No, I don’t mean they’re more regular, or somehow manage to poop more efficiently or something crazy like that, but Google employees definitely spend their time on the can more effectively than the rest of us. Anybody who has worked with developers, engineers, etc. know they’re kind of a different breed. You could almost say that testing and thinking through complex problems just runs through every fiber of their being. Google hires some of the best, so their developers and engineers take that to a whole new level. A particularly feverish batch of engineers formed the Google Testing Grouplet.
Not content with playing Flappy Bird, catching up on social media, or just simply doing their business while…doing their business, the Testing Grouplet decided to create, print out, and display testing scenarios in the many stalls around the Googleplex. This movement (ha), fittingly called Testing on the Toilet has not only spread throughout Google, but apparently is one of the more popular ideas that employees leaving Google take with them to their new jobs.
One such ex-Googler, Edmund Lau outlined his feelings about Testing on the Toilet in a recent Quora post:
Every week, a group of Googlers would plaster the walls of bathroom stalls worldwide with one-page sheets that shared the week’s testing tip. One week, the one-pager might discuss dependency injection and provide a simple example of how to use it in various languages; another week, it might share how to set up a tool for measuring test coverage of your team’s codebase. The “Testing on the Toilet” initiative was a quirky and fun way to teach engineers something new and useful as they were doing their business. It also highlighted one of the key strengths of Google’s engineering culture: efficiently disseminating a consistent and opinionated set of best practices to a large engineering organization.
So say you too would like to be more productive while going Number Two – you can visit Google’s Testing Blog for some examples of Testing on the Toilet questions that push Googler’s minds to the limit while they’re push…eh, you get the idea. Print out a TotT exercise and see if you can smash one out.
Now if only a certain Ohio football team would implement these processes, they could try to figure out a way to take the Browns to the Super Bowl.
Featured Image modified from the original Toilet Simulator source.