Test Guide

Making the invisible visible since 1987

  • Test Guide

    The Best Software Writing Indeed!

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    I just finished The Best Software Writing I , selected and edited by Joel Spolsky . The idea is that Joel asked his readers to nominate their favorite online articles from 2004, and then Joel picked through the nominations and put them together in a hardcopy...
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    My Favorite Things

    • 4 Comments
    With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Julie Andrews: BVT blockers and feature team meetings, Checking in code and build folder cleanings, Making my dev cry with hardly a strain: These are a few of my favorite things. Installing new builds...
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    Testability Improves Your Product

    • 2 Comments
    I've talked about testability before , but I recently had an experience that reinforced for me how improving testability directly improves the product. I am working with my good friend and mentor John Gossman to write a Visio-to-XAML converter. Our first...
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    Dr. Dobb's + Me

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    Dr. Dobb's published my article " Achieve More Comprehensive Verification With Less Work " online - check it out!
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    End The Positive/Negative Schism!

    • 1 Comments
    For any specific feature there are of course an infinite number of possible tests. Humans don't generally deal with infinity very well, so we have devised a number of categories that allow us to think in terms of a much smaller set of tests. Categories...
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    How Do You TDD UI?

    • 1 Comments
    Something I've been experimenting with recently is Test-Driven Design (TDD) for user interfaces (UI). In brief ( see Wikipedia for further details ), with TDD you write a test, run it to be sure it fails, and then write just enough code to make it pass...
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    Sparkle Bloggers: A Compendium

    • 5 Comments
    I've mostly avoided linking to bloggers on my team for fear of inadvertently giving away what we are doing. Now that we are public that's no longer a worry. So: here is every blog-by-a-Sparkle-person I know about. I'll update this list as people tell...
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    Mrmmmf == Microsoft Expression “Sparkle Interactive Designer”

    • 5 Comments
    Finally I can say! The super-secret app I've been working on all this time is the long-rumored Sparkle! Simply put, Sparkle Interactive Designer is the Windows Presentation Foundation designer everyone doing WPF work have been clamoring for. For the full...
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    I Am Victorious!

    • 2 Comments
    I wrote last month about my travails in attempting to unit test an Avalon - I mean, Windows Presentation Foundation - application. I vowed to prevail, and indeed I have. As is often the case, it's pretty easy once you know how. <g/> The basic...
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    Inkboard!

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    A device I have wanted for a long time is a Mobile Digital Whiteboard, which I've taken to calling an Inkboard. Copious detail in the article I just posted , but in short an Inkboard is a sort of low-end Tablet PC that is super thin, doesn't have much...
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    What Is A Braidy Tester, Anyway?

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    I have recently been attempting to identify how exactly I add value to my team (both where I add value today and where I want to be adding value tomorrow). I asked various of my friends and mentors, and I did a lot of thinking about where I want to be...
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    Mrmmmf == ???

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    I still can't tell you what product I'm working on, but I can finally tell you that we will be announcing at PDC! So watch those keynotes, and watch this space, because you can be sure I'll posting the full skinny just as soon as I can!
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    Fail Fast

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    The only way to succeed is to fail. Therefore, fail early and often. Think about the last time you attempted something new and you succeeded right out of the gate. Do you have any clue why? Do you know whether the approach you took is the only one...
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    Killing Me Hardly With Its Trash Talk

    • 3 Comments
    I've been trying to figure out how to unit test Avalon applications. One might think (I sure did) that anybody building a brand new framework would automatically make it unit test friendly, but when that brand new framework is Avalon one would be wrong...
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    I Want Testers, Not Automators

    • 6 Comments
    I think my team - much of Microsoft, in fact - is going about testing all wrong. My team has a mandate from on high to automate one hundred percent of our testing. We aren't the only ones either, I don't think. This is a great goal (even if it isn...
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    Take My Ideas, Please!

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    Someone told me recently that ideas aren't worth anything if they aren't shared. For sure I have way more ideas than I will ever have time to implement! So I've added a new articles category "Ideas" where I will periodically post various of my ideas....
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    The LFM Applied

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    Jerrad is writing a Logical Functional Model for a website. He is approaching the problem exactly right: figure out what the user actions are, and then organize them into a user-sane order. His example is all about searching, so the LFM could be very...
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    Now *That's* A Tester!

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    Hans Bjordahl's very funny comic Bug Bash is published in an internal newsletter. The most recent strip is the best visualization of Ultimate Testerness I've seen. Hans gave me permission to post it here since it's not available on his site yet:
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    Verily, 'Tis Truth

    • 2 Comments
    Your Logical Functional Model lets you write test cases from your user's point of view, test cases that focus on what is being done rather than how it is being done. Your Physical Object Model lets your test cases ignore the details behind interacting...
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    No Guts, But Lots Of Glory

    • 1 Comments
    My previous post hinted that the Physical Object Model takes advantage of some underlying magic that makes different types of controls look similar. This "smudging" of controls into similarity comes courtesy of the controls abstraction layer. While...
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    A Peek Behind The Curtains

    • 3 Comments
    With the LFM defined and hooked up to Execution Behaviors it makes sense to move on to defining the Physical Object Model . The POM is often the simplest part because it's just a straightforward API around the user interface. Given Surveyor's UI: ...
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    Who Ya Gonna Call?

    • 4 Comments
    Once you create your Logical Functional Model the other pieces can follow in any order immediately as chunks of your feature and LFM are defined. I'll follow the most typical pattern here, which brings us to Execution Behaviors. When you first define...
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    Use Your Users' Viewpoint

    • 6 Comments
    As soon as you have even a vague idea about what your feature is all about you can start defining your Logical Functional Model. Ideally your entire feature team will take part in this exercise, but you can certainly do it on your own as well. Ask yourself...
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    Nuts And Bolts

    • 3 Comments
    All that theory is great, but without a practical application none of it matters. Thus Surveyor. Surveyor is a simple application for creating online surveys. The UI will look something like this: You have three sets of questions: those you have...
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    All For One And One For All: Our Complete Automation Stack

    • 2 Comments
    Factoring these details out of the test case into intuitively organized libraries allows the test case to focus on the essence of what it is testing rather than incidental details. This helps us write more comprehensive tests faster but spend less time...
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