Test Guide

Making the invisible visible since 1987

  • 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

    The Bug That Makes Craig Laugh Every Time

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    When my first test manager left Microsoft he told the team this was his favorite bug and it is easy to see why (testers are often asked about their favorite bugs when they leave). On his first week on the job one of my friends hit a crash in the speech...
  • 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

    Preemptive Testing

    • 2 Comments
    Chris posted a great comment a while back that I am going to mine for a series of posts. He starts out by saying "I'm struggling with the contribution that testers make early in a project right now." The answer is simple: a lot, if you let them. "Everyone...
  • Test Guide

    How To Become A (Great) Tester

    • 1 Comments
    Linda asks how one gets into the software testing field. "Are there certain formulas I would need to know or certain classes I would need to take? Or is it something I would have to learn as I go along the way?" To my knowledge there is not yet any...
  • Test Guide

    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...
  • Test Guide

    Stuffing My Brain, Part 04

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    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...
  • Test Guide

    You Can't Fix Every Bug

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    Apoorva writes: Handling bugs when you are relatively close to ship date? Would like to hear some "real time" stories about some difficult decisions you had to make while shipping a product and what made you take those decisions. Say, convincing dev to...
  • Test Guide

    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...
  • 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

    Software Statistics Engineer?

    • 8 Comments
    I recently read an (internal, so I can't give a link, sorry) article by a developer pundit. In the article he opines that while the current practices of unit testing, etc. are having a definite impact on code quality, eventually we will reach a point...
  • 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

    When To Automate

    • 3 Comments
    My team has a goal of 110% automation, but: not every test is worth automating. What's more, the value in automating a particular test case changes depending where in the product cycle you are. Or as I said in a presentation on this topic: What should...
  • Test Guide

    Baby Steps

    • 5 Comments
    Stuart responded to my post "Show Me" saying that, basically, he's in the same boat as (based on my personal experiences) most people producing software: what I call programming by accident. Specs are few and far between. He does actually have a tester...
  • Test Guide

    A Base(ic) Vocabulary

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    As I copied and deconstructed art by different people I started to identify commonalities within and across their works. Some of these commonalities were explicitly gathered into visual dictionaries, such as Jack Hamm’s Cartooning The Head & Figure...
  • Test Guide

    Another Mrmff Person Blogging!

    • 1 Comments
    For awhile I was the only person on the Mrmff team (we're not announced yet so I can't give details, remember?) blogging. Then Adam Ulrich , my boss and the Mrmff Test Manager, start blogging. Now John Gossman is blogging too. He's our Dev Architect,...
  • Test Guide

    One More Hallmark

    • 0 Comments
    Darren writes: Hi, I read through your list of attributes today with interest. One of the attributes that interests me but, that you did not mention was: Ability to provide accurate estimates. I'd be interested to read *your* take on that attribute. Estimation...
  • 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

    Tom Whalen's Favorite Bug

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    The most interesting recent bug was a Vista upgrade error that was initially assigned to my component. We had a couple of Watson reports where the symptom was there would be an error logged during upgrade which caused a fatal error and a roll-back. Unfortunately...
  • Test Guide

    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...
  • Test Guide

    Stuffing My Brain, Part 02

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    This afternoon was a half-day tutorial on exploratory testing. Elisabeth Hendrickson gave an engaging talk - complete with in-class exploratory testing - that presented four techniques for doing successful exploratory testing: variables (anything whose...
  • 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 01

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    I'm at Software Development West this week. My brain always hurts by the end of the week (this is my eighth SD) but right now that pain is far off. First up is a half-day tutorial on Domain Driven Design presented by Eric Evans (author of the book by...
  • Test Guide

    Tester Mentality

    • 2 Comments
    I tech screened a tester this morning for a position on my team. I always ask the candidate to describe the tester mentality. I loved today's interviewee's answer: More than the product working perfectly without any crash assert, if it is not intuitive...
  • Test Guide

    You Gotta Work!

    • 3 Comments
    Apoorva asks: How do work assignments take place for STE's? An example would be, I was testing this product which involved client/server stuff. I was assigned to test the funtionality of the server. In short, anything in the spec which was server related...
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