Getting the interview is sometimes the hardest part in your job search. Here is one individual’s creative approach. There is something Trumpish about it, but I thought it was great. I would love to have Woz, Gates or Steve Jackson as a Linkedin connection. I wonder if it would work. LOL I would have thought Steve Jackson would have been easy, since in 1997-1998 him and I had a nice phone and email exchange abut Toon, gaming and the Internet.
Archive for May 2010
Using production data for testing purposes.
Why do companies keep doing this? On numerous occasions I have seen bad, bad, very bad things happen when you follow this approach. I have heard many people say on numerous occasions, that it is imposable to NOT do this. I say you lie, sir! LOL It may be harder than just turning a switch, but do you really think this is true? It uses to be the standard to just code your solution in production. It used to be the standards to have developers test their own code. Let your customers test it we use to say. Sane companies no longer do these things. I say using production data for testing purposes is the hurdle we need to clear now.
Here are two real life examples on why you should not do this
I was working with one client a few years back that was doing disaster recovery, and they used test data in what they felt was a mock production environment. One missed rule on a firewall and they found out they were impacting actual customers.
Luckily it was found very, very fast.
When I started out as a young consultant, I was writing health insurance apps at a company I was actually a member of. While testing the request ID card functionality in test, not only did I receive a new id card, but because I was not using my real birth date in the test environment, I went months were I kept getting denied claims, because my birth date was wrong.
I would keep calling their help desk. They would change it to my actual date, in 30 days it would be changed back. LOL.
Other than these examples as to why you SHOULD not do it, add these to the list
- You cannot test every case with production data
- Some things happen too seldom, so if you just grab a month of data there may be parts of your code not tested.
- Once you replicate production data to other environments than production your ability to control where that data may travel becomes impeded. This opens your company up to litigation and bad press.
How can you change this pattern?
Here are some tips that may help you.
Use your production data to create a sampling of what that data should look like. You do this by scrubbing out any personal data (name, address, social security number, credit card, license…).
If you need one social security number for code validation purposes, use 078-05-1120. This number has been invalidated by the social security administration.
You should be able to get credit card and bank routing numbers from the company you use to in these transactions.
Don’t assume that it is OK to use an employee as your test case. If you need to use real people in your testing, use a company that supplies secret shoppers or use a system like Amazon Turk. It is better to hire 100 people to run credit on in testing than one employee 100 times. LOL
Make sure any external calls are implemented using service oriented architecture. You can then mock out that part of your infrastructure. This will let you do all kinds of testing. You can put in pauses to see how different loads you may have in production will impact customers. You can then use generated social numbers, since you won’t be sending real data to vendors. You can then easily create fake users that will return which ever result you choose.
You will still need to do some production verification to make sure the interfaces between your new code and the external service have not changed. This should be minimal testing and one of the exceptions.
There may be some exceptions
There may be some areas that production data is required, but those exceptions should be exceptional. Items like testing how your credit call with your outside vendor works. Remember my saying around exceptions, they should be exceptional. Start looking at how your organization uses production data in testing. Create a line in the sand that is reasonable as to when you will no longer allow that practice. Then start clearing away the obstacles that will keep you from hitting the goal. In the long run you will have less exposure. You will also have better running systems, since you will be taking your testing organization to a new level.
I am really disappointed with Bing. My new IE install had Bing as the default search engine. I used it for a week or two. It seemed after every search, I would have to go to Google to find what I needed. The output seem to be less on a page, and the first screen was useless information. I mean I would search adwords, and get sites about adwords, when I want to go to adwords?
What the frak!
Years ago I was hit with the perfect idea that would solve most search problems. Feel free to use this for your new search engine.
Just invite me to be there when you ring the bell at your IPO Do people still IPO these days?
I got the idea when Napster was everyone’s favorite site. Create a plugin for everyone’s browser. As we search the web, we tag pages. That creates a directory artifact that would be searched with LDAP.
Then there would be a web based front end that allows us to search for sites. Instead of bots creating what is a great site, it would be us. You would not need spiders anymore. We would be yoru spiders.
In order to solve the search spam problem, you would then allow people to rate the people who create entries. So if I noticed allot of crap from one person, I could block their submissions. That could be done at the micro and macro level. I could also rank people who seem to find the best stuff. These people would be our heroes when it came to specific knowledge.
I do not know why no one else has thought of this, and implemented it. I talked with an individual about it 8 years ago, we talked about creating a business around it, but we could not come to an agreement. If you want to make it, have at it. Just let me know so I can be your first user. LOL
I was going through some online training for Office 2007 and I had an idea. I would like to see Google presentation be able to consume a rss feed. Think how easy this would be. I could use wordpress to prepare the content for a presentation. Then I could go to Google docs, create a presentation and tell it to grab the content from my rss feed. This would allow a few things.
1) I could use the powerful tools in wordpress to prepare content.
2) I could then present it in a presentation format using Google Docs.
I think they could create specific markup to ensure it would work better in Presentation. Your web browsers would ignore it.
I then think they could focus more on the ability to create nice templates. I feel this is where Microsoft is trying to fight back on Google. I know some of my friends are surprised I would be taking Office training. I have been using Office, since there has been an office. I have never had any training in Office. The 2007 version is so different, so odd that I have to take the training. It is the opposite of intuitive if you have been an office user. Open Office never had these problems. I picked it up in minutes. Google docs, is just like office 95. I think MS is trying to compete with Google so much they completely want to seperate themselves. I would have not bothered with learning it, but my company uses it as a standard. The look si also so much superior now. I feel like I have a Mac LOL.
Years ago I had a subscription to audible.com. I really enjoy listening to audio books when I Drive. I was just doing some surfing around the web on Saturday, and wanted to download a trial of Anime Studio. I had been wanting to try it. I like Manga studio, so thought I may like Anime Studio. So they didn’t have an option to get just a free trial. They did have an option to do a trial and get the software for free. I went through a few offers, and saw the one for audible. I buy an audio book ever 2 weeks or so. Lately it is hard finding the ones you like. It use to seem like you could get them anywhere. The nonfiction ones seem to be pretty light.
I decided to give audible another shot, at 7.95 a month. That is really a pretty good deal. One negative is you still have to download a manager program.
One question I have is why do people assume we want this crap to run all the time. LOL Make me boot it up, DO NOT WASTE MY RESOURCES EVERY DAY, for something I will use once a week at most, probably every two weeks.
It integrates well with iTunes. That allows me to just burn my own CD’s. I can then share them with friends after I listen. I have a couple of friends who we share audio books with. If you like to read audio books, get a audible membership. You get the one a month for 8 bucks. That is better than the used price on most audio books. You can buy additional books in the 8-24 dollar range, which is a good price. It is always cheaper than the Amazon price.