Cool things I read this week (17-Aug-2014)

I read. A lot. And I share the 5 best things I read every week.
1. Embedding Python in Bash scripts
2. Insert an image in an excel comment
3. The unreasonable customer
4. Why children hide by covering their eyes
5. Human error: the vast difference between hitting F6 and F7 buttons


My notes:

This week I had over a dozen interesting conversations with testers on a range of testing topics. A lot of my interesting reads come from links they shared.

1. Embedding Python in Bash scripts
Its no secret. I love Python. This is such a cool hack.

2. Insert an image in an excel comment
One of my oldest testing buddies and I were discussing how a lot of good testing is essentially purposeless. We execute weird sequences of actions. Occasionally we stumble on nuggets and cool hacks in the software under test. I do not know why any one would want images in Excel comments, but I emotionally connected with people who stumbled into this hack.

3. The unreasonable customer
One of my favorite testing theories is “Its not the developer … most of the time”. The other day, a colleague and me were talking about how having the right set of customers can influence the quality of the product. This Seth Godin article was useful.

4. Why children hide by covering their eyes
Another article that started with a deep discussion on testing. We were discussing management biases that apply to testing. One person pointed out that management falsely equates testing to “creating bugs” for developers to fix. Obviously if there were less testing, less bugs would be “created” and the product can be shipped early. I looked up the psychology behind it and stumbled upon this article.

5. Human error: the vast difference between hitting F6 and F7 buttons
Someone pressed the F7 key instead of the F6 key causing grief for the US President and giving birth to a conspiracy theory. This is going to be my new example when explaining that complex systems fail in complex ways. I used to talk about Al Chapanis and the gear flaps. This story is better!


Arunkumar Muralidharan
I want to find out what conditions produce remarkable software. A few years ago, I chose to work as the first professional tester at a startup. I successfully won credibility for testers and established a world class team. I have lead the testing for early versions of multiple products. Today, I run Qxf2 Services. Qxf2 provides software testing services for startups. If you are interested in what Qxf2 offers or simply want to talk about testing, you can contact me at: mak@qxf2.com. I like testing, math, chess and dogs.

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