How to Lose Customers – By PetFlow.com

I received a coupon for discount pet food from PetFlow.com and it included a special prescription pet food that I buy, so I thought I’d check out their site.

During my visit, it popped up a message asking me if I wanted to sign up for their spam informing me of special deals, etc..  The choices were “Yes” and “No – I prefer to be the last to know.”

Why do I think some dumb-shit Millennial was behind this?

Their coupon is sitting in my recycle bin.

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WTF?! Did Microsoft just change my Windows Admin UserID?

File this one under Microsoft Windows 8 (8.1 reaaly) horror stories.

I went to use Skype (purchased by MS) on Windows 8.1.  I had already gone thru the hassle of setting it up under Windows 8.0 – and no, as an existing Skype user you cannot simply bring up Skype, sign in and use it.  Microsoft forces you to use an email address and password to use Skype.  MS does not allow you to cancel out of this process, even though there is a cancel button.  I had to kill it using Task Manager.

So back to Skype & 8.1, when I went to use it, it now asked me to sign in – not to Skype, but to my local Windows admin account on my PC.  So I did.  Then it asked for the email address and I entered that.  Then they emailed a security number to that email addr and I needed to retreive it and paste it in to authenticate it was really me.  Did that.

Then a Skype wizard came up asking me if I wanted to store my Skype msgs and info in the cloud and “No” was “Not Recommended.”  Remember, I had already used Skype for years and also on Windows 8.0.  So I just accepted the Wizard’s defaults and tested Skype.  It appeared to work.

I wanted to test that the WiFi autoconnect worked from the location I was at, so I shutdown my computer and restarted it.  I logged in and my login failed.  Then I looked above the password textbox and noticed that the user name for my local Windows Admin account had been changed to my Skype email address!!!  I entered that password and bingo, I was logged into my laptop.

I can’t believe MS would change my local Windows Admin user account name, so I went in to User Accounts and sure enough – my old userID was nowhere to be found.  So now MSFT has my laptop’s Admin userID and password.  I’m feeling real comfortable about that!

Aboslutely, positively – Windows 8 will be the last Microsoft product I will ever buy.  I dumped Office in 2002, dumped IE in 2004, don’t use Xbox and would never buy a Windows-based smartphone.

Now looking at the Skype alternatives.  DUMP SKYPE NOW!

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Signs a Company isn’t Commited to Quality

Over the past couple of years (maybe more), I’ve noticed that it has become fairly standard to job requirements to include some kind of phrase about “being able to influence others” or “persuade others” when it comes to software quality.

Here is an example from General Motor’s from Jun 4, 2013…

Quality Assurance Business Analyst and Operations Lead-INF0004877

  • The QA Lead maintains the ability to influence projects without having to lean on authority to successfully deliver a quality product that may cross several functional teams.

Here’s another from PROLIM Global Corporation, whoever they are…

  • Excellent communication and persuasion skills to be a strong advocate for quality

Anyone who knows or has read anything about bringing quality to an organization, knows that the buy-off starts at the top – the CEO.  You won’t need to “persuade” your co-workers that they should take quality seriously, because management will get rid of those who don’t.

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Who Wants to be a Billionaire? Windows OS Replacement Needed

The market is ripe for a viable Microsoft Windows OS replacement.  Many people are sick of being screwed by Redmond and TPOT is no exception.

I wonder if a shell could be developed and still give good performance?  I think this was done back in the Windows 3.0 ro 3.1 days.

Ubuntu or some other Linux flavor might do, if a decent UI/desktop exists (I haven’t kept up on Ubuntu).

Google certainly has the monetary and brain resources to develop an OS, but looking at some of their apps makes me wonder if they know much about users and UI’s – which is odd, since their uncluttered search engine page hits this spot on.

Apple can’t or won’t do it – to closely tied to hardware – technologically and financially.  But many users will defect from Microsoft to Apple.

Think of the market opportunities.  No corporation is the world will migrate to Windows 8.  The costs is astronomical – training (retraining, really); I’m not even considering the cost of buying touch screen hardware.

