Staying up late for the “7 Minutes of Terror”

In the next hour the Curiosity rover will either land or crash on Mars. I’m staying up for it, even though the results may not be known for several hours or even several days.

Live feed is here:

And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, The Atlantic has an excellent article on tonight’s landing.

And NASA’s own video that explains why everyone is calling it “7 minutes of terror”.

QA Testing Cake of Deliciousness – frustration has never been this tasty!

So I’m still doing the three-month QA testing gig at work… and this time around it’s quite a bit more frustrating. Every time we let the IT group know about a new bug–they send back a message that they either:

– cannot reproduce the issue*,

– would like a movie of each and every step that led up to the issue**,

– and/or would like the login name and password we were using when it happened***.

In frustration, one of my co-workers drew a Venn diagram on the white board with the above three requests in each circle. A little while later, after being asked for another movie of something they couldn’t reproduce–but I couldn’t get to stop happening–I walked up and finished filling out the interlocked circles.

QA Testing Diagram

After a week or so of seeing this on the board every day, I decided that there was no reason why frustration couldn’t be turned into a tasty treat.

Thus the Venn diagram QA testing cake of deliciousness was created.

QA Testing Cake

It’s a homemade red velvet cake (created with white chocolate) and filled/covered with cream cheese frosting****. I brought it in the first Sunday we worked overtime trying to keep on schedule, and there wasn’t much left to take home afterwards.

No, we didn’t offer any to the IT group.
* We think they attempt to reproduce the same bug by waving their hands in front of the monitors or doing some strange IT dance rather than actually following the detailed steps we provide because they can’t seem to reproduce anything we send them. OK, that was an exaggeration. I about fell over the two times they admitted they also saw the same issue the first time it was submitted to them.

** EVERY SINGLE TIME!  Sometimes even after we’ve already attached a movie and multiple screenshots.

*** We have limited ids to use for our testing, and before we learned our lesson, they’d log in while we were running our tests and screw up our data. This was finally defeated by re-running and filming any new bug while logged in using their own assigned IT user ids before sending them the information. It was a hysterically funny conversation the first time the head IT guy realized this.

****I’ll post the recipe as soon as I get it into the computer. Right now it’s still on a splotched and scribbled piece of notebook paper. I hated every red velvet recipe I tried and so it’s taken a year and multiple attempts to get it to the point where I’m actually willing to sell it.

Jeremy in the News

I know it’s a little late, but since I don’t use my Facebook account much, I was the last to hear about Jeremy’s big moment on the news with the release of the new iPhone.  If you want to see, he’s briefly interviewed 56 seconds in to the newscast.  If you don’t know who he is – he’s a good friend of ours (we all have season tickets together for hockey, and he’s my current DM).

As for the new iPhone, we just adjusted our monthly plan to allow unlimited SMS and cut back our data plan (we barely used it anyway since we have wi-fi access most places), but we’re not upgrading to a new phone yet.  My 3G still works fine and I’m not a big fan of the first release of any big new product, regardless of the manufacturer (thank you Microsoft, for teaching me that lesson).  Besides, I’m saving up for the next version of the iPad.