Looks like I’ve slipped some

And have fallen behind in posts.

Well it’s going to be a while before I can get myself back into a regular posting habit.

Here I am, on the eve of a 5 night trip to Aruba, with some excelent news to share.

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Interesting uses of technology

I’ve been sitting on this post for a couple weeks.

One day when exiting the trainstation, I thought someone was handing out packs of gum, as advertisers are known to do from time to time. It wasn’t until I got into my car that I noticed that the card wasn’t a cupon but an invitation to join an online church, managed through the new XBOX 360 social network. I’ll give em credit that it’s an inventive use. Makes me wonder what other groups are using the XBOX 360 or Sony Playstation 3 to reach out to others who may not otherwise hear their message.


Carrot without the Stick?

It’s amazing the difference a day can make sometimes.

Projects that were giving me headaches are getting the final OK, company paid training opportunities have appeared out of nowhere (and look to get approved), and a carrot has been dangled in front of my nose with respect to my 2008 year-end review. I can’t talk about it till I have more info sometime in March I think.

A couple of weeks ago I had queried my boss about training. Training is expensive and our budget this year is very small. I asked “if I was willing to pay for the training, travel, and stay out of my own pocket, would the time spent at training be considered vacation time or be billable as a working day.” The returning answer was basically, no matter how it’s paid for, it would count as a working day. He then followed up asking me if I had anything in mind. There are a few big QA Confrence that I keep getting mailings for. StarEast (Orlando) and StarWest (Vegas) so I brought these up, there’s also a week long course that I hope will be offered in Boston in the Fall (it’s offered in Tampa in 2 weeks). It was pointed out to me that it wouldn’t be politically good for me to attend either of those confrences paying for them myself.  Thinking about it, I can see the potential conflicts it could cause, some may think I’m going ‘too far’ beyond the call of duty.  I’ll table those two confrences for now, and hope that the week long session comes up north here in the fall.


I was going strong

With a post every workday. That fell apart this week.

Just been busy at work.

I’m a Software Quality Assurance Specialist. This means that for my day job I look at business and developer requirement docs, develop a testing strategy, and since I run solo on many of my projects I also execute the tests. I have training in various automation and load testing tools, though don’t get to use those tools anywhere near as often as I would like.

It feels like there is a big issue across the software industry, where QA is considered a roadblock to release. Developers feel that if they are doing their job right, then why do you need QA. This isn’t true. QA is not a roadblock to release, but a tool to ensure that the release is what it is supposed to be. Studies show that people are less likely to see their own bugs, and it is very easy for developers to implement what they think the business wants, and the business might agree to  stuff on paper, but in actual implementation the business might have envisioned something different.

Quality Assurance should be involved shortly after a requirments doc is created. The sooner someone from ‘QA’ is looking at the project the sooner bugs can be found. That’s right you can locate bugs before anything is even coded. You can write tests (at least testing frameworks) before there is actually something there in front of you. And the sooner an issue is caught, the better it is for everyone, and the cheaper it is to fix.

I dream of one day being able to work for on a video game, to add my expertise into the release product of something that will bring joy and entertainment. You never know what the future may hold.

I don’t wish to be a software tester. Yes there is a difference. In small teams like the ones I have been working on my entire carreer the person who performs QA tends to also be the person who is the tester, but in larger environments like those I believe exist at Microsoft or hope exist at Blizzard-Activision, you have two teams one performing QA the other testing based on the direction given by the QA team.


It’s another Monday

It’s cold out, the harsh bitter winter sun tried to blind me on my morning commute as it always does.

We have more snow on the way this week. I hope it hits and hits hard causing cancelations for a free day off.

Work is no better, nor any worse than last week.

I really just don’t have all that much to write right now. Nothing to gripe about, which should be a good thing.

Tomorrow’s another day though.



A certain bastard asks, “…are you going to post some RP about your Mains on this blog or what?”

Well I might. You never know when something will strike.

This has been a rough stressful week, so I don’t know if I can bring up a tale around Ghaar my shaman. But I’ll do my best.

This week’s Anna’s Friday Five-Hundred is called Alleyways.

