I had the opportunity to work on a very fun, and engaging retail VR project at Valtech Canada this year, the retail VR software application for Decathlon. The version we worked on this year is the second version of the application.
The Decathlon VR application recently won an award at the 2017 Boomerang show held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada – The Grand Prix for Interactive Retail Environment for our Decathlon Virtual Reality “Camp de Base”.
You can find more information about the show here, and the article about the award we won over here.
It was a proud moment for our team, to be recognized for our great work on this application.
As the test lead on this project, I worked on the application from the very start, understanding the context and then building a test approach suitable for this type of application and with the client’s objectives for this solution in mind. My responsibility also extended to hands-on test design and testing with the team. The timeline for delivery was extremely aggressive, but we had a great team in place, from my test team, the developers, the UX team, the project manager, and every single person that worked with us to help deliver this application.
The Decathlon VR application allows users to gear up with the technology of the HTC Vive to view and interact in a 3D world and compare tents, prices, items in three different camping environments and different weather conditions. It’s currently deployed in 14 stores, 3 countries, and 6 languages.
How it all started – Part 1
My love for computers and software began when I was 10 year old kid in elementary school. At that time, the only students who had access to the computer lab were selected (and very intelligent) students in grade 6. I was a student in grade 4 at the time but I had a good friend who was in grade 6 and recognized as one of the smartest and intelligent students in the school – and of course he had access to the computer lab, even during lunch hour!
Finally after months of hearing how awesome computers were and what you could do with the software on them, my friend asked the teachers in charge of the computer lab if he could bring me to see the lab one day during lunch hour. I was a very well behaved student and so there wasn’t much hesitation from the teachers to allow me to come into the lab during a lunch hour one day, under one condition – I could see but not touch. So the day finally came, I got to enter the computer lab and see 10-12 computers – I was told they were MacIntosh computers (I noticed an apple on each of the machines). So I sat and watched my friend type things onto the keyboard and the computer execute the commands my friend was requesting. This was all so mind blowing to me!
After that lunch hour, it was 2 years later that I was a student in grade 6 and allowed back into the computer lab! By that time computer class had become a part of the school curriculum. Finally I had the opportunity to be the pilot behind the keyboard, and type commands onto the keyboard and see a green turtle on screen execute the commands (I was using Apple’s logowriter programming language) I was typing. It was cool to watch it all happen 2 years before, and even cooler to be the individual behind the keyboard.
I was 12 years old at the time, and I had no idea how powerful and common computers & software would become in the years to follow and how much my interests (and life) would be tied to computers and software …
Yesterday was an extremely productive day for me – I got a lot done. A lot of work involving a lot of effort, considerable time and a good amount of thinking (most of the things I put my energy and effort towards require thinking). It was a good day in terms of productivity. I also encountered a lot of errors & crashes – but I wasn’t testing.
Now let me explain – as a Software Tester I encounter (and generate) a lot of errors, crashes, undesirable/inconsistent/unpredictable behaviours during my investigation of an application. The errors & crashes I encountered yesterday happened while I wasn’t testing. They happend while I was using different software applications to complete or perform some tasks – this type of thing isn’t rare for me. What is rare is that the errors & crashes I encountered yesterday happened while I was using different software applications to complete or perform tasks on all 3 of my devices.
A software application I had been using on my laptop as a project and test management tool generated an error and crashed 3 different times – first generating an error message and then ending abruptly seconds later. The error message generated was displayed on the screen for barely a second – I had no time to even read a word it said. The first time it happend the processes “crippled” my entire machine and I had to restart it.
A few hours later after I had completed my “priority tasks” for the day, I was in relaxation mode. I thought I’d search for an action movie to rent or possibly purchase on my tablet. For some reason every time I filtered the movie selection by action movies the app would crash on my tablet. After 3 times I gave up – wasn’t my night to watch a movie.
A few hours after that I wasn’t asleep as I should’ve been (I guess the 80km/h winds outside had something to do with it) I decided to reactivate the iMessage service on my phone. I had turned it off earlier in the day for a particular reason. I was prompted to entered my password to activate it and for some reason I just wasn’t able to activate it. After a few tries (I think it was about 3) I decided to give up and leave it alone until the following morning. This morning I entered the password once and I was able to reactivate it within seconds.
I guess there will be days like that – I just didn’t foresee it happening while I wasn’t officially testing, and on all 3 devices.