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Michael Hazen
Attended Cornish College of the Arts
Lives in Snohomish
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Michael Hazen

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Testing a web form that has a long list of required fields and related effects (and thus requirements) depending on options selected in the form.

I file a case noting that "*the specification* notes the following fields are required. These fields are not noted as required, nor noted in the error dialogue. Additionally, these other fields are required by the form but this is not specified in the specification I am sure that some of this is just a mismatching of terms"

Dev returns the case: "You can find the specification here <link>"

o.O
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Robert Rambusch's profile photoKenneth Cummins's profile photoEvan Edwards's profile photoMichael Hazen's profile photo
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+Evan Edwards Shit happens when the cases get to flying. I'd be a liar if I said I hadnt done the same a time or three
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Michael Hazen

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Im steeping myself in the setting for the Legacy of Fire AP. I have long wanted to do an Arabian Nights/Middle Eastern flavored campaign. 

I am making a couple of adjustments - 

After the railroadiness of the Carrion Crown AP, I am refusing to partake of such again. None of this "ticking clock" nonsense. If the PCs want to go off the reservation, so be it. 

with that in mind I will liberally salt the adventures with hooks for other directions or them to take up or ignore as they choose. many I have shamelessly swiped from other games, books and whatnot. 

one of the biggest complaints the players had in the CC campaign was that because of the urgency, there wasnt time for them to do more normal things. i.e. they had pockets of cash and no time to spend. And, to be honest, in my hubris and a fairly newb GM, I was scared to let the willy nilly buy whatever they wanted. I also didnt have the experience to immediately judge how magic gubbins they wanted would affect the balance of the game. 

also - I will temporarily lift my personal ban on ninjas. The middle eastern setting allows ready conversion in the historical hashashim. so the pathfinder ninja can easily be re-cast as a drug using highly trained zealot assassin. 
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Ok my droogs - as a player we are just about to end The Emerald Spire as an adventure and then I will slip back into the GMs chair to run Legacy of Fire - Arabian Nights, Ifrits, djinn....oh hell yeah. 

Something I am looking for is ideas - the plot centers around an ifrit who is trying to fulfill a geas that involves him granting wishes in exchange for his own steps to completion. So the whole area around begins to have a lot of wishes fulfilled. So this can lead to a lot of high and low weirdness. 

I'm looking for ideas that I can drop on the players so they know something is up...but arent really sure....but when they later on realize they will think back "Ohhhhh THAT's why the guy had a really short piano player following him around!"

As an example - the PCs might meet a fellow who is just getting back to home in Katapesh after waking up up one morning someplace far far away (Lands of the Linnorm Kings, for example) because his wife wished for him to "just go away"

Throw your thoughts, my droogs
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Ian Wyckoff's profile photoMichael Hazen's profile photoAlfred Rudzki's profile photo
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A man in a pile of gold, unkempt and filthy and with a far-off look in his eye. He doesn't leave the pile, but if spoken to he will converse, but seem eternally preoccupied. If asked about the gold, he has a very hard time stringing together his words, naming a few different (and contradictory) things to do with all his wealth. Any suggestions from the players, no matter how good, are met with ambivalence and doubt. (He wished for "more gold than I know what do with!")
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Michael Hazen

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I have mentioned before that the current trend for "open" or "collaborative" (to put the correct icing on it) offices is a certain kind of hell for me. To my cynical eye, it is not about fostering anything but cost savings. At my current gig its as if someone spent a but too much time on an Ikea Pinterest page. The halls are exposed concrete, for god's sake. Clearly none of these breathless "designers" looked beyond the aesthetic they desired; nor have they ever been in a jail or prison where this sort of thing is necessary. All that concrete makes everything loud

Nor did they consider that a great number of people do not work well in the middle of a party. A great number of people need to actually focus and do work without interruption. My own work is about 85% individual work. Even that is fractured: The app under test, bug tracker, email and developer chat are all going at once. That is manageable. What isnt is having other folks having yuk fests and creating further distraction. Ive likened it to trying to assemble a house of cards on a table in a dance club. 

So bitching aside, I gotta do something. Extroverts run the show, and there is a lot of financial incentive to stack people like cordwood. And this style isnt going to change anytime soon. 

