and looking for work

After a month, I should be in pretty good shape, if I haven’t taken a job already if the pay and position is right.  I think I’d really like to help build a new and growing QA department up.  I don’t really have any management experience, but I’ve found in the last six months that I have a lot of ideas I’d like to put into action, and work on a lightweight but effective and thorough process using open source tools.

It’s a really exciting time for open source QA tools, and while Selenium shows the way technically, its things like FitNesse and the “wiki way” that are really exciting.  Not using wiki’s specifically, but the idea of leveraging hypertext (linking documents) — and the web (server-side applications) to create QA/PM/Development “mashups.”

I know it’s a silly web 2.0 type word, but the idea is great.  Chicago Crime was a perfect illustration for what you can do with online data, AJAX, web services, google maps, and an MVC framework.  It’s the killer app behind Django.

There are some great QA tools out there.  Bugzilla, Jira, Selenium, Watir, FitNesse, Ant, Luntbuild, etc. can all be put together into something more powerful than their parts.  Maybe the tools need re-written, but it’d suck to throw away the years of development, and especially all the experience and data that businesses alread have.

Whether businesses use a “QA site”, something else like it, or implement their own  solution doesn’t really matter.  The time is ripe for tools integration to make QA, Dev, and PM teams more productive, but especially to make the “work” part of their jobs more enjoyable.

That’s where I want to be.  The idea of marketing a QA site (0r PM site) as a product is really just the way to get the idea in the door.

Dev tools seem to be migrating towards IDE plugins (with bastard children like mylyn crossing over to QA and PM) — but I don’t really think developers really love eclipse that much that they would never want to leave it (but there was this think called emacs…)

The PM trend has been to lighten up and use hosted apps like basecamp and be nimble or agile or (if you prefer expensive products) LEAN.  I think PM has gone a little too far, or rather that PM is too much being relegated to the developers or managers.

QA is still a mishmash of tools.  There are a lot of new tools and some old ones that keep getting better.  The real excitement is in the fairly recent tools like Selenium, Fit, WATiR, Canoo, etc. that are now maturing and being accepted — though I worry about people losing interest in them, or not really seeing the potential as they go into maintenance mode like Bugzilla did for a long while.

I want to unlock the potential of these tools (and others) and now that we have the potential with open source, to realize the gains, do our jobs better, and make them less tedious.

Back in the U.S.A.

Up for 20 hours traveling from Quito to Seattle.  Dinner at a Las Marguerita’s Mexican restaurant with Kelsey’s dad and family.  Eden beating on me all through dinner, with my back killing me from traveling and moving and already in bad shape for a week before then.  Picked up Caelin after dinner and then to bed.

Today getting stuff straightened out, sending faxes, re-setting up interviews, and finding out is down (thanks VPSLand.)

But it’s good to be back in the U. S. A. and flush the paper down the toilet.

Now it’s time to focus on finding consulting work:

getting back up
resolving paypal and 1and1 “security” issues
renewing skype-in business number (again, a “security” issue with credit cards)
updating my resume and creating an interactive online resume
brushing up on QA, PM, Dev, SA skills
finishing site redesign
branding and filling out tools wiki
writing tutorials/reviews and putting up test tool demos
looking for putting together QA site as a product and marketing it
looking for consulting gigs and working with recruiters

I’ll have about 2 weeks in Seattle, and then 2 weeks in Montana, visiting my family.  Chris will be coming back from Iraq for a short leave, so most everyone will be getting together.

I’m going home

Today is (probably) the last day I’ll have internet in Ecuador. TV Cable should be coming to get the antenna and modem any time now. So I’ll be incommunicado until Wednesday, when I’ll be back in Seattle.

I don’t know if I’d really call it home, but it’s home for Kelsey. She’s been pretty sick the past month with her pregnancy and has hardly left the house. So she’s bored too. She’ll be glad to see her mom and friends and eat at Chipotle and a dozen other places she’s been craving.

I’m really going to miss Ecuador. We haven’t done as much as we thought, and due to circumstances, has been put on hold, but I learned some good planning and design techniques from it. It’s been a great place to work and think and learn, though I haven’t learned Spanish yet. But I’ve got a pretty good idea for how to develop One Shore and the consulting business.

But going home probably means getting a job. I’ll be available for consulting, including on-site work. So if you’re looking for a tester, web developer, project manager I’m looking for something in the Seattle area, or maybe elsewhere for the right position. I’m open to relocate, since we don’t have anything tying us down besides Kelsey’s family.

Anyway, I think it’s time to go back. We’ll have 7 months till the baby comes. Maybe I’ll find the right boat, too.

Testing tutorials to write

Here are the testing tutorials I’m going to work on:

Fit & Fitnesse
Customizing Bugzilla
Bugzilla features: web services and email_in
TestNG vs. Junit
PHP SimpleTest
Perl Test::Class & WWW::Mechanize
Test Planning, Test Cases & Defects

CMS that use a repository instead of database for content

For instance, this post is to list (and solicit additions) CMSes that use a version control repository (or at least RCS files) instead of a database:

The first one I’ve found is DaizuCMS

Daizu CMS looks to be a one-man project in the early stages.  It doesn’t even have a UI (which may actually be a good thing.)

Does Midgard?

I thought I saw it in a bullet point, but the way it uses the DB for everything else, I’d guess maybe not.  I haven’t had any luck with Midgard.  I was able to compile and install, but it chokes on DB population.  Something about languages.xml and

I’d also like to link from my blog to the tools wiki and issues.

Blogs as bookmark tools

One of the reasons I (and I’m sure others) use a blog is to talk about a product and put a link to it so we can find it again later.  So in affect, I’m using my blog as a bookmark too (with summaries.)  Many popular blogs (like slashdot) are geared towards that.  In fact, that’s the eponymous idea of a “web log” as opposed to a journal or a series of articles (the other purposes for a blog.)  I also tend to use my blog as a task list, idea repository, reviews, and news.

I do use delicious, and my browser’s bookmarks, but they both have flaws.  I work from my blog/wiki/qa-site/etc.  So I want to see the functionality there.

How about this for a practical takeaway (maybe it already exists):

I’d like to have everything I link to in my blog added to my delicious bookmarks (or if not everything, everthing I tag specifically to do that.  There could also be some coordination between blog categories and bookmark tags.

The trouble with ORM frameworks

I won’t go into too much detail here, but learning a new syntax to have less of the expressiveness of SQL isn’t my cup of tea.  Sure you can go down to SQL on them, but why not just include select statements in your HTML template if you get to that.

  • They’re too heavyweight for what they do
  • The syntax is always one off and invariably ugly
    (see this post)
  • Difficult to debug
    (and fills up log files fast, even on warn)
  • caching is better off implemented in a cache
    (caching is the real reason I think people use tools like Hibernate)
  • Business code ends up getting written in the ORM layer
    (again, might as put it in the presentation layer)
    (annotations are code, you just can’t see them and don’t know how they work)