Update July 5, 2006 - Fixed a small typo.
As our son gets older and a bit more mobile, it's getting to the point where we need to start thinking about childproofing the house. At first glance, I didn't figure there would be too much to do... put in some plug covers, a gate at the top of the stairs, and perhaps move some stuff a bit higher off the floor. Coincidentally, we had some friends of ours and their young kids over a couple of weeks ago. An unintended benefit (I swear, I didn't plan this!) was that the kids (2 and 4) were able to highlight some additional areas of the house that need childproofing (basically, all of them!).
I'm still a bit naive about some of the finer points of raising children, which highlights the fact that it's important to really understand the end users of products you're developing. If possible, make sure you use the appropriate test subjects (in this case, someone else's children!). It's also good to test early and test often. That way, you'll catch poor design decisions and implementation flaws before they are caught by unwitting end-users. But in the end, how do I know that my friends' kids are representative of the types of trouble my own son will get into? For starters, I only got two sample points - 2 and 4 year olds. They were under constant parental supervision. I have no idea what would have happened if they'd been left to their own devices (though I'm quite certain a painting we have hanging in the living room would have changed colors, for starters). In other words, how do I know when I'm done verifying that my house is childproof? Is that even possible?
Last week I wrote about some presentations and a discussion that took place at the local DV Club luncheon about verification metrics. I know many of you out there have kids, nieces, nephews, etc. I'd love to hear suggestions on how I can utilize my verification expertise to ensure my son's safety. Either that, or perhaps some of you would like to volunteer to bring your children over to help me flush out the kinks from my (cue scary voice) "childproof house of doom"!