is why I say that testing is actually mental health treatment. Everyone is happier when the job is done.

I have tried several kinds of elevator speeches in front of thousands of strangers during the years. The formula that works is surprisingly simple.

  1. Opening: The opening strikes a chord with curiosity, and formulates us a shared platform. Mental health is a strange concept. In addition, everyone is frustrated when the software does not work. It is easy to grasp.
  2. Depiction: The matter itself answers the question of ‘How do I work?’. It allows an opportunity to tell that a tester is a hawk-eyed hunter, whose work results are beneficial to us all.
  3. Realization: The ending crystallizes what we actually do. But at the same time it draws the ends of the string together. The story could be concluded with the words “That is why testing is mental health work”.

Testing is seldom the sexiest business at the evening table. And it won’t become it, unless we first learn to tell about our work in a catchy way. In a way that allows lay people to realize what it is about.

Speculation Ejaculation

February 20, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

Spec means speculation. Requirement specification and user stories are a simplification of the cloud of expectations which dwells in the minds of us all.

The history of a software product produces its own group from expectations. The image of our project or firm creates more of them. The intended use and competing products also chip in, not to mention the expectations of people.

Yesterday there was one interesting requirement specification on Yle Puhe, which matters for your project as well. For example, the fifth requirement of the list was as follows:

Thou shalt not kill.

While we can agree that there was some degree of silliness going on in the stone tablets of Moses, I’d imagine that you’ve understood the underlying principle.

Requirements are actually a speculation ejaculation. They are a dust cloud, which is born from the collision between ideas and inhuman expectations. Even the culture is a force that affects that cloud. Spec strives to simplify that cloud, and will therefore always remain half complete.

If you really wish to succeed in a software project in a way where the customer could tell stories of your excellence, aim at least a part of testing and product development towards that cloud of expectations.

The Taste of Process Barf

February 13, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

Honey. Oh how wonderful honey is. One tea spoonful is the entire life’s worth of a single honeybee on summery flower fields. Honey is delicious in tee, porridge or even in coffee. It helps with cough and can even make allergy issues milder.

We could discuss honey indefinitely. Of its pros and cons, of its texture and how it feels in the mouth. We could write about it and even make a tv-documentary of its birth.

All that work feels empty, however, when we experience the honey in reality. The significance of the definition of honey in our world view changes irrevocably when we concretely feel it for the first time.

Concrete experiences ground concepts in our world. We people have one big problem. We carelessly use concepts that have no form. Nothing with which to ground them.

Test process, business strategy, religion, money, love, God, work well-being or even ‘kiky’. They are a collection of concepts without any chance of experiencing them and that is why they are so dangerous. We are left to the mercy of our thoughts.

I have seen way too many people who sit at strategy workshops with a screensaver on their face. In my opinion there should be a black list of forbidden concepts in software projects. The attention should be diverted to where real work and procedures are talked about. Without exception.

Process barf has no taste. Sweat and rolling up one’s sleeves instead is something tangible.

A Mission Impossible is Often Lack of Faith

February 9, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

It must have been due to a momentary lapse of judgment. Because, last evening I made a silent promise. I promised to write a blog text for each speech given in European Testing Conference that started today. On the spot. Live. I just did not consider that the speeches are numerous in quantity each day, and I am further burdened by trying to make time to visit the lavatories as well.

Well, now we are here and there is no escape. You can follow the blogs via Medium or Twitter. The making of drafts are in Snap.

It would be great to come up with a good final statement here, but I am pressed for time. I can only recommend giving a try to completing a creative job against the clock. It can give you a concrete understanding of why a mission impossible is often originally just a lack of faith.

Feeling Good or Cheated?

February 6, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

One year ago I gave a local Oulu based exercise-centre OzMax’s services a try. The place seemed nice, the training went without a hitch, and even becoming a customer was seamlessly easy. I was very delighted.

The first bill did not score a goal, though. The customer service gave me the silent treatment, and did not address my worries despite five different attempts made on my part, and finally I got a debt collection letter. I got frustrated and terminated the contract.

The cooperation that had seemed to start quite merrily was ended when the service provider informed me that the February payment still has to be made. Because of the contract. Thanks and goodbye.

