Recently, I caught up with an old mate of mine and secured myself a fantastic second-hand Robot. Not just any old Robot, but a state-of-the-art jobby that will help me with my most difficult and time consuming (née boring) jobs – including testing software!! You see, testing software is a bloody hard job and, while I’m pretty good at it (if I say so myself), I think a Robot might be better at some aspects of it.
For a start, my Robot only sleeps when I’m backing it up, upgrading it or sending it away for it’s regular maintenance, so I can have it working while I’m doing something with a higher priority, like playing golf or going away for a holiday. I can even get my Robot to work remotely or go to the office in my place for the odd meeting. It seems to me that the sky’s the limit with getting my Robot to do all the things I dislike most about my job….
So, what are the jobs I’ll give to my new Robot?
Firstly, I’ll teach it to fill in my time-sheets? Then I’ll teach it to do my expenses. In fact all my Admin tasks will be done by my Robot. It will read all of my EMAILs and just pass me the ones I need to see. It will review all my Social Media feeds. It will add “Likes” where appropriate and only send me any stuff I need to “Comment” on. It will schedule all my meetings, so that I only attend the really important ones, while it attends the rest on my behalf. It will write all my Minutes (yes, I do keep records!). It will document all the defects either of us” find and follow up on triage and fixes. It will review all the Requirements, create Mindmaps as a synopsis and prioritise our workload based upon my deadlines. It will ensure that I maintain a work/leisure/family lifestyle balance and remind me when I should be catching up with family and friends. The efficiencies are endless!!
Now, you may be thinking “where do I get one of these little cuties and how much will it cost”? Well, you could start by visiting http://www.robotshop.com or http://www.robotstore.com (yes, they really do exist!). Alternatively, you can read the article posted at http://www.popularmechanics.com entitled “5 of the Best Robots You Can Buy Right Now” or visit http://www.smashingrobotics.com and review “Thirteen Advanced Humanoid Robots for Sale Today”. While none of these sites mention my Robot! they do give you an idea of what is currently possible/available on the open market.
Unfortunately for you guys, my Robot is a special edition. It’s not available on the open market (as it’s ex-military) and comes with masses of security features to ensure it’s protocols are secure. It’s obviously early days yet, but I’ve already taught it how to recognise “bullshit” or, to be more politically correct, inferior information or downright lies. I’ve also taught it how to monitor my incoming phone calls and screen them by sending unwanted calls straight to Voicemail. So, now I’m working on a few software testing activities. I’ve prioritised my list of features and (as I mentioned earlier) will be starting with Requirements Reviews, Bug Reviews and various other review and selection tasks. The great thing about starting here is that reading documents and other forms of contextual information takes a LOT of time and this is time I could spend actually performing the more complex tests that my Robot won’t be able to do until sometime in the future.
In terms of actual software testing activities, I will get my Robot to learn all the Freeware software products available for what today we call Automated Testing so that it can define, write, execute and review the results for me using the most effective software available. You see, I don’t have the time to learn all those software products, but my Robot can do it in it’s spare time – the time I give it to catch up on what’s new and useful in our connected world.
NOTE: You may have noticed by now that I haven’t mentioned my Robots name and that’s because, if I told you, you’d be able to find it (and possibly hijack it) as it is obviously “reachable” like any other IoT-enabled entity.
As I said, it’s still early days but I will provide regular updates on the progress of my Robot and it’s software testing encounters as we progress through it’s development program and it’s release into the outside world. I knew that one day my time as a Developer would significantly change the way I test software and now I have the opportunity.
Oh, and just before I sign off today, you may be interested to know that the first draft of this Blog was actually written by my Robot. As a first effort it was ok, but a bit dry. However, I think I’ve improved the readability somewhat and the Robot will learn from that when I get it to read the final published version during it’s daily allocated reading time.
Dateline: Melbourne, Monday September 7, 2015