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Brett Gonzales in his own words – further revelations from the testing maestro

  • 07/11/2013
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

As the literary executor of the late, great, sorely missed, often imitated but never equalled, fabled, fabulous and totally fictitious Brett Ignatius Gonzales, I had the unenviable task of placing before the testing world his thoughts, deeds and words, from the vast amount of largely unpublished material that he left (all neatly labelled in his distinctive script, including submissions for conferences 10 years hence). So it is with unbridled joy that I present the next volume from his keyboard; The Collected works of Brett Gonzales; volume 5, 1984 – 1999, The Golden Years. This hefty tome was published 7 weeks ago, and it is hoped that sales will soon reach single figures. Text length is 167,452 pages, with an index of 14 chapters. The ISBN is 3.141592653589, a tribute to Brett from the literary world. Astute people will notice that this is the first 13 digits of pi, whereas some sad individuals present can recite the next 10, 50 or even 100 numbers. The cost is £947.50, or as a special offer – £3,000 for two, published by Popular Priced Books. When asked about the high cost of books, the Managing Director of the firm said: “We call it popular priced books because the prices are popular – at least with us.”

Unable to be publicised on Brett’s ill-fated and now abandoned social media site Twit-Face (itself a rare failure in his otherwise illustrious career), this book is available from all good bookshops. Or at least those with the structural alterations to enable delivery through the door and the necessary floor strengthening. Profits will go to the SPLIT LIP charity – the Society Providing Limited Income forTesters (Living IPoverty). A copy will be placed in the BIGIST building in Testville, Minnesota. That is the Brett Ignatius Gonzales Institute in Software Testing, along with other Brett memorabilia, including the first bug that Brett ever found (a wide-mouthed green carpet beetle).

One gem from the guru himself should convince you of the qualities of this powerful, incisive and extremely heavy book:

Common terminology is now a well accepted principle amongst the testing fraternity, but it was once not so, with different words used for the same activity or process depending upon where you worked. In one company, what is today known as statement testing was labelled basic testing, whilstbranch/condition testing was known as extended testing, and condition combination testingwas referred to as complete testing. However, as there were several languages used in the code, each of the three types could also include the code-language employed; Basic, Fortran, Cobol, Algol and Assembler. Some dialects of Basic have an extended code set, and newer Assembler code utilised the extended instruction set. If all languages had been fully tested, this is described as ‘Complete’, for whatever type of testing. So it was a matter of guess-work what Basic Complete Testing meant – was it the testing of all languages using basic testing, or perhaps complete testing of code written in Basic? Similar problems existed with complete extended testing, but everyone had no doubt what was meant by basic extended extended testing, although the name is rather clumsy.

There! In a few short words, Brett has made a convincing case for a common language amongst testers, and he collaborated with two or three well-known testers in devising this terminology. We owe these individuals a huge debt, and Brett’s contribution has, until now, been largely forgotten.

What a man; what a tester, what an inspiration. Ladies and gentlemen, please applaud the wonderful EuroSTAR attendee that we know as Brett Ignatius Gonzales.

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