The Unspoken Power of a Tester

March 27, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

A tester’s job is to offer their helping hand, so that the product stays in a good shape and the project keeps to its schedule. When we observe our surroundings, it can be seen that the helping is infused with a lot of unspoken meanings.

Helping is a power game, where we make the other dependant on our help.

Why do we even help other people? Because we are selfish. Everything we do, carries within them a seed of selfishness. We do good unto ourselves and others, because doing the good thing makes us feel better about ourselves. In addition, we do good unto others, so that we could avoid feeling bad instead. Doing good and helping others by denying our selfishness – or especially doing it because we feel guilty – gives birth to unnatural relations of dependence, to which we get addicted to.

When we do good unto others by offering our helping hand, an unspoken power game is also given birth at the same time. A power game, where our power is dependant on the helped party submitting under our own power. When this happens, we do not wish to relinquish that achieved power.

Because we do feel ourselves important when something or someone is dependant on us.

Avoid giving birth to additional relations of dependence. Instead of offering your helping hand to a fallen, rather offer them a support, with which they can pull themselves back up. Offer help, which makes the weak strong, and strengthens the strong further.

Instead of how you have always been conditioned to think, perform acts of wisdom to make the success stories and the life of a software project in the work community around you not dependant on Your help. What follows will be amazingly marvelous.

Two Momentums that Dictate Your Success

March 23, 2017 | Author: Antti Niittyviita

Yes. This concerns you regardless of whether or not your product is a service, piece, software or cv.

The most defining factor for your product’s future is not the customer’s journey to a purchase decision. It is the journey from that decision onwards. Getting that decision to purchase is indeed a prerequisite for getting started, but after that is the real work.


I held a presentation in OAKK’s morning seminar with a set about the two tools of success and reputation balance. If you cannot get past the beginning, I’ll spare your time and reveal the bullets.

  1. Stories they tell about your product, after you have left the scene.
  2. The ways your customer returns to, after your five minutes of fame has passed.

In both of these momentums of success the defining is how skillfully your product meets and exceeds the expectations that are invested in it.

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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.