Showing posts from June, 2016

Spelunking Dark Patterns

"It's a Trap!" - General Akbar It's happened to many of us. We've downloaded an app, started playing with it on our phones or desktops and then suddenly, what looks like a simple click sends you down the road into an application wormhole you can't get out of until you complete whatever dastardly functionality you became stuck in. Or exit the program all together.
Dark patterns, as defined by, are "a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things".

Emma Keaveny gave a talk at 2016 European Testing Conference. She spoke about her personal experience with dark patterns and why they were the focus of her talk.

"I was in a Weekend Testing Sunday session when I got duped by LinkedIn and its Friend Spam Dark Pattern. [I] was testing the mobile version, and chose to test the contacts, as I was going through the contacts screens you are shown who isn't connected in your email and phone contacts, a s…

Mentoring Women in Tech

Mentoring Mission - Women Who Code Mentoring Women into STEM This weekend was full of meetups and happenings. First, I worked on my course. I've made it to my first project, which is a tribute page. It's just HTML5 and CSS at the moment, but it's been a challenge even if it's mostly because of list orders and various formatting issues. I like it. It keeps me thinking about what I'm doing. It keeps me working with code and trying new things, even if it's copying from someone else and then modifying it to fit my own needs. 
The second thing that happened was another awesome meetup for Women Who Code. Holly Gibson is a co-founder of the local Austin chapter and they have 1800 members with 15 different meetups happening every month. It's a huge group that is doing awesome things for women in the Tech industry. Today was a meet-and-greet with the founders of MentorTex. ( 
Alan Chapa and Dave Jobe are passionate about working w…

Mel's Take-Aways: TestTalks Episode 100: Gerald Weinberg

"Adapt to what is rather than what it should be."  - Gerald Weinberg
I listen to Test Talks by Joe Colantonio when I have some free time and need some inspiration. I think Joe has a great interview style that is easy to follow and conversational. These podcasts are not fluff pieces though. If you find yourself taking notes and stopping to re-listen to a segment, I wouldn't be surprised. I end up doing that just about every time.
The 100th episode isn't the most recent one, but it's where I left off from the last time I stopped by the page to give a podcast a listen. There were so many take-aways from Joe's conversation with Gerald that I felt I needed to write a blog post, and create a new section in my blog for just that.
Take-Away #1: Stop looking for secrets to testing or developing or really anything. Get rid of things that are wasting time. Learn to love things you find boring about your job, find a way to love the boring things, then find an excuse to do…

The Cost of Innovation: Influenced by the Movie "Spare Parts"

Lest everyone think I'm just a comic book movie fan-girl, I realized I need to expand my blog writing out to other movies, other genre, and discuss what I've learned from those. The movie "Spare Parts" hit me in the feels.

While I can't identify with being an undocumented immigrant in the US, I did identify with being the poor kid and trying to turn nothing into something.

When your organization doesn't have the latest and greatest, finding a way to make something out of nothing is a boon. Learning anything that could help streamline a process. Testing things and letting the results influence methods and practices is no small feat! But organizations need to be open to this kind of influence. I think the ones that are, typically keep more people and benefit from a healthy, diverse environment of thinkers. (Note that I used the word thinkers, not just testers and/or developers.)

The trap might be in looking at other organizations and seeing what they have and …

Milestone Week - Speaking, Testing, Coding

Making Milestones Count This blog has been more about writing up things I've found interesting or found connections between testing and stuff I enjoy. I want to take a moment though, even if it's for myself, and acknowledge some amazing things that happened to me this week.

On Monday, I spoke at a Women Who Code meeting about testing and how to learn about the "Testing Ecosystem" you live in. I received a lot of great feedback from my team members who heard the first version of the talk and from Abby (@a_bangser) and Lisa (@lisacrispin) who reviewed my slides and notes.

It was only supposed to be a 5-10 minute talk. I was the only speaker with a Dell laptop, so that took a few minutes to set up. I was speaking to a crowd of about 15 women, most of them recent to coding or a few years into their careers. While I was setting up, I asked if anyone worked with testers or had a dedicated team of testers. One person raised her hand, and I asked what it was like working wi…

Maximum Effort! - Deadpool Your Way Through Testing