Month: March 2011

Quality has new meaning – it is shit

I do not find that title implied to me; but see it almost everyday being implied to others.

This is in a continuation to a post a while back. In that post, I talked about a project team and their view point on quality. Here is an addition to the same set of people. The conversation goes like

Project Manager: I was just checking on the defect count and noticed we have 24 open P1 and P2 in system. How are we are going to go live tomorrow. What just happened?

QA Manager 1: Nothing, it is just that my team currently does not have any work for Release 2. They had some time on their hands and hence pro-actively they started to test in R1 and logged these defects.

Project Manager 1: so what are you going to do?

QA Manager 1: Nothing, these are not R1 defects. Testing is closed. We wrapped that last week and all these have tobe logged in R2. These are not R1 defects.

Everyone else in the room which included Analyst, and Project Managers laughed about it and joked that this is funny and defects have to go away.

This was the last point of discussion in the meeting and I was shell shocked to say anything. Not that it would have mattered to these guys. I am responsible for the delivery of a different project and not the modules they were talking about. So, amongst all politics and shock I did not say anything. But, I was thinking what happened to quality here.

One of them was the QA Manager, who is responsible for quality of the project and she said “Testing is closed”. How would we feel if Toyota or Honda or any car manufacturer would say that decide to fix problems in the next batch or version of the car.

And what amuses me is that these discussions reach people who are Director IT and Vice President IT and they are in agreement of the fact that “Testing is closed”

 

Google may launch an iTunes rival

Reports are swirling around the Internet that Google is in the advanced stages of testing a music service that could one day rival Apple iTunes. The reports come amid ongoing online murmurings that Google is working away on a social networking platform behind closed doors.

Read the full story here.

Dare to Share – A New Culture of Collaboration in the Enterprise

The web and ever-transforming digital technology have revolutionized the concept of communication and collaboration at work. Fundamental to employee collaboration is how individuals join together to achieve a mutual goal. Collaboration is based on the idea that sharing knowledge through cooperation helps solve problems more efficiently. In the enterprise, this principle couldn’t be more true, especially as more and more employees are engaging with one another through asynchronous, socially-geared technology.

Read more at: http://blog.socialcast.com/e2sday-dare-to-share-a-new-culture-of-collaboration-in-the-enterprise/

Cairngorm 3

I chanced upon this yesterday (http://sourceforge.net/adobe/cairngorm/home/) and was impressed with what they are trying to do. Building upon Parsley looking to do a lot of injection and also support modules that they have been criticized for in the past.

Looks like Adobe Cairngorm team finally got it right.

Mobile Web – In a different way

This presentation talks about how mobile web should be thought about and does talks about some numbers too. I like three things about the presentation:

 

1. The creativity with whcih it has been built and;

2. Talks about the core of the problem and;

3. Touches upon how we can go about fixing it.

Eclipse takes a leap with Marketplace

This is something not new to world, but is to me. Last night, when I started to upgrade my development environment to use Eclipse Helios, the very first thing I needed was a plugin to get met maven based projects working – m2clispe. Like in the past I started to search the net for a URL that I can dump the “Install Software” screen and navigate through the various options and then find any missing dependencies to get that going.

But, I was in for a surprise – Eclipse Marketplace. I read about Eclipse launching a marketplace a while back, but because I was not actively developing back then, it did not register. However, a tutorial reminded me the Marketplace.

The experience from there on was simply wonderful, something that I am not familiar in the Java world of development. Kudos to the Eclipse team to get this one going.

Nest step if to install many more plugins in my new Helios before I get back to development.

 

The Architect’s Eye – Communicating Errors

In many of my projects, I have found architects guilty of preparing a design that leaves the error messages out of the question. And now, I come across an article that shows us 35 creative designs of showing a 404 page (http://www.onextrapixel.com/2011/03/09/the-secret-of-a-successful-error-page-with-35-amazing-404-page-designs/). As I was browsing some of these designs, I recall a designer I worked with – Beth. I learnt so much from her about design and especially Information Architecture. I have always found her looking at things differently be it work or a status update she did.

Coming back to error messages, in most applications I have noticed that error messages are cryptic like “An error has occurred, please check again and get back to System Administrator”. The user is needed to log a report with the call center and report what they were doing. Many a times a user would just ignore to do all that because it takes their time to do such stuff and they say we will come back and try another time – of course if it is not urgent. I see two issues here:

1. A user has been asked to do something that an application designer – An Architect could have done by designing the system right

2. The Application team has lost an opportunity of knowing where their application failed because a user chooses not to report it. They lost an opportunity to fix something pro-actively.

 

Get Rid of IE6

Microsoft launches a website dedicated to the cause of shutting down IE6.

http://ie6countdown.com/

Who the hell needs Quality?

I Do; you do; our customers do; Period

Well we all know the answer, but is it really what we believe in? The more important question is how do we choose to deliver quality when we can not measure it?

A few months back, I was sitting in a meeting where the conversation went something like

Business Person: So we need 24000 hours to deliver the scope of the release?

IT Person: Yes. But this does not include the hours needed to fix defects that we will have in the application at the end of development lifecycle.

Business Person: So how many defects we had in last release – I assume about 700?

IT Person: Yeah.

Business Person: So I can expect 2000 in this release? How much time do you need to fix one defect?

IT Person: About 16 hours per defect

I will let you do the math, but what made me fell out of my chair was the fact that everyone in the room was accepting the fact that even before we were developing the application we would have 66% of the time spent in fixing defects. Not even once did anyone asked, how can we ensure that we do not have so many defects in the application. Now even once did anyone asked if we already have Unit testing how come we still have these many number of defects.

Well, this is not the first time I heard this conversation and I am sure not the last time. But, I wonder how do people reach Architects, Project Managers, Program Managers and Directors IT if they have these discussions.

I did not say anything in the meeting, because I was supposed to sit there and listen which is another sad story. I could not even say anything to my IT team once the meeting was over; I was just not supposed to. Maybe, if someone who was in that meeting reads this and can co-relate I would be in a big shit of trouble; but I am going to risk it – do not know why.

I am someone who can not start writing a piece of code without having a unit test before it (Test Driven Development). But, then the projects I have been working lately do not even automated unit testing let along TDD. Their unit testing is done because they have to compliant with the Quality Process and at times it is done with a set of people who never coded it. The unit testing team works like a QA team but is withing the realms of the development team itself. And then there are times when Unit testing happens in parallel to System Testing.

This is a rant, where I hope I can pass a message around importance of testing.

 

Dilbert - Quality

Dilbert - Quality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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