I don't normally get to see users using the software I have prepared, I don't even get to see a lot of the applications in normal use. I just package them. A small part of me misses the time you get to spend with some users and show them what you have done. You know the little blurb, "here is the win7 machine, Office 10 (or Win8 with office 2013) and look, here is 'the internet', because you wanted that packaged... blah blah."
Its quite nice to hear them moan about everything that didn't used to work, how crap their IT is, then you start to see them come on board and normally leave smiling. A good day for IT as a whole.
At a recent client, where for logistical reasons I don't even pay attention to what I am supposed to do on the day, too many late changes, sometimes I get disappointed if the application I am supposed to do is not there to be done, so now I just put it in the diary and drive down there.
Well, a piece of software that they have been talking about for over a year is finally ready. This particular piece of software helps you to get 230 tonnes of metal in a very particular location, then move it away again, all in real time and allowing everybody to track where it is and where it is going next. Quite interesting to see how that all happens.
I get to work with the Enterprise Architect, install, shake it up etc. Got it done that day. It was a bit tricky, which helped the interesting rating. It was a vendor MSI, you had to install the old MSI, then the new one (that was an upgrade) and it would all be good. If you just installed the newest MSI, 'it didn't work'. Sure enough, the new MSI installed, but what limited bits I could test (they didn't trust me with the 230 tonnes of metal) were slightly problematic. I managed to find the missing information, to do with licensing. The vendor had left it out of the new MSI and I guess thankfully, the information was left over from the initial install. When was the last time you were grateful for a poor uninstall?? But that is why we do so much testing isn't it.
So the next day we tested the application (we had a few problems getting a test machine, firewall issues too)
It seems a bit weird, but as I was walking around this site, I thought, wow, I have not seen my applications get tested like this for well over a year.
Don't get me wrong, I am not some fly by night cowboy, oh no. I normally get in, do the apps, go away, then I get an email saying, 'thanks all tested and OK'. There are of course occasions when I don't know what the application is, but it seems to go well. Or maybe a user who wants to test a specific function before I begin packaging in anger.
Now work is picking up again, two new projects starting, around 500 applications to do. That should keep me busy.
I am now wondering what is going to happen if every user on these projects wants to test every piece of software with me, I hope not, I need it in small doses.