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Google Releases 'Testing on the Toilet'

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the logging-off dept.

Google 192

JasonK writes "Here's a type of Google launch you don't see every day: Testing on the Toilet. This is a service that has been apparently been running internally for several months and teaching developers about testing during their 'down time,' so to speak. Due to the wild success of the program inside of Google, they decided to start a blog where they will post these weekly episodes so that the rest of us can print them out and have our own reading on the can. Is this a step towards Google becoming more open about their development practices?"

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192 comments

Huh? Wha? (5, Interesting)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760966)

So now Google's gunning for Uncle John's Bathroom Reader [amazon.com] ?

Honestly, I don't see this as a positive development. My time on the pot is a time for reflection and grunting. If someone leaves the section with the comics and "Dear Abby" in the stall, I might elect to read, but I prefer to dump and run (TMI??). Also, knowing what Google employees are reading while they crap... Would "disquieting" be the right word for the sense of unease this gives me?

- Greg

Re:Huh? Wha? (5, Interesting)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761610)

Weird, when I'm stuck on a tough problem I actually tend to go to the bathroom to solve it. No distractions or the like when you're on the john and you get the added bonus of feeling good (at least men do). I also take a shower to release tension. It's the perfect place to kick back and relax so you're not just grinding your teeth over it.

Now having said that I don't want that stuff in the bathroom at work. I'd rather have a bit of peace than more work shoved at me ;).

The road to hell is paved with good intentions (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761808)

Decades from now, when we are suffering under the tyranny of Google, we will wistfully look back on this as the moment when they started to become evil. It always starts small, and with the best of intentions. I JUST WANNA TAKE A DUMP, OK??? LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!

The Google cult (or maybe not....) (4, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761708)

Despite the veneer of amiability about this project, I find it faintly disturbing. Why?

I think it's the attempt to work the job and group mindset into every part of an employee's day and life. The insinuation (by default) that an employee will want (not just be expected to) to contribute to the company in this way; even in rare "private time" like this (*).

I think what really bothered me (in this context) was the group-oriented friendliness. It took me a while to figure out why, then I realised that it was faintly reminiscent of a cult. Not the mass-suicide, Waco types (or at least, not at that stage), but the friendly pressure "we're your friends and we want to help you" newcomer stage- often with good intentions by those taking part (**)- where the group slowly enters every aspect of the newcomer's life.

Okay, I'm reading too much into this now; just bear in mind that Google's uber-friendly, everything-you-want-here campuses and the like have the advantage of keeping their employees happy, productive and within the Google sphere of influence. Sinister or not?

(*) Please *don't* start a discussion about how, as the employee is being paid during work hours, this is reasonable. Besides which, the employee- of their own volition- would probably be thinking about their work while they were on the toilet anyway. Plus, it's often more productive to give the mind a rest or let it wander every so often. Isn't it normal and healthy for employees to think about something else (e.g. outside interests) every so often?
(**) Yes, I did notice that this project was started by volunteers. Draw your own conclusions.

Yes, it is a cult (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761918)

I worked for almost a year as a contractor for Google. The definition that probably defines this company quite well is a cult. It was evident that no one would criticize any aspect of the company, would do anything that they were asked to. Also, it was like employees were too thankful for having the privilege of working there. When you add a big dose of arrogance (I guess that being told day after day you are the best of the best produces those results) to the mix, you get what Google is within.

It was indeed a very weird environment. I have worked in other big companies, but never say anything like that. The day my contract ended was a good one.

Re:The Google cult (or maybe not....) (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762154)

Nope, you're not reading too much into it. I had this disturbing image flashing though my mind of the entire google staff lining up to drink kool-aid.

Re:The Google cult (or maybe not....) (5, Insightful)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762458)

Okay, I'm reading too much into this now; just bear in mind that Google's uber-friendly, everything-you-want-here campuses and the like have the advantage of keeping their employees happy, productive and within the Google sphere of influence. Sinister or not?

Man, those guys just can't win. Be a jerk to your employees, and you're a jerk. Try to make your employees happy, and you're sinisterly keeping them under your influence. I guess the optimum, then, is to give employees free soda and plenty of vacation time, but have the guy at the front desk smack them in the face and call them a bitch when they first walk in the door in the morning.

