Arkisto: October 2016

At the Checkered Flag You are Already Late!

31. Octoberta, 2016 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

The mission of a tester is to make their developer colleagues stars, just like the map reader’s mission is to make the rally driver the champion. No rally driver would be able to shine for too long in their occupation without the professional who sits next to them, because the teamwork for brilliant results is possible only by walking in stride.

You can think of this the other way around: How good a job would the map reader do by waiting at the finish line telling the driver how the race went after it has concluded?

It is surprisingly often still these days how people forget about testing and handle it this way. Even though the tempo of the business condenses fast, the working methods of testing drag their feet behind. Performing maintenance and fixes on software has never been this easy. In a wisely primed development team the distribution of an update to the end user only takes one press of a button.

A tester fiddling around at the checkered flag starts to be helplessly late.

We have often thought how the role of testing is similar to the final inspection for a building erection project. Earlier, we fought in gigantic information systems projects to prove the first date at an altar to function.

The faster the software development becomes, the surer it is that an expert thinking in old school ways become a needless expense.

P.S. I invite you to forge success stories. If you ever get inspired by the thoughts in our blog, it might be that the next Tester 3.0 training will change the flight altitude of your career as well as your life’s.

The Tyson Gay of Testing

27. Octoberta, 2016 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Have you ever been in a software project that is relentlessly advancing towards a catastrophe? Or put in words for non-perfectionists, in a project that is lot worse than it could be? Has this happened despite you suggesting, offering, showcasing, and looking for solutions during the project for the project could avoid sinking?

Have you been in many projects like this? Does it start to feel like no matter how much you increase your own expertise, brush up your communications skills or mold your strategies of influence, it still results time after time in a wonderful software product slipping away and beyond the reach of the team, and all you are left is with a sneering caricature of the vision that was shared by everyone during the start of the project?

This must be how Tyson Gay feels, when time after time Usain Bolt skips to claim the victory from right in front of his nose.

But before you fall into despair and give up on the seemingly useless endless road of self-improvement and adopt the role of ‘Hey, I’m just working here!’ take a note of this:

Tyson Gay does a fierce amount of work to be the second fastest man in the world. If he were to not train or improve his performance or to drive himself forward, he would never have the chance to be the second fastest man in the world.

Improving as a tester (or in numerous other occupations) is a constant examination of one’s own actions, to analyze the successes and failures in hindsight and to broadly learn new things. For a tester, testing is merely the beginning. A true finalist of testing is expected to have deep knowledge of communication, thorough understanding of cognition sciences and a broad spectrum of social skills.

And when you learn in every project, improve your own work as experience accumulates, suddenly all projects turn themselves into victories for your own self. Then some day you can change the course of a project headed for a crash back to safe waters.

So read a lot, meditate your own actions later on and if you need a push to a right direction, get trained!

The First Date by the Altar of Software Development

24. Octoberta, 2016 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Do you remember the Married At First Sight TV-format? In it, a group of experts attempted to choose a dream spouse for people seeking their better halves, and the pair met for the first time by the altar, exchanging vows. It was damn entertaining, even though the results usually did not last until the silver anniversary.

One builds up more lasting relationships in lot simpler ways. People go on a date. Then they do it again and again. People find and delight. Sometimes people anger and make up. The most important thing is to meet up often, so that the rough edges have a chance to smooth up, and for a chance for something amazing to transpire.

This simple insight is something that we have also taken up as our own in the field of software business. The true and long lasting value in software projects is born only when the customer goes to the altar on a first date with the product they ordered. And preferably right now rather than later.

Luckily, the first dates by the altar in software business repeat more seldom year after year and we get to enjoy higher quality end products regardless of the target audience.

P.S. I invite you to forge success stories. If you ever felt inspired by the thoughts in our blog, could be that the Testaaja 3.0 training could permanently change the flight altitude of your life and career.

Teamwork Works for Avoiders of Responsibility

20. Octoberta, 2016 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Social loafing is a phenomenon where shared responsibilities lower the efficiency of an individual.

