• 31 Jul 2012

    What is an Apprenticeship? (Part 1)

    In 2012 the word Apprenticeship means different things to different people.

    When I worked in a college as an engineering tutor we used to call them Modern Apprenticeship Schemes to differentiate them from what used to be the stock reply to the question “What is an apprenticeship?”

    What was an Apprenticeship?

    apprentice contractThe word Apprentice can be traced back to being used in England in Medieval times. In 1201 when you were old enough to work you could seek a job common to the area where you lived. So in Suffolk for example you could be a farm hand or fishing boat support hand  etc. OR you could seek out one of the Guilds and learn a skill / trade that would give you the opportunity to travel and work in places of the country where that skill was required. Medieval England had been shown by the invading French how to ...

    • Apprenticeships
  • 27 Jul 2012

    Why pay an hourly charge?

    It always starts well. When you're in the honeymoon period of a new website, everything works great.

    But then someone wants to change some text. Or show off an image of a new customer project. Or change the logo.


    From there problems can begin. Depending on your arrangement with your web designer you may well be paying an hourly charge to get these small changes made.

    There are two ways round this: either work out a maintenance agreement so costs are planned for, or invest in a website that you can edit yourself.

    For the second option, we would refer to this as a CMS or Content Management System. A CMS allows you to go in and make changes to the website as you wish. You can edit text, upload and insert images, create new content and pages, and run the website yourself. You can also create other users if ...

    • Sitefinity
  • 26 Jul 2012

    Is Crowd Sourcing the Future of Testing? Game Developers Certainly Think So

    Traditionally the testing of an application is the responsibility of a select few employees of the company developing the application. However as application development evolves so do the processes available to use by testers; one that is gaining in popularity at the moment is ‘Crowd Sourced Testing’.

    Traditional development methodologies (such as waterfall) are going to be the easiest to outsource because testing is a stage that follows directly on from development. This means as far as the developers are concerned the test team will be receiving the finished product allowing them to test the completed app as a whole. This would work as very little communication would be required between the devs and testers; testers would do their thing and then feedback to the devs on it. Using an Agile approach might experience problems seeing as your testers will be testing the app as it’s being ...

    • Testing
  • 25 Jul 2012

    Self Service Checkouts vs Automated Testing

    I’ve mentioned self service checkouts before and I’m not entirely sure why I keep finding myself in a position where they inspire me to blog but it has happened again.

    These checkouts have been slated in the past as a means to ‘replace’ checkout staff with an automated machine that can do the same task. On the whole they have been a great success especially in busy places where people are only ever buying a few items i.e. train stations or express supermarkets in central London because you can squeeze a lot of them in a small space.


    However the natural assumption to come to with this information is that human jobs are being replaced with machines (much like the manufacturing industry) with many people are losing employment as a result. While this is potentially the case it does not need to be; one of the best implementations of self ...

    • Testing
  • 23 Jul 2012

    BYOD and Mobile Testing

    lots-of-phonesI recently heard someone mention the idea of a ‘Virgin Device’ for testing; it was nice to finally be able to put a name to a concept that I have actually been using for a while now. In the context of testing a virgin device is a device (say a tablet or phone) that has been bought with the sole purpose of being used as a test bed for application development. This means the only time the device is going to get used is to view a particular application under test.

    I’m not sure this is a concept that I agree with. By testing in such a way it means the device is not going to accurately represent what a real life usage scenario might be (i.e. it’s used on a daily basis for other tasks such as email, calendars, games, etc). As testers we write ‘User Stories’ ...

    • Testing

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