Test Guide

Making the invisible visible since 1987

  • Test Guide

    Hallmarks of a Great Tester

    • 34 Comments
    If you ask me, I'll tell you a great tester Is devious A great tester has a streak of deviousness. Anyone can follow the lists of test cases that abundantly fill most books on testing. A great tester can move beyond these lists and dream up an endless...
  • Test Guide

    Hallmarks of a Great Developer

    • 27 Comments
    If you ask me, I'll tell you a great developer Plans before coding A great developer takes the time to plan an approach before designing or coding. A great developer knows that the time required to do so will be more than paid back by the time saved...
  • Test Guide

    Quantum Testing

    • 24 Comments
    Once upon a time, I thought testing was about finding bugs. Once upon a time, I thought I should be able to find every bug in my product. Once upon a time, I thought testing was about ensuring no bugs escaped to customers. Once upon a time, I...
  • Test Guide

    Did I Remember To

    • 19 Comments
    [29 Mar 2010: An expanded and annotated version of this is available on my website at http://www.thebraidytester.com/downloads/YouAreNotDoneYet.pdf .] Accessibility Check the following MSAA property settings for every control on every dialog...
  • Test Guide

    Screen Door

    • 18 Comments
    Gretchen and Zoe and Heather have been blogging about the process Microsoft uses for recruiting and hiring. Once you've made it past the recruiter gauntlet, but before you go through the formal interview loop, my team puts the candidate through a technical...
  • Test Guide

    Tester Quiz

    • 18 Comments
    A short post today because I am pushing all the work over to you! <g/> How many answers to "38.30 - 1 1/2 = ???" can you think of? Here are a few to get you started: 36.80 (assuming both are decimal numbers) 36.30 (assuming minutes.seconds...
  • Test Guide

    Two Hour Parking

    • 15 Comments
    Signs such as this one are a common sight in Seattle's residential neighborhoods. I imagine the transportation department believes it to be clear and unambiguous. I beg to differ. Your assignment for this week is to devise as many different interpretations...
  • Test Guide

    Hallmarks of a Great SDE/T

    • 15 Comments
    All companies have a job ladder a person "climbs" as they progress through their career. Often this job ladder and a person's title are tied together. Microsoft separates the ladder (i.e., the responsibilities of and expectations for a person) and the...
  • Test Guide

    Automate This!

    • 14 Comments
    How much of your testing do you automate? How do you know whether you have automated enough - or too much? My current team is taking the Automate Everything approach. This means we automate every last test case. "110% automation", as one of our executives...
  • Test Guide

    They're (gasp) Everywhere!

    • 13 Comments
    Recently I was shopping for music at a well-known online store. This store often suggests other albums related to the one you are browsing and offers you a package deal where if you purchase both the CD you are browsing and a related CD you receive a...
  • Test Guide

    Testing Ideals

    • 12 Comments
    I have been thinking about what an ideal software development process might look like: The product team would understand exactly what their customers want to do and how their product could help their customers do so. Developers would understand...
  • Test Guide

    My Job Is *Not* To Write Test Cases

    • 12 Comments
    "But my job is to write test cases!" my friend said, almost plaintively. We were discussing the huge amount of work we have to do and the not-nearly-enough time in which we have to do it. I was relating my strategy: get my developers to do all the testing...
  • 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

    The test cases go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah

    • 11 Comments
    One of the banes of my existence is test matrices. Everywhere I look, it seems, another matrix is lurking, impatiently waiting to lob another set of mind-numbinginly boring test cases at me that are guaranteed to suck up two more weeks' worth of the extra...
  • Test Guide

    When you don't have a spec, everything is a bug

    • 11 Comments
    How many of you regularly get a detailed and complete specification document before Dev starts coding and before Test starts testing? Raise your hands, please. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Heh. That's what I thought. My team takes a full month before each...
  • Test Guide

    The Answer Will Hit You Like A Ton Of Bricks

    • 11 Comments
    Question: Would you rather be hit by a ton of feathers or by a ton of bricks? Most people answer "A ton of feathers". Some people - usually ones who have been accosted by this question before - answer "It doesn't matter, a ton is a ton". I answer...
  • Test Guide

    Zoning For The Holarctic Region

    • 11 Comments
    Last week I asked you to see how many different interpretations of this sign you could devise. After an hour or so I had the following: Cars may be parked for up to two hours unless any of the following conditions apply, in which case they may be...
  • Test Guide

    It's A Live (Mesh)!

    • 11 Comments
    A year ago I joined a team building a top secret project. Today we threw off our invisibility cloak and revealed ourselves as as Live Mesh . Come on over and browse around. Subscribe to our team blog , where I'll be posting from time to time. Then come...
  • Test Guide

    Temper Temper Temperament

    • 10 Comments
    As I've talked about before , one of my current areas of study is personality types. In particular, of late I've been reading up on the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Isabel Myers herself noticed large similarities between...
  • Test Guide

    I'm a Tester, Jim, not a QA Engineer!

    • 10 Comments
    If you ask any random set of testers what their title is, about half of them will answer with some term that includes "Test" and the other half will answer with some term that includes "QA" and "Engineer". If you then ask them what their job entails,...
  • Test Guide

    Repro This!

    • 10 Comments
    Pop quiz: A tester finds and logs a bug. Some days (weeks (months)) later a developer picks up the bug and runs through it. Lo and behold, the bug does not occur. What should the developer do with this bug? Most common answer: Resolve the bug as "No Repro...
  • 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

    Lunging Madness

    • 9 Comments
    The human body is an amazing thing. If you do something bunches of times in a row it gets fatigued and starts to fail. But if you persist long enough it eventually adusts and can continue for a very long time. Case in point: I did lunges for forty-five...
  • Test Guide

    Exploring Fallacies

    • 9 Comments
    I have been having various conversations of late about exploratory testing and Session-Based Test Management. Interesting conversations. Conversations I never expected to have, in some cases. One tester thought exploratory testing was nifty. He was...
  • Test Guide

    Falsely Responsible

    • 9 Comments
    Newbie testers often believe they can actually stop their product from shipping. Product teams often foster this belief by forcing their testers to sign off on their product before shipping it. Can you imagine the result if we decided to exercise our...
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