Re:The Google cult (or maybe not....) (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762638)


It took me a while to figure out why, then I realised that it was faintly reminiscent of a cult.

You're not the only one who thought that. There's something about putting work in a bathroom and just expecting everyone to be onboard that smacks of weirdo groupthink. The fact that it was done independently is quite telling.

Re:Huh? Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761720)

Sometimes I have a think while sitting on the can at work. More often, it's a nice little break from work.

Re:Huh? Wha? (4, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761930)

I would say it's normal for a few oddball ideas to emerge when a company has squeezed several successful projects out. They just get a little headstrong when they've been flush with good ideas lately.

Re:Huh? Wha? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762254)

New products may make a splash, but pity the guy who has to examine the logs.

Re:Huh? Wha? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762618)

I prefer to dump and run
Same here. I've never understood this whole "toilet reading" phenomenon. When I have to take a shit, I sit down, dump, wipe, get up, and wash. Unless I'm sick or something, it never takes me long enough to sit and read or ponder anything; if not for the clean-up, it'd take about as much time as a typical piss. After all, it's not like it's an especially comfortable place to sit. Are people in general that more constipated than I am, do they have that much more difficulty finding "alone" time, or what?

This is easy for bosses to suggest... (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761024)

... considering most employees aren't half as anally-retentive as them.

Somebody has to say it! (2, Funny)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761026)

This idea may be a little shitty... We can't even just relax and clear our minds when we're layin' a brick?

Compare to Wiiing and weeing (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761098)

At least testing PC software while taking a dump is easier than trying to control the pointing remote and a man's urine stream at once.

It's all about productivity! (3, Funny)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761204)

Also, the hidden Web Cams in the female lavatory stalls are strictly for teleconferencing... during the downtime.

Re:Somebody has to say it! (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762610)

We can't even just relax and clear our minds when we're layin' a brick?

Wait, what? Is that where bricks come from? I have to say I'm highly disturbed and hope you're not a contractor.

Stupid questions (5, Insightful)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761108)

Is this a step towards Google becoming more open about their development practices?
Why does every Slashdot story have to end with a question? Often an uninteresting one at that? Do you think it sounds more intellectual, encouraging a discussion, or what? Please stop it! (Also, please don't compose headlines consisting of a statement followed by a question mark?)

Re:Stupid questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761226)

Usually a yes/no question as well. Which explains all the yes/no/maybe tags we find.

Re:Stupid questions (4, Insightful)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761326)

I would imagine it's because slashdot is pretty centered around discussion of posted articles, the questions are in theory supposed to spark discussion about an article. Sadly most of the questions are stupid and people ignore them and ramble on about other stupid and pointless shit.

Re:Stupid questions (1)

Sterling2p (922774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761984)

Another point that I have noticed, is that people answer the stupid question in the tag. So, if the question is not put there, the tags might be better used. Maybe we could test coming up with our own conversations close to the topic without a question as the GP noted.

Re:Stupid questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761520)

Often an uninteresting one at that?
Is this not a statement followed by a question mark?

Re:Stupid questions (1)

BarlowBrad (940854) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761912)

Can't one say anything, no matter the likelihood of inflammation (no pun intended), if it is phrased in the form of a question?

Re:Stupid questions (1)

nmoog (701216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762690)

It's because if you post a comment without a question, people will assume that you didn't stop to question the article yourself - buy asking questions in the summary it's like saying "Hey, I found this story... I don't necessarily agree with it - what do you think?" And there-by avoid the flames of hurtful slashdotters!

Really not good for your health (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761126)

I seem to recall having read something about how reading on the john is bad for you. The idea is that if you are constipated, you should wait for the movement, and not sit there and get all agitated and stressed. You are not supposed to push them out, as it can damage you and/or make the constipation worse in the long run. The article was written by a MD, IIRC. The one quote that sticks out in my mind is, "you wouldn't take a dump in the library, so don't read in the toilet".

Re:Really not good for your health (4, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761264)

The idea is that if you are constipated, you should wait for the movement

Isn't that the idea of the reading? To calmly wait?

