Arkisto: April 2017

Responsibility is a Difficult Thing?

28. Aprilta, 2017 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

I have been pondering for a bit about people and responsibility. What kind of people take responsibilities and why? How does taking responsibility affect the surrounding people and why does the overwhelming majority of people try to avoid responsibilities.

Some time ago I read texts of Søren Kierkegaard, the father of existentialism, and in his mind, the illusion of becoming communal is what makes a person irresponsible. For example, religious communities are based on some higher power taking responsibility of their actions, and in business organizations the final responsibility lies on the shoulders of the CEO, whereas in a team one can work quietly without actually doing anything. When you are responsible, you are also responsible of mistakes and that is scary.

The one who takes responsibility is easily given power as well, and there is a lot of responsibility to go around. It is not in people’s nature to desire for responsibility, as it is unnatural and easy to relinquish. Everyone is ultimately responsible of only themselves, isn’t that how it goes? In many bigger organizations the responsibility is moved around, and for example a single tester does not really feel significant or being responsible of anything. What if you were to be?

I am responsible of bugs being discovered on time and that the client is satisfied!

Testers! Let us come together, except not quite, and let us assume the responsibility of breaking the illusion of a bugless software! When you show that you have actual responsibilities, maybe the developer will also believe that the bug you discovered is valid!

This Is How You Get to a Conference or a Training Course

11. Aprilta, 2017 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Conferences and training courses are a wonderful place to feel vented from the usual days of an office worker. Often what happens is, that obtaining the permission to attend such a trip feels arduous.

What used to be the most difficult thing for me to do was to think what to fill in to an empty e-mail sheet.

Now I decided to sit down and write a base, which you can then copy and remix to fit your need.



Subject: Shall we fix [the team’s/business’s current testing challenge]?




Greetings [the name of the amazing boss goes here]

I would like to participate in Leading Testing course in Helsinki on 20th-21st.

The most important gains from the course are not the powerpoints, but the concrete exercises they hold there that strive for testing that produces results. In my understanding, the most important course themes for us are these:

  1. On the course we practice practical methods for testing and organizing it, so that developers and the rest of the team could gain even more benefits from a testing done right.
  2. In addition, I will be gaining tools to teach the insights I bring home to the rest of our organization.

In addition to the course contents which are diamond, I believe that the discussions between the other testers offer a chance to learn the best practices across the fields.

The course price is 1290€ (at 0 VAT). I do understand that in addition to this investment, I would be away from office for two days. I can, however, take care of my work in a way that keeps things together while I am at the course.

I am convinced that this would be one of the best investments of our team/firm, when it comes to testing.

Is there anything else of which I could convince you, so that you could consider giving a permission for this?

Included is some information regarding what the training course is about:

Best regards,

Amazing Tester

The Artist Formerly Known as A Critic

3. Aprilta, 2017 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

One beautiful day a music critic walked into the home of a composer and gave feedback about the composer’s latest product. The composer noted the music critic’s opinions. Some parts were discarded, some were changed a bit.

Next, the music critic paid a visit to the lyricist. The music critic went through the rhythms of the words and the relationship between melody and syllables with the lyricist. They tweaked the lyrics.

Confidently, the band entered the studio. The music critic sat in the control room, and made each musician perform multiple takes. In this band we don’t do it on the first try.

Music critic was not yet satisfied. The band had already done their work, but the music critic still fine-tuned the resulting mixing and mastering for a long while.

The music critic was a member of the old school. Not some mp3-generation. The essential part of the whole art piece is also the record’s cover art. They did end up making several sketches, before everyone could be satisfied with the end result.

Well, in reality, the music critic steps in after the record is ready and published. The best bands, however, tweak their art piece in every segment of the creation process with due attention, and think through every little detail from multiple perspectives. Finally, credits are given to at least the composer, the lyricist, the players of each instrument, the producer, the sound engineer, mixer, masterer and the cover artist. The critic is not mentioned.

Is the tester in your software project merely a critic? If so, maybe it is time to talk about the role with the tester and ponder how to get full benefits from testing in order to create a masterpiece.

P.S. Thanks for inspiration to the ‘Devaaja’ in our comment section. We play in the same band. ;)