OneNote Testing

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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  • Blog Post: Favorites powertoy for OneNote update, and developing a test matrix

    Two things are happening. First, Shu responded to you and updated his Favorites addin. In his words, here is the update: I just implemented a new version (1.6.1) of the OneNote Favorites AddIn based on some of the valuable blog feedback. The new updates are: 1. OneNote Favorites Center...
  • Blog Post: Automation tasks for the OneNote test team

    Right now we have a little bit of spare "bandwidth" to complete some automation tasks which have been building up over the last few months. The lingo around here never lets us refer to spare time: we always call someone who has a few free hours to spare as having "extra bandwidth." Like every other job...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Setup testing

    Imagine a feature of Internet Explorer or some other browser which would automatically delete items from its cache after some set number of days or months if they haven't been used. For sake of argument, let's say the default value is 6 months. So you browse some website and get some HTML pages, a few...
  • Blog Post: A bug with the powertoy in development

    We're polishing the tools I wrote about last time and getting ready to release them next week. The "bug bash" went well. We found some good corner cases to cause some different crashes, got new sets of eyes to provide feedback and generally had a good time. We've been fixing bugs and verifying the fixes...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Two new items to track for OneNote enthusiasts

    It's been very busy around here. The upside to November and December at Microsoft is that plenty of people start taking vacation time, so there are fewer meetings and distractions at work. That gives plenty of time to get caught up on all the low and medium priority tasks that have been piling up. ...
  • Blog Post: Table trouble

    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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: It's automation focus week in OneNote Test

    We started another automation push yesterday and are turning out new scripts, fixing old, clearing automation system bugs off our plate and generally trying to get some breadth of coverage in place using our new white box testing system. The surprising thing some new testers don't expect is that...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting as a core testing ability: a true story

    An ability all testers need is troubleshooting. When presented with a problem, testers need to be able to find the cause to the narrowest possible instance. Finding steps to reproduce a bug is critical - it does no one any good to say "Application foo crashes every so often." A good tester will narrow...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Using (and testing) OneNote in a classroom

    I was wondering aloud the other day about how students use OneNote in a class environment. I've heard a little bit of feedback through our newsgroup and from a few other websites like www.tabletpc.com . Nothing compares to first hand use, though, so I decided to try it out myself in a classroom setting...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Make Subpage addin updated, and a Lenovo update

    Thanks to a couple of testers (pebuaa and Joe), Jeff Cardon patched his make subpage addin to work in section groups. Update as of 3/12/2009 - the download link is at the end of this blog entry after my signature. I'm marking the next paragraph NA - winisp is no more... A few people have been having...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: The story of the bug with merge pages

    Theo Buis found a bug in the merge pages powertoy. He lives in the Netherlands and the addin was crashing when he tried to merge pages. Since "owning" these tools is just as important as creating them - we want to respond to bug reports, questions and even feature requests - we started trying to get...
  • Blog Post: 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...
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