It doesn’t matter what product we are talking about, a decision to make a purchase forms a relationship between the product and the customer. That relationship is vivid and it always has a direction. It either goes towards heyday or death.

Buying decision is only a single moment in time. Consideration and fulfillment are phases on either side of that moment. When it comes to deepening the relationship and how the reputation of the product stands, the events that transpire after the buying decision are the more critical of the two.

People are bothered by a worry as to whether or not their decision is actually the right one. One can imagine how the people who bought Samsung Galaxy Note 7 feel in airplanes these days.

The feel of whether or not a buying decision is worth it is the easiest to ensure by looking after the product. Which is why testing matters.

It doesn’t matter as to what market your product is made for. The pivotal factor is always the degree of the buyer’s remorse after the deal has been made.

Don’t Ask if I Need A Spec

January 30, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

Yesterday evening we gathered around a kitchen table for some evening snack. We habitually dim the lights on the evenings and light up a candle on the table.

The fire fascinates us all. The flame of the candle looks inviting and playful. I suppose that is exactly why Atte asked if he was permitted to touch it?

Of course you may give it a try. But can you guess what will follow?

You don’t need a scientist to guess that pushing your finger into the flame is quick to burn. The same holds true for giving the flagpole a lick on a cold winter day. Even if you go in for just a little bit.

The world is filled of obvious causalities. We don’t need a spec to know what awaits.

Don’t bother asking me if I need a spec to start testing any longer. I will always start with the humanly obvious.

Call to Action: Champions of Testing

January 16, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

What happens to be now is me steeling my mind and reaching for the unknown, because it is so important.

January has often meant N.B.L. for people. It is an acronym for New Better Life. We have new year’s resolutions and alcohol free January. We have gym quests and other things to improve ourselves.

This time I decided to think different. I invite you to a little thought experiment. The question is simple. What is the level of your expertise and reputation in January 2022? What heroic accomplishments did you make during the years, of which customers, competition, and colleagues still talk about?

That question drew me silent.

I don’t believe that the industrialization-oriented thinking from the vestiges of industrialized society can keep providing competitiveness long for anyone in our field. Asia and Automation have changed our field irrevocably already, and there is still no end in sight. In addition, the overflow of tools, options and commodities easily bury underneath them the most important thing for the jobs of future. The people.

I have spent the last few years researching where the actual value of expertise is born and the answer is not working hours or technologies. It is found in the quality of our encounters. Of how energetic, delighted, safe, secure, or happily surprised feelings are left in people, who we served.

Success stories in software development and testing are only born in others’ willingness to tell them.

Let me put this in other words also: One of easily largest innovations of pharmaceutical industry was a result of understanding that treatment responses rose when people met. By charging up the encounters between people, we also charge up the treatment response of the medicine. The same holds true for our expertise as well. I dare say that in the future testing is all about art. The Art of Testing.

Technical skills are naturally a prerequisite, with which you surpass the threshold of success. With its support, the leadership, successes and wonderful breakthroughs give birth to the stories which we, as experts, businesses and societies want to tell about.

In spring I shall build a path where no traveler has gone before. Now I ask you to join us. This is a programme, whose goal in the next five years is to produce an army of champion testers to meet the challenges of tomorrow. A group of gurus, which even the later generations will talk about, eyes alight.

Champions of testing.

I have put my entire experience of the field into this, and while under scrutiny, I will put in all I have. Sparing no sweat nor tears!

What If you Fall in Love with a Hammer?

January 12, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

I have a colleague. He is called the Doctor, and for a good reason. When it comes to test automation, the man has solved automation challenges that have been said to be impossible. And with amazing skill and accuracy.

The Doctor is regularly asked in first meetings as to what tool he uses or recommends? The man’s answer is pure diamond, that I feel a shortness of breath every time I think about it.

While you can drive a screw into the wall with a hammer, first you need to understand what you want to attach and why?

I know too many experts who start their assignments tool first. A job started from the hardware store wastes time in addition to money, and makes it more likely to end up with the wrong results.

Fall in love with the hammer and you will see only nails around.