Visualising Changes in Your Product

There are so many ways of working out what is changing in your product. As a Tester I look for this information from any source. It helps me filter my test ideas.

One of the tools we’ve been exploring recently here at NewVoiceMedia is a cool tool called Gource. One of our programmers Wyndham has been experimenting with it and been tempting me with the insights this tool could offer our Testers.

There simply isn’t time to test everything so any technique or information source that will help me filter and target my Testing is very welcome.

Gource is a tool that “visualises” SVN check-ins. We can visualise where the check-ins are happening, with what frequency and with what intensity. We can get access to check-in information anyway, but what this tool gives you is a timeline of change and that all important visualisation.

Here’s a cool vid of Gource in action for Flickr: w=400&h=300

Flickr/Gource from Daniel Bogan on Vimeo.

So we’ve been playing with this and immediately I can see areas of code check-ins not immediately obvious from story cards or other workflow tools.

We’re going to be exploring this tool more over the next few months and seeing how well we are finding the insights it can give.

I’ve also been having crazy ideas about how I can use the SVN checkin process and Gource for visualising where we are targetting our exploratory testing. We could see how much testing is going on around which component…..but I digress. I’ll explore that and let you know.

Here’s Wyndham blog on how to get Gource set up and running.


8 thoughts to “Visualising Changes in Your Product”

  1. Looks interesting and cool – I was going to say that it’s a shame it’s for SVN and not Git but seems it has Git support. Hmmm….

  2. This is incredibly cool. Thanks for posting. I’d love to talk to you about your experiences using it and also some thoughts I have about using the insights from Gource to drive test input decisions into Hexawise.Call me?Jusyin

  3. It would be nice if bug tracking systems could be more sophisticated to help visualise…* where the bugs are being found* where the important/severe priority bugs are being found* are there patterns with testers and bugs* are there patterns with developers and bugs* etc…And obviously avoiding somehow all the number per bugs tester scenario…How could that be useful?

  4. Hey Rob,Thanks for pointing me towards another resource for consuming many lunch hours – this looks fantastic!This one might actually interest the team…

  5. Hi Rosie,Nice idea. I was thinking the same thing for ET. Maybe a tool that did both?There’s a cool product no-one has yet built :)Rob..

  6. @Phil – Yeah – looks like it does other systems too. Let me know what you find out.@Duncan – It’s nice knowing I give you things to do instead of taking a well earned break. :)@Justin – I’ll be in touch.Rob..

  7. Great article AGAIN! RobI like the concept and thought behind this.My concern would be that as humans we are very good at making patterns out of nothing and seeing patterns when none exist. As long as you are aware of that and take steps to prevent it this could be a winner. (Can you tell I am doing a lot of research in this area at the moment (wink))

  8. Hi John,Thanks!Indeed we would need to be careful using a visualisation like this for all of our insights and information. I suspect it would form a part of it. Once we work out how to get our Testing visualised like this we may be able to take this up a level to a mind map of the entire suite and see where churn and testing is being focussed at a high level. Thanks for the comments.Rob..

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