Friday 24 August 2012

Systematic Coverage and Mindful Applications

Welcome back to Adventures with Autism Works. Since my last entry, I have been working on the ISEB Foundation course, as well as reviewing some of Autism Works' Operational procedures, including in relation to approaches I have come across in the ISEB course.

Much emphasis in the many books and guidance presently available on the subject of Asperger's Syndrome is on how the condition affects one in the working environment itself and during the recruitment phase, the latter which appears to be a particularly huge stumbling block to many candidates with Asperger's Syndrome. What I am finding though is that there appears to be very little guidance on induction, as a successful and supportive induction process can make a huge difference to how a new employee with Asperger's Syndrome, especially if they struggle with change including adapting to new environments, different practices and unfamiliar people.

When learning about approaches to software testing while doing ISEB, I have found some interesting parallels with developing Asperger-friendly operational procedures, including recruitment policies as well as approaches towards software testing that can be incorporated into the company's operational practices, including systematic approaches. When learning about different testing methods, I came across the waterfall method, which was at one time a standard model for testing software in the 1970s, but is seen today as too time consuming and inflexible to apply to current day large projects, and more flexible methods, including Rapid Application Development (RAD) and Iterative Incremental models, have had to be learned. Similarly, to recruit people with Asperger's Syndrome, employers need to learn different and more flexible approaches to their recruitment procedures, including asking closed rather than open or abstract questions.

One of the first questions software testers ask, especially when testing a big software project, is how much testing is enough? It is rarely possible to test everything due to time and budget constraints, so instead, testers focus on the parts of the software that are the most critical, or where the bugs are likely to cluster. Similarly, when offering support to new inductees at Autism Works, it may not quite be possible with available resources to offer comprehensive support, so instead, it will perhaps be more appropriate to take a systematic approach, focusing support offered during the induction stage where it is needed, including in relation to anxiety and sensory issues that an inductee may experience.

Readers of this blog will be familiar with how I discuss how I have applied mindful approaches to life, including in both my professional and personal life. Away from work, I have also found a systematic approach helpful in my home life, including in cooking. Though I have cooked Thai stir-fries for quite some time, I only recently found where I was going wrong, which was throwing all the ingredients in all together, which could often result in some of them, particularly those that cook quicker than others, being over-cooked or burnt. I found that the quality of my meals was so much better by adding different ingredients at different stages to give them the right amount of cooking, rather than some being overdone.

Another bit of news that I have is that I am now up to £500 with my fundraising for Daisy Chain with less than a month to go before the first part of my challenge, the Bupa Great North Run. As well as the meditation practice, I am also finding yoga practice helpful in finding my balance when running as sometimes your posture can slip to the extent that it can put a lot of strain on the calf muscles. Meanwhile, as demand for Daisy Chain's services continues to increase, if you wish to make a donation, please visit the following link:

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