The pain that is troubleshooting!

For the last few days I’ve been trying to help a friend troubleshoot video playback issues on their website. It’s a membership website that uses AWS to deliver videos.

A member in South America is having trouble viewing content so I offered my help & expertise to troubleshoot the problem.
Initially the user reported not being able to view video content so I thought it must be a problem with the content delivery network. After a lot of reading about the ins and outs of AWS I was still none the wiser about how or why only this member seems to be experiencing problems.
The member is adamant that it’s not their ISP as they’re having problems on many devices and browsers. To me, this sounds very much like a problem at the ISP or network level – so theoretically out of the scope for website troubleshooting, but given that they are a customer of my friend’s website I don’t want to rule any possibility out!

I remembered the awesome web troubleshooting tool that is which will hopefully provide some more clues as to the members environment.

When involved in a troubleshooting exercise, it’s beneficial if the user doesn’t stress how technical they are as it can change the mindset of the troubleshooter. This can be beneficial or detrimental to solving the problem; if the user expresses their technical expertise then we (as troubleshooters) assume they know what we know which can waylay the process. It’s far easier to make no assumptions on the user’s part both for technical solutions and our choice of language.

It’s an interesting problem that is still being sorted out, hopefully we can work out what and/or where the problem lies.

Releasing my thoughts

I realised recently that I’ve been neglecting my thoughts. Or to be more precise, not releasing them from the confines of my head!

Many moons ago I had an active tumblr and a blogspot/blogger for this reason. Both sadly neglected in recent times.

So this is an attempt to try again (I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said this, which I am sure is true of most developers – too busy tinkering!).

Continue reading “Releasing my thoughts”

When is a tester not a tester?

I’ve been playing Diablo 3 this past week and wishing I was on the beta test.

There’s plenty of things that seem to have slipped past the testers which lead me to this post.

In order to get on to Blizzard’s testing, all you need to do is submit your computer specs and be a paying subscriber. Then you may get a beta invite for a new game, and more likely if you subscribe to WoW then you’ll get to play on the PTR (Public Test Realm).

This is all well and good, but it seems most users don’t grasp  the idea of what testing means. Continue reading “When is a tester not a tester?”

Are you ready for Yule in Azeroth?

The Feast of Winter Veil will soon be upon us in Azeroth, are you ready for the achievements?

On Xmas day, it’s a chance to get some cool companion pets (which, if you stockpile them!, can generate some gold throughout the year). Blizzard has changed them now too so that they don’t require snowballs, not to mention some of them can’t be called outside of the event; and the Winter Reindeer is a plain reindeer outside of the event!!

From what I remember, small eggs sell really well at this time too (to make egg nog for one of the achievements/quests).

It should start around the 15th December, so time to get ready!