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All posts tagged James Bond

The World of Testers Has Something to Learn from James Bond…

CAUTION: SPOILERS ahoy. If you haven’t seen SPECTRE yet, you may not want to read this post.

It’s that time of year when we roll out the same tired, old arguments:

  • The Agile purists try to drive a stake thru the role of QA Manager.
  • Outsource companies say having in-house QA is redundant.
  • The Crowdsourcers agree but say crowdsource beats outsource hands down.
  • The Automated Testing purists take potshots at the Manual Testing crowd for the huge investment to provide test coverage that their scripts grant faster.
  • The Manual Testing purists snipe back at Automated Testing for ramp-up time and a several other alleged flaws.

Testers Arguing - James Bond

Don’t get me wrong, there is validity to multiple points of view and the testing industry like any requires challenging to grow and evolve but regurgitation is just that, the absence of new points of view on the same, weary subjects.

So, Where Does James Bond and SPECTRE come into it?

Here come those SPOILERS… turn back while you still can.

In the new James Bond film, SPECTRE we find Bond and MI6 assailed by the threat of obsolescence. HUMINT (Human acquired intelligence) has been declared redundant and a senior Whitehall official “C” is pushing for a unified ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) effort between 9 major nations, all under the umbrella of a shiny, hi-tech National Intelligence Center. Obviously, “C” will be the one running this multinational NSA like organization and the 00 Section is to be shut down because “C” sees no need for men like 00 agents in the field when tech can do all the work.

Testers James Bond SPECTRE

Meanwhile, Bond seems to have gone rogue, hunting a shadowy, criminal enterprise connected to his past. Faster than you can say “Goodbye Mister Bond” we discover this is SPECTRE and they and their leader, Franz Oberhauser (Bond’s pseudo foster brother) are the ones poised to take control of this unified ELINT center once it goes live.

Oberhauser or (redacted, I’m not going to spoil everything) Blofeld, is a staunch believer that pure ELINT will grant him control over the world.

Nutshell: SPECTRE, Oberhauser and “C” are the purists of automation that advocate replacement, obsolescence of eyes / hands-on testing. Real testers are not needed in their world. ELINT akin to automated testing can do it all (which is ironic considering the sheer number of armed henchmen SPECTRE employs, not even considering their assassin du jour, Mr. Hix).

Bond, M et al rely on Q to provide their automated solutions but acknowledge the world for what it is. Neither approach alone can get the job done. Only a holistic mix of an agent licensed to kill with tech backup will work just as only a holistic mix of both testing types will work. However, this is not the crucial lesson testers need to learn from James Bond.

The Warptest POV

Several years ago, I heard a kickass Marketing Professional talk about blogging to early stage Start Ups. The point he made was to blog about your niche, NOT you or your product.

Reading a post on a QA Outsourcing company’s site deriding in-house QA with the conclusion that you are better off taking their services is ridiculous and counter-productive. (You know who you are..)

Sometimes testers are our own worst enemy. These regurgitated arguments don’t benefit us. If there is nothing new to add to these issues, then let them lie.

Instead of the ability to evangelize a holistic approach, best practices and provide tailored testing solutions to suit each product, this reflects an immaturity in parts of our industry.

We need to do better because at the end of the day it’s all about ROI and demonstrating that testing is a mission critical investment. My hat is off to those testers who share, engage, encourage others and build a sense of community. This is clearly the way forward.

The Sony Xperia Z4 Is Not Up To Bond’s Standards

With new Bond adventure SPECTRE arriving in early November, the master spy has been left ill equipped to communicate with M as both 007 and Q felt Sony simply didn’t have a phone up to the task.

trailer courtesy of James Bond official site

After covert communiques leaked on the subject after a clearly SPECTRE inspired hack of Sony the question remains, who will step up and deliver to Q-Branch a phone with a license to thrill?

Just as important which apps does Bond favor?

There’s a Mole leaking Top Secret information in our organisation …

We all followed the Sony email leak story as it broke in connection with movie The Interview. The movie’s spoof plotline of assassinating Korean leader Kim Jung Il achieved more controversy than James Bond could in Die Another Day when 007 combatted a world threat from a rogue North Korean Colonel.

Rumors that the hack and leak of the emails were retaliation from North Korea for the perceived insult were met with even more rumors of an inside job… a mole. Either way this was reminiscent of the sort of mess Bond would be sent to clean up were Sony a British government facility.

One of the stories that leaked along with a multitude of other emails was of reticence from the SPECTRE set in allowing product placement for any pricetag of the Sony Xperia Z4 as Bond’s personal smartphone.

Business Insider reported the story with a quote specifically about the Sony Xperia phones:

Craig and Spectre director Sam Mendes resisted because “James Bond only uses the ‘best.'”

Meanwhile, the phone was released not as the Sony Xperia Z4 but as the rebranded Z3+ which fairly represents the small and notably insignificant improvements between this flagship model and the earlier Z3.

That said, GSM Arena’s voters gave the device high scores for design, features and performance:

Sony Xperia Z4 - James Bond phone

Still given 007’s proclivity for destruction and a repeated failure to return equipment, one might expect his phone to at least have Gorilla Glass if not an armored body of some hi-tech material.

Will this be the phone in SPECTRE? Nothing has been confirmed yet.

The Warptest POV

Spies are trained like business strategists or product evangelists to seize an opportunity the moment it appears yet only Samsung made an overt attempt to woo SPECTRE into using one of their smartphones (according to the aforementioned Business Insider article).

Any smartphone company would have had a tough time negotiating a deal to get their phone into the Bond franchise but this was an attempt worth making. How many fans would have seriously considered James Bond’s phone a must-have? Rhetorical question.

So is there some reason we didn’t read leaked emails that Microsoft tried to put a new Windows 10 Lumia flagship phone in Daniel Craig’s hand? Wouldn’t Bond have benefited from Continuum, Cortana or other still uniquely Windows (10) Phone features?

Just think of the victory in declaring Cortana the new Bond Girl, a virtual competitor with Moneypenny.

I’m hoping that these negotiations are still happening at some Top Secret location where no mole can leak this until we see Q handing Bond a Walther PPK and a Lumia.


Testers Have Skills …

… As a tester who has graduated to management but kept their hands-on I try to keep my skills to par.

With that in mind I’m lucky that I’m blessed with a great visual memory.

I was just watching the trailer for the new, upcoming season of BBC’s fantastic Sherlock on Mashable and at 24 seconds into the trailer there is a rooftop scene (also shown at the very start of the trailer).

Sherlock has his back to the camera, wearing his wool overcoat and he looks down from the rooftop on London with Big Ben in the distance.

Wait A Second!

My testers’ skills kicked in and I took a second look at the scene and immediately recalled that this was an almost exact copy of the rooftop scene at the end of the latest James Bond, Skyfall.

I decided to confirm this by checking and lo and behold I was right:

007 and Sherlock - Manual Testers

The Warptest POV

Whilst this is an amusing case of being caught using the same striking view for a dramatic camera shot the same skills apply to Testers: –

  • Attention to detail.
  • Strong visual memory.
  • The ability to make intuitive associations on the fly / during testing.
  • Deductive reasoning.
  • Adherence to methodology without becoming bored from it.
  • A love of the chase (or discovery of a bug).

These are some of the things that can ensure that bugs get caught during Testing even by a Tester who has seen your Application in action before.

In a nutshell Testers need a little bit of 007 and a little bit of Sherlock in their skillset.

Who is managing your testing efforts?

12/12/2013: The post was changed due to some incredibly helpful advice you can find in the comments. One of the things I love about getting comments is the food for thought that can help reframe your perspective on an issue.