Oct 04

Testers: Are they Vegetable or Mineral?

Mr Ed.: Testers: Are they Vegetable or Mineral?.
Well, uhm, umpf. Ahem. Of course, from a software developers point of view, the answer is: “Yes.”
Great post by Mr. Ed. I would like to elaborate a few points:

Omitting Screen Shots

It’s not about screen-shots per se, it’s about getting a snapshot of the systems state when the bug was noticed. In a desktop environment, that’s obviously a test document created with your application (plus any support files). Otherwise 9 out of 10, the developers won’t be able to reproduce the bug which causes lots of frustration. Plus it wastes valuable engineering resources.

Diagnosing Instead of Reporting

Refrain from wondering why the bug was introduced in the first place. Don’t give hints on how to resolve the bug (“You should refrain from dereferenceing a null-pointer”).

Irrelevant Estimates

Don’t include phrases like “should be easy to fix” or “will only take 5minutes” in your bug reports. There are no easy fixes. The last easy-fix I heard about was seen in Tasmania in the late 1930s.

Bugs & Features

Carefully distinguish between bug and feature request. Especially if you’re an engineer testing software.

Calm down

Last but not least: Don’t write bug-reports when being stressed-out. Beware of your language after having discovered a bug while being at the wrong time in the wrong place.

Oct 04

People lie on surveys & focus groups

Raymond Chen: People lie on surveys and focus groups, often unwittingly.

Oct 04

On Client Education

Michael Cage: Client education in retail health food stores (and your small business, too…).
On a related note, we found that a substantial amount of customers won’t ask tech support for help if they are stuck with the product. They won’t call. They won’t e-mail. How do we make it as easy and effortless as possible for customers to ask the right questions?

Oct 04

Good Enough

Good Enough: There is no such thing as “good enough”. There is only improvement or decline. (Via Hot Needle Of Inquiry.)
Improving just a little bit every day get’s damn hard if you’re in a CD-Master production frenzy for more than 3 weeks.

Oct 04

The Rule of The Big Two

The Rule of The Big Two – If you’re into C++, a great read.

Oct 04

2004 Ig Noble Prices

On the lighter side of things, here are the winners of the 2004 Ig Noble Prices.
Highlights are

Hilarious. Check it out.