@testobsessed@ruby.social
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testobsessed

@testobsessed@ruby.social

Experienced technology leader. Consultant. Interim VPE. Advisor. Coach. Founder Curious Duck Digital Laboratory, LLC. Author Explore It! She/Her.

I help software development organizations address the biggest pain points that interfere with delivering value at a sustainable pace. Could you or your team benefit from bringing me in as an advisor, coach, facilitator, or interim leader? If so, let's talk!

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testobsessed, to random
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We live in remarkable times.

So, I'm on a flight. Wifi has been dodgy (can't reliably read email) with a full out outage of ~30min. I started poking around, as you do. Internet speed test, ping, traceroute. Speed is great when things connect but the test timed out 2x. Sounds like a latency problem. Ping to curiousduck.io ranged from 660 - 1075ms. Slow is to be expected but > 1s is probably the issue.

So I searched for what's typical. And the internet had an answer! https://users.cs.northwestern.edu/~jpr123/papers/www-flight.pdf

testobsessed, to random
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Once upon a time long ago I read a blog post about how the "Throw Sheep" feature on Facebook made the app wonderful and sticky. (Yes, this was long ago.) The essay ended with a challenge: what's the sheep-throwing equivalent in your app?

Just realized that custom emojis is Slack's sheep toss. I love finding custom emojis others created, like little Easter Eggs, and adding my own. Makes Slack sticky for me.

What are other awesome little whimsical app features you've encountered?

testobsessed,
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@dzamir It was a thing maybe 15 years ago, and it was adorable. Enabled by the Superpoke app. Here is an image https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Part-of-the-SuperPoke-application_fig4_26619882

testobsessed, to random
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Been cleaning out closets. Found a box of old scribbled notes from client engagements long ago. Thought it might be interesting to count how many orgs I've worked for in any capacity: employee, consultant, trainer, or advisor.

The answer?

60 +/- 5 depending on whether I include non-paying gigs, over 36 years.

That's a whole lot of windows into different tech orgs over a lot of years.

Top lesson: biggest problem is usually lack of alignment on priorities, timelines, even definitions.

testobsessed,
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I don't mean to suggest that I believe that everyone in an org needs to agree on everything. 100% agreement is as unhealthy as 0% agreement. Too much agreement suggests an org that suffers from groupthink or is a cult.

By alignment, I mean people pull in the same general direction. They can (and should) disagree & debate. But they are able to come to agreement on what good looks like, what problems need to be solved, and in what order.

testobsessed,
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The orgs with the worst alignment issues had deeply ingrained incentive / disincentive structures (both explicit and implicit) that reinforced schisms across product lines, teams, or between functions (devs, qa, ops, product mgmt, designers, sales, project mgmt).

The ultimate takeaway?

Ask yourself: in what way are people rewarded or punished in your org for aligning on a shared vision of what good looks like & what has to change to get there (considering both intrinsic & extrinsic).

testobsessed, to random
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Unamused by services that have a fully automated portal that lets you do absolutely anything... except cancel your account. Had to talk to an actual human for that. And the process must be absolutely byzantine on their end. (They had to create a ticket, pass it to another agent, have that other agent update the ticket, transfer me to that other agent, and have me enter a comment on the ticket to confirm the cancel.) At least they didn't try to entice me to stay with a "special offer."

testobsessed, to random
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It says something about my bit hoarder tendencies that when I think of something I wrote almost 20 years ago I can find it in less than half an hour.

Today I was thinking about a fable I wrote for a friend. I offer it here without the original context.

This is the tale of porcupine and turtle...

testobsessed, to random
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Just participated in a fabulous workshop from @nsousanis. Exercises are here https://spinweaveandcut.com/comics-workshop-for-teachers/ Huge thanks to @RuthMalan for introducing me to his work. Very cool stuff. Will be applying what I learned in trying to visualize concepts related to systems thinking.

testobsessed, to random
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On Dec 9, 2019 I reached inbox 0, and then 2020 happened and I'm pretty sure I hadn't gotten back to that nice clean slate again...until now. Back to inbox 0 again. Let's see how long it lasts...

testobsessed, to animals
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On a happier note, I put in my feed and my life is so much better for it. (Guess using the hash tag means I should share a dog pic. Here you go: Korben laughing at me.)

testobsessed, to random
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Received a cold reach out email from an AI related company rep who said "I've made multiple attempts to contact you." I was pretty sure I would have remembered the name. So I searched. (I keep everything.)

Nope. No priors. This was the first message. AI hallucination?

Anywhoosle...I wouldn't be responding no matter what (because I do not need the thing). But the attempted guilt trip makes it an extra nope. As in nope, not now and nope, not ever.

Do people fall for this? Does it work? Ugh. 🤢

cammerman, to random
@cammerman@mstdn.social avatar

I would like to lobby for my company to pay for pair/mob/group programming training for my team/department.

Budget-wise, a semi-structured training program is probably going to work better than a longer active coaching engagement. Preferably with a remote option.

