A few weeks ago I went to DisneyLand Paris with the family, and it's the first time I've been to a theme park and really took advantage of the Fast Pass system they have! I have to say it's really great! Especially with kids!
For those that don't know the fast pass enables you to "book" a time to come back to a ride and go on it, it's invaluable with kids especially as it meant we'd spend less time queueing, and as good as my kids are at queueing (we are British after all!) it's not the best way to spend a holiday! Luckily for us it wasn't too busy and the longest time we queued was probably around 30 minutes.
It got me thinking and wondering how it went, which is generally a Testers mindset, asking How is this even possible? Why is this happening? How does it work?
Anyway, I did a bit of googling, and sure enough someone else had asked on Stack Overflow of all places how it works, and it's a way of scheduling rides for people, and ensuring that rides aren't being unused elsewhere. From Disney's perspective ensuring that people aren't standing around in queues is great, as it means they'll be spending money potentially or even just getting more rides in and having more fun! A happy theme park is a good theme park!
The link to StackOverflow is here...
We do this in testing/engineering as well, especially with regards to automation and running CI builds! We schedule our CI Builds generally to run at a quiet time, so as to not interrupt with anything else that might be happening. Or even in just scheduling when we can test something or deploy something, ideally we want to test things first in isolation so as to isolate if anything is broke then we know the reason.
Or if we are waiting to test something, and we know we have something already in test, then it makes logical sense to spend our time testing that and not sitting around doing nothing whilst we wait for the other thing to test!