Skip to main content

2 minutes on Bing Maps

Consistency, is one thing I test for in software. For example, if software refers to something by a particular name, then [usually] it should always refer to it by that name. Furthermore, when it uses that name e.g. 'London Tube Map' I would expect to see such a map, when I click to view it, and not another kind of map e.g.: a street map.

Conventions, These are also an important part of software. People will [usually] expect your software to use conventions that are appropriate for the field. For example, The traditional London Tube map is a schematic diagram, designed to show the relative positions of the stations rather than their geographic location. Though, sometimes it's actually useful to have geographic information, e.g.: is Queensway (Central line) station very close to Bayswater (Circle line)? So if a map isn't using the schematic form, then the geographic form also has it uses.

I would be surprised if I received a London Tube map that was neither schematic or geographic.

Given these two C's, Consistency and Convention, I was puzzled to use Bing Maps...

Comments

  1. Interesting find, Pete.

    Some innovations look like bugs... Can we rule out that Microsoft has invented a new and useful way to integrate tube maps in interactive geographic maps?

    Unfortunately I can't find the tube map at all #fail - so I can't figure it out myself...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The gamification of Software Testing

A while back, I sat in on a planning meeting. Many planning meetings slide awkwardly into a sort of ad-hoc technical analysis discussion, and this was no exception. With a little prompting, the team started to draw up what they wanted to build on a whiteboard.

The picture spoke its thousand words, and I could feel that the team now understood what needed to be done. The right questions were being asked, and initial development guesstimates were approaching common sense levels.

The discussion came around to testing, skipping over how they might test the feature, the team focused immediately on how long testing would take.

When probed as to how the testing would be performed? How we might find out what the team did wrong? Confused faces stared back at me. During our ensuing chat, I realised that they had been using BDD scenarios [only] as a metric of what testing needs to be done and when they are ready to ship. (Now I knew why I was hired to help)



There is nothing wrong with checking t…

Manumation, the worst best practice.

There is a pattern I see with many clients, often enough that I sought out a word to describe it: Manumation, A sort of well-meaning automation that usually requires frequent, extensive and expensive intervention to keep it 'working'.

You have probably seen it, the build server that needs a prod and a restart 'when things get a bit busy'. Or a deployment tool that, 'gets confused' and a 'test suite' that just needs another run or three.

The cause can be any number of the usual suspects - a corporate standard tool warped 5 ways to make it fit what your team needs. A one-off script 'that manager' decided was an investment and needed to be re-used... A well-intended attempt to 'automate all the things' that achieved the opposite.

They result in a manually intensive - automated process, where your team is like a character in the movie Metropolis, fighting with levers all day, just to keep the lights on upstairs. Manual-automation, manumatio…

Scatter guns and muskets.

Many, Many years ago I worked at a startup called Lastminute.com (a European online travel company, back when a travel company didn't have to be online). For a while, I worked in what would now be described as a 'DevOps' team. A group of technical people with both programming and operational skills.

I was in a hybrid development/operations role, where I spent my time investigating and remedying production issues using my development, investigative and still nascent testing skills. It was a hectic job working long hours away from home. Finding myself overloaded with work, I quickly learned to be a little ruthless with my time when trying to figure out what was broken and what needed to be fixed.
One skill I picked up, was being able to distinguish whether I was researching a bug or trying to find a new bug. When researching, I would be changing one thing or removing something (etc) and seeing if that made the issue better or worse. When looking for bugs, I'd be casting…