All Posts By Maida Sussman

Maida Sussman is a certified FileMaker developer, a Six-Sigma Green Belt, and is fluent in Lean Manufacturing and Quality Assurance. Educated as a cinematographer, Maida is both technical and creative, an effective communicator, and change agent. A keen sense of Project Management caps everything she does. She can be reached at maida@blueforestdata.com.

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Quality Assurance: An Overview (pt 2)

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Read Part 1 first! Write User Stories You’ve likely heard of user stories or maybe you’re already writing them. Again, there are lots of flavors out there; this is the one that works for me. As a (role), I want to (some function), so that (or because)… These take some practice to write and write well. The key attributes that will make a user story excellent and allow it to serve many purposes are: The role is well-defined and specific (“bookkeeper”) The function is small, precise and its success measurable The “why” clause is correct Technology-agnostic where possible (we’re solving a business problem) So for example, an effective user story might be: As a bookkeeper, I want to easily find invoices open longer than 30 days, so I can avoid incurring late fees. Notice there is nothing technical in the user story, and we know why the bookkeeper is asking for the feature. Knowing why will likely inform your design choices–or you might even scrap this feature once you know why she’s asking (for example, maybe you’ll add in automation so invoices are never late, to begin with). Let’s look all the things this user story does for the project: Documents […]

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Quality Assurance: An Overview (pt 1)

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Oops! If you’re like me, it’s likely you’ve made some mistakes that you wish you could correct with the benefit of hindsight. In the world of professional software development, these mistakes can be, at the least, minor irritations, or at their most severe, major disasters for your customer and for you. Anywhere on that spectrum, all mistakes waste time and money, leading to the derailment of projects, which translates to increased costs and frustration for all involved. Wouldn’t be it great to implement some tools or processes that helped you reduce mistakes, making your customers happier? That’s Quality Assurance. Really though, doing quality work is a frame of mind, an attitude. Just like the arts of playing piano or sitting in meditation, quality is something you practice. Measure In order to get better at what you do, you need to first measure how you’re doing today. A simple way to start is to learn to recognize a mistake, or defect, when it occurs. Defects can be technical (a code bug) or process-based (like a misunderstanding). Usually, there are more of the latter type, and these can be harder to spot, but process defects that affect your relationship with the customer […]

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