May 1, 2010 9:43 am

EWT#16 – Find Barcode value of an individual

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing,Weekend Testing — ramsblog @ 9:43 am

I thought i was late for this mission today when i woke up 15 minutes into the session. logged into Skype and didn’t see anyone around. waited for sometime and then realized my clock wasn’t adjusted well to the UTC time.

EWT16 sent me a message and we started off.

Mission: This Flash app generates barcodes – but how? Can you find how it’s calculating them? Find the highest value that you can, and report invalid values. 
Product: http://www.barcodeart.com/artwork/netart/yourself/yourself.swf

Participants when we started off:
     Anna Baik [blog] [twitter: @testerAB]
     Stephen Hill
     Jeroen Rosink [blog] [twitter: @jeroenro]
     Ram [blog][twitter: @esaarem]
     Thomas Ponnet [blog]

idea was to find a biggest value with variable parameters

there were few clarification questions: it is good to see participants asking questions to understand the mission. Although there was  a caveat that moderator would sometimes be vague giving the details. I think it makes sense – and helps make the necessary assumptions and justify those assumptions. That’s what we apparently land up in our daily tasks, make assumptions, and ensure why we make such assumptions and clarify those assumptions.

> find the algorithm or thought behind?
> usability?
> how do we find the value from the bar code?
> should the mission end at the finding the value alone or anything else?
> and so on. ….

Anna, answered most of those questions and participants pitched in with their understanding and shared their thoughts. It is helpful to understand from like minds across the regions.

My approach:
I tried to plan around a bit this time:
> Varied input parameters and understand the pattern
> look for source code
> read a bit more on home page
> boundary value analysis
> and a few more that i jotted down on a piece of paper

At first my understanding from highest value was based on the number below bar code – well thats a dumb assumption i guess. I didn’t think of a dollar value until someone mentioned about SCAN button.

The most i got was $9.62

this how the diagram look like and shows the input variables that affects the value on the barcode


I started off with a table like one below and expanded as proceeded. Boundary Value Analysis concept helped here to understand the trend.
STarted off with a median age/weight and
the indications i had was
> if the leading countries or
> most known country would influence the decision.
> If a taller and average acceptable weight influences the value of the person
> of course zeroes, negatives and max outs…
> and several other assumptions in my approach…

i have also read the introductory text on the website

iteration Gender Age Country Weight Height Barcode value dollar value
1 M 51 US 111 6-3    
2 F 99 zambia . .    
3 M . . . .    
4 F 21 US 98 5-8    
. . . . . .    
. . . . . .    

I made a lot of notes on the trend varying the input factors to work backwards on the algorithm being used. it was interesting to see the factors it considers to put out the results it does. the trend analysis helped me in a way within very few iterations to understand what brings the value up, and so I thought. and realized there were few other factors that i overlooked.

Noticed Thomas and Jeroen talking about the BMI calculations in their approach to find the highest value. hmm… that makes sense. I did not think about BMI in my execution.

there was a mention about Insurance companies and how they may arrive the human values… well thats a good correlation i think. How would insurance companies set the value for premiums for individuals? based on Age, height, weight, overall health and his/her hygiene habits? so perhaps…

there were several bugs logged in repository as well – see here http://www.bugrepository.com under project EWT16

i have some other thoughts about the algorithm that i will have to detail it out here later time… it is a bit of writing..

Michael Bolton (twitter: @michaelbolton) joined in during the debrief.

i have a problem with my system clock that resets to older time by itself. It is tricky when the skype messages are coming in and my clock was reset to previous hour so the messages were mixed up and not realizing there were new messages coming in but getting into another sequence. 😦

there came up the discussion about Modeling the approach. How different states were defined individually while doing so. @MichaelBolton mentioned about the focusing/defocusing heuristics – i learned the new terms:
OFAT – varying One factor at a time –> to focus one the effect of a particular factor
MOFAT – varying Many factors at a time –> seeking to confirm or disconfirm ideas about factors
HOFAT – holding one factor at a time

@Thomas clarified on Model approach –if considering if gender state made a difference, or / and if weight or height states influences or impacts the results.

@Joroen mentiond about TMap. although I thought i had heard this somewhere in some context, but i was not sure. He pointed me to this website: http://eng.tmap.net/Home/ i will take a look at this website to know more about TMap – Testing Management Approach.

Overall, it was a great session chatting with all the participants.

It reminds me of the blue angels or airshow where each practice is a new and unique mission for those pilots. and they go over the PLAN – BRIEF – EXECUTE – DEBRIEF – PLAN cycle. the challenge is unique each time and learn from those iinstances each time. but the structure and the plan they would adopt is / might be same or similar for each mission. and what they come out with after debrief is new learning and emphasizing on old learning, i suppose

Thank you EWT16. see you next week possibly…

(p.s: i haven’t reviewed this post before publishing, any miss-outs or overstatements regretted – please let me know i will correct them)


1 Comment »

  1. […] In the meantime, Ram has already blogged the session… […]

    Pingback by EWT 16: So how much are YOU worth? | Weekend Testing — June 17, 2014 2:10 pm @ 2:10 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: