Posted on August 15, 2008 in Housekeeping by adamNo Comments »

On July 15, 1997 I registered the domain ‘’ which I used regularly for about 10 years. I’ve since migrated everything to ‘’ which is a little more professional and overall think I will use longer-term. I was going to just let it lapse, but was approached by someone who wanted to buy it. I figure if Brian Marick can part ways with, which is a much better domain, I can do so as well. will live on, but I won’t be the one covering it with ads (which I suspect is what is going to happen).

This then is the official ‘change your bookmarks’ for anyone who has the old domain stored somewhere.

Posted on August 1, 2008 in Housekeeping by adam1 Comment »

I was supposed to speaking on Tuesday at Agile but due to a bit (ok, a lot) of confusion I not anymore. Common practice from my experience speaking places and knowing those who do more than I is that when you speak you get comp’ed a registration to the conference (and if you are a keynote or doing a tutorial there is also some monetary compensation). That applies to Agile as well if your talk is not a 30m one. Guess how long my talk was to be? Yes, 30m. Which means I would be expected to shell out between $1399 to $1999 for the privilege of speaking. Something that was only brought to my attention yesterday (4 days before the conference). Thanks, but the value of the conference is not that high to me. (Perhaps I have been spoiled by events like CAST and other LAWST-style events the last couple years.)

All is not lost though as you can (or should) learn from every experience. (I’m looking at you Ben for planning next year’s CAST with this list)

  • The submissions system is really, really slick. It is drupal based and I think should be the model of how conferences make their schedule.
  • If you have different levels of benefit to speakers, make sure that they are in obvious place. It is clearly listed that you do not get a free registration with a 30m talk, but that page is not linked to from within the new topic flow nor the call for speakers. At least in a non-obvious manner
  • If you have outsourced your conference logistics, make sure that people will actually respond to emails or the phone. I think I first saw this point made by Danny that you should call any of the phone numbers on the systems you are testing but this is the first time I’ve experienced the failure condition to it.
  • Do not wait until 2 weeks before the conference to have speakers register for conference. And if you do, make sure you have the previous point covered.
  • Backups are a good idea not just for computers, but for conference speakers as well.

I’m disappointed that I cannot confer (remember, the root word of conference is confer) with the people I know are coming into town at the conference I only work 10 minutes from the conference site and if you want to have lunch, email ( or call me (905 995 5035 is my cell).

Posted on May 2, 2008 in Housekeeping by adam2 Comments »

Well, it’s the beginning of the month, so might as well have a quick housekeeping-ish post for some updates.

  • CAST – The track sessions have been announced for CAST. Now that they have been announced spots are starting to get filled up so if you are hoping to go you need to register soon.
  • Agile – It looks like I am slated to speak at this year’s Agile conference. (The Tuesday afternoon specifically)
  • Teaching – I’m thinking of revamping the courses I have been teaching the last couple years for delivery over something like Skype. Is there interest out there for a ‘Python for Testers’ course? Or ideas on how one would promote that?
  • Book Reviews – I’m going to start publishing my book reviews in the currently-searching-for-a-new-name magazine that the AST publishes. I have 3 books on the queue, but if you have something testing / quality related feel free to send it my way.
  • Employer – Starting May 15th I’ll become the Quality Czar (that’s not actually the title, but I like it) for Zerofootprint after a year and a half at Jonah.
Posted on September 9, 2007 in Housekeeping by adamNo Comments »

Everyone has blind spots, whether or not they realize what they are is a different story. For me, my biggest one is tracking how much time I spend on a particular task. Usually this is because I am mass-multitasking and the lines between tasks blur or because the schedule I’m to report against is garbage.

Recognizing this issue is something that will continue to bite me in the butt I started recording what I am doing in 15 minute blocks in a weekly planner. This worked great on the days that I remembered to follow my own system (which I think I had about a 90% compliance rate). The problem with the planner is that there is a finite number of pages in it before you need to buy a new one. The problem is compounded when you run out of pages and its nowhere close to payday.

The Internet to the rescue (sorta). Knowing that everything you could ever want (and most things you wouldn’t) is online somewhere, I found a few templates for planners that would more or less do what I wanted. Most however were using the Excel built-in autoformatters so I could not tweak it to my own needs. So taking that as inspiration, I built my own.

