Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 3 of 40: TESTHEAD BOOT CAMP: 10 Firefox Plug-ins and W3Schools.com Revisited

OK, now that my current VP has had a chance to brief the troops of the situation, I can stop being cagey. I pledged to let him decide how he wanted to break the news and when, and since he decided to tell everyone today, I can now talk a little more, too :).

So what would prompt someone to go for a very public and much focused refresh and reboot of his web skills if it were not the prospects of a new job? Well, those who speculated that this was due to a new job were exactly right! I gave Tracker, my current company, 40 days notice (basically six weeks), enough time I felt to help them get the word out to get a new QA Engineer(s) to take my place. On January 17th, 2010, I will be starting at SideReel, a company that makes tools to aggregate and track Internet television properties.


It’s a fun company with a fun product, but unlike the more business and Legal/HR focus of Tracker Corp, SideReel has a lot more of a focus on the new and flashy web components that are out there, much more befitting of a company where entertainment is their primary market. When I made the decision to sign on with them, I asked them specifically what they recommended I make an effort to focus on before I got there. Their answer, unequivocally, was “learn all you can about cutting edge web components and technologies, because we use most, if not all of them!”


In the days of old, when I had a question about web technology and languages, my first point of reference was W3Schools, and I’m happy to say that it has enough details and information to still be one of my key points of reference, especially when it comes to HTML, HTTP, CSS, AJAX, JQUERY, JavaScript and any other number of components. One of the cools things about the W3Schools interface is that it allows the user to plug in the styles or code they want to experiment with and see it in action on the page side by side with the code they are modifying. A very nice service and definitely worth a visit.


To add to this mix, how timely was it to see posted to Twitter a listing of ten Firefox plug-ins, a couple of which I was already familiar with, such as Firebug and IE Tab, but also several I’d never worked with before, including ScribeFire, a blog editing tool, and Window Resizer, which allows the user to try out a bunch of different resolutions to view a page without having to modify the screen resolution (having a requirement to test Firefox 2.0 at 800x600 for an application under test right now has me really appreciating this little utility).


So that’s a little bit more, but it’s time to get my fingers dirty with Ruby, so that will be my focus tomorrow. Stay tuned :).
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