THe usual solutions dont work well for me. "Wear headphones" sure - but I dont want to hear anything. even music is distracting. and I get the ear sweat. blegh. Work from home - nice. if allowed to. I prefer it, actually and get heaps done. But there is always resistance to the idea - even in tech companies. and to be honest, weekly work in person is necessary

Lately I have started using a couple of things that do help a great deal. 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D8HPYXA/ref=s9_hps_bw_g107_i6

These were well reviewed and noted that in comparison to the top two units by Sennheiser and Bose they delivered similar performance (70% compared to bose) for a fraction of the cost (These were ~100 USD compared to 300 and 600 for the bose and sennheiser)  In practice for me, they do a great job of muting the ruckus that is over 30 or 40 feet away. Sadly my spot is right next to a VPs secretary who is a loud gregarious sort and loves to gossip. With just the phones and the nouse canceling active, it isnt enough. I am pleasantly surprised that I can wear them for 3 hours at a stretch without discomfort. 

To attenuate The Chatty Beast I have begun using another tool : http://www.noisli.com/ To generate unintrusive noise to drown out the distraction. 

SO far this has worked well and I am getting more work done and spending less time telling people to shut their cake holes. 
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When my former health insurance employer built a big new headquarters, they followed a mix of design ideas. So they had office rooms in various sizes, some 2-4 persons only, but also a whole lot of service teams around some kind of big atrium with glass roof and an information desk in the center.

This was meant to be friendlier to customers.

(Very common around here is this design, an ideally broad and long hallway with many smaller office and larger conference rooms left and right. But that's indeed more for offices without contact to customers.)

The open space was nothing people and employees were used to, so after trying to create "rooms" with paperthin mobile walls as separation, which failed, they gave up and got help from maybe it was even Bose and other companies to create proper sound-insulating walls while leaving the front to the Atrium open. That involved some measurements of sound during a normal work day etc...

They also placed some extra plants and sculptures in the center to obscure direct observation of each team's "room".

Now the best thing: In any case, the chatty VP secretary would have her own team room or a room of her own.

Maybe you would feel right at home in Franconia, work culture is still made for territorial introverts here. But it's in decline, now even Franconians are expected to be friendly, multicultural and social teamplayers. I am already dreading the next "team building group experience" idea they come up with. :>
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Michael Hazen

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Well its been a rough sprint. 
right at the tail end of the last one, there was a naaaasty bug that showed up that was trashing the web servers. Causing them to reset app pools and even restart IIS often enough that the service would just quit. Apparently if it restarts often enough in a short period of time it will throw in the towel for good. Issue turned out to be a subtle set of steps that would trigger an infinite loop. Who the hell saw that ever coming back in the days of html 1.0

Anyhow, this borked the schedule and this meant that items hd to be shifted to the next sprint, effectively doubling the size of the deploy.

now I am just one, wee tester. and I am dealing with the input of 7 developers. Thats seven dwarves cranking out web code and features that has to be tested by little old me

now here i am a couple 60 hour weeks later, after a successful deploy that was 2X bigger than any we had done in the time I have been with this group. Yep. Im feeling like my shit dont stink right about now. 

But to the point - One task of QA that is often overlooked is the management and guardianship of the SDLC. Not an entire ownership, mind you. But Development folks have a different mindset and they will not look beyond the immediate need to make, fix, and shove over the fence. Its not a failing, its just how it works. So QA has to take on the role of saying "hang on, mate. there is an easier/better way to do this"

In this particularly difficult sprint, something that I have been campaigning for was illustrated and thus heeded when I brought it up again. The Release Candidate went to stage. where I promptly found quite a few integration problems. And developers, being who they are, all leaped into the breach to fix the issues...on the staging datacenter After a few rounds of this, confidence in the deployment is slipping. Eventually it all got pulled together and things worked out. 

This is where I pointed out, again, that Stage testing should be a Pass/Fail. If fail, then the build is pulled, the datacenter refreshed from production, the buold is fixed and we try again. Yes this does slow things up. But it closes a massive barn door of opportunities for bugs to escape into the wild. Part of the problem is that people (developers) hear "Pass/Fail" and imagine a build getting rejected because of a typo in a message. THis is why you define criteria and triage the bugs found. 

starting to sound a bit waterfall-y. But thats how it goes. 

