The ‘I feel Stuck!’ Heuristic – a real life example

This post doesn’t have a lot to do with testing software but does show some of the testing techniques that I used in a real life situation yesterday.  Its ultimately a fail post but demonstrates some of the ‘when to stop testing heuristics’ from Michael Boltons blog

For the month of July I spend a lot of my free time helping set up Standon Calling festival.

The art director is one of my close friends, and in exchange for a few tickets I help paint and sew while my toddler entertains everyone.  (probably more toddler supervision by me than anything else*)

My task for Saturday was to cover some sofa cushions with material.  My first thought was how can I get this material to stay put and I saw another girl was slowly sewing it onto the cushion.  So, I started my hunt for needle and thread.  Found it and started tacking the material on.   If anyone has ever tried to sew velvet into a really thick cushion and a small needle you can probably see what is coming.

It was hard.  Really hard.

I did a couple of stitches and stood back and thought to myself that if I was to sew this on it would take me all day, which wasn’t acceptable.  So I used the ‘Pause then refresh’ heuristic.

Staple gun! What a great idea.  So I walked back to my van to get the staple gun.  Sat down and started pushing the gun as hard into these cushions as I could.   Another fail!   Staples need something to hook onto.  There was no way they would ever stay in.

Wait!  Glue gun.  Awesome idea Liz!    This was easier to source than the needle and stapler, only problem was there was no power in the area I was and I could’t go anywhere else  (due to toddler duty) so I very disappointingly gave up.

I was stuck.

Sounds like a lot of excuses.

On reflection if I had thought about the task I was asked to do before I jumping in and started it, I could have used my time more effectively.

*Sorry for not being more helpful Standon Calling Art Crew!    Next week I will get my toddler to help me out with these problems.


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