Moved House - Visit My New Blog on Substack

  Check out my new blog! I've moved all the posts from this one to Substack and will continue posting from there. You can even subscribe to get my posts directly into your inbox. I've even changed my name to MelTheTechie better encompass all the topics I'll be talking about.  Go to: Enjoy! MelTheTechie

Change Logs: The Treasure Maps of Committed Code

Change Logs: The Treasure Maps of Committed Code Picture this: Your team is working hard, landing commits, shipping them out the door, and then something hits a snag. You might use a source tool to narrow down the error message that came up. Or maybe pick apart a test that failed to find out why there is suddenly something mucked up in the code. You may even swim through a sea of commits in an attempt to find the one that might have possibly caused the issue, especially if you didn't find it in the last commit.  There is a simple tool that could help you and your customers. Using a change log can give a team several advantages.  1) You can group commits into a timeline and apply them to a known release window. 2) You can view multiple groupings in the same chronological change log. This could present a pattern that might help track down the issue. 3) Your customers can also read the change log and know what they are receiving in the latest patch, update, or release you've deplo

The Defect Expiration Date

(Originally Posted on To understand how to reach a zero defect status quo, think about defects like you might think about bread. Bread is the absolute best right out of the oven. Slather it with butter and pop it into your mouth. It’s heaven. The worst bread can get is when it’s molded over and completely inedible, but it can also be helpful.  Defects are often seen as bad things. That’s not necessarily true. Defects tell you something about what’s going on with the state of the application. If defects were to equal hot, tasty bread you pop right into your mouth, would you think about avoiding them? Maybe, maybe not.  There are probably plenty of reasons to avoid bread. Allergies. Carbs. Gluten tolerance. Those reasons are absolutely respected. Replace the idea of bread with anything that works just as well. Suggestions are welcome! Measuring The Freshness Of A Defect Let’s consider the bread analogy a little further. Bread goes through states of change. That

Tester Interrupted

Public Relations for Quality I haven't made very many posts this year, but I figure QUALITY over quantity is a good thing. It's what I do after all.  It's odd. First because - I had a lot of plans at the end of last year about how 2020 would roll out for me. Like everyone did. I had several conferences I was speaking at. Several articles and workshops planned. Several -- you get the point. The world changed, and I found myself at home, working, like a majority of people in Techland.  Not only that, but my job changed. Four times at Unity. Yeah *mentally checks count*. I was hired at Unity Technologies as a Quality Lead. When I went to Unity from Thought Works, I only had two other folks.  Then, at Unity, I became a QA Manager, hired more people. Then I was shifted to a consulting and coaching role for an experimental team called Quality Elevation (like that name? I like it a lot.). I had an SDET and a Tech Writer reporting to me and we worked with three teams to help them &

Management: Your Recruitment Pipeline Is Your Responsibility

Management: Year One Series This is my Year One series on Management. It’s going to be ongoing, kinda like a serialized comic of sorts. I’ll tag these posts when I make them so, at some point, maybe someone who is also getting into a management role can see they are not alone. Batman wasn’t Batman in a day. Even he has a Year One, Two, and Three. I was recently in a diversity round table at work. We had discussions about how we could bring more diverse candidates into the company. The old reasons were brought out and I realized, maybe, because of the community I've been involved in, and the people I listen to that I need to say something about how you can bring in more diverse groups of people and build a culture of folks that use that diversity to their advantage. It's Not A Pipeline Problem First and FOREMOST - It's not the pipeline. Whether you run a business or a conference. It's not the pipeline. It's literally the lack of community engagement and trust-b

Self Evaluation & Personal Evolution

This wasn't the blog post I was planning to write. I've been neck-deep into learning all-the-things about managing folks, hiring folks, training folks, and generally making myself better glue. My hope is that after I write this post, I can follow up on some of that as well. Since about October 2018, I've been doing a lot of soul searching, and evaluating skills, and trying to understand where my personal interests are and where my skills and talents are focused. Maybe it's a midlife crisis (though my therapist hesitates to call it that). I prefer to call it a midlife evaluation. We all take them from time to time. Some just for fun, and some as part of self-discovery. Personality evaluations, skill evaluations, mental health evaluations, physicals. Periodically, one or more of these turn up a few things we weren't aware of or didn't quite understand. For me, my career journey thus far has been one I'm very proud of and I have enjoyed (almost) every min

The Gratitude Jar

I'm part of a really cool women in testing group and we have a chat called the gratitude jar. I really like this idea, but I felt like I needed to put mine in a more public place, and probably take up a lot more space that was polite if I posted in the chat. First off I want to thank the whole Ministry of Testing team. Rosie, Richard, Sarah D. , Heather, Aine, Mark, and Vernon. You all have helped me in a lot of ways and I can't thank you enough for the support and continued trust you have in the work I'm doing for the group and outside of the group. I'm coming up on year four (I think that's right) working with you all as a part-time mini boss. It's been a wonderful experience. I've learned a lot about myself and those that I've worked with over the last few years. It's no small thing to say that my career has been heavily influenced by the group and the work I've done with MoT. I'd like to thank Abby Bangser for being an amazing friend