Saturday, December 30, 2017

Knowing your dress size

This is one of a rare cartoon where its root is not from a software testing happening but rather developed from a colleague who missed his jacket. He sent an email to everyone asking who might have taken it.
It later turned out it was Jon (anonymized) who accidentally took it, but seemed not to realize this jacket was far too big for him. His height was quite a bit different from the owner’s.

The cartoon is a metaphor on what happens sometimes when companies start introducing UI test automation. You buy an expensive tool only to find out, what you want to automate is not supported or requires expensive add-ons. At the worst, one needs to hire experts to develop extensions, so the tool works well with the AUT (application-under-test). Of course, these extensions need maintenance and maintenance is seldom for free. I am not starting a debate about what's best, open source or off-the shelf. This answer can only be given in a context which we don't have here. But I strongly believe that it’s no bad practice to first start with a cheap or an open-source solution which fits your current "dress size" and which lets you experiment, and develop more specific ideas to learn better what you really need. Having enough time to explore helps you narrow down your requirements catalogue. You are growing with the experience you make and after a while you may end up realizing the current "jacket" no longer fits or needs some boosters. It may also be the right moment to restart the tool evaluation and look for a more suitable "jacket" that fits your new dress size, but at least you do this now with a more specific background - which is knowing your dress size.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Bug or Feature?

Except from the text, the cartoon is not really my own invention, since there are plenty of VW Beetle pictures in the web showing a license tag with the letters "FEATURE", but it gave me finally the opportunity to raise a "monument" for my beloved old Volvo Amazon which unfortunately I don't have anymore.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Life as a Software Tester

I keep telling people that I have more talent to break things than to actually build things, since, whatever I touch breaks apart or results in another nice story that I can convert into a new cartoon published on this blog.
But honestly, I hope this is just a funny myth since I also built things successfully that are used by a large group of people worldwide. Maybe I just look at things a little bit differently. I love the speaches, articles and books of James Whittaker, Dorothy Graham, Johnathan Kohl and many many more; I am hungry to learn from them on a continuous basis and apply some of these techniques to my daily work with pleasure. Even at home I keep myself busy with software testing matters whenever the time allows me to. This is what the cartoon expresses here.

It all started more than 20 years ago with test automation, developing and running automated UI and B2B tests, using tools such as Rational Robot, SOAPUI, InCisif, WatiN, Selenium (and my team also used Ranorex), integrated in CI with Jenkins and I totally love home-brew solutions developed in C# like the recently newborn keyword driven test automation framework which is (at least for me) the next generation of another great Excel based test automation tool we used at an earlier company. Why C#? Sorry, - I am not a Microsoft advocate but MS Visual Studio is simply one of the best IDEs I have ever seen.

I also love tools like PerlClip, AllPairs, KDIFF3. I love to test through the side-door and last but not least...

I love to draw cartoons about software testing, my way of expressing weird experiences into something more exhilarant.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Video conference characters

Oh man, you cannot imagine how I loved to draw this cartoon, but I understand that probably none except the people involved in this video conference might actually find this funny.
I posted it anyway because I just learnt an interesting topic. It is really difficult to draw a character just per se...it actually needs an incident or a happening that everyone associates doubtless to that same person. So is the Kiwi which everyone associates to our always cheerful developer from NZ who - at Halloween - had a skeleton behind his armchair. Darth Vader got his nickname from the fact that we can hardly see him in the video conference because he is always sitting in a dark grey shaded room and usually keeps a straight face...and then in the very act they caught me while I was drawing on the board the first drafts for today's portraits.