Cool things I read this week (26-Oct-2014)

I read. A lot. And I share the 5 best things I read every week. This week features an interesting take on a failure model, a Andreesen Horowitz presentation, crash test dummies, a thought provoking talk on the role luck plays and yet another org chart cartoon.

1. Crash only thinking
2. Mobile is eating the world
3. Overweight crash test dummies
4. The lottery analogy to software development
5. Yet another org chart cartoon


My notes:

1. Crash only thinking
A very interesting write up. I have often wondered if catching all kind of bugs is correct for a testing team. Business impact bugs cause the organization to learn faster, grow up quicker, improve safety culture, plug processes and better risks. With that in mind, I’m pretty sure the healthy/optimal number of business impact bugs in any software should probably be a number greater than zero. This concept is super hard for a tester to admit and very hard for me verbalize here. I should just devote another blog post to clarify what I mean. For software engineers, interesting related articles include: The rise of Worse is better and The challenge of “good enough” software.

2. Mobile is eating the world
Mobile is eating the world. Nice deck created by Benedict Evans of Andreesen Horowitz. The longer I stay in India, the more I am aware of how mobile devices (even the no-smart variety) are changing the world. I liked this deck primarily because mobile testing is my new hobby. If you are starting out your testing career now, I would strongly encourage you to focus on testing mobile devices.

3. Overweight crash test dummies
Good test setups mimic a range of users. Apparently car companies are using overweight crash test dummies to model the growing obesity problem. I’m actually surprised that this change is happening only now.

4. The lottery analogy to software development

I did not agree with all the conclusions. I did not agree with the proposed method of pseudo-randomly throwing stuff at a wall and seeing what sticks. I did not like the kickstarter example used in this talk – in that the first kickstarter campaign raised >$100k and validated demand. However, I did like three things in this talk. One, I liked the satire aspect of this 22 minute talk i.e., the first 10 minutes or so. Two, I liked that the role of luck was acknowledged and acknowledged well. Three, I liked how the speaker marketed his efforts in an interesting way.

5. Yet another org chart cartoon
Obviously I cannot get enough of org structure cartoons.



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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