Arkisto: December 2015

Succeed Blatantly in the Year 2016

23. Decemberta, 2015 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Would you be interested if I were to promise you a magic trick as a Christmas present, with which you could, for example, improve your resistance system, brighten up your thoughts, lower the amount of stress hormones in your system, develop your problem solving abilities and solve differences in work and on free time?

Indeed. Would you? Be interested, that is.

I daresay this to work, since I have come across sufficiently many research results regarding this lately. The horrifying part is that not even my personal experience of trying it almost wasn’t enough to convince me, because we people do not tend to believe in results brought about by patient work. Especially, if it demands very little on your part, or if it threatens to insult your methods of though which are already set in their tracks.

Google it, if your ego won’t otherwise believe it! Benefits of Journaling.

Successful people and people who train them tell in unison, that one of the most important methods of continuous success is a journal. That is, a practiced method of making notes. And preferably on paper rather than on screen. It means tuning your most important tool towards better results.

If you cannot figure out where to start, the first thing you do when you wake up write in your notebook one thanks, the main goal of your beginning day and finally tempt fate by writing one sentence which start with the words “I am…”.

Now, keen on the idea and driven wild by the last day at work this year I promise the following:

Send me an e-mail with the subject “journal”. In it, tell your name and your address. I will send you a pen and a notebook full of empty pages. Then the stage is yours. Merry Christmas, and make the year 2016 awesome!

P.S. These are only available for the first 100. The address is: firstname @

Mechanics of Breakthroughs

15. Decemberta, 2015 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

We humans have a strange custom of striving for victories. Our custom of hoping, asking, envisioning, wanting and even praying for successes has a tendency to be accompanied by weird adverbs. For example, easy and immediate are perennial favorites.

Breakthroughs pretty much never follow our instructions. They have a stigma of first offering failures. And rather, in larger heaps than in small ones. That, if anything, is sure to discourage a shame-prone citizen of kaamos such as myself.

Of course, the only way of failing for real is if you give up. Or don’t even bother trying in the first place!

Yet, that is something that is very difficult to remember when you are frustrated.

Patience means that you are ready to suffer a bit before reaching your goals. It means that you are prepared to pay the price for results beforehand, without making use of quick loans. It is an investment, one could say.

Breakthroughs have another tendency. They always know how to provide happy surprises. More closely put, around 10-18 months after an epic failure. To get there one must learn that one winning method, which can take you past the finish line.

Doing will always provide a result. That is why the skill of getting started is the first and the most important one. Getting started is always a success in providing effects. Breakthroughs, on the other hand, are an inevitable consequence of harnessing shifting effects.

But what does this have to do with testing? Well, for example, in that one should not keep tripping over epic failures time after time.

If you thirst for breakthroughs, first love the dance of trial and error. Time and probability start to work in your favor for reaching your goals. And then there is that testing. Testing is working to manipulate your chances for the better.

Exoplanets of the Bit Space

6. Decemberta, 2015 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Guest writer Sini Lindfors is a sharp and efficient testing expert to whom exploratory testing is close to heart.

Space is vast. Huge. In the same way, a software being tested can also be immense, especially when you have limited resources at your disposal. Focusing your search and zooming is important in them both. You have to be able to do it. Otherwise you will just poke here and there across the Milky Way and even the stuff you know will remain unseen.

Searching for exoplanets is easy, but finding them is hard. The same phenomenon holds true for testing as well. The testing itself is no rocket science, but recognizing bugs and convincing others about them can be surprisingly difficult.

Most of the exoplanets have been discovered by entirely other means than through direct sightings. The same way, the symptom can be discovered in testing before the actual cause of it. The spectrum of stars, overpasses and good old random luck belong to exoplanet hunts. The latter said cannot be reproduced or anticipated. Everyone has surely encountered a bug that has remained a mystery, a flashbug.

What should one do with exoplanets or bugs that only briefly shine brightly? Astronomers are even worse off than testers, since at least we still have hope. But how? What if those flashbugs cause larger problems in the future? Must you simply keep on observing the problem long-term (which is one means of discovering exoplanets, by the way?) Or give up?

One cannot find straight answers to these questions and one has to document these flashes case by case and leave them aside. More pressing problems call for a tester’s attention, who must not forget the limited amount of resources.

With space I am intrigued by its mysteries, but in testing mysteries are harder to stand.

To be or not to be? That is a flashbug.