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Stress-testing: How Testers Live in a Turbulent World of Bugs

Reading time11 min
Views3.5K

A tester is one of the most stressful roles in IT. You constantly need to be concentrated and report bugs to developers in your team. Lidiya Yegorova, Innotech’s “Scoring conveyor” team QA-Lead shared her practices on how to minimize the stress while testing.

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A new writing method/technology (“dendrowriting”), as exemplified by the YearVer site

Reading time3 min
Views721

Several years have passed since the appearance of the first text markup language that supports “dendrowriting”, but no worthwhile piece of text demonstrating the advantages of the new writing method/technology has yet appeared.

The largest “dendrotext” was a couple of paragraphs in the pqmarkup documentation, consisting of only ~1300 characters and available only in Russian.

In English there was no “dendrotext” at all, as such [apart from small insertions in the documentation for the 11l programming language (e.g., ‘Boolean type’ in Built-in types)].

But last year...
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Grinding in video games and real life

Reading time9 min
Views3.8K

Grind is a process of slowly getting valuable resources (be it experience points or loot) by repetitive and often simple tasks in video games. It has been present from the beginning of gaming but has become more widespread with the popularization of online RPG games because of their leveling systems and competitive elements. 

It is highly criticized by gamers around the world for making games boring and work-like, yet many people specifically choose to play grind-heavy games. The reason might be because they find simple repetitive tasks relaxing and distracting from real-life problems, as a form of escapism.

However, there is also a gameplay reason for grinding: getting valuable resources early can make a game easier later. Some popular games like Diablo are even centered around grind. Thus, everyone will have to grind at some point to prevent gameplay from getting too difficult, which quickly becomes an inescapable habit. Later, gamers might apply grinding even to games that do not require it. Interestingly enough, grinding early on can also make the late-game boring because it is going to be too easy if the game was not designed for grinding. For example, in Subnautica, getting a lot of resources early on will make some of the late-game tools useless because all the resources that could have been gained with them have already been gained.

From the example above, we can see that grind does not always improve the gameplay. We can also see that it is not always a necessary process and can be either minimized or avoided entirely: sometimes, the need for it exists only in our mind, forcing us to diminish the fun of actually playing the game. Is it just a question of habit or is there any other reason for us to grind?

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Total votes 6: ↑6 and ↓0+6
Comments3

Scientists Turn a Quantum Computer into a Time Machine — At least, for a Second…

Reading time5 min
Views1.9K
Scientists said they were able to return the state of a quantum computer a fraction of a second into the past, according to a university press release. The researchers, who are from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, along with colleagues from the U.S. and Switzerland, also calculated the probability that an electron in empty interstellar space will spontaneously travel back into its recent past. The study came out recently in Scientific Reports.
“This is one in a series of papers on the possibility of violating the second law of thermodynamics. That law is closely related to the notion of the arrow of time that posits the one-way direction of time: from the past to the future,” commented the study’s lead author Gordey Lesovik, who heads the Laboratory of the Physics of Quantum Information Technology at MIPT.

While the researchers don’t expect you to take a trip back to the high school prom just yet, they added that the time reversal algorithm could prove useful for making quantum computers more precise.

“Our algorithm could be updated and used to test programs written for quantum computers and eliminate noise and errors,” Lebedev explained.

The researchers said that the work builds on some earlier work that recently garnered headlines.

“We began by describing a so-called local perpetual motion machine of the second kind. Then, in December, we published a paper that discusses the violation of the second law via a device called a Maxwell’s demon,” Lesovik said. “The most recent paper approaches the same problem from a third angle: We have artificially created a state that evolves in a direction opposite to that of the thermodynamic arrow of time.”
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Total votes 3: ↑3 and ↓0+3
Comments34

Everything you always wanted to know about human memory (but were afraid to ask)

Reading time5 min
Views2.8K
Having a good memory is advantageous, even as people stay home amidst the pandemic. Our memories help us maintain an intellectual connection to the world, and keep us from mentally deteriorating.

Today, we’re launching a new series of articles on memory enhancement, starting with a short overview of how our memory works and the basic training you can undergo to improve it.


Total votes 7: ↑7 and ↓0+7
Comments0

Self-Development: How I Couldn't Wear Two Hats and Found Third One

Reading time18 min
Views2.5K


Hi all! I lead antispam team and several machine learning teams at Mail.ru Group. The subject of this article is self-development for team leads/managers. But in reality many techniques and recipes do not depend on the role at all. This really concerns me because machine learning is developing extremely fast, and it takes a lot of time to stay up to date. So the question about what should be done for development and how is quite topical.

Of course, the content of this article is not the ultimate truth but just a description of the results of my continuing quest. It tells about approaches based on books and workshops, trials and errors, which have worked for me. It'll be good to have a discussion with you in comments.
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Total votes 26: ↑26 and ↓0+26
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The science behind how our brains work best, and how technology and our environment can help

Reading time5 min
Views1.6K


You’re utterly focused. You’ve lost track of time. Nothing else in the world exists. You’re living in the moment.

While this might sound like meditation, it’s a description that can also be applied to the state of flow – the feeling of being so engaged by your work, that you lose yourself to it completely, while massively increasing your productivity in the process.

It’s the holy grail that we all strive for, whether it’s a hobby we’re passionate about, or a project at work. Achieving our best and utilising our maximum potential at all times, can however, be a struggle.
We had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Jack Lewis, a neuroscientist with a passion for exploring how our minds work, to see what motivates us to do our best work, and the important roles that workplace environments, culture, and technology can play.
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Total votes 4: ↑4 and ↓0+4
Comments1

How to get the team to search for more productive ideas

Reading time4 min
Views1.7K
The creation of design models as well as visualization of solutions is for some reason always a subject of great interest among all members of a productive team, be it a manager eager to master Sketch, or a developer who wants to make cool interfaces without the need to go to a designer. But we all know what happens when it comes to actually doing stuff.



My way


Hi, everybody!

My name is Anna and I work for an American company Scentbird NY as a product designer. Prior to that I was involved in developing flagship products in Alfa-Bank design team.

I was probably born under a lucky star but all my life I've been working with the developers who suggest the best product solutions, better than a lot of product managers and product owners. But anyway, my observation is that the earlier you involve developers into working on a particular task, the better off you are.

What you are about to read is actually a blueprint on how to conduct brainstorm sessions and generate not-so-obvious yet effective solutions, which are apparently really easy to reach and not that time-consuming.
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Total votes 14: ↑14 and ↓0+14
Comments4

Artificial neural networks explained in simple words

Reading time7 min
Views4.4K
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When I used to start a conversation about neural networks over a bottle of beer, people were casting glances at me of what seemed to be fear; they grew sad, sometimes with their eyelid twitching. In rare cases, they were even eager to take refuge under the table. Why? These networks are simple and instinctive, actually. Yes, believe me, they are! Just let me prove this is true!


Suppose there are two things I’m aware of about the girl: she looks pretty to my taste or not, and I have lots to talk about with her or I haven’t. True and false will be one and zero respectively. We’ll take similar principle for appearance. The question is: “What girl I’ll fall in love with, and why?”


We also can think it straight and uncompromisingly: “If she looks pretty and there’s plenty to talk about, then I will fall in love. If neither is true, then I quit”.


But what if I like the lady but there’s nothing to talk about with her? Or vice versa?

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Total votes 13: ↑11 and ↓2+9
Comments0

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