I'm aware of a couple folks who have done this, but don't seem to have anything active now.

Does anyone know of someone who currently, actively offers a pair/mob programming training course thing like this that I could reach out to?

testobsessed,
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@cammerman I think @GeePawHill is being too modest. But if you don't hire him then I suggest Woody (https://woodyzuill.com/) who started the movement, or Bob Allen (https://www.linkedin.com/in/boballenagilist/) who has run code craft weekends with a continuous follow-the-sun ensemble (fascinating stuff! see https://www.eventbrite.com/o/code-craft-saturdays-and-sundays-15457506392).

testobsessed, to random
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I learned most of what I know about Agile and XP thanks to Pivotal Labs.

Labs had quite a journey. Acquired by EMC. Spun out as part of Pivotal (where I ended up being a VP). Pivotal was acquired by VMware. VMware was acquired by Broadcom.

Labs shaped who I am today. I am so grateful.

And I've just learned that a Pivotal colleague, Joe Moore, published the open source content about Labs practices where it won't get lost in the corporate shuffle. It's really good.

https://labspractices.com/

testobsessed, to random
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OK so who's going to bring the class action lawsuit against timeshares on behalf of the boomers who are now realizing how predatory they are? (Asking for a Gen X child of boomers who was never even remotely tempted but who has relatives trying to get out, and who are just now learning that one does not simply walk away from the timeshare agreement. They thought they had something of value and instead are learning they can't even just give it back...they will have to pay to get out.)

testobsessed, to random
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Thinking about a dynamic I've experienced repeatedly: a dev & I are doing exploratory testing on an app they wrote where I'm an outsider. We find something interesting. I feel the joy of discovery. We solved an interesting puzzle! They experience the grief of a shattered illusion. They thought they'd tested thoroughly! The emotional mismatch can be … awkward.

testobsessed,
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@brunogirin When I see it happening I try to honor their grief & we talk about it. (I’m never ever taking pleasure out of their pain. The joy I feel is from finding & solving a mystery in code. But especially if they don’t know me, without talking about what’s happening that might not be clear to them.)

testobsessed,
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@brunogirin of course! Good luck with the meeting!

testobsessed, to random
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Watching a conference talk by @acegikmo: "Why can't you multiply vectors?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htYh-Tq7ZBI

Confession: I gave up on math & physics in college because of vectors. I could not wrap my head around eigenvalues & eigenvectors in quantum mechanics. I still remember the words (hello bra-ket notation). I could not understand wtf the math meant. So I failed.

If only Freya could have been my prof. I wouldn't have given up. Her ability to explain complex topics clearly is genuinely beautiful. ❤️

testobsessed,
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@rayckeith @acegikmo I dunno...the more I dealt with quantum mechanics the tensor I got?

testobsessed, to random
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When I took down my testobsessed blog, there were two casualties that people missed. One was my test heuristics cheat sheet, but that found a new and better home. The other was my 2001 paper Better Testing, Worse Quality. I've finally given that a permanent home on my new website. If you are one of the maybe 3 people on the planet who care, you can find it here: https://curiousduck.io/papers/btwq.pdf (and sometime soon I'll be writing more about those system dynamics, but not today)

testobsessed, to random
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Just did FizzBuzz for the first time. https://medium.com/swlh/how-to-solve-fizzbuzz-b2f2b30fdd57

Wrote it in Ruby.

  • 2 mins to working
  • +1 min to make it suck less.
  • 5 mins to rewrite from scratch to allow arbitrary ranges and inputs.

I'm not usually a fan of coding puzzles, but this one isn't bad. If someone can't fizzbuzz they would likely struggle writing real-world code. And going from the original reqs of iterate 1-100, fizz 3, buzz 5 to arbitrary range, fizz, & buzz, while supporting non-primes, requires thought.

testobsessed,
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@mlevison LOLOL. You're right. I did this in a scratch file inside a project I already had open and I have 0 plans to check it in.

testobsessed, to random
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Welp. Husband has just tested positive for Covid.

@#$%^&*!

testobsessed,
@testobsessed@ruby.social avatar

Greetings from covidhaus. Feeling all too familiar symptoms: Tired. Aching eyeballs. Sneezing. Plus Paxlovid metal mouth. Ugh. Husband is about the same. The dogs are going to complain about the lack of walkies but neither of us is venturing out. (Don’t worry. They’re fine. We have a fenced back yard. They get to run around & bark.)

My plans today involve napping & finding truly stupid tv shows. I’m taking recommendations. What are your fav shows to watch when you’re sick & can’t brain good?

testobsessed,
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Overhearing husband on a call with a friend from his gaming group. Confirmed: their Friday meetup was a superspreader event. Yet another person in the group came up positive for covid. This group dodged covid for three years. But here we are.

So...yeah.

Take this cautionary tale as a reminder to get boosted if you haven't already this year. Keep masking. Keep testing. Stay safe out there.

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