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  • **** = Bugs
  • Compared with testing for a living we get to choose our software By picking software we are interested in we maximise our interest and motivation Your are testing software you don’t know the internals of. Expand your knowledge and learn by going outside your comfort zone.
  • The value of beta testing is hard to quantify. Many testers I speak to don't get involved in beta testing because they quantify it as a negative value. There calculation tends to be something like: My daily rate is X, I'm going to spend Y hours testing this software, the cost to me is C = (X/8)*Y*, the value to me is V * -1 Sometimes I'll ask them. "Before buying a book, do you work out how much extra you can charge a day because of that book and offset the price of the book against that? Do you work out how long it will take to read that book and calculate the return in terms of you daily rate?" Strangely, for testers with Value Calc A, the answer is generally "I don't read testing books". OK! So "Before going on a training course, do you do the same calculation." and the answer is often, "I don't go on training courses“, "I don't need to go on training courses“, "I'll only train if my company pays for it, and then it's just a day out of the office really" You might well have met these people. Now you might not be so monetarily inclined. And then your value calculation is going to be more like mine: this is free training, how much is that going to cost - priceless If I do a good job then I get an easy testimonial, how much is that worth - priceless
  • I know that practising helps me get better, and I use beta testing to practise testing
  • Replace magic with testing, magician with tester and evening with day. Testing is the best bit of the development phase, never forget that.
  • Have I overstressed the point? They are interested in Improvement, not coverage.
  • This is pretty much the same as normal bug reporting What kills me is how hard some defect trackers make it to put screenshots into the defect report Keep it simple: I usually have a word doc that I track my tests and embed screenshots in, zip it up and send it off.
  • The great thing about shareware is that they know what they have changed because they intend to promote those changes as features. The changes are the selling points Shareware developers, developers in general, are pretty good at making the software work, like most software you find most of the bugs by doing extreme things to it. Check out “how to break software” for some generic strategies. Feedback to yourself, how DO you know how to test? Why did you do that?
  • Practise test planning. Spend an hour practising test planning. Look at existing/known/fixed defects. How many would your test plan find?
  • 1 st licence – great, 2 nd 3 rd blasé. You spend 30 minutes, you learn something, you practise, you get the benefit, they are grateful and give you a discount or a free registration. Its embarrassing. You want them to improve the software to give you a challenge. If they produce something that you can’t break, and you try REALLY hard – how good is that. That’s good feedback for them – if you’re a professional.
  • Part of the reason for beta testing is to evaluate these tools and see If they are useful for your daily job
  • This may be the first time that you really feel responsible for the environment. REEAALLY feel responsible for the environment.
  • T

worst slides Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Be A Better Tester, Be A Beta Tester Alan Richardson UK At the end of a testing day, how many testers go home and practise testing? Everyone I know that excels in a particular field; musician, sportsman, programmer, writer, hypnotist, whatever... practises. I’m a professional tester (I get paid to test) and I beta test in my spare time. Find out how & why http://www.compendiumdev.co.uk mailto: alan@compendiumdev.co.uk Animated gifs from www.feebleminds-gifs.com
  • 2. The Ad
    • You will learn:
    • How to find, and get involved in, beta test programmes
    • Why we should spend our free time testing
    • What developers want from their beta testers
    • The responsibilities of a beta tester
    • Cheap & free tools to help you beta test
    • How to make the best use of your beta testing time
    • How to setup and control beta test environments
    • Effective techniques for adding value to the beta test programme quickly and making sure you learn as much as possible as quickly as possible
    • And More :
    • Have Fun . Now you can enjoy testing. Laugh as you test. Smile when you test.
    • When we finish you will know how and why to become better testers through beta testing.
    • And who knows? Perhaps continuing to improve your testing skills might help you increase your success in your day job. Hmmm…
    • Try out techniques that they don't get to use in their day job.
    • Try new tools
    • Break software
    • Help improve software
    • Get free software
    • and more...
    Beta testing is a great way to practise testing, and by beta testing, testers can:
  • 3. What is Beta Testing?
    • “ Operational Testing at a site not otherwise involved with the software developers.”
    • BS 7925-1
  • 4. What Do I mean?
    • “ Downloading Stuff off the internet and Testing the **** out of it.”
    • The Big Blue Bumper Book of Beta Testing
    **** = Bugs
  • 5. What Stuff?