Someone is walking through a back alley in a Major City, and they are mugged.  What happens to them?  What happens to the mugger?”

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Just some ramblings

Well you may have noticed the new page listed above titled Visitors. I came across a plugin which takes your IP and assigns it to an address based on a public lookup list. I thought it would provide an interesting view as to where people are reading this blog from.

Things have calmed down more at work, in fact I get to raid tonight.

Every now and then something comes up that is important and you have to step aside from your routine and get it done. Last night was one of those nights. If I wanted to make the business happy, I’d have to work and not play wow. Normally this should be a no-brainer decision. However I don’t like letting people down, Wednesday nights are one of my raid nights. I informed the raid leader, let some other people know and tried to find a replacement. Then removed myself from my playtime PC, because otherwise I would have been constantly asking for updates.

Today at work, I felt like the extra time I put in accomplished something, that it was appreciated and therefor was worth it. Warcraft is fun, I’ve made many friends there, but every now and then I need to remind myself that work comes first, then comes fun.

Side note: Even with starting a little late, and some people in new roles they still almost cleared Naxx-10 in a single night. Good work guys!

Tonight we tackle the dreaded Lag Beast. Reports as to the effectiveness of the patch (3.0.8) varies. Beware 25-man Naxx we’re coming to rip you apart.


Starting from scratch

I provide Software Quality Assurance – more about why I do what I do, and why will be in a future post.

So, at work I’ve spent the past couple years working on a particular product off and on as releases were issued. When I took the project over there were no test scripts. There were packets of screenshots with no real notation. I set about to build what I thought was a very efficient manner of testing what was represented in those screenshots.

It turns out however, that I have been operating under a mistaken belief. Over the past two weeks I have learned that ‘the business’ wants something else/other than what I’ve been doing, it just took till now to actually communicate it. This is going to essentially force a reboot around all that work I had already done, lead to some headaches and frustration. However, I feel I now know what they are looking for. I don’t know if they realize I’m going to give them exactly what they want.


And a new four years begin…

Four not eight. Now before some of you get all upset, there is no reason to assume that our President won’t be replaced in four years. There is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, two wars draining our resources, many other issues home and abroad we all have to pay attention to.

It’s a tall order to fill, and although I hope and pray that this administration can make changes and improve our overall situation, I won’t pretend that if he doesn’t he will be replaced.

Political statements on this blog will not be common. I do not believe that a single label can declare someone’s mindset on all things. I do intend to express my opinion when things happen I don’t agree with, or seem to be ignored by the media.

But for now, it’s the first day of something new. The same something new that we have every 4 or 8 years here in the good old USA.


Why am I a healer?

So one day, I was asked by this guy, “Why do you like healing?”

My initial response, “I like healing because, that’s it just because.” After thinking about it more, I was able to give an actual real answer.

I mean I always liked healing. In the World of Warcraft when you get down to it DPS basically is a fixed rotation of spells or effects.  It’s decent, but a slip up and I’ve lost 200 dps, a lag spike and I’ve sat there doing nothing.

As a healer there is instant reward to your actions. You know right away that you had an impact the green bar fills up the person isn’t dead. The Damage Dealer won’t know their true impact on the fight till long after the fight is done and someone has measured the logs. If the boss died, did it die quick enough? Does it need to die quicker?

How do you measure the success of a healer in wow?
1.) People don’t die
2.) Healer isn’t mana starved

How do you measure the success of a damage dealer?
1.) Boss dies
2.) You don’t have mana left over
3.) Your dps has to clime steadily as you get new gear

There is another thing I like about being a healer

As long as I’m doing #1 and #2 I can also do #3 from the damage dealers list.  Doing damage as a healer impacts your mana so that adds in a level of difficulty that I have full control over.  Not the random chance of any number of things  affecting my total DPS as a Damage Dealer.

With the recent addition of yet another Damage Dealer class to Warcraft, there are even less healers to go around.

Be kind those remaining few who walk this path, for without them, we’d all be dead.

So for those of you who play, why do you, do what you do, in Warcraft?