The Colorful and Gray World of Engineering Management
Embark with me on my journey through the colorful situations & challenges and the (gray) ambiguity of management in the software industry.
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The Colorful and Gray World of Engineering Management
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Stop Hoping for Quality and Just Test It!
As I continue to apply more engineering rigor to the release process in my team, I hear statements referring to engineers being hopeful and hoping things will go well. Hoping is not the correct way to ship software. I also hear a lot of statements like “we are confident this will work”. Confidence...
19 Nov 2015
Whether you are a developer, a tester, or in a combined Software Engineering role, understanding the fundamental thinking behind testing your own code is of significant importance to producing solid, quality services for our customers. Due to this, I'd like to spend some time directing you to some of...
20 Oct 2015
Sprint to the Finish!
A sprint team that starts together, ends together. That seems like a fairly simple principle to follow. Yet for teams that are transitioning from a waterfall methodology to an agile one, following this in a practical sense is much more difficult. These teams are used to a milestone based approach to...
23 Mar 2015
Don't Call My Baby Ugly
A big change is happening in the engineering teams across Microsoft IT. We are combining developers and testers into one role we are calling Software Engineer. This new role owns coding and testing equally, and specifically feature design and coding, unit and functional testing, and system level testing...
29 Jan 2015
What's Your New Currency?
There's a change spreading across the software engineering landscape. What you thought you knew about testing and shipping software is changing and it's time we all get on board. Some of us older engineers have learned how to ship software in a traditional way similar to the Waterfall methodology . But...
19 Sep 2014
Fixing What's Not Broken
Many engineering teams look at change as a bad thing, something that will disrupt their work. And granted, changing for the wrong reasons, or making changes for the right reasons but too many of them too quickly, can be disruptive and affect productivity. But you should also be careful about being too...
14 Jan 2013
A Routine Life is Boring, But Routine Work is Awesome!
What is your routine? We all have one. Mostly these exist because there are actions we do every day and we can take the same steps to accomplish them. For example, driving to work or brushing your teeth. You can also find routine actions in the work your team does and identifying those can gain your...
20 Apr 2012
Metrics are very important to the success of an engineering team. They help with data-driven decisions. Today let's focus on QA metrics, although having metrics for all the important indicators we use to ship products is essential to any engineering team. For QA metrics, some of the most important ones...
3 Apr 2012
What are Testers Thankful For?
When I think about all the issues my QA team has to deal with to ship projects, I wonder as we get closer to Thanksgiving what they are thankful for. What makes their jobs easier or fun? Two things come to mind. Testers are thankful when their developers produce quality builds. Getting a build that...
10 Nov 2011
QA or Test - does the name really matter?
I've been the manager for many different teams. Some call themselves Test and some call themselves QA. Personally, I've found it easier to just use those terms interchangeably. But for many, there are two very distinct schools of thought about what a Test team is and what a QA team is. Maybe at some...
5 Apr 2011
What would you do?
Here's an interesting question I ask people just to see how many different and creative answers I get (especially in interviews). Let's say you are on a project with a fixed budget and a fixed due date. Assuming a waterfall software development methodology, let's say that at the point you start getting...
9 Feb 2011
There's No Room For Watermelons
I have noticed a problem lately that needs some focus. I heard a statement that sums it up nicely. "Don't be green on the outside and red on the inside." Now if this was a joke (What's green on the outside and red on the inside?") I can think of a few answers like a frog, an alien (of course, maybe they...
6 Dec 2010
Play with fire, but don't get burned
Instrumenting your product's source code to get an indication of how much of the code was covered during testing is a really, really smart measurement to get. If you aren't at least measuring this number, you should be. Visual Studio provides features that continue to make this easier. What does this...
4 Dec 2009
Test is not a landfill
I heard the statement "Test is not a landfill!" today from one of my leads and thought it was a great way to describe what Test is striving for. Test should not be like a landfill. When I picture a landfill, I see a fenced in area that garbage gets dumped into. The garbage is the low-quality builds or...
28 Aug 2009
Should BVTs pass 100%?
This is the gray part of testing. Should the goal be that BVTs pass 100%? On every build, all the time? The right answer is YES. But is that really the right answer for all cases. Well, of course not. I do believe it is the right answer for most cases. BVTs (build verification tests) are tests that are...
20 Aug 2009
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