Archive for September, 2007

Nice exploratory testing story

From Sajjadul Hakim

An OOPSLA talk

I staunchly refused Robert Biddle when he invited me to give a talk at OOPSLA. More than once.

I’m not sure when it’s scheduled, but my OOPSLA talk is titled “Actor-Network Theory: Nothing to Do with TCP/IP or Distributed Objects”

Today we agree that DNA is the template for inherited characteristics. But that agreement didn’t just happen the instant Watson and Crick published. Work still had to be done—lots of work. Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is a social science theory about the work done to reach and maintain agreement, particularly in science and technology. It’s my hope that understanding the techniques of ANT will help OOPSLA attendees understand why those Programs, Languages, and Systems we work on are simultaneously so change-resistant and so fragile.

Three guidelines for tests/examples (terse version)

  • Every word in the example should be about what the example is trying to show.

  • The intended audience is a human being asking first “How do I…?” and then “What happens when…?”

  • Possibilities should be grouped so you can see them all at once.

Data mining

I spent some spare time hanging out with sociologists a few years back. One result was a paper on Agile in a sociology book (The Mangle in Practice: look for it from your nearest Duke University Press outlet sometime “soon”.) The co-editor is going to do research in data mining and counterterrorism. He writes:

The dream of course would be to locate people who have actually written data mining programs related to counterterrorism. […] If that proves impossible, I would just be interested in interviewing people who have experience designing data mining programs for other applications.

If you are such a person, mail me, and I’ll put you two in touch. He’s a good guy. He spent time riding in police cars to domestic violence calls, sitting in court, talking to perpetrators, etc. Interesting stories.

Agile as a critically acclaimed television series

The three seasons of Deadwood are an allegory of the history of Agile. Discuss.

For extra credit, identify which season we’re currently in.