I am the Batman – The Software Tester – Part One

Bruce Wayne: You’re vigilantes.   a project manager
Henri Ducard: No, no, no. A project manager is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed, or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely. 
Bruce Wayne: Which is? 
Henri Ducard: A tester, Mr. Wayne. 

I was thinking about doing a blog post about ‘Would Batman make a good Software Tester’ and I was going to put it off but I was playing Arkham City today and I found a bug while playing as the Dark Knight. So let me quickly rustle up a defect Report. By the way – Am I the only one that thought “Yeah, I found a bug in a AAA game’. I’m sure most people would have chucked the controller at the TV. Must be the tester in me.

Title: Arkham City – Subway Track – Batman Character gets stuck between floors after sliding on Train Roof

Description: In the subway location where the communication jammer is located, there is a train booth where Batman can run and slide under the archway. When the animation is complete, the Batman character stands up and breaks the view that the player can see. When the player looks around, the view is off the various floors. The character has clipped the walls of the level thus rendering the character unplayable. There is no workaround to free the character from this situation and the remedy is to load a restart game.

Steps

  • Play as Batman and travel down to the subway chamber where the final communication jammer is located
  • Clear the room of thugs (Not needed – but easier to concentrate on replicating the issue)
  • Go to the location where the train roof goes underneath the archway (Note: If I had the proper tools, I would get the coordinates, take a picture of the actual train roof or note where on the map I am).
  • Face the archway and press forward + A, then just before you reach the archway roof, press the right trigger.

Result: Batman will slide under the roof and stand up. He will have clipped the walls and the view will be of the floors that make up the subway levels.

Actual Result: Either the character should remain crouched or the character should be prevented from entering this location.

Workaround: None – User has to reload from the latest saved checkpoint

Severity: Important

Platform: Xbox 360 – dashboard version – 2.0.14699.0

Please see attached documents

Opps - The Bat is broke
Even the Batman gets stuck sometimes

As you can see from the image, you can see other parts of the level which you shouldn’t be able too – Whoops.

Anyway, back to ‘Would Batman make a good Software Tester’.

Part of me wanted to say no, he wouldn’t. He’s too angry at the world, he has issues and if Christian Bale is anything to go by – he mumbles alot. However, part of being Batman is that he’s Bruce Wayne who is a successful businessman and entrepreneur so he must have some skills. Let’s do a pro’s and cons

Pros

Batman is the world’s greatest detective – he has a knack of looking at clues and deducing what has occurred and where to look for the next clue. As testers, we need to have that logic and understanding of the situation  and look deeper into finding the culprit and exposing it for the slimy and diseased bug that it is.

His skill set is second to none – Since the death of his parents (probably due to a malfunction/bug), he has spent his life training his mind and body in numerous arts and methods. As testers, while we don’t need a traumatic event to motivate us, we should always been looking to better ourselves so that we are prepared for any situation that we encounter. We don’t have to rely on one method to see us through a situation, we can choose the best one that we know of that works.

He is always prepared – This ties in with the point above, even in the Adam West days, he always had some gadget that enabled him to get out of the grips of the latest villain that managed to capture him. However, he did not rely on the gadgets entirely as he always used his wits and mind to formulate a plan. The gadgets were there to assist him. This is analogous to using automation tools where we can use them to aid in our testing efforts and of course, like the Batman, we must know when the right place is to use them.

Gordon/Catwoman/Alfred/Robin (Nightwing) – Even the great Batman cannot do everything alone in his effort to rid the world of defects crime. When the situation calls for it he enlists the help of others. As testers, we need to do the same and communicate our efforts to other people that may be interested in what we do. Even if we have different objectives (aka Catwoman), testers have to find a way to communicate that gets the job done. Batman and testers will not possess all the skills that we need so collaboration is needed.

Bruce Wayne – As mentioned before, Bruce Wayne is very successful at what he does, he has connections in many places, he has a good reputation, his communication and people skills are top notch. Nothing more can be said about this except that testers need to have the same qualities, they need to know people around the business and be able to talk to them and let them know that they are allies and not on the other side of the fence trying to prevent the product from shipping. They need to be personable – you can be the greatest tester and find some quality defects but if you cannot show people or communicate in a way that they can understand. Then I personally think that you will not be reaching your full potential as a tester.

I think I’ll stop it there and go into the cons of the Batman in a second post. As usual, comments and discussions are welcome? What do you think of my defect report? Would would you add or take away? Do you think Batman has a place in the IT world?

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