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Comment: Re:I see a bunch of whiners (Score 2) 152

by michaelbolton (#47820633) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?
"After complaining about click-baiting laden titles, in your own writing at the link you provided, that's a pretty ironic statement." It's not a statement. It's a question, rhetorically delivered, that addresses a legitimate concern. Here's a fun game for the whole family: go to LinkedIn, and do a search for the string "29119". Note the preponderance of consultancies that offer services in interpreting and explaining 29119. Have a look at the constituency of the working group; note the overlap between those companies and those who are enthusiastic suppliers to the ISTQB certification mills. Have a look at the minutes of the meetings of the working group, and look for phrases like "marketing the standard" (rather than, say publicizing the standard). Are you really trying to claim that your business and yourself have no financial motivation in your actions? Or do you do all of your consulting gratis, merely on principle alone? That's another FAQ. “In one sense, it won’t make any difference to my business if 29119-1, 29119-2, and 29119-3 are left to stand, and if 29119-4 and 29119-5 move from draft to accepted. Rapid Software Testing is about actual testing skills—exploration, experimentation, critical thinking, scientific thinking, articulate reporting, and so forth. That doesn’t compete with 29119, in the same kind of way that a fish restaurant doesn’t compete with the companies that make canned tuna. We object to people manipulating the market and the ISO standards development process to suggest to the wider world that canned tuna is the only food fit for people to eat. I discuss that here: http://www.developsense.com/bl... “In another sense, 29119 could be fantastic for my business. It would offer me a way to extend the brand: how to do excellent, cost-effective testing that stands up to scrutiny in contexts where some bureaucrat, a long way away from the development project, was fooled into believing that 29119 was important. At the moment, I’m happy to refer that kind of business to colleagues of mine, but I suspect that it would be something of a gold mine for me. Yet still I oppose 29119, because what’s in my interest may not be in the interests of my clients and of society at large. “Let me be specific: There are existing standards for medical devices, for avionics, and the like. Those standards matter, and many of them are concise and well-written, and were created by genuine collaboration among interested parties. Testers who are working on medical devices or on avionics software have a limited number of minutes in the working day. As someone who flies a lot, and as someone who is likely to require the help of medical devices in the foreseeable future, I would prefer that those testers spend as many minutes as humanly possible actually investigating the software, rather than complying (authentically, pathetically, or maliciously) to an unnecessary standard for process modeling, documentation, and strategizing (a standard for developing a strategy—imagine that!). "You are free to ignore this standard" Yes, of course I am... until it creeps into regulation as the NIST points out in the second-last paragraph here: http://www.nist.gov/standardsg... ---Michael B.

