Monday 2 June 2014

The Blink Test.

...or how we went to ride the Valkyrie!

When you have to test big data amount, one useful test technique is called The Blink Test.

Basically it is about defocusing, and then looking at the patterns you see and try to find the glitch, the part that is different than the rest.

Depending on the shape of the data, you can unzoom a excel page, or look at data scrolling on your screen, whatever helps you to understand the system, instead of the data itself.

This morning we were at the local Honda dealer, they had set up a testing day, so customers could go and ask for a test ride on one of their bikes.

I had an appointment to test ride the new CB500X. a nice entry level motorcycle, with an affordable price that I could consider buying... if I ever would consider buying such a thing.

So we went to the dealer, and they had set up a table outside, where you would show you driving license, sign up some form regarding insurance, and then they would give you the key to do a ride with the rest of users.

When I showed the lady my driving license, I noticed that she had to fill up a paper sheet with a printout of some excel-like page.

I looked at the columns and they were... Number, Model, Name... I jumped at the name column and found my name, and at the model on my line was the expected CB500X (this was checking).

Then I looked for the rest of the models, and I noticed that there was one model with no name on the line (that's how blink testing works).
And the model was F6C (this is domain knowledge, as I already knew what model the F6C was)

So my question to the lady was: "Is there any rider for the Valkyrie?" (this was testing).
-"No", she answered.
And my next question was: "Can I change my bike, and ride it?" (This was adding a new test case, based on the context and my previous observations)
-"Yeah, sure!", she said.

And so we did! We went out and tested how this Flat six engine, 117Bhp,  300Kg bike performed.

Things that I liked.
 - It does not accelerate, it jumps into hyperspace.
 - It brakes like its rolling on rails, bringing you out from hyperspace in no time.
 - When accelerating, the sound that comes from the engine is awesome.
 - People look at you when you are riding it.

Things that I didn't like.
 - It is too heavy to ride at the city, this is not a bike to commute.
 - Because it has no fairing or saddlebags, I don't think it would be good for riding long distances either.
 - While I was riding it, I could not relax myself, I was too busy handling all that power and weight.
 - People look at you when you are riding it.
 - It is too expensive, starting at 23.700€ it is more than some testers around earn in a whole year.

But hey, if you don't try, there is no way of knowing!

Back from the ride, safe and sound.

At the end, my wife and I had a debriefing session, and we decided to continue with our good' old Vespa for a while.

It was nice to ride the Valkyrie... but now I wonder how the CB500X might be.

Back to the Blink Test, James Back has a nice post here explaining how it works. I invite you to read it, you never know when you will find it useful.

The #greentester contest.

Last month, the guys from Eurostar came up with a challenge to win a ticket to Eurostar.

This was the contest.

When I saw this, and as I was wearing a green t-shirt, I submitted my first pic, right from the office.
Guess were I've been!

I already had a chance, and this should be good enough, but rules didn't say anything about sending just one picture, and the next weekend, as we were playing in the park with kids and cousins, this one came out:
Support your team.

Two weeks passed and people started sending really good pictures, so now I was thinking about elaborating a better one. So I thought about giving a chance to the bike, and how to shoot a picture while riding it, and where to do it.

One morning, I took a small diversion on my way to the office, and went to a nice spot outside the city. I set up the camera and recorded a video while I was passing in front of the camera.
Out from that video came this picture:
It's a long way...
It might not result in the best picture of the world, but it was fun trying it out.

Then one night, I saw this video about how to fake a famous picture, and decided to give it a try. My model was David Hobby's portrait picture:
The Strobist.

I had the mac, and instead the sodas, I had a RedBull and a empty Baby bottle, so I started experimenting with the lights...
Test1 Test2 ...

 At the end, The one that I liked the most:
Make it green!
And? did I win? Hell no!, Maybe I got close, but +Michael Larsen submitted an awesome picture that got the price.

And about getting to the conference, well, I guess I could pay to get there, as +Jesper Lindholt Ottosen wrote, Left to my own devices ... I probably would.

The funny thing is that this happened before, last year I tried to get to Eurostar submitting a picture, and both Jesper and I almost got the price.

Learning and experimenting is what makes sense of trying things out, so next time I get the chance, I will be testing... and looking to the camera!

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