Test Guide

Making the invisible visible since 1987

  • Test Guide

    How Do I Invoke Thee? Let Me Count The Ways: The Physical Object Model

    • 8 Comments
    Most test cases that manipulate a user interface are tightly tied to the current details of that UI. What the test case is doing often gets lost in the details of how it is doing it. We abstract away these implementation details by wrapping our application...
  • Test Guide

    Show Me Yours: Application Internals

    • 3 Comments
    Details regarding how data is pulled out of our application’s internal data structures and other parts of the system environment are factored into an Application Internals model. This isolates knowledge about where data is found and how it is accessed...
  • Test Guide

    Did You? Did You Really? Loosely Coupled Comprehensive Verification

    • 11 Comments
    Verifying that a test case’s actions had the expected result is perhaps the most important part of testing. Every test case does something at least a little differently than every other test case, so the expected results are often a little different....
  • Test Guide

    How High? For How Long? Using Which Foot? Data Manager

    • 6 Comments
    Many tests don’t care exactly what data they are executed against. Our Data Manager uses techniques similar to those used with Execution Behaviors to manage Data Providers that generate test data. This solves with a single stroke the dual problems of...
  • Test Guide

    One Method To Rule Them All: Execution Behavior Manager

    • 8 Comments
    Most user actions in an application can be executed in different ways. As I mentioned earlier, creating a new document can be done via the following methods: Clicking the File menu, clicking the New submenu, then clicking the New Document menu item...
  • Test Guide

    It All Starts With User Features: The Logical Functional Model

    • 9 Comments
    Even a small application such as Microsoft Notepad has a plethora of features that must be tested. While the occasional feature is simple enough that a single test case is sufficient to test it thoroughly, it is more likely that multiple test cases are...
  • Test Guide

    So What Should A Test Case Look Like?

    • 8 Comments
    What if you had a test case that looked like this? (Assuming a shape-drawing application such as Microsoft Visio...) Logical.Projects.CreateNewProject(); Point rectangleStart = DataManager.ScenePointProvider.GetNextValue(); Point rectangleEnd =...
  • Test Guide

    Testers Are Little More Than Accountants In A Factory

    • 4 Comments
    The sum of these factors makes testers little more than factories churning out test case after test case, each of which is different only in some small detail (e.g., how a particular operation is invoked) than the others. Another way to say this is that...
  • Test Guide

    Test Is Back-Loaded

    • 2 Comments
    All of these problems combine to make Test perpetually perceived as the “long pole”, since most Test work is done very late in the milestone. Most modern product and feature teams acknowledge that involving Test early in the development process (that...
  • Test Guide

    Test Cases Are Maintenance Hogs

    • 2 Comments
    These problems all combine to make test cases a maintenance nightmare. Anytime the application under test changes – regardless of whether the UI changed a tiny bit or an entire feature was dramatically revamped – every affected test case must be updated...
  • Test Guide

    Test Cases Have Intimate Knowledge Of The User Interface

    • 2 Comments
    Test cases do not often make a distinction between the user actions a test case is testing and the steps it takes to invoke those actions. Indeed, most test cases explicitly tie these details together! Because much emphasis is placed on testing every...
  • Test Guide

    Most Of Each Test Case Exercises A Small Fraction Of The Code

    • 5 Comments
    The execution section of a test case is itself composed of three subsections: setup, execution, and teardown. Execution is often thought to be the most important part of a test case (after all, a test case that doesn’t verify anything is rather pointless...
  • Test Guide

    Multiple Paths Of Execution Cause Duplicated Verification

    • 2 Comments
    An individual operation can usually be executed via several different user actions. For example, creating a new document can typically be done by one of the following user actions: Clicking the File menu, clicking the New submenu, then clicking...
  • Test Guide

    Execution And Verification Are Tightly Coupled

    • 4 Comments
    Test cases are composed of three primary sections: Cache initial state. The primary task for any test case is verifying that an action had the intended effect; if the test case is to know what changed it clearly must save off the starting state...
  • Test Guide

    From Accountant To Scientist

    • 6 Comments
    In many of my posts I have alluded to the automation stack my team is building, but I have not provided any details. The next month or so of posts will remedy that: first I'll discuss the problems we are trying to solve and then I'll explain how we're...
  • Test Guide

    There Goes The Neighborhood

    • 0 Comments
    They've let me on to the Microsoft Careers "Meet Our People" page! http://members.microsoft.com/careers/epdb/profileDetailPage.aspx?profileID=77 goes directly to me; check out http://members.microsoft.com/careers/mslife/meetpeople/ to see everyone else...
  • Test Guide

    Build Me Up Tear Me Down

    • 7 Comments
    It's rather a peculiar state of affairs, but one sign of a well maintained infrastructure is that there is always some part of it under construction. Right now downtown Seattle is in various stages of de- and construction as crews build light rail...
  • Test Guide

    To Power Point, And Beyond!

    • 2 Comments
    I've been reading Cliff Atkinson's blog Beyond Bullets since his first post and have been trying out his techniques for turning those boring bullet point-filled presentations (i.e., just about every one you've ever seen) into engaging discussions that...
  • Test Guide

    Show Them That You Care

    • 0 Comments
    Apoorva asks, in response to my post from SD on the House Of Quality : But how does one reach out to a broad spectrum of customers? Getting feedback from a regular/power user is not that difficult - but how do you get passive users interested in participating...
  • Test Guide

    Office Space

    • 0 Comments
    Yes, I saw that movie in the theater when it first came out, before it was cool. That's not really relevant though. Or maybe it is, since I've worked in plenty of Office Spacey places that would have completely freaked if I even thought about making my...
  • Test Guide

    Stuffing My Brain, Part 08

    • 3 Comments
    What is quality to you? How do you measure quality? When is quality accomplished? If you don't know how your customers would answer these questions, your product probably doesn't meet their needs as well as it could. You can fix this problem. But first...
  • Test Guide

    Stuffing My Brain, Part 07

    • 1 Comments
    When Jeffrey Richter - who has been consulting to Microsoft lo these many years - talks about "Controversial .Net Topics", anyone who is interested in .Net sits up and listens. The first topic Jeffrey talked about is protecting intellectual property....
  • Test Guide

    Stuffing My Brain, Part 06

    • 0 Comments
    Any session that starts with the comment "All examples in this talk represent things you should NEVER do" has to be good! This morning Dan Appleman explained his views regarding "Why did they do that?", where "they" refers to the designers of Microsoft...
  • Test Guide

    Stuffing My Brain, Part 05

    • 1 Comments
    Refactoring I'm familiar with. Ken Pugh I'm familiar with. Ken Pugh talking about prefactoring sounded interesting. And it was! You may not know what prefactoring is. I didn't. Ken defines prefactoring as "developing code that reduces the need to refactor...
  • Test Guide

    Stuffing My Brain, Part 04

    • 0 Comments
    First up today: Elisabeth Hendrickson discussing how in the world testing can survive in an Agile world. After all, Test traditionally uses all that time it takes Dev to give us something useful to write and review test plans, test specs, and test cases...
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