Of course, Microsoft will probably announce Windows 9, which will “unscrew” the screwed-up Windows 8.  Kinda reminds me of Kramer on Seinfeld – there’s a problem, Kramer jumps in and makes it much worse and then when things return back to the same problem, you feel so much better because the Kramer problem was solved, but you’re still left with your original problem.

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Microsoft – A Company Adrift

Windows 8 is just further proof that Microsoft hasn’t got a clue about their user base or perhaps it just shows their greed and hubris. A company that has virtually no market share in smartphones and tablets decides to screw their entire install base by forcing Windows 8 upon them.  Recent history shows that every other OS release is a good one.  Ditto for Office 2007 and “the ribbon.”

Back in the day, Microsoft wasn’t known for innovation, but making software easy-to-use.  MSFT didn’t create the word processor, but they beat WordPerfect by making Word easy and intuitive to use.  Ditto for VisiCalc and Lotus123 (I remember how easy it was to use Multiplan back in the 8-bit OS days).

Stupid strategy

No doubt, MSFT looked into the future and said “Let’s unify our OS user interface across all platforms.”  A much better strategy would have been to do this after they established significant market share in the smartphone and tablet markets.  Microsoft forced on steep learning curve on its users – again – and many users will take a look at alternatives they may have never considered before.

One has to wonder what, if anything, is going on in the executives’ heads at Microsoft?

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Windows 8.1 WTF?!?!?!

Disclaimer – I have not used Windows 8.1 for more than 2 minutes as of the time of this writing.

I decided to “upgrade” from Windows 8 to 8.1 to get back the familiar Start button and operations, so I don’t have to F— around with those stupid tiles – the new name for desktop icons.

The upgrade took 10 hours n my i7 quad core with 8G of RAM. So I decided to give 8.1 a quick test drive and guess what? When you click the Start button, it does the same thing as pressing the Windows key did in Windows 8 – it takes you to the stupid tiles screen.

I’m hoping they (Microsoft) got rid of the annoying behavior of bringing up the clock for some unknown reason and displaying the “charms” menu when you don’t want it and not being able to bring up the charms menu when you need it.

Update

It gets worse.  Now they pop up ‘helper squares’ (not sure what the official MS term is) that randomly appear in the upper right and left-hand corners of your screen.  So when you type in something you’re searching for, like Paint or Control Panel, the square blocks the first few results – usually the one you want.

After getting my new computer with Windows 8 installed, I went thru all the pains of re-establishing my cookies and credentials for banking and other websites, plug-ins, etc.  8.1 wiped all those out, so I had to do it all over again.

I noticed my computer was ahead 1 day.  How did that happen?  Changing the date is another adventure in Windows 8.  I went to install MS Security Essentials and it told me I don’t have to, because Windows Defender is better and already installed.  OK.  Then I bring up Windows Defender and it states the virus definitions are 127 days old!

I still don’t understand how and why the clock appears in the lower left-hand corner.  I just know it appears when I don’t want it to and won’t appear when I want it to.  Then it requires one click or keystroke to get rid of it.

The best thing about 8.1?  The very colorful default wallpaper.  They ditched the dull Seattle Space Needle rendition.

I am so glad Microsoft doesn’t make cars!

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Thank You Microsoft for Windows 8!

From the employees and shareholders of Apple.

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Clueless Companies – Symantec’s Stupidity

I went to run a full virus scan and noticed that the Norton Security Suite has a completely new look. One of the things that they did right in their past major change, was to have a checkbox option to shut the computer down after the scan completed. Another useful feature was the ability to skip Live Update, since it regularly updates in the background.

Well guess what? These boneheads have removed the shutdown option and the skip Live Update option. Truly clueless.

Hopefully, they’ve fixed the problem where the background scan starts up – even when you are perform a Norton virus scan!!! I kid you not.

And why did they change the UI – again? Keeping the UI the same used to be considered a selling feature because people didn’t need to re-learn the same software. That’s gone out the window these days.