The new timesheet I am going to start using this week can be found here. While it does have some formatting, it is done manually and not with an autoformatter so it can be easily tailored. It’s also on legal size paper which is a bit of a pain, but it covers 7AM to 1AM (I figure if I’m still working at 1AM there is something seriously wrong) in 15 minute blocks. The days of the week can be reordered too. Currently the ‘week’ starts at Saturday as that is how things are tracked at my primary job these days.

I tend to print these out as that is how I work, but you could easily clone each work sheet and have an electronic record of what you have done as well.

Just making this available if someone else has a similar need.

Posted on August 28, 2007 in Housekeeping by adamNo Comments »

I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not, but what the heck.

If you are on MSN and feel like adding me to the list of people you can contact / be contacted, my MSN address is Just put in the message that you saw this post so I know you are not trying to add this imposter as they do on Facebook.

Posted on August 21, 2007 in Housekeeping by adamNo Comments »

I think this is my 3rd post in as many weeks on Innovation which means it needs to start being capitalized in the same manner as Quality often is. The more I think about the word Innovation and Quality, the more I realize that it (along with most other things it seems) is dependent entirely on the Context.

A fully agiled organization is not going to consider CI as innovative. It would be dismissed as so early 00s. But in an organization which is using shell scripts to run ant, which then in turn runs a perl script, CI is ground-breakingly Innovative. And perhaps in the organization that is already using CI would see delivering build results via RSS (which is designed for this sort of asynchronous communication) as Innovative.

I’ve also come to realize that the tasks which I have done in the name of Testing and Quality over the last 9 years which could be called Innovative were the ones I got the most satisfaction from. For instance, figuring out how to put our department knowledge in a wiki (including test plans, test cases, accounts, etc) while at Points or building a metaframework at Jonah and then teaching it how to use hibernate (well, mostly at any rate).

Which brings me to renaming of the blog from It’s the Quality, stoopid to Quality through Innovation. This should largely be transparent as you should be reading this through RSS (if not, why not?) and the content will likely remain the same but I think the phrase best sums up my thoughts these days. It also gives clarity to how I think I want to start refocusing my career; Helping companies improve their products though the identification and application of innovative techniques, tools and processes. Or, Quality through Innovation.

Posted on July 30, 2007 in Housekeeping by adamNo Comments »

Now that the site has landed in it’s final home, the shirts have been updated. I’ve also added long sleeve ones for those chilly winter months.

To paraphrase King Apparatus; buy my stuff, make me rich.

Posted on June 30, 2007 in Housekeeping by adamNo Comments »

I’ll be re-launching this blog at a new domain sometime over the summer, and part of that re-launch will be branded ‘stuff’. In the meanwhile, you can get the first piece of merchandise from my new cafepress store — it’s even unbranded for now.

Posted on June 4, 2007 in Housekeeping by adamNo Comments »

I think I am going to try to attend / participate / speak at (at least) 1 industry related function each month. So far, I think this is how the rest of the year is shaping up.

June 2007
9 – 10: Toronto Workshop on Software Testing; presenting on using SLIME to manage retesting related schedule risk
21: DiTA Pro bbq
26: TASSQ monthly meeting (more interested in the post presentation schmooze at the bar, but…

July 2007
9 – 10: CAST 2007 (not sticking around for the tutorials)

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

Nov 2007
7 – 8: GLSEC; tentative at this time, but the price is right and depending on how the TWST talk goes I might offer to do it there too

Dec 2007

Jan 2008
If I can swindle an invite, then I’ll try to go to the 2007 Workshop on Teaching Software Testing

Anything else I am missing that has been announced so far and does not cost over $1000 (to fit in the budget)?

Posted on May 23, 2007 in Housekeeping, Quality by adamNo Comments »

For the last 2 days, I have been having difficulty connecting to MSN or viewing feed contents in my RSS reader. I had initially blamed our flakey network at work (we’ve outgrown our firewall), but when it happened at home too I did some digging. It turns out that when I was developing some Selenium tests, I had some crashes (type-o’s, etc) which left IE with a proxy set to a custom profile configuration script. Of course, this setting is used by anything else that uses the IE connection settings to interact with remote servers.

One manifestation of this is MSN Live Messenger not connecting with an error 80048820 (extended error 80048439)

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