The point being....testing software isnt just "hee hee your code sucks" (though I confess to a certain delight in telling developers that their code-babies are ugly)


. 
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Kenneth Cummins's profile photoMichael Hazen's profile photoPolly Crookston's profile photo
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So you're, like, a tester rock star. 
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Michael Hazen

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Tester Schadenfreude:

1) find a critical broken functionality bug on a DNN web page
2)report it
3) find a missing feature bug on a DNN web page
4) report it
5) verify the first bug fix
6) verify the second bug fix
7) moving on to the next task, discover that the first bug has re-appeared
8) report the regression
9) developer discovers that the second fix breaks the first. 
10) developer curses

Result: Tester giggles
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Michael Hazen

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If I played drinking games at work, my key phrase would be "from a [blank]perspective...." and I'd be hammered by ten am
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Michael Hazen

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After using Keep for a couple days My Legacy Of Fire campaign random notes looks like this. These are just things that cross my mind as I read books, forums and other items in pre-prep mode. Nothing too clear or interesting here. 

THe point is that it has proven to be very very useful. Particularly the ease by which I can add notes via any device I have at hand. color coding and tagging is really helpful in organizing things
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I've been using trello for a similar purpose but like this layout more. 
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Michael Hazen

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SO I had been using evernote as a multiple device note taker and maker for GM ideas and notes for an upcoming Arabian Nights type campaign. 

I say "had been" because I discovered recently on a trip that I couldnt even open evenote unless I had a data connection. dafuq? Yeah I get that it needs to sync....but the ability to note that changes are pending and need to be synced up isnt exactly an advanced feature...

But I digress...

WHat I am looking for is something that has the immediate note taking, multiple device sync and organizing said notes of evernote, but doesnt demand that I have an always on data connection. 

google docs lacks the organization I want. so thats out
I primarily run winders and android devices, if that helps


any ideas out there?
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AJ Fritz's profile photoJustin Wimpey's profile photoMichael Hazen's profile photoDamian Hupfeld's profile photo
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OneNote works on and offline and works on almost all devices. You do have to do an initial sync on some devices to enable offline mode but once enabled it will happily switch automatically.
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Michael Hazen

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PEEVE: THe group has discovered UAT(User Acceptance Testing) as a part of the process. A good thing, because we work at the behest of a lot of designers and marketers; groups notorious for changing horses mid-stream and changing scope like a dog in a squirrel house. But this is something that will always annoy me to no end and yet it is a very small thing (i.e. a peeve) whenever someone says "UAT Test" or "UAT Testing"
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+Josh McGraw "A co-workers head on a pike is not acceptable cubicle decoration. Please remove it. SIncerely, HR"
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Michael Hazen

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I comment on a work item case in our tracking database:

 "I cant test this because there isnt an adequate description of the work done and the expected result"

Dev responds "You are right I didn't do that" and then assigns it back to me.

nothing further. 

blink blink
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So how's he liking his head in the trash can?
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Michael Hazen

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Yesterday's session we fought some big worm things (haven't looked them up yet) that were welding a sword and an wand in tentacles hanging off their butts. The mini made the wand look like a dildo.


Then I said something creepy as my priest and didn't get a laugh "sorry took it too far?" The gm said " not far enough. You've set the bar very high for creepy characters my friend " well yes he is a walking trigger warning

And from the dwarf brawler on seeing a xorn for the first time "hey! I haven't grappled one of those yet!"
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Work
Occupation
I break software and make tools that make it easier for me to break software..and developers little hearts
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Snohomish
Previously
Seattle - Anchorage - Juneau - Port Heiden - Sacramento - Yuba City - Seaside - Eugene - provo
Links
Story
Tagline
Plays well without others
Introduction
Biker, writer, tech dork, and the best dad in the room.

Fascinated by security and economy in tech.

Sundays I put on my GM cape and jockstrap for a Pathfinder game I run for a whole pile of folks. 
Bragging rights
one son and staying that way
Education
  • Cornish College of the Arts
    Theater, 1986 - 1988
  • Provo Canyon School
    1982
  • West Anchorage High School
    1981
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Single
Other names
Mykol Hazen, Zerhackermann, Chopperman