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SCRUM User Story Quiz

As a ____ I want ____, so that _____.

This is an example of:
A. A SCRUM User Story
B. An untestable requirement
C. All of the Above

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Job Postings: A New Trend – Copy & Paste

I’m now convinced that hiring managers, HR people and agencies are copying and pasting old or different job postings before the place them on Dice or Monster.

Ally Financial had a posting for ResCap, but it turned out that this job had nothing to do with ResCap (Residential Capital).

Here’s a posting from Dice today…

Manual QA Analyst

RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Develop test cases/test scripts by proactively reading requirements and respective documentation.

• Manage test execution and execute automated and manual scripts against new build.

• Effectively communicate with internal team members and discuss functional requirements.

• Conduct walk-through of test scripts/cases and test results to obtain sign-off from internal QA team, development, and management.

• Identify and create test data

• Identify and escalate issues and risks.

• Own defects from identification to closure. Identify, record, and track defects. Actively participating in defect resolution. Define and execute retest cases/scripts/data

Design and implement modular and reusable automated testing solutions that satisfy testing requirements.

• Develop and maintain test scripts that automate testing of enterprise applications through the entire product life cycle.

• Create and execute test scripts, cases, and scenarios that will validate system performance according to specifications.

• Produce reports and documentation for all automated testing efforts, results, activities, data, logging and tracking.

• Frequently communicate test progress, test results, and other relevant information to team members and management.

• Develop/enhance and document automated testing methodology.

• Knowledge of QA methodology and industry-standard testing and bug tracking tools.

• Responsible for development of test strategies and creation, maintenance of appropriate comprehensive test plans.

• Work closely with Developers to understand the product and track, report, and verify bugs.

• Ability to understand technical specifications and analyze log files.

• Comfortable communicating cross-functionally and across management levels in formal and informal settings.

• Show creativity and initiative to improve product test coverage and effectiveness.

• Testing web-based applications in a high-availability, high performance and large scale environment.

QUALIFICATIONS:

• Bachelor’s degree in a technical or business discipline, generally 3+ years related experience.

• Skills in research, analysis, solution validation, and implementation.

• Ability to quickly adapt to new environments.

• Demonstrated aptitude to learn complex technical aspects of a software application.

• Strong analytical, reasoning, and problem solving skills.

• Self-directed with a high degree of initiative, ability to perform with minimal oversight and the ability to understand complex applications.

• Ability to work cooperatively in a group environment to achieve common goals; ability to build and maintain effective working relationships;

• Excellent communication skills (written, reading comprehension, listening, verbal) required.

• Ability to clearly present technical information, verbally and in writing, to audiences of diverse technical backgrounds

• Excellent organizational skills.

• Experienced using Microsoft Products, especially Visio, Project, Word and Excel.

• Solid knowledge of IT concepts, strategies and methodologies.

• Understanding of business practices common across many businesses.

• Proficiency with SQL (Oracle or Microsoft) and working with databases

• Determine and prioritize multiple tasks, work on several projects simultaneously and meet assigned deadlines.

Megan Fales

J R D Systems Inc
TPOT says “There’s a lot of automated stuff (5 mentions) in there for a “Manual QA Analyst” (1 mention)- but wait!  Maybe the QA is manual and the testing is automated.  Or perhaps you are manually running automated test scripts.
Here’s one where I think they just didn’t know what to put in, so they searched on some testing items and copied & pasted them in the job listing (I have removed most the “content” to highlight the bizarre):

Technical Software Analyst – Quality Analyst

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

§  yada, yada, yada [TPOT here]

§  Write SQL to support test cases

Experience Requirements:

Current knowledge of QA standards and compliance requirements (ex.​ 508)

TPOT:  The above is for a specialized business insurance company.  In all my years of testing, I’ve never done 508 compliance testing (accessibility).  There’s no mention of testing UI’s, but they do talk about backend (SQL) testing, but then they jump into 508 compliance?  Hmmm.

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