Software Testing

Google Hummingbird and Other Stuff

Randy Rice's Software Testing & Quality - Sat, 01/11/2014 - 21:27
As a follow-up to my last post about Google Hummingbird, it's becoming more clear what Google is really trying to do with all of their apps and services.  They want Google+ to be king over Facebook and other social sites. Problem is, the adoption just isn't there. So, they integrate Google+ will other stuff they own, like YouTube. The search results you see when you "Google" something are based on where you live, where you have been on the web, your activity on Google+ and all kinds of behavior detectors.

Here's an article that I totally agree with:

Sorry, Google+, We Still Won't Come to Your Party.

But, here's the problem. People don't like this level of privacy invasion. I know I don't.

So, the big goal for Google is to own it all by owning all the knowledge about you and your activities. This is attractive for businesses, because this level of information is normally very expensive, but anyone with a website can get it free with Google Analytics.

All I know is that the more I see of this direction, the less I like.

Here's an interesting test. Try the same search terms in Google, Bing and Yahoo and notice how the Google-affiliated sites seems to float higher. That's cool if you are in the "Google party", but what if you are just looking for helpful information?

More to come...
Categories: Software Testing

Google Hummingbird and Other Stuff

Randy Rice's Software Testing & Quality - Sat, 01/11/2014 - 21:27
As a follow-up to my last post about Google Hummingbird, it's becoming more clear what Google is really trying to do with all of their apps and services.  They want Google+ to be king over Facebook and other social sites. Problem is, the adoption just isn't there. So, they integrate Google+ will other stuff they own, like YouTube. The search results you see when you "Google" something are based on where you live, where you have been on the web, your activity on Google+ and all kinds of behavior detectors.

Here's an article that I totally agree with:

Sorry, Google+, We Still Won't Come to Your Party.

But, here's the problem. People don't like this level of privacy invasion. I know I don't.

So, the big goal for Google is to own it all by owning all the knowledge about you and your activities. This is attractive for businesses, because this level of information is normally very expensive, but anyone with a website can get it free with Google Analytics.

All I know is that the more I see of this direction, the less I like.

Here's an interesting test. Try the same search terms in Google, Bing and Yahoo and notice how the Google-affiliated sites seems to float higher. That's cool if you are in the "Google party", but what if you are just looking for helpful information?

More to come...
Categories: Software Testing

Not-So-Great Expectations

DevelopSense - Michael Bolton - Fri, 01/10/2014 - 15:48
In my teaching and consulting work, I often ask people how they recognize a problem, and they often offer “inconsistency with expectations” as one way to do it. I agree, but I also think we should be careful to think things through. A product that fulfills our expectations may not be satisfying, and a product […]
Categories: Software Testing

Not-So-Great Expectations

DevelopSense - Michael Bolton - Fri, 01/10/2014 - 15:48
In my teaching and consulting work, I often ask people how they recognize a problem, and they often offer “inconsistency with expectations” as one way to do it. I agree, but I also think we should be careful to think things through. A product that fulfills our expectations may not be satisfying, and a product […]
Categories: Software Testing

The Google Test and Development Environment - Pt. 1: Office and Equipment

Google Testing Blog - Fri, 01/03/2014 - 11:51
by Anthony Vallone

When conducting interviews, I often get questions about our workspace and engineering environment. What IDEs do you use? What programming languages are most common? What kind of tools do you have for testing? What does the workspace look like?

Google is a company that is constantly pushing to improve itself. Just like software development itself, most environment improvements happen via a bottom-up approach. All engineers are responsible for fine-tuning, experimenting with, and improving our process, with a goal of eliminating barriers to creating products that amaze.

Office space and engineering equipment can have a considerable impact on productivity. I’ll focus on these areas of our work environment in this first article of a series on the topic.

Office layout

Google is a highly collaborative workplace, so the open floor plan suits our engineering process. Project teams composed of Software Engineers (SWEs), Software Engineers in Test (SETs), and Test Engineers (TEs) all sit near each other or in large rooms together. The test-focused engineers are involved in every step of the development process, so it’s critical for them to sit with the product developers. This keeps the lines of communication open.

Google Munich
The office space is far from rigid, and teams often rearrange desks to suit their preferences. The facilities team recently finished renovating a new floor in the New York City office, and after a day of engineering debates on optimal arrangements and white board diagrams, the floor was completely transformed.

Besides the main office areas, there are lounge areas to which Googlers go for a change of scenery or a little peace and quiet. If you are trying to avoid becoming a casualty of The Great Foam Dart War, lounges are a great place to hide.

Google Dublin
Working with remote teams

Google’s worldwide headquarters is in Mountain View, CA, but it’s a very global company, and our project teams are often distributed across multiple sites. To help keep teams well connected, most of our conference rooms have video conferencing equipment. We make frequent use of this equipment for team meetings, presentations, and quick chats.

Google Boston
What’s at your desk?

All engineers get high-end machines and have easy access to data center machines for running large tasks. A new member on my team recently mentioned that his Google machine has 16 times the memory of the machine at his previous company.

Most Google code runs on Linux, so the majority of development is done on Linux workstations. However, those that work on client code for Windows, OS X, or mobile, develop on relevant OSes. For displays, each engineer has a choice of either two 24 inch monitors or one 30 inch monitor. We also get our choice of laptop, picking from various models of Chromebook, MacBook, or Linux. These come in handy when going to meetings, lounges, or working remotely.

Google Zurich
Thoughts?

We are interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you prefer an open-office layout, cubicles, or private offices? Should test teams be embedded with development teams, or should they operate separately? Do the benefits of offering engineers high-end equipment outweigh the costs?

(Continue to part 2)
Categories: Software Testing

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