    • Big/Small
    • Commercial/OpenSource/Shareware
    • Software that:
      • You find Useful
      • Interests You
      • You want to use & own
      • You want to Test
    “ Sometimes I test it whether they want it tested or not!” Alan Richardson Compendium Developments
  • 6. But…
    • I get paid to test
    • I test ALL day
    • I’ve got better things to do with my time
    • I’d rather just buy the software – let the developer test it!
    • Time is money
    • I don’t need to practise
  • 7. Why?
    • Because I want to!
    • I want…
      • to be a better tester
      • to use software that works (on the cheap!)
      • to bring back the Joy
    “ Beta Testing Software is exciting, challenging and a great learning experience” The Big Blue Bumper Book of Beta Testing
  • 8. Motivation for Change
    • “… when our performance and attitude become jaded and weary, self-effacing and apologetic, there are two options. One is to eventually stop performing, bored with the whole thing. Which means one less jaded magician in the world, which is a good thing for the rest of humanity. But the other option is to completely re-discover the art, and change ones idea of what magic is and what ones role as a magician might be. This way, we get to experience why being a magician is the best job in the world. We can go out to perform, curious as to what the evening might bring, and what we might learn for ourselves.”
    Absolute Magic, Derren Brown, 2001, 1 st edition
  • 9. The Context of Joy
    • Industrial
    • Methodology
    • Industry Standard Tools
    • Meetings
    • Politics
    • Test Plans
    • $
    • Beta Testing
    • Agile
    • Effective Tools
    • Communication
    • Focus
    • Learning
    “ If they don’t hate you, you’re not doing your job properly.” Alan Richardson Compendium Developments “ If they don’t love you, you’re not doing your job properly.” Alan Richardson Compendium Developments
  • 10. What developers want from their beta testers
    • Be useful
    • Find Bugs, and find them fast
    • Find big bugs, Find visible bugs
    • Find THE bug
    • Bugs bugs bugs bugs bugs
    • Feedback, Comments & Recommendations
    “ No special instructions from my end, just thrash it!” Owen Ransen www.ransen.com
  • 11. Where & When
    • The Execution Context Explored
    • Spare Time
    • Short Bursts (sessions)
    • Planning time – minimal but essential
    • Little rework
  • 12. How?
    • Getting Software
    • Developer Communication
    • Knowing what to test
    • Best use of time
    • Your responsibilities
    • Tools
    • Environments
  • 13. How to find software to beta test?
  • 14. How to communicate with developers
    • Simple, Clear, Direct
    • Relevant scenario information
      • they don’t know what test you were trying to do unless you tell them
    • Screenshots & Movies
    • Files, test data
  • 15. How do you know what to test?
    • Ask the developer, they know…
      • what they’ve done
      • what they’re nervous about
    • What would you do with the tool?
    • It probably basically works…go eXtreme
    • Observation, follow hunches
  • 16. Common Shareware Defects
    • Quick wins
    • Regression Testing
      • Testing of related areas may be minimal, depends on experience of the developer
    • Do, change, cancel, do, cancel,change, ok, change, cancel, change, do (Cyclic tests)
    • Saving & Loading
  • 17. How to make the best use of your beta testing time
    • How to practise testing
    • Sessions
    • Planned
    • Focussed
  • 18. One Approach (of many)
    • Session 1
      • Tool Overview (learning)
    • Session *
      • Objective for the session
        • Pick a technique, any technique
        • Pick a feature, any feature
      • Plan the session
      • Do & Document
      • Report…session ends…
    • One Approach to Learning a New Technique
    • Choose the software to test
    • Read about the technique
    • R eview the technique with the software in front of me
    • Apply the technique
    • Document the testing
    • Review my experience
  • 19. Responsibilities of a beta tester
    • Be better than the other beta testers
      • You’re a professional
    • Provide relevant information
    • Do something different
    "Thank you, you have earned your registration code to the full release version"
  • 20. Cheap & free tools
  • 21. How to setup and control beta test environments
    • Feel Responsible
    • Backups are essential
    • Virtual PCs are great
    • Multiple Operating Systems
    • Removable hard drives (caddies)
    • Your life, Your hands, Your control
    “Paranoia is the tester’s friend” Alan Richardson Compendium Developments
  • 22. Ship It
    • Attitude
    • Enjoy It
    • Do it, for the next 30 days…
      • Check out the tools, use them, test some software, communicate with the developer, vary and repeat
    “ It’s a whole new job” Absolute Magic, Derren Brown
  • 23. Do It
    • Get Better at it,
    • Get Beta Testing
    • For more information and resources, visit…
      • www.compendiumdev.co.uk/eurostar2003