The phenomenon has far reaching effects in, for example, the world of sports. If the responsibility of a sporting result is divided to an entire team, then it starts to worsen the efficiency of the individuals. Going all-in subconsciously becomes less appealing as there are others around you to share victory or defeat. The individual gives off less energy and power.

The same phenomenon repeats in the animal kingdom. It can be measured, for example, by researching how energetically the avian species take care of their offspring. The amount of food carried home ratio for the offspring by a single parent is larger than the ratio for those of a two parent nest.

When examining the world of sports, one can however find a difference. All the members of a team put in their best performances when it comes to relay sports. In this situation, each athlete performs individually under the constant scrutiny of the audience and colleagues. This leaves no cover to hide behind.

In my opinion, this thought opens up the playing field for an interesting a results-producing question.

In which cases could your teamwork be possible to be connected in a series, rather than parallel?

Why Does an Extra Resource Worsen the Infection?

14. Octoberta, 2016 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

A cliché means an idea that has been used a lot, in other words, a repetition. Regrettably, the word so often references negative images. In my opinion, repetition is an essential phase, from which one strives for breakthroughs.

The origin of the word ‘cliché’ comes from French and from the cradle of the printing press. During the dawn of printing technology, the texts were formed one letter at a time on pressing plates that had an area of one single page each. This was until some lazy person decided to cut some corners short.

It was wise to make ready molds for words and expressions that repeated a lot, that is to say, to make them into clichés instead of having to form them one letter at a time each time they came up. This made it faster to form the texts for the pressing plates.

Every great story has begun from the first step. It has been necessary to fulfill the full potential of the story to build in repetition onto the basis of the previous successes.

For some reason, the majority of software projects is based on repeating familiar things, provided that critical examination has been made impossible.

Repeating familiar things just happens to always produce familiar results. More accurate or diligent work with familiar things does not produce new results, but only more accurate and diligent familiar results.

To put this in other words: If budgets, time tables and resources has screwed up before, then more charitable or accurate repetition of the same thing ensures that it will screw up again within the same parameters, but on a larger scale.

Herein lies one hidden reason for why extra resourcing seems to only produce more pain in projects, while small garage teams produce world-shaking products in place of having a summer job.

It is in fact essential for the world’s success stories to have repetitions on the previous successes.

I will repeat: Repetition built on previous successes takes you towards breakthroughs!

If a way of doing work is inefficient or stupid, then hiring extra resources will increase inefficiency or stupidity from that it was. If you want to succeed, you must first tune your methods of work up and only then start to scale it.

This Letter is For You

11. Octoberta, 2016 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Dear Guru,

I am writing to you, because what I have is so important. In the upcoming years, I want to witness wonderful success stories, which start from you.

Businesses never buy your help. People might sometimes. There are no exceptions.

People may buy your help should two reasons come to pass. If they know you exist, and if they feel like they trust you.

You cannot birth trust, if you are not known.

First, you need to become familiar. What needs to be done is to offer strangers the opportunity to discover you and what you can do.

Sometimes we say that the first impression is important. We say that it is difficult to change later on. Getting attached to that notion is dangerous, since uncertainty gets a foothold in what you do. You easily start to feel afraid.

The entire equation of specialist work falls short before it even starts. Because, most people do not provide an impression at all when they are afraid. Not even their name lingers behind.

First impression is the first necessity for professional reputation, but the game becomes even more unfair. Your professional reputation is built on other people’s silent expectations and polarized thinking way before you even arrive.

Despite that, there are no options, because people buy your help for two reasons only.

As an artisan of expertise you stand for yourself first and mainly. Your customer’s most valuable business secrets are always in your hands and not in the hands of the firm you stand for.

It is useful, should your firm have a good reputation. Yet, the most important question is whose responsibility is it to make use of your own or employer’s name to open new doors and to produce new trust?

The entire story always returns to one single person. That is you, dear guru. What could you do today to strive for trust and professional reputation?