Also, your phobia of the words 'toilet' and 'shit' is humourous.

Re:Really not good for your health (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762644)

To clarify, I mean "calmly wait outside the john". Really, I don't mean "wait" at all, which implies that you're just killing time, looking forward for something to happen. What I mean is, do something else and an honest need to go presents itself, then you go. If you're on the pot, yeah, you're reading; but you're really thinking about going. If you're someplace else, you'll think of other things, and that's more likely to relax your entire system. I know a lot of people think they're relaxing in there, but there's a good chance that subconsciously, they really aren't. Since I've stopped reading in there, I find that I go just as much. I go when I *need* to go, not just because the clock is at a certain time, or because I felt a little heavy and thought that was my body's way of telling me to go. Unless you have some kind of real serious problem, your body will tell you to go in an unmistakeable way. You don't need to make it happen. It happens by itself. Why, I might even go so far as to say... shit happens.

If you're under some kind of social pressure to go at a certain time, that's what needs to be fixed, not your bowels.

On the flip side of this, many people in the western world have forgotten what real hunger is. This may be part of why we're obese: we eat for social purposes, or entertainment. If we ate when we were hungry, we might not be so fat. Hunger is a real, natural sensation that is not particularly painful or unpleasant. This, like a natural bowel movement, is part of your body's system. It seems we've gotten so wrapped up in some of these modern things that we've forgotten how to run the system like it should be run.

Re:Really not good for your health (1)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761502)

Well... First off this isn't what the article is about. Secondly you're not really "reading" if you're just sitting there with a book in your hand getting agitated and stressed. If you're constipated and you're reading on the pot you should be focusing on the book, not your bowel movement, that's the entire point of it. So you are waiting for the movement but you're not just sitting there feeling hopeless. I can't really comment on the article since you didn't provide a link but your summary leaves me to wonder how well the article was accepted by his peers.

Re:Really not good for your health (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761856)

"The one quote that sticks out in my mind is, "you wouldn't take a dump in the library, so don't read in the toilet"."

I thought it went: "I wouldn't swim in your toilet so don't piss in my pool" ?

I personally like reading in the crapper, it takes my mind off of the business at hand (so to speak) and helps to relax.. but doing work on the crapper would have the opposite effect I would think. Eating on the crapper.. now that's just weird.

Re:Really not good for your health (2, Insightful)

kavau (554682) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761914)

I don't get it. Why would reading on the toilet make me get agitated and stressed (unless I read my quarterly performance review, of course)? I'd be more inclined to just "push them out" if I didn't bring an article or book to read. So I'd say, NOT reading on the toilet is bad for you.

I fully agree, though, that reading in the toilet can be bad for your health.

Re:Really not good for your health (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762030)

An enjoyable techincal book is just the thing to get my mind un-stressed when on the toilet (yes, I've tried other reading material for comparison).

Re:Really not good for your health (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762640)

That doesn't make any sense. I'd say the opposite is true. Anyway, I play a quick game on the DS instead of reading so sometimes I end up hanging around for a bit too long..

Cute idea (5, Funny)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761182)

No that's thinking outside of the box! Personally, I like to do testing in the kitchen, then QA in the shower, then go production on the can... but that's just me.

Story quality (4, Funny)

Danathar (267989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761212)

this is the result of the "Fire Hose" feature that slashdot has.

Stories selected by mobs.

Old News (2, Interesting)

J. Chrysostom (125843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761222)

My 50 year old company has been putting out "The Porcelain Press" in the can for years. They do it mostly for health & safety stuff, but the idea's the same. It just took Google a few decades to catch up.

On blogspot.com not google.com (1)

loose electron (699583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761224)

the post is on a blog site, not on Google, April 1st a little early....

Re:On blogspot.com not google.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761654)

I can assure you it's true :)

creators eyecon0meter kode, no testing needed (-1, Troll)

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Another reason not to work for Google. (1, Troll)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761268)

If this is a reflection of the Google Culture, then count me out. Are they all insane enough to think that every moment (including taking a shit) should be spent thinking about The Company? It seems to me they've developed a culture of True Believers that wouldn't even think there's something wrong with invading the bathroom with more work.

