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  • The dragons of the unknown; part 5 – accident investigations and treating people fairly

    The dragons of the unknown; part 5 – accident investigations and treating people fairly Introduction This is the fifth post in a series about problems that fascinate me, that I think are important and interesting. The series draws on important work from the fields of safety critical systems and from the study of complexity, specifically complex socio-technical systems. This will be the theme of my keynote at EuroSTAR in The Hague (November 12th-15th 2018). The first post was a reflection, based on personal experience, on the corporate preference for building bureaucracy rather than dealing with complex reality, “Facing the dragons part 1 – corporate bureaucracies”. The second post was about the nature of complex systems, “part 2 – crucial features of complex systems”. The third followed on from part 2, and talked about the impossibility of knowing exactly how complex socio-technical systems will behave with the result that it is impossible to specify them precisely, “part 3 – I don’t know what’s going on”. The fourth post “part 4 – a brief history of accident models” looks at accident models, i.e. the way that safety experts mentally frame accidents when they try to work out what caused them. This post looks at weaknesses of of the way that we have traditionally investigated accidents and failures, assuming neat linearity with clear cause and effect. In particular, our use of root cause analysis, and willingness to blame people for accidents is hard to justify. The limitations of root cause analysis Once you accept that complex systems can’t have clear and neat links between causes and effects[…]

    21.10.2018 | 12:38 קרא עוד...
  • Implementing RestSharp in REST API automated tests

    I have written before a few times about implementing automated tests for REST APIs using C# (here and here). In those posts, I’ve used a utility method to handle the actual sending of the HTTP request, and another one to read the response. These methods help to illustrate what our automated tests are actually doing. However, I don’t think I need to be bothered with all of that all the time. Generally, in an automated test suite, you don’t want to be building everything yourself from the ground up. Actually, that goes for most things we’re building – that’s why libraries exist! So I looked into a NuGet package that would do what I wanted, and found RestSharp. Using RestSharp really cleaned up my code! For one, it got rid of those utility methods. And let’s be honest, I’m not the most amazing C# developer, and I’m sure there were issues with those methods. And it combines the request to the API and the deserialization of whatever came back all in one line of code, so my tests have fewer lines of code as well. I just needed to add the RestSharp NuGet package to my test project, and add the reference. Let’s take a look at the before and after! Before [Test] public void VerifyGetTodoItem1ReturnsCorrectName() { //Arrange var expectedName = "Walk the dog"; //we know this is what it should be from the Controller constructor var url = _baseUrl + "1"; //so our URL looks like https://localhost:44350/api/Todo/1 //Act var response =[…]

    21.10.2018 | 11:22 קרא עוד...
  • Should We Hire Specialist Testers?

    Should We Hire Specialist Testers? I previously talked about some heuristics for hiring test specialists. There was an assumption in that post that you do, in fact, want to hire specialist testers. But, of course, that is just an assumption. Perhaps you don’t. And before you say “But of course we do!”, let’s talk about this a little bit. Before getting into this, I should provide the basis for how I think about this. In this entire post, I’m going to be skipping over entirely the “traditional” — for lack of a better term — aspects of being a tester. By this I mean writing test cases, test scenarios, creating and running automation, etc. Those are important and are not to be dismissed. When hiring test specialists, those are aspects of the discipline you need to be ferreting out. But they are also the low-hanging fruit in the specialty of testing as a discipline. Testing is much more about the thinking than about the artifacts that result from that thinking. Hiring a test specialist means you agree with that or, at the very least, understand it. And that’s a really important point because in an interview you may ask a test specialist something about a traditional aspect of the discipline but the answer you get will seem to be much more expansive than what you were necessarily looking for. You should be willing to embrace that but also challenge the specialist if you are having trouble seeing the relevance. Interviewers typically want answers but, as[…]

    21.10.2018 | 8:28 קרא עוד...


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