Comment: Re:Then participate! (Score 1) 152

by michaelbolton (#47820501) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?
If won't respond or consider those kinds of questions, your point of view is suspect at best, and you open yourself to being controlled by people without legitimate authority. Which is interesting, because often the people who complain most lustily about government waste are willing to let this sort of commercial power grab slide. There's no point in joining the ISO Working Group when the process is set up to suppress opposition and dissent. What we're trying to establish here is that the ISO's whole process is illegitimate, and that we do not recognize the authority of the ISO. Remember: the issue here is not only advertising or marketing for stupid certifications to a stupid standard. A more important issue here is waste of both public and private funds by manipulating the levers of regulation. I'm willing to answer the objections you've raised; you're free to ignore my points. From my FAQ: Q. If ISO 29119 is so terrible, won’t it disappear under its own weight? Yes, it probably will in most places. But for a while, some organizations (including public ones; your tax dollars at work, remember) will dally with it at great cost—including the easily foreseeable costs of unnecessary compliance, goal displacement, misrepresentation of testing, and yet another round of marketing of bogus certifications, whereby rent-seekers obtain an opportunity to pick the pockets of the naïve and the cynical. Q. Do you really believe that ISO 29119 can be stopped? No, of course we don’t. Curtis Stuehrenberg puts it perfectly in a discussion on LinkedIn: “The petition is not about stopping the publication any more than an anti-war march is about a reasonable expectation of ending a war through a parade. The point of the petition and the general chatter is to make sure at least some people hear there is a significant portion of the testing community who was not represented and who espouse different viewpoints and practices for software testing as a professional discipline.” If we can’t get the standard stopped by the ISO’s mechanisms, at least we can show that there is an absence of consensus outside of the 29119 working groups. Q. Why didn’t you object using the formal process set up by ISO? As James Bach points out, the real question there has been begged: why should the craft have to defend itself against a standards process that is set up to favour the determined and the well-funded? ISO is a commercial organization; not an organ of the United Nations, emanating from elected representative governments; not an academic institution; not a representative group of practitioners; not ordained by any deity. The burden is on ISO to show the relevance of the standard, even under its own terms. Simon Morley deconstructs that (http://testers-headache.blogspot.ca/2014/08/iso-29119-questions-part-1.html). And from my earlier blog post on the subject: If you want to be on the international working group, it’s a commitment to six days of non-revenue work, somewhere in the world, twice a year. The ISO/IEC does not pay for travel expenses. Where have international working group meetings been held? According to the http://softwaretestingstandard... Web site, meetings seem to have been held in Seoul, South Korea (2008); Hyderabad, India (2009); Niigata, Japan (2010); Mumbai, India (2011); Seoul, South Korea (2012); Wellington New Zealand (2013). Ask yourself these questions: How many independent testers or testing consultants from Europe or North America have that kind of travel budget? What kinds of consultants might be more likely to obtain funding for this kind of travel? Who benefits from the creation of a standard whose opacity demands a consultant to interpret or to certify? Meanwhile, if you join one of the local working groups, there are two ways that the group arrives at consensus. 1) By reaching broad agreement on the content. (Consensus, by the way, does not mean unanimity—that everyone agrees with the the content. It would be closer to say that in a consensus-based decision-making process, everyone agrees that they can live with the content.) But, if you can’t get to that, there’s another strategy. 2) By attrition. If your interest is in promulgating an unwieldy and opaque standard, there will probably be objectors. When there are, wait them out until they get frustrated enough to leave the decision-making process. Alan Richardson describes his experience with ISEB in this way. In light of that, ask yourself these questions: How many independent consultants have the time and energy to attend local working groups, often during otherwise billable hours? What kinds of consultants might be more likely to support attendance at local working groups? Who benefits from the creation of a standard that needs a consultant to interpret or to certify?

Comment: Re:Shades of 2167 (Score 1) 152

by michaelbolton (#47820297) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?
"What it does, is that it helps an organization guarantee that its constituent parts know what activities to do under what circumstances and tasks in a business lifecycle." That claim is unsupportable, since it ignores the role of tacit knowledge; it ignores all the things that the process manual doesn't say; and it ignores all the ways in which the process manual overstructures the work. As James C. Scott points out in /Seeing Like a State/, this is exactly the reason why work-to-rule campaigns can be as effective (that is, more disruptive) than a strike.

Comment: Re:Most likely against it... (Score 1) 152

by michaelbolton (#47819307) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?
"Most of the people likely against it probably had or already have no intention of testing their shit software in the first place!" You are spectacularly wrong about that. Apparently you probably had or already have no intention of testing your theory; not even by the most cursory reading of any of the materials referred to at the beginning of this thread.

Comment: Re:Wrong focus? (Score 2) 152

by michaelbolton (#47819253) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?
Lots of competent testers point out that compliance with ISO 29119 does not in the least establish a baseline level of competence. Your argument "even ineffective standards testing with associated increased overhead his better than a status quo" is basically equivalent to saying "friendly fire is better than not shooting" or "ineffective medicine with severe side effects is better than no medicine at all".

Comment: Re:Can it be a *useful* standard (Score 2) 152

by michaelbolton (#47818603) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?
That's certainly an important point. There are others. To me, the issue not just the cost of preparing the documentation, but the degree to which compliance with the standard displaces the goal of actually testing the product or service. A moment that a tester spends on useless documentation is a moment in which she's not focused on identifying risks and finding problems that would cause loss, harm, or annoyance. http://www.developsense.com/bl...

Comment: Re:I see a bunch of whiners (Score 1) 152

by michaelbolton (#47818527) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?
Would you agree that consensus gained by attrition and rent-seeking should be used to determine the way things are done in health-, safety-, or finance-related enterprises upon which you, your loved ones, and your nest egg depend? Are you saying that IEEE/ISO working groups should ignore what's going on in the world because the process is designed to favour those who are driven by profit, but who do not have skin in the game? http://www.developsense.com/bl... ---Michael B.

Comment: Re:Wrong focus? (Score 1) 152

by michaelbolton (#47818451) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?
That is both an advantage AND a disadvantage, since it affords the potential for rent-seeking (http://www.developsense.com/blog/2014/08/rising-against-the-rent-seekers/ ). Rent-seeking may lead to wasteful documentation, compliance vs. competence, and other forms of goal displacement. See also http://www.developsense.com/pr....

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