I. M. Testy

Treatises on the practice of software testing is now located at http://testingmentor.com/imtesty

Blog - About

About I. M. Testy

  Hi, my name is Bj Rollison and I am a Test Architect in the Engineering Excellence group at Microsoft. I have been at Microsoft since 1994. My primary role is designing and developing testing curriculum, and teaching SDETs at Microsoft the profession of software testing. We also do internal consulting with Microsoft business divisions, and occasionally premier customers. This is the coolest job I've ever had (at least at Microsoft) because I get to meet so many bright and exceptionally talented people everyday (both inside and outside of Microsoft) who challenge me intellectually and help me learn more about this discipline and cool new technologies. My previous roles at the company included Test Lead of the setup team for international versions of Windows 95, International Test Manager for Internet Explorer, and Director of Test Training.

When I am not at work trying to better understand the practice of software testing I spend a lot of time on my sailboat. It's true...boats need constant attention at great cost, but for me it's worth the price in the peace and serenity I find when I am sailing! Even when I just sit on the boat at dock life is good. I am also a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and taught scuba diving for 20 years. I also enjoy skiing in the winter months, fly fishing, and trap shooting. I also play an occasional round of golf (I don't keep score I just try not to loose too many balls). And just to keep my fingers busy (I should say greasy) I recently rebuilt a '72 Corvette that doesn't require quite as much attention as the boat and at least has an automobile engine that makes sense and is easy to work on...fuel, air, compression, spark! Ahhh...the simple joys of low-tech!

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    I.M. Testy is moving!

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    I started this blog about 3 1/2 years ago to share some ideas, observations, and lessons I’ve learned during my software testing career at Microsoft. I have also learned a lot about blogging, and also about communicating more effectively. It is great...
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    Localization Testing Part IV

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    The past series of posts have focused on one of localization testing which describes the largest category of localization class issues reported by testers performing localization testing, and what we categorize as usability/behavioral type issues because...
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    Localization Testing Part III

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    Part 1 provided an overview of localization class issues, and Part II discussed issues with non-translated strings in a localized product and gave some helpful hints to manage that problem during the software development lifecycle. In Part III I will...
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    Localization Testing – Part II

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    I should be of no surprise to anyone that localization testing generally focuses on changes in the user interface, although as mentioned in the previous post these are not the only changes necessary to adapt a product to a specific target market. But...
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    Localization Testing: Part 1

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    When I first joined Microsoft 15 years ago I was on the Windows 95 International team. Our team was responsible for reducing the delta between the release of the English version and the Japanese version to 90 days, and I am very proud to say that we achieved...
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    Adding Variability in Test Case Design

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    I love autumn! Yes, I am definitely a boy of summer and very much prefer warmer weather; however, there is something special about autumn. This past weekend my daughter, and my 2 friends Dongyi and her husband Yuning and I participated in the Rum Run...
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    Randomizing static test data in automated tests

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    A significant percentage of static test data is stored in tabular comma delimited or tab-delimited formats and saved in Excel spreadsheets. Reading in comma or tab-delimited static test data into an automated test is pretty straight forward and there...
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    The primary goal of a tester should be to work themselves out of a job!

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    Software is knowledge. Software is the intangible product crafted by a team of people who have pooled their intellectual knowledge to help solve a complex problem and add value to those who use that software. So how does a tester contribute to the intellectual...
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    Prevention is the best medicine

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    The past 2 weeks have been a bit rough. While in Israel I began to feel a bit congested. By the time I hit Nürmberg, Germany for 12th International Conference on Quality Engineering in Software Technology I was injecting nose-juice (nasal decongestant...
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    Best Practices – Philosophy vs. Practicality

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    I have spent the last week in Israel teaching our new SDET course in Herzillya and our Senior SDET course in Haifa. I also did a lot of listening and discussing various issues relating to software testing and the maturation of our discipline; not just...
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    微软的软件测试之道(Microsoft核心技术丛书)

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    I am really happy to announce that our book has been released in China and available on the Chinese Amazon site! This was really a monumental effort driven by my friend and colleague Kelly Zhang. We look forward to the feedback from the Chinese testing...
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    Test Automation ROI (Part II)

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    Last week I talked about the silliness of wasting time calculating the return on investment (ROI) of an automation effort on any non-trivial software project; especially if it has an extended shelf-life. As my friend Joe Strazzre commented, “If you need...
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    Measuring Test Automation ROI

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    I just finished reading Implementing Automated Software Testing by E.Dustin, T. Garrett, and B. Gauf and overall this is a good read providing some well thought out arguments for beginning an automation project, and provides strategic perspectives to...
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    A different perspective on random name generation

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    My daughter made me laugh today when she offered a bit of her philosophy. She told me that her favorite candy is gummy bears “because gummy bears get stuck between your teeth, and then you can dig out a second helping with your tongue.” I never really...
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    Stupid Hammer!!!

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    I remember as a young lad working construction for my uncle one summer. The hours were long, it was hot, and I would much rather have been somewhere else. But, I was saving up for my first motorcycle, so I did whatever jobs I could find. Perhaps it was...
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    UI Automation Out of Control

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    When many people think of test automation they envision rudimentary scripts with hard-coded events and data that manipulate user interface objects much the same way a customer might interact with the software to accomplish a pre-defined, robot-like task...
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    Random comments…

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    This week, I will keep this post quite short and redirect you to my answers to an interview by the great folks at What Is Testing. The questions covered various topics from the book How We Test Software At Microsoft , to my current role at Microsoft,...
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    Testing is Sampling

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    It seems it is about this time of year that I need to detach a bit from the world to reflect back on the past year and reevaluate my personal and professional goals moving forward. Perhaps I am just getting older or perhaps just a bit wiser (that is synonymous...
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    Better Bug Reports

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    When we report a bug our hope is that bug is fixed. But, of course we know that isn’t always the case which is why there are usually several alternative resolutions developers, project managers, or managers may choose for resolving a bug such as postponed...
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    Programming Paradigms in Test Automation

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    Regardless of the personal opinions of a few people, the simple fact is that the demand for software testers who can design and develop effective test automation is increasing. Perhaps one reason for the distain by some folks in the industry is due to...
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    Assessing Tester Performance

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    Using context-free software product measures as personal performance indicators (KPI) is about as silly as pet rocks ! Periodically a discussion of assessing tester performance surfaces on various discussion groups. Some people offer advice such as...
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    "Good enough" is not good enough!

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    This week I came across a discussion [regarding test design] in which a tester wrote, "… the main goal is having something that is 'good enough' ." Every time I hear a tester utter the phrase " good enough " my head wants to explode! Wrapping duct...
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    Look below the UI for more effective and robust UI automated test case designs

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    Last month I wrote about simplistic views of UI test automation in which some people want to pretend that recording for playback or scripting hard-coded actions and data to mimic some human’s interactions at the keyboard is an automated test. Balderdash...
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    The quality quandary

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    I often find discussions about quality to be hypothetical, and in fact unless you define your specific context the word itself is nebulous, vague, or simply meaningless philosophical psycho-babble. For a while now, I previously posted my opposition to...
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    Exploratory testing inside the box

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    Much of the information about exploratory testing focuses on testing from an end-user perspective. Pundits of exploratory testing claim the approach is also useful from a white box test design approach, but I have yet to see any practical discussion or...
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