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  • Writer's pictureKimberly

Playing with Personas | Voyager

Persona based testing is a software testing technique that puts software testers in front of customer's mind and determines use cases/scenarios that customers will execute. -Chamel Asela Perera

Welcome to another episode of playing with personas! This time, Star Trek Voyager. I recently gave a demo at my company and used Voyager characters as the subject. Only 1-2 people in our entire engineering department knew the names. When 30+ nerds don't recognize the characters of a sci-fi series it's clear that Voyager must not be as popular as I thought and there's a high probability you know none of these characters. But I need some self care because it's 2020 and the world is burning so here we go...


It feels wrong to start these without paying homage to the captains of the journey and Janeway is a personal favorite. She's a similar persona to Picard in that she follows the rules. She'll take the time to learn the system and use things as they were meant to be used. She will also take any bugs that effect data really seriously. Janeway's not going to put up with anything that's less than perfect and she's not afraid to switch providers if she runs into the same defect more than once. When testing as Janeway just...raise your standards.


Here's your chance to channel some serious evil. You should try to be as conniving as possible here. If you're a physical penn tester go ahead and throw a pregnancy belly on and pretend you're in labor to break into that hospital emergency room. Seska would totally do that. Use your feminine wiles to gain the trust of the security guard. Hell, you could probably get close enough to the IT team that they'd let you use their personal device to google a "cupcake recipe" and consequently install whatever radware you want. Not all of us can be as hot as Seska though and if you're more potato than hot villainess you'll just have to use your evil wits rather than wiles. Either way, don't pull any punches.


Depending on who you are. You either love or hate Neelix. Personally, I love Neelix. He's full of warm fuzzies and just wants to make people happy with his cooking. That being said, his skills begin and end with people and tech is a real weakness. It's not his fault though. He lived pretty much as a scrapper on a desolate planet surface and is not accustomed to the finer things. Neelix is not going to try to hard to use your tech, and when he does there's a high chance he'll break something. He's going to need big obvious buttons to follow. When channeling Neelix follow the most visually logical path your system leads you...and do this while eating a cupcake or something because you canNOT have an empty tummy in Neelix's shoes.

Tom Paris

I don't really feel like talking about Tom Paris. I mean he's a good ol' American bad boy that ends up being a hero in the end. He's chaotic good. He'll break the rules but only for the general good. Unless the rule has something to do with driving fast in which case he'll break it for fun. So that's what you should do. Break the rules. Use the system to get from point a to point b and ignore about the aftermath you leave in your wake (as long as you're not experimenting with real data or that case be Janeway).


Honorable mentions

There are some more characters that deserve attention but to respect your time I'll just give a brief description of how they use the tech:

B'elanna: Everything Natasha Yarr was meant to be. A badass warrior who isn't going to put up with your shit. She also punches the computer when she's make sure that hardware is durable af.

Seven of Nine: I LOVE seven of nine. How can you not? Also, have y'all seen her in Picard? I mean DAMN she's such a badass. For the purposes of personas, imagine you're part computer. Can user's artificially inflate your data using automation? Can your login withstand bots? Are your systems back-ed up? You get the gist.

Chakotay: Uses the system properly 6 days of the week and on the seventh day he gets high and tries to talk to his spirit animal who also happens to be a nigerian prince and now someone in North Korea has his access codes.


Alright, I'm done with this self-indulgent entry...are there any other Voyager fans out there?

Do you have a favorite go-to persona? Who is it?


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