Experience Report: Using ChatGPT to Generate and Analyze Text

In the previous post, I described ChatGPT as being a generator of bullshit. Some might say that’s unfair to ChatGPT, because bullshit is “speech intended to persuade without regard for truth”. ChatGPT, being neither more nor less than code, has no intentions of its own; nor does it have a concept of truth, never mind regard for it, and therefore can’t be held respsonsible for the text that it produces. … Read more

Respect for Our Clients

For a long time, I’ve suggested that testing should focus on product problems that pose risk to the business. That remains true, but lately I’m thinking there’s another consideration. For instance: yesterday, I accepted an invitation for an online meeting from a potential client. The invitation contained a link to a Microsoft Teams meeting. (If you know where this is going, and find it too painful, just skip to the … Read more

Oracle Heuristic: Consistency Within the Product

Today brings an example of applying of the *consistency within the product* oracle heuristic. (You can read more about that here and here For reasons known only to the gods, when I visit AirBnB today, it insists on quoting all prices in Chilean pesos (CLP). At today’s rates, the Chilean peso is roughly 600 to the Canadian dollar, so a property that might cost CAD200 per night displays as … Read more

On the Normalization of Deviance

Last night, my wife was out on an errand in our car. She parked it, entered the store, and came out again. She tried to start the car. It wouldn’t start. She called home to consult with me. We tried a couple of things over the phone. We considered a couple of possible problems. From what I could tell, the starter motor wasn’t engaging. Not exactly a surprise, because I … Read more

Just Another Day at the Computer (3)

An online chat with a coaching student. I want to set up a Zoom meeting with her tomorrow. At some point during the last couple of days, there was a new version of the Zoom plugin for Outlook. Maybe there was a new version of Outlook, too; I’m not sure. But in any case…

Just Another Day at the Computer (2)

On my iPad, I’m reading a discussion on LinkedIn. A reply piques my interest, and I want to alert a colleague to it. I tap on the dots in the upper right. The options offered are are “Message (the author of the reply)”, “Share via…”, and “Report”. I tap on “Share via…” Nothing happens. I move to my computer, and go to the same reply. The three dots in the … Read more

Just Another Day at the Computer

I sit down with a coffee, retrieve my mail, and open it up. I’ve received a spammy kind of message. It provides a link to unsubscribe. The link returns {“code”:1020,”message”:”fail”}. I’ve received another spammy kind of message, this time from Yellow Pages ( In the text, it is addressed to “[{Recipient.FirstName}]”. The message asks “How do you show up online?” Better than YellowPages shows up in my inbox, I hope. … Read more

Lessons Learned in Finding Bugs

This story is put together from several parallel experiences over the last while that I’ve merged into one narrative. The pattern of experiences and epiphanies is the same, but as they used to say on TV, names and details have been changed to protect the innocent. I was recently involved in testing an online shopping application. In the app, there’s a feature that sends notifications via email. On the administration … Read more

Experience Report: Katalon Studio

Warning: this is another long post. But hey, it’s worth it, right? Introduction This is an experience report of attempting to perform a session of sympathetic survey and sanity testing on a “test automation” tool. The work was performed in September 2021, with follow-up work November 3-4, 2021. Last time, the application under test was mabl. This time, the application is Katalon Studio. My self-assigned charter was to explore and … Read more