I. M. Testy

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

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  • Blog Post: Localization Testing Part IV

    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 they adversely impact the usability of the software...
  • Blog Post: Localization Testing Part III

    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 cover various issues with access key mnemonics. An...
  • Blog Post: Localization Testing – Part II

    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, the most common category of localization class bug...
  • Blog Post: Localization Testing: Part 1

    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 that goal and Windows 95 took Japan by storm...
  • Blog Post: Adding Variability in Test Case Design

    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 sailboat fun race with an overnight raft up at Bainbridge...
  • Blog Post: Testing is Sampling

    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 with 'sapient' for the C-D crowd), but I...
  • Blog Post: Better Bug Reports

    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, won’t fix, and by design. It is unfortunately...
  • Blog Post: Exploratory testing inside the box

    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 examples. But, professional testers use exploratory...
  • Blog Post: Basic Blocks Aren't So Basic

    In the book How We Test Software at Microsoft I discuss structural testing techniques. Structural testing techniques are systematic procedures designed to analyze and evaluate control flow through a program. These are classic white box test design techniques, although my friend and respected colleague...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting Test Data with String Decoder

    I value static test data that is derived from historical failure indicators, or representative of typical end-users. But, of course a problem with static test data is that it only provides a limited set of all possible data, and becomes stale or provides little new information after multiple iterations...
  • Blog Post: Random string generation…Update!

    One of the biggest challenges in input testing is the sheer amount of potential characters and the virtually infinite number of permutations of those characters in different character positions in a string. Even if we know about the myriad of language scripts used throughout the world, manually generating...
  • Blog Post: The Minefield Myth (Part 1)

    In my studies at university I studied anthropology. Several courses I took surveyed folklore and its relevance in modern society. Many people mistakenly believe that most folklore (folktales, legends, myths, ballads, etc.) are purely fictional and simply fanciful tales. However, folklore is usually based...
  • Blog Post: Data-Driven Testing

    I am generally not a big fan of static data in test automation, but being a pragmatic person, I know there are clearly times when using data-driven testing is just plain common-sense. For example, data-driven testing is an effective automation approach when designing ‘black-box’ tests for testing an...
  • Blog Post: The Ultimate Desktop Reference

    I have a library of books and white papers on software testing, engineering processes and management, and software development that I have read and reference quite often. For new testers I generally recommend A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design by Lee Copeland, and How to Break Software: A...
  • Blog Post: Temporary test files

    There are occasionally times during an automated test needs to create a temporary file during the execution of that test. The problem is that often this file is left behind on the system, or even worse stored in some obscure directory on a server. I say worse because those files will be discovered by...
  • Blog Post: Boundary testing isn’t guessing at numbers!

    At a recent conference a speaker posed a problem in which a field accepted a string of characters with a maximum of 32,768 bytes, then asked the audience what values they would use for boundary testing. Immediately some of the attendees unleashed a flurry of silly wild ass guesses (SWAG) such as “32...
  • Blog Post: Thoughts on Professionalism

    As a young lad growing up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay I would often spend part of my summer vacation from grade school helping my grandfather work the crab pots on the north shore. Now, don't think "Dangerous Catch," crabbing in the Chesapeake is much different than crabbing in Alaskan waters...
  • Blog Post: Test Automation: Simple Automated Test Case Templates

    Templates can be useful tools to help increase individual efficiency and team consistency. Yet, I am sometimes quite surprised that some organizations lack standard templates for such daily routines such as bug reporting, status reporting, and even test cases. There are some in the industry who shun...
  • Blog Post: Test Automation: Programmatic Platform Profiling

    Occasionally, the execution or outcome of a test depends on the operating system version on which the test is executed. Platform profiling is important because subtle differences in operating system platforms can affect how certain tasks are carried out, inclusion or exclusion of specific features or...
  • Blog Post: Do testers do code reviews?

    This weekend on the flight from Seattle to Ireland I finally got to catch up on some reading. One of the books I grabbed off the shelf that I hadn't gotten around to reading yet was Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review by Jason Cohen. The book is 160 pages packed with great information, and I highly...
  • Blog Post: Vista Rant #3 - And yet another boundary issue in Explorer's listview?

    This morning I installed Vista SP1 onto my laptop. I was pretty excited about this release of Vista SP1 because it includes some pretty significant performance enhancements. But, as I was preparing to teach an internal course I came across a new boundary issue. I thought, how fitting this comes as I...
  • Blog Post: UTF What?

    Years ago life was pretty simple with regard to data input. Most computer programs were limited to ASCII characters and a set of character glyphs mapped into the code points between 0x80 and 0xFF (high or extended ASCII) depending on the language. The set of characters was limited to 256 code points...
  • Blog Post: Automation Foibles Unveiled: Coding Guidelines Part 1 - Basic Layout

    It has been awhile since I have written about test automation, so I thought I would start the new year off with a post about test automation. More specifically, I wanted to start talking about coding guidelines. Just as many development teams have adopted coding standards and guidelines the test team...
  • Blog Post: Exploratory testing vs. Scripted testing; Is it really only either or?

    I just left Stockholm after spending a week there. That was my second visit to Stockholm and it is truly a remarkable city. I spoke at EuroStar which is the largest software testing conference in Europe, and had the opportunity to meet some old friends and colleagues as well as chat with many other speakers...
  • Blog Post: Equivalence Class Partitioning Part 3 - The tests

    In the last post we decomposed the set of characters in the ANSI character set into valid and invalid class subsets for use in a base filename component on the Windows Xp operating system. The second part of the testing technique of equivalence class partitioning is to then use this information in tests...
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