Good LIMS Intentions for 12 OCT 2009

Now that I’ve been in Switzerland for a week, I’ve gotten over my jet lag and organized myself to write at the beginning of the day (as I usually like to) rather than the end. That works out, too, since the last day of the week, I’ll be travelling back home at the end of the day and not too interested in blogging.

So, as a change, let me talk a little about my great aspirations for today.  As I’d said in the last post on this subject, I plan to spend the entire morning on bug fixes. I want to tackle the trickiest ones – the ones that we can’t reliably reproduce. I have some good ideas on how to “break” things.  (and, now, imagine a fiendish laugh inserted right here)

The afternoon will be spent with the testing team. These aren’t outside contractors that do nothing but run test scripts – these are real users that will need some training on how to run the scripts, what happens if there’s a problem, that sort of thing. From doing this, last time, I know it’s tough for them. They have a lot of work waiting back in their labs and this is a new and extremely frustrating experience for them. The only motivation they’re given for this is that it’s going to help the company and we need them. The team is so lucky to have these people.

The problem, of course, is that it’s hard to write a test script for people who haven’t done this, before, even when giving them some initial training and having plenty of people around to help and support them in their effort. They’ll do all sorts of things we didn’t plan for them to do because this entire process is new to them, so they’re only familiar with hearing about it, not doing it.

Nonetheless, we’ll all get through this task, and no-one will get hurt doing it.  😉

Some tips of my own:

  • Schedule time to run the scripts.
  • Give people at least some training on how to run them.
  • Have plenty of people around to support the testers, to give them advice, and to determine how to proceed.
  • Try not to let the problems leave the room. That is to say, resolve each problem as it comes up, whenever possible. Have all the appropriate people around for this.
  • Treat the testers with respect.

On an unrelated note:

If you want to learn how strange your own language is, listen to people who are foreign to it use it and pronounce it. It’s interesting that they will come up with sentences that are entirely correct but end up actually not meaning anything to a native speaker of that language because “correct” is much different from “common” and it’s the common use of our language that we most easily understand. Additionally, I recently realized that the people that speak my native language with an accent are sometimes not really speaking with an accent as much as they’re pronouncing the words exactly as they’re written. This is especially an issue with English, as there are multitudes of pronunciations that are based on specific words or usage.

My own foray into trying to speak another language has been interesting, frustrating and comical. I have a coworker that’s been a lot of help to me in learning new phrases and words but there are times I’m so far away from getting it right that even he’ll admit that he’s got absolutely no idea what I’m trying to say.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises
http://www.GeoMetrick.com/

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