Digging in the archives

I’ve been digging around in the archives and found my comedy white paper on The Problems With Testing (pdf).

Even after a year or so I still enjoy reading it. Is it wrong to laugh at your own jokes?

Here’s an excerpt.

Meetings are exactly why testing is in the state it is in today. Time being wasted in meetings is on the increase and the negativity that accompanies most meetings is enough to drag you down for the rest of the day.


You pitch up for the 10am meeting eager to discuss project details with the rest of the team only to find that the previous meeting is over running.


After standing around making over enthusiastic “watch checking” gestures you decide to wander around to the kitchen to make a coffee.


You return with your coffee. The meeting room is still busy. No other attendees have turned up for your meeting.


The Project Manager from the over running meeting holds up a finger to indicate he will be no longer than one minute. You resist waving a different finger back.


The previous meeting finally finishes. Attendees leave the room scowling at you for making them end their meeting before any decisions were made.


Still no one has turned up. On a positive note though you’ve bagged the best seat at the back where you can “people watch” through the window.


With no one turning up you decide to go and make another coffee.


Whilst making a coffee you suddenly become overwhelmed with a streak of mischievousness and decide to unscrew the lids on all the sugar shakers and balance them on the top, so it looks like the lid is still on.


You return to the meeting room to find all attendees in their waiting for you. You are gobsmacked but make your apologies.

You now only have the choice of one chair.

The one next to the projector at the front.


The Business Analyst (BA) decides to make a phone call and leaves the room.


The BA now returns but the Project Manager (PM) decides she now wants to make a call so leaves the room.


The Project meeting finally kicks off. First agenda point is raised. How to eliminate waste in the project.


You bite your lip and keep your late meeting comments to yourself.


You start to have heart palpitations from all the caffeine. Your foot starts to tap sporadically. You have an urge to throw rolled up balls of paper at the tech lead.


Apparently the defect count is down.


Smiles all round


The low defect count is because the build is broken and no-one is testing.

General feeling of disappointment.


After more pointless defect stats the urge to throw paper is becoming increasingly strong. You now need the toilet. Badly.


The PM announces, after checking corporate emails on his Blackberry, that the MD has just had a sugar shaker full of sugar dumped in his coffee and demands that the child responsible for this behavior steps forward.


Your face turns grey. You feel faint.


You start humming.


You are asked to stop humming.

And to sit still.


Discussion moves to how we solve the quality problem.


Blame session erupts and heated exchanges are made.


You start to feel quite faint now after more blaming and shouting.

You’ve also noticed how the support manager has a faint smell of Angel Delight about him. Strawberry flavour with a hint of marker pen.


Someone suggests a coffee break, someone else suggest we just abandon the meeting. The PM suggests we press on.


Meeting ends after being harangued by the next meeting attendees.

The group disperse. You charge to the toilet. No decisions were made.


You turn up to your training session fifteen minutes late. Today’s topic: time management.

Download it here.