Full group retrospective

June 13, 2003

The blog team is using Bret as customer. RubLog is a combination of a CGI, a template, a document repository, and a URL that returns one HTML output. They’ve created a harness that copies the files for one blog (from multiple ones) to the places, then visits the URLs and detects chages. They prevent date/time info from getting in, and the harness will detect changes due to some change in RubLog. The template and CGI file are stored with the blogs, so one change should not break all tests.

Lesson for the day: When you run tests and think everything is passing, make sure you check the numbers of tests executed (they found they weren’t executing tests instead of everything was passing).

They also got into exploratory mutation testing — commenting out lines of code and running tests to determine where tests failed and then considering whether they needed tests to fill the gaps.

The vettest team opted for the CGI approach (don’t remember if I posted that or not) for our web server. We also decided to do acceptance testing through IE because in our spikes, that was the most successful approach given the time. We’re also doing it in part to question the belief that automation through the GUI is worse than through interfaces.

Brian posted three charts. One is comfort zone confessions — places where one claims to be pushing beyond one’s comfort zone but really have no intention of giving whatever they’re trying a fair chance. The second is comfort zone confirmations — places where we pushed beyond our comfort zones and found that the comfort zone feelings were actually correct. The final chart is for comfort zone celebrations — places where we pushed beyond our comfort zones and ended up changing our minds because we found there’s a better way. Bret questioned whether there was a lot of comfort zone pushing (which James speculated may be due to lack of tension because of people coming in an open mind). Jeremy said that one of the discussions last night (I think the acceptance testing/role of testing talk which I was not involved in) was pushing him far from his comfort zone.

Other pushing out the comfort zones mentioned (without naming names): the through the GUI testing the vettest team is doing, paired programming, multiple subroutines, lack of knowledge/experience with OO, Ruby, testing, lack of usefulness, and doing the same thing people do when they’re not here (came wanting vacation but ended up doing same thing). Another observation was made that there might be conflicting comfort zones and when one person is in their zone, others might be learning from them and be outside their zone.

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