Saturday, June 09, 2007

How is Mexico???

Every mail I received from every contact of mine, had the line "How is Mexico?" as though they had a protocol among them. And for most of them I replied with an utter cliche statement "Everything is hot, females and weather". I made it banal to such an extent that even I got peeved by this. Hence I got motivated to flesh out the answer to "How is Mexico?"

Monterrey city
Imagine two parallel mountain ranges and a city with healthy infrastructure sandwiched between them, thats Monterrey in a sentence. It is sandwiched between Sierra Madre oriental and occidental ranges which immensely beautify the city. The downtown has spread over the lower mountains like a cheese on the bread. The night view of the city is extremely picturesque, the street lamps form the contour of the hills revealing obscurely the shape of the mountain. The city has a metro (elevated line) which mainly serves downtown, neatly laid roads, innumerable flyovers, a river (though the stream from a bathroom pipe is stronger) separates two avenues of the city. As any other developed city shopping malls are prevalent and night life is hyper-active. Summers get awfully hot and winters are pretty cold. Mostly American cars and super-bikes ply.

Most food in Mexico has a common ending - "OS". Burritos, tacos, nachos, cabritos. Let me not get into nitty-gritties of these but try to give an overview of Mexican food, the ones I've had till now. Tacos are something like our chapathis, made of corn and stuffed with a varying combination of curries of vegetables and meat. It is had with salsa. No!!! Don't think Mexicans are mad to eat while they dance. Salsa is not just dance, it's also chilli sauce invariably used with almost all Mexican dishes. Nachos are corn chips eaten with chopped onions, avocados and salsa. I've heard cabritos is a very typical dish of Monterrey, consisting of a baby goat roasted on charcoal, but have not been able to relish it yet. Tequila and beer are the most popular drinks. A more comprehensive Mexican food manual is on my "to write list", please wait.

This is something which made me fall in love with Mexico the moment I landed. You'll be greeted by every passerby with a quick smile and "buenos dias". They are extremely lively, party loving, merry making, easy going, quick mingling, good humored, deliciously honest, incredibly affable hoi polloi on earth. My colleagues became instant friends and I've never experienced that distance which prevails among people of different cultures and countries. The hierarchical difference is non-existent, managers and peers are treated alike, with same warmth and slangs. I was almost ending this article, suddenly it struck that I was missing something. Mexican women are hot!!! I've got proof here.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Lab life

Just two weeks in Mexico, I learnt the nuances and intricacies of a test lab.

Easy to memorize file names
The image file names will typically look like "ho_wth_efu_ckc_anso_meo_ne_n_ame_afil_el_iket_his_du_mbar_se.img" or "so_me_du_mba_me_ric_anid_io_tsid_ea.img"
Even though they look complicated, they are easy to remember with a better insight.

Follow the manual
Things don't just behave the way you want if the manual is NOT followed. Follow it like a dumb lapdog, don't ask questions. The manuals may sometimes be outrageously stupid "Before flashing the image, delete the sk_kj_hue_oi_jhs_mn_wer_as_oiu_qw_mn_pqow_jkq.img file, close the explorer window, re-open the explorer window, right click and do Undo delete".

Worse still "Open test manager, scratch your head thrice, select test suite and click run". You ridicule the manual and skip scratching, the consequence would be dire.

And since its written by anti-English Europeans the English can be hilarious at the same time perplexing too "The second of the first parameter, must be different than the first and second of the second parameter, within the first parameter".

You are lucky and propitious if the test cases start execution after restarting your machine five times. In a day the system would undergo, on an average, a few dozens of restarts for a couple of test runs. I've got accustomed to it, there is no better solution on earth than a slow and lousy RESTART.

Survival of fittest
Mortals on this planet fight for food, money, property or power, but we testers have interesting reasons to fight over. These scenes are not too uncommon in the labs

I wanna a telcel sim
Sorry I need it now
What the ...., u've been using it since morning
So what, my test case is failing, I shall not give
I'll report it to Edith
You can report it to even Edith's boss, I can't give
Let your test cases keep failing forever
Let them fail
You'll never get sim
Let them fail
$&*@ off
Let them fail

I'm feeling cold, set the temperature higher
You bloke, the test sets get burnt if you do so
I dont care, I'm feeling cold
Are you nuts, equipments cost a million
So what I'm feeling cold, I cant work
Get lost, I ain't gonna let you to do so
You better back off, you @#!(&#le
Come what may, you're not gonna hike it

A high pitched, piercing cry "Thisssss freakkkkkinggggg thingggggggg is workinggggg mannnnnnnnnnn" comes out glady out of Earnesto's larynx. Or a disgusted squeal of "F@#$@#$!@#kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk this damnnnnnn thing" flows fluently without a clue for senses.
We testers need such an exclamation of amazement for de-stressing our mind, body, soul and fingers.

With all this, life in a test lab is still exciting...I love the manual reading part the most.