08-06 Contents: Dutch ban e-voting, Medical IT risk, SoftTest events, Eusprig 2008
ISSN 1649-2374 This issue online at http://www.sysmod.com/praxis/prax0806.htm [Previous] [Index] [Next]
|Systems Modelling Ltd.: Managing reality in Information Systems - strategies for success|
IN THIS ISSUE
|1) Risk & Security
E-Voting Banned by Dutch Government
Medical IT risks
June SoftTest Ireland events
Eusprig 2008 programme announced
Another Excel problem solved
ICAI Spreadsheet Risk briefing
|4) Off Topic
|8 Web links in this newsletter
|About this newsletter and Archives
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This month, I'll let you into one of the more weird behaviours of Excel that frustrated one of my colleagues.
The Netherlands has banned the use of electronic voting machines in future elections due to concerns that the technology was too vulnerable to eavesdropping. "Developing new equipment furthermore requires a large investment, both financially and in terms of organization," according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. "The administration judges that this offers insufficient added value over voting by paper and pencil."
So, that leaves the hapless Minister for Local Government in Ireland with some 7000 evoting machines that are still mothballed. The government has spent €52 million on electronic voting machines and spends €800,000 per annum to store the machines.
http://evoting.cs.may.ie/ E-voting discussion list archives includes link to official reports.
Software incompatibility was part of a chain of events leading to the wrong patient getting an appendectomy. The Dominican Hospital was fined $25,000. When the first patient's information was deleted from the computer in the scan room, it was not deleted from the computer system used by the radiologist. "This was due to an incompatibility of the software between the two systems," the state report said.
Monday 16 June, 2-5.30pm, IBEC, Confederation House, 84/86 Lower Baggot St,
Tuesday 17 June, 9am-12.30pm, Radisson SAS Hotel, The Gasworks, Belfast
Wednesday 18 June, 9am-12.30pm, Kingsley Hotel, Cork
There is no charge to attend these events.
Testing in an Agile Environment - James Lyndsay
It is hard to find a practical approach that allows a professional tester to achieve their full potential in an agile environment. Typical agile practices have characteristic effects on the work of a tester - and the expectations of experienced testers can be at odds with those of other experienced members in an agile team. How can a tester fit into an agile team and offer the best of his or her skills and insight? How does one make - or become - an 'agile tester'?
Using real-life examples, this talk attempts to give a flavour of what it is like to bring a test perspective into an agile project - and what it is like to be on an agile project that has a sudden need for testing skills. The talk will help testers recognise where they are bringing friction to an agile environment, help agile team members recognise where they may be incurring a 'testing debt' and identifies ways that testers can facilitate learning and bring value to an agile project.
Competency Based Tester Qualifications: The Next Step for the Testing Profession? - Susan Windsor
This session suggests that there is increasing demand for training and certification schemes that are based more on competence, rather than memory. What would such schemes look like? We’ve got some ideas, but we seek your input.
We’ll provide a suggested framework that may help structure the measurement of competencies for different roles within testing and some ideas on how this measurement could take place. But wouldn’t it be great to move this forward to a scheme that really benefits individuals and our industry?
For the first time the organisers have to introduce parallel tracks as there are so many papers!
I'm really looking forward to hearing the AIB case study - at last Eusprig audiences are hearing reports from the field on how large companies are implementing controls.
At least three talks will be on skills certification. I've been working with the Spreadsheet Safe certification test creators, and I've learned a lot about how they construct questions that discriminate well between those who know their stuff and those who don't. Good tests have strong direct language and no trick questions. Some are performance-based simulation tests, some are multiple choice with one indisputably correct answer and several incorrect options ('distractors'). It's amazing the amount of work that goes into making these questions unambiguous. Some of the difficulty is preventing the geek answer where a method that nobody would normally use could be argued as a possible implementation by an expert.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/excel/CH011975851033.aspx Quizzes for Excel and other Office products
My own paper is on "Information and Data Quality in Spreadsheets". The quality of the data in spreadsheets is less discussed than the structural integrity of the formulas. Yet it is an area of great interest to the owners and users of the spreadsheet. This paper provides an overview of Information Quality (IQ) and Data Quality (DQ) with specific reference to how data is sourced, structured, and presented in spreadsheets.
Just to remind you, I am now offering courses leading to a test for this certification.
I recently received a call for help about a spreadsheet. It was giving a circular reference error. The formula was: ='1592628'-'17747'. The Trace Precedents command did not work on it. On investigation I found the entries 1592628 and 17747 as text in cells but right justified to look like numbers. And the option "Accept Labels in Formulas" was enabled for the workbook. So Excel was treating those labels as headings for columns. Turning off that option changed the formula in C7 to =C$3:C$65536-C$6:C$65536, which explained the circular reference. Another reason not to like that option!
I shall be presenting on Spreadsheet Risk at a breakfast briefing of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland planned for June 26. For more information see http://www.icai.ie
http://www.sysmod.com/az.php?a=190540400X&b=Spreadsheet+Check+Controlrol Available worldwide from Amazon.
http://sysmod.buy.ie/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=188 Our offer - free shipping to EU .
Thank you! Patrick O'Beirne, Editor
"In theory, reality and theory are the same. In reality, they're different." - Yogi Berra
“Well, I can see that it works in practice, but does it work in theory?” - Garret Fitzgerald
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