Extending Your Network through Groups & Meetups

In my first few months after moving to Grand Rapids, I was a regular attendee at the monthly GR Tester Meetup.  Swapping war stories about the latest bug you’ve found and the new devious way to crash an app was an easy way to meet new people. I’ve continued to try and attend these events as not only have I made friends there, but it’s a good way of learning more about my craft.

I have, however, also tried expanding my horizons and opened up to other disciplines and people — and luckily Grand Rapids offers a lot of opportunities.

Read more on Extending Your Network through Groups & Meetups…

Follow the Data

One of the exploratory testing techniques I use is a ‘Follow The Data’ tour. For this test I follow a piece of data through the system from where it’s first introduced to where it’s stored, wherever it’s used, and where it’s displayed.

As well as checking that the data is actually used (there are times when input that is carefully validated is never actually used by the system) this technique can also lead to further test ideas.

Printing Problems

If you find that the data is printed out, this can give you a test about whether non-printable characters can form part of the data. And if so, what happens to them? How long can the data be? What happens to the printout when the maximum length of data is used? will it wrap or print off the page or obscure other parts of the printout? Read more on Follow the Data…

Hiring Developers in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor & Detroit

Atomic Object is looking to hire two developers — junior or senior — in our Grand Rapids office. We’re also hiring designers and developers in Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Here’s where you can apply.

What does Atomic do?

We create custom software products — mobile, web, desktop and embedded — for clients ranging from startups to the Fortune 500. Our typical projects are large and complex. Our success relies on smart designers and developers who can collaborate closely and work on self-managed teams to produce quality software that our clients love.

Why work at Atomic?

Here are a few more reasons why you should be considering working here: Read more on Hiring Developers in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor & Detroit…

Monitoring Your iOS Traffic

There are a number of free ‘sniffer’ tools around, for your PC or Mac, for looking at and changing the network traffic. The venerable Wireshark, Fiddler, and Burpsuite are some of the ones that I have used in the past, and still fire up today.

What about your iOS devices though? What programs are available for these, so you can see what your phone and iPad are sending out and receiving? I wouldn’t want to try and use an iOS version of Wireshark on my phone, not just because it hasn’t been ported to work on iOS, but because viewing all the data and changing it on a small phone screen is just not physically feasible. So what can you do if you want to see what your device is sending out, and how can you change what is going into it? Read more on Monitoring Your iOS Traffic…

The 4 Phases of Project and Culture Shock

Before I moved over to the US, I did lots of research — how to get a driving license, how to quickly improve my credit score, what to call a pavement/lift/boot/bonnet, how to open a bank account, where the nearest supermarkets were, etc., etc.

One other thing I found on my research was something called Culture Shock, “a feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture.” This seems to happen in 4 phases:

  1. Honeymoon – Everything seems new and exciting, with lots of possibilities.
  2. Negotiation – The initial excitement wears off and even the simplest task can prove hard and frustrating.
  3. Adjustment – The differences and changes have been taken onboard, and routines have been developed.
  4. Mastery – You are able to participate fully and comfortably in the new culture.

Having been here for 20 months, I’ve moved through the first two and am in the adjustment phase. Knowing that there were these phases made it easier to cope. Read more on The 4 Phases of Project and Culture Shock…

3 Tips for Overcoming Shyness at Conferences

I recently attended the CAST testing conference in Madison, WI and was really glad that I went. While driving there I was nervous, as I am shy and an introvert — but I also know that a lot of the value you can get out of a conference is talking with the people there. I did not want to be this guy, sitting in a hotel room and missing out on the interactions with the other attendees.

So what did I do to make sure I got more from the conference than just listening to the speakers? Here are 3 tips:

1. Be Active Online

For introverts/shy people, the internet can be a much easier way of meeting people than having to go up and talk to them. Once you’ve made contacts online, then meeting them in person at a conference is easier. And if they happen to be an extrovert or more comfortable socially, they will often come up to you and start the conversation. At one session that I attended, I knew 21 out of the 26 people there through Twitter, and it was like meeting friends rather than a room full of strangers. Read more on 3 Tips for Overcoming Shyness at Conferences…

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