What it is like to be a tester on the Microsoft OneNote team and day to day life as an SDET in Office. Plus a few tips for using OneNote and an occasional powertoy.
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Office New Employee Training
I was able to attend "New Hire Training" for Office last week. At Microsoft, all newly hired people go through a day or two of training to get used to Microsoft, get your card key/badge and general agenda like that. Mark Russinovich talked about his experiences with that session here , and it seems pretty...
23 Jun 2008
Using personas to help develop setup tests
Last week I wrote about two different types of testing. One was setup testing : the very time consuming process of ensuring an application installs correctly. The other was using personas to develop tests to ensure people can use our software in specific scenarios for which it was designed. We can tie...
28 Jan 2008
Using OneNote's customers as a basis for designing tests
One of the more easy to explain testing techniques we use at Microsoft to ensure our software meets the needs of users is that of "persona testing." Actually, personas are used to define new features first, so let’s start there. Suppose we wanted to add a new feature to OneNote. Our first choice...
24 Jan 2008
OneNote Powertoys from the PM team, and a one question survey about them
A few astute readers pointed out I (intentionally) missed a few addins the OneNote team finished last year. Here they are: Search and Replace http://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/06/23/onenote-search-and-replace.aspx Send to OneNote http://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/02...
18 Jan 2008
Powertoys in development
I dropped a few hints last week about what we (the test team) has been doing recently. And one other hint was my lack of entries for a week in mid-November - I was on vacation. Vacation typically means long travel times, and what better way is there to fill the hours crammed onto an airplane than writing...
3 Dec 2007
I had to relearn the lesson of paying attention to details recently. I was writing some code to work with OneNote's table XML via extensibility, and could not get my code to work correctly. After a couple of days of working on this in my spare time, I was just about ready to give up. I wound up in the...
19 Nov 2007
Brouhaha with verifying my math script during automation week
I tried to get my automation script for payment verification as part of the napkin math area checked in. One of the testers on my team rejected it. Here's why. First, remember the equation I was using: pmt(0.05;36;30000)=1813.033713614259 Ultimately, this is a hard coded string that the...
6 Nov 2007
My first thoughts on OneNote when I came to the team
When I first came to the OneNote team, I got sent links to no less than 15 notebooks, had my monitor "upgraded" from a CRT to an LCD, was issued a Tablet PC, had the COM API dropped on me and had to make the transition from enthusiastic user to tester on the team. One of my first tasks was to give the...
29 Oct 2007
Everyone should have to work in technical support first
I was on a recruiting trip to Texas last week with some other Microsoft employees. We got to work out of the Microsoft Texas buildings in Las Colinas (in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for those of you not familiar with Texas). Microsoft has a bunch of PSS in those buildings. PSS, of course, is our Product...
22 Oct 2007
Logs, Lns and Log10: OneNote gets it right
As I mentioned before, one of the areas of OneNote I took when I came to the team was what we call "Napkin Math." This the ability to type equations like 8-4= And getting a "4" when you press Enter or the spacebar. It also works for basic trigonometric functions like Sin(45)=0.707106781186547...
11 Oct 2007
More lessons learned when taking notes in a class environment
I'm still using OneNote 2007 to take notes on an ordinary differential equations class I downloaded from MIT. As I discovered earlier this week, this is really a stress test of notetaking. Advanced math classes like this are not the "typical" class most students take, and most of my notes are formulas...
4 Oct 2007
An addin to manage printouts to OneNote
I was talking with Jeff Cardon the other day about an addin I was creating to take slides decks printed to OneNote and break them up into one slide per page. He had been thinking (and doing something) about it as well, and came up with this - an addin to completely manage items printed to OneNote. This...
19 Sep 2007
A Shared Source Object Model for OneNote project
Donovan Lange, a developer from OneNote last release, started a managed code object model as a side project. He happily gave me permission to take his codebase public and release it under the Microsoft Shared Source License. You can get the code at http://www.codeplex.com/onom . And you can...
17 Sep 2007
Testing Insert Date and Time functionality
One of the areas I took over when coming to the OneNote team is the functionality that inserts the current date and/or time into a page. You can try this by typing : SHIFT+ALT +T to insert the current time SHIFT+ALT+D to insert the current date SHIFT+ALT+F to insert the current date and time...
10 Sep 2007
A good bug report with the Replace the Outlook Sticky Notes folder with OneNote
One of the bugs discovered with the powertoy to start OneNote instead of opening the Outlook sticky notes folder came onto my plate looking like this: Install the addin Start Outlook Open the sticky notes folder Click the folder again Result: 2 instances of OneNote get started...
4 Sep 2007
Finding an easier way to reproduce a bug
We spent a good amount of time trying to reproduce the exact customer reported problem trying to repro the crash in the merge pages addin. Theo and I sent about 8 emails backs and forth, and three testers here donated our time to try to solve this problem. After the big clue that Theo was not seeing...
30 Aug 2007
What is it with the Netherlands?
First it was Theo Buis reporting a problem with merging pages and now Bart Wessels, a technology specialist in the Netherlands has some insight for us. Bart contacted me a few weeks ago about some of the powertoys I had released on this blog and mentioned he was coming out to Redmond. One thing led to...
29 Aug 2007
Yet another OneNote Powertoy
A great part of working in OneNote test is the people on our team. Take Jeff Cardon ( again ), for instance. He was wanting to know what types of addins people were requesting the most. I mentioned the method we tell users to use to make a page a subpage involves cutting, pasting, creating new pages...
23 Aug 2007
Using our powertoys to test OneNote & updating MergePages
----edited info---- Jeff Cardon fixed a crashing bug in the merge pages addin. If you tried to merge pages in a read only section, the addin would crash (although OneNote kept running). You can get the update at http://johnguin.members.winisp.net/Shared%20Documents/mergepages_setup.zip . Thanks to Theo...
20 Aug 2007
Bug fix available for Vista users using Windows Offline Files
There is a fix from the Vista team for problems related to synching an offline file to a server and the file getting corrupted. Dan Escapa has the details on his blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/08/17/onenote-and-windows-offline-files-fix-for-corruption-bug-in-vista.aspx I had seen...
17 Aug 2007
Merge Pages in OneNote Powertoy
Time for another useful powertoy! This addin, written by our own Jeff Cardon, merges selected pages together. It is about as simple as it sounds: select the pages you want to merge and click the merge toolbar button. Some notes: there is a popup dialog which explains Undo is not supported. You...
16 Aug 2007
Getting the Gateway set up
I've had my Gateway for a week, and finally have it set up pretty much the way I intend to use it. It is what we call my dogfood machine. I'll wind up using it for the vast majority of my OneNote use, email, other office applications, etc.. It's like living with perpetual alpha and beta software - always...
13 Aug 2007
Creating an addin to test OneNote
I hope to show what it's like to be a tester on the OneNote team. I transferred from 10+ years in Outlook to OneNote last November. The transition was hectic and I had to ramp up on a new product (which I love) and a new team (which I love) very quickly. In the spirit of being thrown into the fire, let...
16 Apr 2007
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