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Showing posts from September, 2013

The Macro Expansion Heuristic – A Real World Example

I enjoy learning new things, and I especially enjoy making connections between things I've learned or read about, and applying them to real-world situations. I had the opportunity to do that today while I was brainstorming with a colleague for a presentation on model-based testing and its application in intelligent automation. We were talking about the benefits that model-based testing provided when my colleague said something that caught my attention: we are modeling requirements. I tend to be overly careful in conversations about model-based testing because my experience comes from modeling the states of use of an application and not the approach we’re taking with model-based automation, and I don’t want to use the incorrect context. So I stopped and thought about it for a few seconds before telling my colleague that I wasn't comfortable with that statement. Something about it didn't sit right with me, and I suspected it was that the statement either did not correctl

Takeaways from Our First Lean Coffee

I've noticed over the past several months that the team’s Monday morning weekly kick-off meeting was becoming more and more ineffectual. It originally began with the idea of getting team members interested and involved in the projects and tasks their team mates were working on, allowing the opportunity to meet, provide input and insight, and take a break from their own projects. What it degenerated into was a high-level review of Friday’s weekly report. It wasn't quite as bad as some of those daily stand-ups I've attended where team members point at the board and mumble “Yesterday I worked on that. Today I will work on this. No obstacles.” However, it was certainly getting close. We would occasionally find the rare nugget of information that wasn't reported on Friday, but it was certainly failing to meet its initial charter. It had been my idea, and I had the responsibility to either make it work or cancel it. I had spoken with the team a few weeks ago, asking if

Doing the Math for Assessing Communication: The Bijective Oracle

I've seen some conversations and blog posts recently about whether or not we should be arguing over semantics. Some I read and follow, some I don’t, but someone recently directed the people involved in one of these threads to a blog post by Michael Bolton. The post is entitled “ What Do You Mean By “Arguing Over Semantics”? , “ and I think it provides one of the best discussions I've seen on this subject. The thing that caught my attention was when Michael finishes the post by saying: “There’s a common thread that runs through these stories: they’re about what we say, about what we mean, and about whether we say what we mean and mean what we say. That’s semantics: the relationships between words and meaning. Those relationships are central to testing work.  If you feel yourself tempted to object to something by saying “We’re arguing about semantics,” try a macro expansion: “We’re arguing about what we mean by the words we’re choosing,” which can then be shortened to “We’re