Pushing forward at Excelon

How’s everybody handling the apocalypse?

At Excelon, our testing work has slowed down a bit, providing more time to do research and publish.

“Doing” Email … Better

A few weeks ago, I realized that email was become my Integrated Development Environment (IDE) during Covid. While I am a “power user” when it comes to programming tools, when it comes to gmail, I mostly do what I have always done. Over time my email got full with commercial messages. Every day I probably spent fifteen or twenty minutes “culling” email. That adds up to ten business days a year lost.

I knew gmail had features to auto-cull, and I had the skills to organize. So I did, and I probably cut email time by 75% with perhaps two hours of work.

Then I wrote two pieces to share how I did it, with click-by-click examples for gmail. The first, Gmail techniques to change your (work) life teaches you how to change your style of email work, and can work for any tool. The second, 5 tips to take your Gmail use to the next level, is a list of hidden features to hypercharge your email.

The place for record and playback

I am pleased to report that we are continuing our research-sharing with Subject7, and they’ve published a new report with Excelon – Will Record and Playback Work for You?. The report is long enough to have some “meat”, but it is written in expert voice. That means it is short enough to digest and take some stands. Of course there will be exceptions where the general advice does not apply, but I do believe we have “moved the needle” of the conversation away from cliche-ed oversimplifcation toward a real understanding. Please take a look and tell me where I’m wrong.

The Strangler Fig Pattern Described

As many times as I have heard people mention the “Strangler Pattern”, very rarely have I seen it really described in detail. Experts seem to think it is intuitive (it isn’t), or, perhaps, because there are so many different technology stacks, any example wouldn’t work for any specific reader.

But wouldn’t one example be nice?

So I broke it down, producing the guide to the strangler pattern. The basic metaphor seems simple – the new system is a bit like the invasive species that climbs around a tree and cuts is off. Most people want more detail than that, so I provided it. As always, I’d appreciate your feedback.

More podcast for you!

Another unexpected positive surprise of this pandemic that we’ve had a chance to work with Senor Performo, a Qualitest test consultant and rising performance test star. Now, starting in July, The Testing Show podcast will be coming at you every two weeks. Check out the latest episode, “The Secret Weapon of QA Modernization“, with Senor Performo, check out the show on iTunes, or email me (matt at xndev dot com) to join the slack.

In person conferences may have gone away, but let’s figure out how to collaborate anyway.

More to come!


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