Friday, May 26, 2017

Working as a free SDET, Beta testing

Image result for free  testingI was given the opportunity to be a beta tester for Groundfloor AI, that's the Automated Investing feature not Artificial Intelligence. I gotta say pretty nice use marketing acronym because no reasonable person would think it's actually Artificial Intelligence but they will have a subliminal connection to the feature and the product. I stumbled upon the opportunity when trying to locate the feature I found a FAQ on how to turn automated investing on. The FAQ was a little vague, so I called in to there support and found out the feature wasn't released yet, actually the FAQ was just pushed out minutes before my search and the feature was only available for beta testing. I explained to the customer service rep that I was a professional QA and from there it was easy. They did check my account to see if I was an active user first, but within 2 hours of my original search/call I was able to make use of the feature.
They didn't give any instruction on the feature, at first I didn't like that but it's more natural to do discovery on the feature like a normal user first time experience. My first time experience was uneventful, it was easy to setup and configure. I have reconfigured it multiple time with no issues. I guess I was disappointed because I couldn't break it, but as a finance product if I was able to break it I would have lost faith in the company at some level.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

UDL Connection string trick

Create a perfect connection string every time. Connections strings can be easy but once in awhile they are hard. When I have problems with connection strings I  use this old udl hack. Here is a super simple way to generate a connection string and test it and save it.


  1. Create a text file
  2. Rename the text file to conn.udl
  3. Open the file by double clicking it 
  4. Now you should see the "Data Link Properties" window
  5. Populate your preferred options
  6. Click "OK", the window should close
  7. Right click the "conn.udl" file and select Open with Notepad
  8. You should find a perfect working connection string that has all your options
You can specify different providers, credentials, set timeout values, permissions and more.