P.S. I invite you to forge new success stories. If you became inspired by our blog’s ideas, it might just be that the Tester 3.0 training will permanently change your life and the flight altitude of your career.

What are We Talking About when We Talk about Quality?

6. Octoberta, 2016 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Quality is an erroneously created concept! Attempts to define quality will only produce more suffering to the world. When we talk about it, we try to offer each other our own opinions. When we measure it, we actually measure the metrics we have built ourselves, because we do find them important. When we define its criteria, in reality we define something that cannot be defined by words or numbers. It is mathematics, which models in its entire useless beauty only its own rules or physics, which stubbornly presumes stuff for so long that it finally finds them.

WHAT? Why did yours truly suddenly make shameless claims such as these, which preach open war against every life bettering (read: things that make things more difficult) standard or even natural laws? This is sacrilege! We need tar and feathers here! The writer ought to be put into stocks!

In human intercourse the tragedy begins,

not when there is a misunderstanding about words,

but when silence is not understood.

This idea by H.D. Thoreau (1817-1862) contains deep wisdom. I don’t dare claim that I’d perfectly understand that wisdom, but I dare bring up an opinion regarding it. The kind which might change immediately after this text has been written. Life is wonderful, when you get to turn your coat whenever you feel like it!

The most brightest core is found,

 where we never talk about.

It emerges from there, which we never define. The more we define, the more we fall in love, and we all know that love is blind. We cannot see the forest, because it is so full of trees! We cannot see what the pieces really look like, because the world is so damn full of light! We cannot hear the silence, because we are so in love with our own voice! Talking is actually their fun, who know not how to listen. Maybe the real love is overcoming the blindness of your own love…

What are we actually talking about when we talk among ourselves? What are our opinions in reality? What do we leave without attention, when our own fear state brought about by our uncertainty drives us to decide that our opinions are facts? What do we protect, when we fight for those facts?

An opinion is an experience of value for someone,

who matters.

P.S. When all experience has to do with framework, the readers of this test marketing blog have a quiet duty to replace the parts of the text they want with the word quality, which I use as a hobbyhorse to produce a lovely framework for our shared illusion.

Who Brings the Food to the Professional’s Table?

3. Octoberta, 2016 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

A few weeks ago I ran across the following kind of notion in a newspaper article:

“…children’s clothing firm’s woolen hats have just come on sale and the web store broke down. Many were left without the things they wanted. Far-sighted people didn’t rely on the web store’s functionality – since they tend to crash when everyone logs on at the same time. They were queuing in the actual shop…”

This got me thinking… are we, the ambassadors of testing, failed in our calling, when people are already changing their behavior models when presented with an ‘opening day spike’, instead of demanding for a functioning web store?!

People have always known how to go around obstacles and function for their own gain, and the IT-era has not changed that. But, for the children’s clothing firm, it is very worrying that customers remain without merchandise through the web store.

The growth, even the survival, of young firms can be up to the web store staying functional during peak times. It might be turn out to be that the people responsible for producing that web store for the firm might be left without a customer, for one reason or another. The same fate might face the business who offered to handle the server capacity for that web store.

What is the solution to this problem? If you believe that the customer’s part is to know how to explicitly demand beforehand what they will end up needing from their supplier, then you are a part of the problem. You cannot pile the entire burden of responsibility onto the shoulders of the testers either, because smaller projects might not even have a professional tester in them, and even in the bigger ones, the tester might not be yet around in the beginning of the project.

A guideline for a good tester is to observe the system, with the customer’s business’s functionality being a priority, but I think that the entire supply chain ought to incorporate this guideline as a part of theirs. That is nothing new. It is a matter of professional pride.

The customers buy from us, not only a system, but also the expertise. We can implement the system they order from us, the system they actually need, and also tell them what they might need in the future and help prepare them for it.

At the end of any supply chain is a paying customer, in one way or another, and that customer’s satisfaction and existence is what ultimately brings the food to the table of all software business professionals.