• JW on Test

    google v. microsoft, and the dev:test ratio debate

    • 18 Comments
    Every since I gave a talk at Google’s GTAC event here in Seattle this past October, I’ve had the chance to interact with a number of Google testers comparing and contrasting our two companies’ approach to testing. It’s been a good exchange. Now it...
  • JW on Test

    the Zune issue

    • 15 Comments
    As you can imagine there is a pretty lively debate going on over the Zune date math issue here in the hallways and on our internal mailing lists. There are plenty of places one can find analyses of the bug itself, like here , but I am more interested...
  • JW on Test

    more about test case reuse

    • 14 Comments
    We mostly write test cases that are specifically tied to a single application. This shouldn’t come as any big surprise given that we’ve never expected test cases to have any value outside our immediate team. But if we want to complete the picture of reusable...
  • JW on Test

    tour of the month: the exit-stage-right tour

    • 14 Comments
    All tours much eventually come to an end and thus it is with my tour with Microsoft. I have resigned my position and am leaving the company. It was a great ride. But the tours will continue. My book Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours...
  • JW on Test

    on certification

    • 13 Comments
    How do you feel about tester certification? I’ve heard all the arguments for and against and looked at the different certifications and their requirements. Frankly, I have not been impressed. My employer doesn’t seem impressed either. I have yet to meet...
  • JW on Test

    “if Microsoft is so good at testing, why does your software suck?”

    • 13 Comments
    What a question! I only wish I could convey the way that question is normally asked. The tone of voice is either partially apologetic (because many people remember that I was a major ask-er of that same question long before I became an ask-ee) or it’s...
  • JW on Test

    the future of software testing (part 1)

    • 13 Comments
    This is the first post of a multipart series on my predictions about the future of software testing and how testers of the future will do their job. Outsourcing. It’s a familiar term and the way a lot of testing gets done here in 2008. However, it...
  • JW on Test

    explaining exploratory testing

    • 11 Comments
    I just got finished talking (actually the conversation was more like a debate) to a colleague, exploratory testing critic and a charter member of the plan-first-or-don’t-bother-testing-at-all society. I am happy to say, he conceded the usefulness ...
  • JW on Test

    manual v. automated testing again

    • 10 Comments
    In my Future series I was accused of supporting both sides of the manual v. automated debate and flip-flopping like an American politician who can’t decide whether to kiss the babies or their moms. Clearly this is not an either-or proposition. But I wanted...
  • JW on Test

    the manual v. automated testing debate

    • 10 Comments
    There's an angle to this debate that I missed during the prevention v. cure series I did last month. It surfaced in a lunchtime conversation I had today with two test managers in our e-home division (these are the guys that test the Media Center PC and...
  • JW on Test

    measuring testers

    • 10 Comments
    Yeah, I know … scary subject. But as it is review time here at the empire, this is a subject that has been front and center for both testers and the managers they report to so I’ve been asked about it a lot. I always give the same advice to test managers...
  • JW on Test

    no more testers?

    • 8 Comments
    I gave a keynote at EuroSTAR on the future of software testing where I began by painting a picture of the promise of software as an indispensible tool that will play a critical role in solving some of humankind’s most vexing problems. Software, I argued...
  • JW on Test

    test case reuse (in the future)

    • 8 Comments
    I’ve given my ‘future of testing’ talk four times (!) this week and by far the part that generates the most questions is when I prophesize about test case reuse. Given that I answered it differently all four times (sigh), I want to use this space to clarify...
  • JW on Test

    the touring test

    • 8 Comments
    (I couldn’t resist the play on Alan Turing’s famous test when naming this testing metaphor.) When I think of software, I naturally think of it in testing terms. In my mind software is made up of components which are defined by structural boundaries...
  • JW on Test

    poor promotion prospects for testers? (dirty MS laundry)

    • 8 Comments
    As a result of my last post, I got this email from a Microsoft tester whom I work with fairly regularly and admire deeply: "Yet how many Partner or Distinguished Engineer ICs in test do you see? How many testers get onto bench programs vs dev/pm...
  • JW on Test

    testing sucks

    • 8 Comments
    Bet that got your attention. It's true, but let me qualify it: Running test cases over and over in the hope that bugs will manifest sucks. It’s boring, uncreative work and since half the world thinks that is all testing is about, it is no great wonder...
  • JW on Test

    software tester wanted

    • 7 Comments
    Position requires comparing an insanely complicated, poorly documented product to a nonexistent or woefully incomplete specification. Help from original developers will be minimal and given grudgingly. Product will be used in environments that vary widely...
  • JW on Test

    the future of software testing (part 7)

    • 7 Comments
    Testers as Designers Modern testers play largely a role of late cycle heroics that often goes unappreciated come review and bonus time. When we find the big bug it is because we were supposed to … that’s the expectation. When we miss the big bug, people...
  • JW on Test

    the future of software testing (part 5)

    • 7 Comments
    Visualization What does software look like? Wouldn’t it be helpful if we had a visualization of software that we could use while the software was being constructed or tested? With a single glance we could see that parts of it remain unfinished. Dependencies...
  • JW on Test

    the future of software testing (part 6)

    • 7 Comments
    Testing Culture A couple of months ago I attended a lecture given by one of the Empire’s cache of Technical Fellows (maybe he was a Distinguished Engineer, I am not sure as they look so much alike). Like all our TFs the guy was wicked smart and as...
  • JW on Test

    new year's resolutions

    • 6 Comments
    Welcome to the new year! 2009 will be the year I publish a new book on testing and the year I ship my first testing tool since Holodeck oh so many years ago. I’m thinking about calling the book exploratory testing . Believe it or not the title isn...
  • JW on Test

    PEST

    • 6 Comments
    Anyone who has read chapter 6 of How to Break Software knows my fondness of mixing testing with pubs. Many of the training and challenge events I designed for my students actually took place in a pub. Somehow the pub atmosphere tore down walls and inhibitions...
  • JW on Test

    prevention v. cure (part 1)

    • 6 Comments
    Developer testing, which I call prevention because the more bugs devs find the fewer I have to deal with is often compared to tester testing ( J ) which I call detection . Detection is much like a cure, the patient has gotten sick and we need to diagnose...
  • JW on Test

    the future of software testing (part 3)

    • 6 Comments
    So we are now at my third prediction which deals with information and how testers will use information to improve their testing in the future. Prediction 1: Testsourcing Prediction 2: Virtualization Prediction 3: Information What information...
  • JW on Test

    back to testing

    • 5 Comments
    Since starting this blog a couple weeks ago, I’ve received more comments via email than have been posted on the blog. Many more. It reminds me of when I was a professor and ended every class with “anyone have a question?” Silence almost always followed...
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