Arkisto: December 2012

When the Cat’s away, the Mice will Play

21. Decemberta, 2012 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

We at the Prove office have always had an unbelievable mountain of coffee cups on the kitchen table. We hauled them into the dishwasher each Friday while cursing loudly.

Why can’t you shove these where the sun won’t shine right after you’re done using them?!

Then came Jaakko. Jaakko had a strange habit. He always does more work than is required of him. And the results speak for themselves. The man solved our problem right away with a very simple threat.

“Don’t leave coffee cups lying around!”

“(or I’ll kill you!)”

From that point onward, the coffee cups could no longer be seen. Now we are facing strange times, since Jaakko is packing up his things and leaving after Christmas to Helsinki. He departs to strengthen up Prove’s team to the capital region for the duration of this spring. Will the mice play, now that the cat is away?!

Hardly, since this year we have again learned something important. These lessons also stay true outside the realm of testing.

It is worth doing a little bit extra work than what is necessary. When you have achieved the level of trust, no one is there to look over your shoulder. You even get more results and get to smile all day long.

Prove and the blog wishes everyone a wonderful Christmas!

Urgency, what a Wonderful Excuse

17. Decemberta, 2012 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

It is easy to hide behind urgency. Especially when the urgency is real. Urgency is an attractive excuse to postpone something unpleasant indefinitely. Who would actually want to know what the status of the software is, if that will just cause extra work?

No can do, we’re far too busy. Let’s test in, say… March.

Urgency can be caused by several factors in a software project. Pretty often the project risks are about lack of resources or running out of time.

  • It feels like deadline is upon us and that there are too many issues still
  • It feels like the pace of development is hurried and torn
  • It feels like there is not enough manpower in the project.
  • It feels like the marketing has promised the impossible

Projects often start steady and peacefully. Then the pace gets quicker and finally the urgency grabs a hold of you. The last weeks of the project are fueled by kebab, coffee and sleep deprivation. That if anything is healthy. In addition, it feels good to be able to brag to your friends about being busy.

These problems are most typical in projects where the testing has been taken care of amidst your own work. Testing is done when you have the time for it and sometimes you can skip testing. Urgency is a wonderful excuse.

As a matter of fact, neglected testing due to sense of urgency is the main reason for the urgency getting even more urgent. Controlling problem spots, emergency updates and warranty fixes make deadlines impossible to meet. And then, you run out of resources.

Sometimes you are so busy rowing that you do not have the time to start the boat’s motor. That is when it is a good time to roll up your sleeves and get out of your trenches. Stop hiding behind urgency!