I know someone is going to come back to me with "It's not work.. it's fun!". Just keep drinking that kool-aid buddy. Eventually you're going to figure out that there's more to life than work.

Next up at google.. Google Dreams. A quiet voice plays back a list of abstract google-related words while you sleep, some of which will certainly influence your dreams.

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761476)

Eventually you're going to figure out that there's more to life than work.
Yeah, staring off blankly into space while you take a shit is really living life to the fullest. Get a grip man.

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762026)

I have a grip. The handicap stalls are a wonderful thing for squeezing out a burly one.

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (5, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761540)

The first time a manager hands me some test documentation to read in the can, will be the second time I hand a manager a poop wrapped in a test document.

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (1)

carpeweb (949895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761582)

Amen! How many of us have had coworkers or bosses who would follow us into the lavatory and try to continue a discussion while "on break"?

My response: there's a reason they call it a "break".

If this trend isn't stopped, then "Mr. Poopypants" (above) will in the future refer to a new clothing line consisting -- literally! -- of a series of tubes (marketed under a hip label like TSteve, no doubt).

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761852)

I'll think whatever they want for however long they want so long as they give me enough money.

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761900)

"Next up at google.. Google Dreams"

I was thinking Google Sex, streaming videos and search related items for the words yelled out during coitus mounted as a flat panel on the ceiling, with optional forehead/backside mirrors for wife/hubby/SO.

*note to self, register ohgodyesyes.com ASAP!!!*

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762132)

The testing on the toilet stuff is taped to the wall above the urinals, and on the inside of the doors in the stalls.

You don't have to read it. It's just there.

Hop off the monstercock, Vellmont.

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (1)

aldo.gs (985038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762320)

Although I think this is a bit extreme, I believe that there are times that you just feel like reading something (even when taking a dump) related to your work. I know I don't, but there are people that actually enjoy they work.

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762858)

I work at Google

Where did it ever say that "Testing on the Toilet" is required reading? It's an 8.5x11" printout that's taped to the wall, off to the side. Right next to it there's also some monthly humor and announcement thing, and outside the stalls (in some bathrooms) there's a semi-stocked magazine rack. I usually don't even notice the TotT printouts and instead read my own magazine or the occasional newspaper. Occasionally I'll read a TotT, and at least it's an alternative to staring at the same four tiles for 5 minutes.

I think some of you guys are reacting to this too strongly. This isn't the brainchild idea of a dozen executives in suits trying to boost productivity -- the company doesn't really work that way. It's just an engineering group in Google who are thinking of other ways to disseminate information. Different groups and individuals will occasionally hold tech-talks on various topics for people to attend during their spare time. These aren't required either, and are sometimes a welcome escape. Almost nothing about working at Google is mandatory, save the obvious requirement of doing one's job.

Re:Another reason not to work for Google. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763286)


Where did it ever say that "Testing on the Toilet" is required reading?

And where did I say or imply it was required reading? My comments are about this reflecting the Google Culture. The blog also indicated this was something that was all over Google worldwide (over 500 stalls). That's part of the culture at Google, and that's what disturbs the people responding to this story.

This isn't the brainchild idea of a dozen executives in suits trying to boost productivity

Actually I'd be less disturbed if it were the brainchild of some execs. Since it's all internal, it's an indication to me that people actually think intruding on time on the toilet is something that's OK for people to promote.

Almost nothing about working at Google is mandatory, save the obvious requirement of doing one's job.

I know how culture works too. It may not be mandatory, but you won't get anywhere if you don't do what's expected. Sorry, but I (and apparently a lot of others) find the whole idea disturbing. I think it's because people consider the damn bathroom to be private, and not be invaded by work. The fact that some people at Google think they can invade other people's space with work is disturbing. It's indicative of something strange going on. Saying that it's not mandatory really kind of misses the point.

Where's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (1)

flanksteak (69032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761284)

when you need him?

This code is just good enough...for me to poop on!

One other thing, can I assume that this is in the Mens toilets only? Most women won't touch anything that has been in a bathroom (like magazines and newspapers) so I'm guessing keyboards are out, too.

