We have a little bit of time over this month to focus on more automation and tools. These both make our testing lives much easier. Once a test is automated, we no longer have to spend any time manually performing the test and it runs (depending on how it is classified) anywhere from several times per day to at least weekly. Tools are similar but we control when they run. Log gathering tools are a good example. We can send folks a link to the tool, the user runs it and the logs we need are packaged and delivered to us or a database or wherever. Then we can focus on the content of the logs rather than walking the user through the process of gathering all the different data we may need.

So for this month, we are focused on both more automation and more tools. And as usual, we have been through a planning stage in which we listed everything we want and then prioritized the work. After that, we flesh out the plans for each request and come up with rough estimates of how much time each would take to create. Finally, we trim the list to the time and testers we have (time is always the limiting factor here it seems) and then get started. That means for the next few weeks or so we will be hard at work writing code.

Along with that comes the regular overhead we all have with any other application we own. We need to test our code - the automation tests, if they are designed to verify existing functionality works, need to pass before they get checked in. Performance tests need to have the numbers they give us validated. Tools need to be tested thoroughly before getting handed out as well. After that comes code reviews, updates based on comments and then some documentation work to list what we did and why.

It should be a great few weeks of writing code.

Oh, and did you see Steve Ballmer's letter to Microsoft shareholders? OneNote gets a mention in the "Devices" section. That is great to see!

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

John