Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Alice and the Cheshire Cat talk ISO 29119

Alice took a quizzical look at the Cheshire Cat, “so you’re a tester?  But you’re a cat!”.

“Oh,” the Cheshire Cat beamed, his almost rictus grin fixed permanently and inflexibly across his face, “in your world that might be a problem, but not in this one.  Did you have a better candidate in mind?  Would YOU want to sit in a meeting with the Mad Hatter, changing his seat every few minutes, or tell the Queen of Hearts that the project might have to be delayed?”  He purred a very self-satisfied purr to himself.  “No … I think you’ll find in reality, or as close as it gets in this place, I’m the perfect person for the job.”

Alice looked at the heap of worn leather bound books that the cat had seemed, almost impossibly, to leasurely recline on top of.  They came up to Alice's shoulders, and she ran her eyes down the spines ...  “What are all those books?”, she inquired.

“Oh THESE?  This is our documentation … we’re all ISO 29119 compliant over here you know.  You try telling the Queen of Hearts it's not needed.  Actually my last few predecessors did just that, and that’s how I came into the role, if you get my drift,” at which the cat extended his claws and made a mimed guillotine motion against his own throat, “but then of course business can be so cut throat, especially,” and he giggled to himself, "when it comes to the subject of test execution."

Alice took a book at random from the pile that said “test plan”, and started to read it.  “But this is all a nonsense, you’ve just written ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ repeatedly with a few headings!”

“And yet it is to the standard”, beamed the Cheshire Cat ever smugly, “the standard says we must have a test plan … so we got a book and called it the test plan.  It mandates we should have certain titles within that book as well, and being compliant, we have those as well.  But then …”, and the cat began a very self-satisfied purr, “nowhere does it say that it has to be based on any kind of reality, which as you know in this place is the hardest type to find.  And as the regulation says, we are allowed to tailor the actual contents as we most see fit ... as long as it follows a template.”

The cat stood up, gave a little stretch, and started to do that annoying vanish from the tip of his tail, until all that remains was his smile.  That smile still beamed as he said, “and do you know, I think this template suits me just fine …”  And with that he was gone.

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