Re:Where's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (2, Informative)

Benley (102665) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761430)

Dude. There's no keyboards in the bathrooms. It's 8.5"x11" posters on the walls where you can read them while you *ahem* use the facilities.

Re:Where's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (1)

flanksteak (69032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761614)

Oh, I missed that. Why not then just print the code on the TP?

Re:Where's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (1)

Benley (102665) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761858)

Oh, I missed that. Why not then just print the code on the TP?


*laf* Awesome. I don't think wiping your ass on the tutorial is the intended purpose, though :)

Re:No, In The Women's Too. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761788)

No, you cannot assume. They are posted in the women's bathroom also, on the back of the door so it's right in front of you. No hands involved.

Re: No, In The Women's Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761916)

No, you cannot assume. They are posted in the women's bathroom also, on the back of the door so it's right in front of you. No hands involved.

I can only assume it is the same in the men's.

blog (4, Funny)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761294)

Google Testing Blog, November 15:

Today I was hanging a clock above my toilet, when I fell and hit my head. I ended up having a vision of a new way to make sure code works properly (there also was some idea for a new hardware component -- some sort of capacitor -- but I'm a software engineer and don't know how to deal with those things; hopefully it wasn't very important).

Re:blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17763120)

Google Testing Blog, November 14

Today some guy named Marty was very positive about my completing testing of a time machine. Seriously, where do these kooks get their ideas? Well, off to the john

now we know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761306)

... why most of google offerings are still at alpha/beta stage after they make they are first released to the public :)

Lincoln Logs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761336)

Another creative use for "Lincoln Logs".
I have a great picture of the "executive" restroom for several years ago but it is a pity I cannot post it. This picture is perfect for this.

My core dump analysis... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761362)

...is usually limited to checking the TP to know when to stop wiping.

More bran fibre in the diet. (4, Funny)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761402)

Serious, if you have time to read on the toilet, maybe you should consider adding some bran fiber to your diet.

Bad idea (3, Informative)

kindbud (90044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761484)

Sitting on the toilet too long can lead to hemorrhoids. Reading software testing documentation on the toilet can't be any better for your bunghole.

Re:Bad idea (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762330)

Reading software testing documentation on the toilet can't be any better for your bunghole.

      I dunno about you, buddy. I have it all printed in Braille. Oooh!

logging-off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761528)

surely logging-out ...

It's Useful Mass Communication (1)

jcarkeys (925469) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761560)

In the dorm in my college (one of the few with old style community bathrooms), we put up a weekly newsletter called "Stall Notes" that has upcoming events, humorous awards for the past week, a top 10 list, and some other rotating features. It's a really good way to ensure that everyone gets the message since no one looks at bulletin boards or email memos. If Google can use something like this to be more productive, good for them.

'Doodling on their PDA', huh? (4, Funny)

eabell (398690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761566)

I RTFA, but it was one of the comments that amused me:

"A similar thing was/is in use at a place I worked. People made an effort to stay in the toilet for a long time (doodling on their PDA) and later claimed they were reading the work notes... :)"

Ahem. 'Doodling on their PDA'? So is that what you kids call it these days?

This is a shitty idea (4, Funny)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761592)

If I didn't know better I'd say Google was having an increasingly difficult time
squeezing out well formed ideas. (And something about this one smells a little off.) It might
be because they're just not flushing out the bad ideas, but it also might be an
indication that Google needs to unclog their management and wipe themselves clean
of this "Testing Grouplet". While it is true that great ideas have plopped out of Google, I think
our apparently limitless enthusiasm for anything and everything that spews from Google may have had
the effect of loosening up their releases to the point of being soft and formless.

My two cents.

Testing / Etiquette (2, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761658)

Speaking of bathroom etiquette, if its a single bathroom, please knock on the door before just jiggling the handle to test if its locked. One day I might forget to lock the door and then we'll both be in for a rude surprise

Regarding automated tests...write them!

Once you get a framework in place, it really does make you feel better about writing new code and modifying old. It also helps with your design by forcing you to write components that are loosely coupled (i.e., they can be tested easily because they have little to no external dependencies)

If you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start, start by writing tests for new code and worrying about old code until later.

