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Showing posts from September, 2013

Becoming a better Tester... One day at at a time...

We can all become better testers, only some of us lack motivation, or some of us have the motivation but just tend to lose interest...

One way we can tackle this, is by attempting to become a better tester one day at a time.

It's much easier to tackle each day, and do something each day that makes you a better tester, than it is to say in 1 month I want to be a better tester.  Firstly, it's hard to define how you can become a better tester, but for me, one thing that would make me a better tester is to read more blogs and learn from experiences of others. With this in mind, I've made it a challenge to read at least 2 blogs a day from a testing blog feed.

This is far easier than if I had set a goal to read 60 blogs a month for instance, it's also more manageable. If I don't do it one day, it's not the end of the world, but it's important to not lose heart.

Also, I find it good to establish a daily habit, I like to read 2 blogs en route to work on a morning, …

An intrinsic ability to test?

I've recently been off work for a little while (and will be for a few more weeks), and been able to spend a lot of time with my 2 year old son and my newly born daughter (hence the lack of posts!)

I've realised something over these past few days, that every child is born with a natural ability or an intrinsic ability to "test". Obviously I'm not talking about testing software :)

This is more about testing their surroundings, testing what they can and can not do with their toys and just testing themselves to see what they are truly capable of (that last one is definitely apt for my new born daughter!)

Unfortunately, I believe this "intrinsic ability to test" is lost when they reach school to a degree, they are encouraged to not push the boundaries of things and to conform to some form of normality. It's made me realise that I will try and help my children to never lose this ability, and not because I want them to grow up to be like their daddy, but t…

How to guarantee bug free software?

It was a bad weekend for me, my fantasy team lost, with regards to the fantasy team, it has shown to me that no matter how well you prepare, how well you plan, there are things that are going to happen that you just can not predict.

Which leads me onto the title of this post, you can never guarantee bug free software. You can highlight the areas of risk and highlight what you have and haven't tested, to make business owners aware of what issues may arise, but you just can't guarantee bug free software being released. There are far too many variables that affect what you can and can't test unfortunately. Software is an extremely complex system, and this is ignoring hardware, which makes it even more complex.

Going to an extreme, NASA have shown that it's possible to make "virtually" bug free software, but mistakes are still made, which are sometimes unfortunately, fatal.

One solution is, as I said, to highlight the areas of risk, highlight what you have tested…

Famous Movie Quotes applied to Software Engineering - Dirty Dancing

Replace Baby with "a bug" and you've got it. My wife loves this film (Dirty Dancing), so I thought it's only fair that I include this one.

Nobody should find a bug and put it away in a corner to be forgotten about, even if it's not going to get fixed, a bug should be identified and known about so that it doesn't just get lost.

I suppose this is linked to Cool Hand Luke, in that "What we have here is a failure to communicate", but it's deserving of it's own post as it's not just about communication, but understanding what a bug is and the side effects of said bug.

Testing/Agile and American Football - A comparison

When I was in university I played football, not the English type, although I had played that all my life, but the American kind, with "offense" and "defense"  and "special teams".  I played defense and special teams, and both of them had what is known as a playbook (as does offense). This playbook had a list of plays that we would run in different scenarios depending on what the situation was or how risks averse we felt.
The NFL season kicks off soon (next weekend in fact), and with this in mind, I was thinking this morning about how this can be used in testing, how we can have a playbook of different tests almost  all depending on the situation that we as testers find ourselves.

Just like in football we find that if we just use one "play"  or one form of testing the likelihood of being successful is slim. We need to mix things up a bit and use a wide array of plays or testing techniques in order to score or stop the other team from scoring, or in…