Monday, November 28, 2011

Re-imagining the Test Plan

Some folks got together to discuss the relative lack of utility of most test plans. Their idea is to tie in streams of data (tests, test results, bugs, issues, checkins, etc.) to provide an ongoing look at areas of risk for your application in a visual way.

This is by no means a usable product at the moment. However, the ideas are interesting. Read more here, join the discussion and be a part of this project!

Being Geek - another book review

I've posted another book review on This one is on 'Being Geek'

Javascript Code Coverage Tool

The Google Testing Blog has an entry on a tool to calculate how much of the javascript on a page has been covered.

Now you can get details on each script on the page and how much is left to test!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time-Life Series on 'Understanding Computers' (circa 1989)

My brother-in-law brought these over for me. They were going to be thrown out at his work and he offered to take them off their hands.

The one that caught my eye was 'The Software Challenge'. It's essentially about Software Engineering and the tools and techniques used in software projects.

At the time, the big idea was CASE tools. Computer-Aided Software Engineering. There's a whole section on that idea as well as testing concepts such as boundary-value testing, positive testing, negative testing, code path coverage and more.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Filters of Experience

Filters are great things, until they aren't...

I use my experience to filter lots of things. For example, I won't get started on optimizing how my email is stored because I've done that and it ultimately takes more time to maintain than I get value out of. Additionally, I will go out of my way to meet the maintenance people in my building because knowing them can quickly get issues fixed when they arise.

This experience I've developed over years has allowed me to see nuances in everyday activities to try to maximize the benefit to me or others.

But these filters of experience also hold me back sometimes. My son had a school project that would take several hours to do and he waited until the last minute to do it. I looked at the clock after dinner the night before the assignment was due and concluded that given my son's available time, he couldn't have finished it and would have to turn it in late. I thought that even if it were done, it wouldn't be done well. I was wrong. While he could have turned in a more polished final product, he did finish it reasonably well and only a little after his normal bedtime.

So if you are new in your career:

  • Look for those with experience to see if you can work better
  • Don't let that experience hold you back if you have the desire to see it through (even if you end up being wrong to ignore experience, you'll have just built up some of your own)
If you are well established in your career.
  • Look to the younger crowd for energy and new possibilities
  • Be sure to voice your experience in a way that allows everyone to feel successful. (even if you end up being wrong, it won't be the first time)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

What do you do if you need to test a system with little to no documentation?

You need to identify what sources of information exist. The common term is a 'Test Oracle'. The Test Oracles will tell you how the system is supposed to work, but unfortunately, they are known to conflict with each other.

This is an old article, but still very relevant on what forms Test Oracles take and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

(thanks Peter for remining me that this site has been too silent for too long)