Re:Testing / Etiquette (1)

RipTides9x (804495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763110)

Speaking of bathroom etiquette, if its a single bathroom, please knock on the door before just jiggling the handle to test if its locked.

Speaking of bathroom etiquette indeed.
If you jiggle the handle and find it locked, jiggling it vigoursly for another 30 seconds isn't going to make me shit any faster, thanks.

A show of hands? (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761726)

It all made sense, and they had me right up until they said "print out..." Come on, /.'ers, fess up, there's gotta be a pretty good percentage of you laptop owners that do computer-related activites on the can, *without* printing out anything, if you know what I mean.

I expected the story to involve tablets or kiosk-like computers in the stalls. I was half thinking of inventing a little discrete flip-up table/shelf for laptops for use by nerds in the loo. ThinkGeek, drop me a line, and we'll market this puppy.

Just needs adapated from the existing model (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762222)

There's already something similar in some of the more modern lady's rooms around; it's a spring-mounted shelf that you pull down and put your purse/whatever on, which then keeps you from opening the stall door without first removing your belongings. I thought it was really quite clever the first time I saw one; it also helps reduce the incidence of people reaching over the top of the door and snagging your purse from the coat hook while you sit there and watch helplessly.

True Story (0, Offtopic)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761800)

At my current (well, my last day is tomorrow) job, we had a testing suite. His name was Bob. He launched IE and clicked things and entered random data and tried to break our web apps. When I suggested that we automate our testing, someone asked "How would we automate testing?"

That's kinda when I decided I should leave.

Why do people poo at work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761954)

Really!? You need to go about once a day. Do it at home and stink up your own house. I think some of these bastards save it up for the office just to keep their families from having to smell their stench. And then there are the construction guys who come work in the office occasionally. I *know* these people never shit at home. My brother works construction and he used to come to *my* house to take a crap. Dirty bastards.

Shit at home. And don't wipe snot on the wall above the urinal you sick freak.

Dammit they ARE really Geniuses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762352)

Woah, just when I was thinking that all that hype about Google only hiring geniuses through multiple grueling interviews was a bunch of BS, I read this. This is a true sign of genius to be sure. It gets me thinking I should go down and apply to work with them, but then I remember what a living hell it is to work with very many smart computer people in a matrix management. Plus I think that something Bad is going to happen to Google --there is no precedent for an entity like that in the history of Western Civilization and virtually all such references to that kind of company in science fiction and philosophical literary works throughout time have been negative. At some point Google goes away and the function is broken up into multiple entities, this much is clear, but what is not known is how much higher the stock goes before then and what the mechanism for its dissolution will be. But testing in the throne, that's just genius. Hopefully, before Google's demise, it's utopian work practices will be embraced throughout the next generation of Corporate America as DIGITAL's once were from the 1950s-1980s. (Hell, many people do not even know who DIGITAL is/was at this point --the same will be ever so much more certain with Google.)

and i thought my job was bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762874)

just think of all the shit work those testers at google have to doo.

This is something new? (1)

uglyMood (322284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763236)

In my experience all computer languages are learned on the toilet; I've only met one programmer who claimed otherwise, and he was maladjusted in other ways as well.

Google... (1)

THESuperShawn (764971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763290)

Not content with taking over everything else, they now aim to become "number 1" in the "number 2" business.

They really seem to be getting their "shit" together.

It's all part of their plan to "bowl" over the competition.

Thanks, I'll be here all week. Please tip your bartenders.

I've seen them. Above urinals. Really. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763312)

I've seen those posters. Long, detailed small-type discussions of code coverage analysis mounted above urinals. Last week's poster: Google measures code coverage on a per-statement basis. Really.

Visiting Google HQ bothers me a bit. I'm the guy who did Downside [downside.com], tracking failing dot-coms, and I see too many similarities between Google today and some of the more exuberant dot-coms. Google's business is basically AdWords and a search engine; on the side, they also operate a bunch of unprofitable dot-coms. YouTube, Gmail, and the web apps aren't profitable. If anything happens to force AdWords prices down, like an advertising price war with Microsoft or trouble with the pay-per-click model, Google may have problems.

Google has a lot of smart people, but somehow that's not translating into new, profitable product lines.

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