notes and rants

My new blog is at http://www.angryweasel.com/blog

  • notes and rants

    Alan’s stupid powershell tricks #1

    • 3 Comments
    I mentioned last week that I am becoming a big fan of powershell , and that I think it is making me more productive. So, when powershell’s architect replied to my post with a request for examples, I figured the least I could do was post once in a while...
  • notes and rants

    What is a test architect?

    • 3 Comments
    Matthew Heusser recently asked What is a software architect anyway ? Matt when on to ask what a test architect does. This question was so good (and the answer so long), that I thought I'd respond here. So, what is a test architect. One answer is that...
  • notes and rants

    QA vs. Testing - Part 3: What is the role of Quality Assurance?

    • 2 Comments
    Obviously, I have a silly peeve about mixing QA and Test. They're not the same thing. I'm certainly not the first to bring this up . IEEE 12207 defines QA as “... a process for providing adequate assurance that the software products and processes in...
  • notes and rants

    Tracking Requirements

    • 2 Comments
    This isn’t technically a testing topic, but it is a topic close to tester’s hearts.  Software requirements are one of my passions (boy is that an embarrassing statement).  While I am definitely not one of “those testers” who say testing can’t be done...
  • notes and rants

    My Box is Round

    • 10 Comments
    Metaphors are cars – I think. There are many metaphors in software, a lot of them are useful, but most break down eventually. In hwtsam (chapter 3 to be exact), I compare creating software with cooking. I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions that ...
  • notes and rants

    How did I get here - changing jobs at Microsoft

    • 4 Comments
    I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, but not by me. During my transition, I was asked a few times about the internal transfer process at Microsoft. Gretchen and many others have posted about the interview process for new (prospective) employees...
  • notes and rants

    Quick survey on curly brace positioning

    • 19 Comments
    I absolutely don't want to get into a debate over whether it is better to put curly braces on their own line or not, but I do have a question on indentation I'd like to throw at the masses (ok - all 7 of you). Generally, the curly brace debate boils down...
  • notes and rants

    Bug prevention in five minutes

    • 5 Comments
    These are some notes from a lightning talk I did at STAR East . I didn't say everything below, but I probably said most of it plus some other stuff. Nobody counted officially, but I am positive that I packed more words into my five minutes than any of...
  • notes and rants

    GUI schmooey

    • 16 Comments
    I answered a few questions this week about automating GUI tests. One question was about recommendations for GUI automation tools for non-coders, and the other was about how much time to spend on the GUI in an MVC (model-view-controller) application. The...
  • notes and rants

    The Test Test

    • 19 Comments
    I am always frustrated and somewhat sad when I hear testers whine or complain that they are not treated fairly; or that they are not respected; or that their development peers look down on them. I've been sitting on this post for many months wondering...
  • notes and rants

    Why bugs don’t get fixed

    • 1 Comments
    I’ve run into more and more people lately who are astounded that software ships with known bugs. I’m frightened that many of these people are software testers and should know better. First, read this “old” (but good) article from Eric Sink. I doubt I...
  • notes and rants

    Tracer Bullets

    • 1 Comments
    In a machine gun, tracer bullets are phosphorus bullets spaced at consistent intervals in the clip. They allow the shooter to see where their bullets are going. Pragmatic programmers use the “tracer code” analogy as a method to get quick feedback on whether...
  • notes and rants

    What's the deal with Ruby?

    • 5 Comments
    I read a lot of testing blogs. TestingReflections aggregates a lot of these. I've been seeing a lot of talk about Ruby. By itself, I probably wouldn't take much notice, but I've often seen it associated with testers writing code (or script), which is...
  • notes and rants

    Update

    • 2 Comments
    I’ve noticed a few things about blogs lately. One is that just about every time I say I’m going to post an article or series of articles, my life goes into overdrive, and I don’t post for a week or two. Chances are that if you’re reading this, I don’t...
  • notes and rants

    Tux Function Table Explanations

    • 1 Comments
    For nearly everyone who has written tux based tests for Windows CE, the tux function table is a big ugly mystery that most try to ignore as much as possible. This short(?) article will attempt to explain some of the details of that structure. MSDN...
  • notes and rants

    The Role of Test

    • 2 Comments
    What is the Role of Test?  The answer, of course, is “it depends”.  Those that know me know that this is the answer to almost any question I ask (I guess I need to ask more specific questions…).  The role of the software test team depends on many things...
  • notes and rants

    Too much email

    • 8 Comments
    I think that we (“we”==my team, Microsoft, and the Industry) waste way too much time “doing” email, and I am amazed how much we tolerate this waste. I interact with a lot of people of various levels of influence, and in my experience, the “typical employee...
  • notes and rants

    Curly brace positioning redux.

    • 27 Comments
    I can't say I didn't enjoy the conversations around this question - it's just that I only got two comments on my actual question. People that want history can read the previous post - for all others (including any who want to "re-comment"), the question...
  • notes and rants

    The Pragmatic Tester

    • 2 Comments
    One of my favorite programming books is “the pragmatic programmer”.  I’ve toyed for a long time with writing articles or giving presentations on “the pragmatic tester” – and show how Andrew Hunt’s concepts of broken windows, tracer bullets, stone soup...
  • notes and rants

    Self Diagnosing Software

    • 4 Comments
    A week or so ago, I read an article in Better Software (from the folks at sticky minds ) called “Tell Me Where It Hurts”.  The article describes a scenario where a small software shop releases their latest and greatest product, and get a phone call almost...
  • notes and rants

    Meetings and Efficiency

    • 3 Comments
    Let's skip right to a random topic - let's call it a brief rant about meetings. How often are meetings an efficient use of each attendees time? The answer, of course, depends on the topic, the organizer, and the attendees. I've been to way too many agendaless...
  • notes and rants

    Don’t Live With Broken Windows

    • 1 Comments
    Pragmatic programming says “Don’t Live with Broken Windows”.  The hopefully non-copyright infringement summary of this idea is that if a broken window in a building is left un-repaired for too long of a time, that it leads toward more breakdowns in the...
  • notes and rants

    How many tests are enough?

    • 3 Comments
    How many tests are enough?  How much code coverage is enough?  How relevant are the number of tests, code coverage numbers and bug counts in knowing when testing is done? Let’s say, for example, that I’m testing a 5000 line component and I’ve written...
  • notes and rants

    I love my (dying) Audiotron

    • 7 Comments
    My favorite, hands down, geeky device is my turtle beach audiotron . I have instant access to every single one of my CD's, I can make custom play lists, and the sound quality is fantastic with the optical connection (there's one other huge deal-breaker...
  • notes and rants

    “Big names” in software testing (ummm… I mean consulting)?

    • 9 Comments
    Recently, I was talking to one of Microsoft’s Technical Fellows about senior engineering roles. He talked about the fact that senior engineers should know of the “big names” of the industry in their field, and that he knew of (or directly knew) the most...
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