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Ralph Liberty Meadows
The Cesspit
Revealing more than it says since 1995
I simulate robots 
22nd-Jun-2010 05:11 pm
Well, I am now three weeks into a new job. Instead of running around organising people to do testing for applications that they don't really want to test, or convincing hardware specialists they do need to write down the process they used to put a firewall into use, I am sitting still and actually getting down to real manual testing.

No high faluting automation, or long discussions about strategy, this is get the manual, get the use cases and get stuck in quality assurance. Yes, currently I am a happy bunny. I did manage to luck into a critical fault within 24 hours of starting, but that was a lucky shot, and this week I have been simulating a robot.

Not a robot that is destined to go crazy, and take over the world with it's twin auto cannon arms. Nope, it's a highly expensive piece of laboratory equipment that combines dyes, agents and tissue samples, performs magic on them to get DNA out, and then analyzes that DNA using Next Generation Sequencing techniques. This equipment then sends results to the software my new company makes for storage and analysis. However, robots, even unsexy non-killer robots, are pricey, so I am playing the role of the robot and simulating the steps the robot does to check that a results file is correctly created and then handled by the software.

So far, boringly so good. Everything bar a small piece of UI is behaving. I write this as a script is now collating the results. Hopefully that will break. I like things to break. Even if it causes stress to developers and project managers (and possibly because of).

What's more interesting is to work in an Agile environment, with short time lines, rapid development and a group of people who have the smarts and the enthusiasm. I have to pedal hard to keep up. Which makes a change from coasting in the slow lanes.
Ralph Liberty Meadows
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