Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
The Testing Planet - July 2010
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

The Testing Planet - July 2010

1,330

Published on

The Testing Planet is a print and digital newspaper on the topic of software testing created by The Software Testing Club and the community members.

The Testing Planet is a print and digital newspaper on the topic of software testing created by The Software Testing Club and the community members.

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,330
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
32
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. THE TESTING PLANET July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com No: 2 £5 Yes, It’s Personal How to build healthy relationships with different job functions and team members pages 10-11 An Introduction to Test Automation Design By Lisa Crispin examples of desired software be- There’s no shortage of excel- havior. Now they’re between a rock lent test automation tools available and a hard place: regression testing today. Many are open source, so the manually takes too long, and so does up-front cost is low. Some come keeping the automated tests up to with script capture tools or mini- date as the production code changes. IDEs that speed the learning curve. In my experience, this quandary Many have excellent user guides, is usually the result of poor automat- tutorials and screencasts avail- ed test design. Automated test code able to help testers and teams learn is, well, code. It requires the same them. thoughtful design as production code. By applying coding principles such as “Don’t Repeat Yourself”, The problem anytime we need to update a test to accommodate production code One would think that with all changes, we only have to change this tools and help available, test one module, class, include or macro, automation efforts would be more perhaps only a variable value. likely to succeed than in years past. Unfortunately, test automation However, what I see all too often is often done by testers who don’t are teams who had no trouble creat- have much, if any, programming ing thousands of automated regres- experience. They may be capable sion tests – the problem comes a of capturing scripts with a tool and few months down the road, when replaying them, but this is only a they spend most of their time main- way to learn a tool, not a way to taining the automated tests. These design real tests. The programmers testers are left with very little time on their projects may feel their job with critical testing activities such is to write production code, not help Unfortunately, test automation is often done by testers as exploratory testing or collaborat- with functional or GUI test automa- who don’t have much, if any, programming experience. ing with customers up-front to get tion. So, the testers do their best, and IN THE NEWS Daily Testing Tips Weekend Testing fun Yes, It's Personal Context Driven Jumping Testing & Creativity Tuesday has become one of my Weekend Testing provides the “I don't want your testers in Once upon a time, a herd of sheep The creativity is needed both when favourite days of the week because opportunity to learn new testing meetings with my team members. were grazing in green fields in the generating test ideas outside it’s when testers from around the approaches in a safe environment They will be disruptive and then countryside. There was a fence explicit globe start posting their valuable away from daily work, project use information they hear to make along the field’s border to restrict requirements, and when finding the and insightful software testing tips schedule pressures and software us look bad. Keep them away from the sheep from crossing over to the effective methods for running on twitter. being thrown over the wall. us.” other side. important tests. Continued Page 6 Continued Page 13 Continued Page 10 Continued Page 20 Continued Page 17
  • 2. 2 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag end up with half a million lines with object-oriented programming. If you’re experi- of captured scripts (yes, I know enced with these tools, you may find lots of faults with of more than one example) that possible solutions my test code. But I wanted to demonstrate that these are impossible to maintain. design principles work even when you’re unfamiliar Even if teams use a frame- A simple solution is for experienced programmers to with your tool or scripting language. work that allows non-program- pair with testers to automate tests. At minimum, teams ming members to write tests in need to hire testers with solid code design skills to help If you want to play with similar examples, you can plain English, a spreadsheet or the non-programmer testers. Testers need training in basic download the following: some other non-programming design principles and patterns. language, the test cases still need There are lots of resources to learn how to do a particu- Information and downloads to install Robot Frame- proper design. I personally have lar type of automation, such as GUI test automation. My work: made a terrible mess automating personal mission is to find ways to help educate testers in http://code.google.com/p/Robot Framework/wiki/ dozens of FitNesse tests where designing maintainable tests. As a start, I’d like to illus- Installation I repeated the same steps over trate some basic design principles using examples written and over, because I didn’t know in Robot Framework with Selenium driving GUI tests. I Robot Framework Selenium Library downloads, at the time about the !include had not used either Robot Framework or Selenium before including the demo: http://code.google.com/p/Robot feature of FitNesse. when I sat down to create these examples. And while I’ve Framework-seleniumlibrary/ been automating tests for a long time, I’m not too good Look up Selenium commands here: http://code.google.com/p/Robot Framework-seleni- umlibrary/wiki/LibraryDocumentation Run tests with” ./rundemo.py <test file name>” To start the server for the app under test manually, type “python httpserver.py start” Example One We’re testing account validation on a web app login page. Our first test will open a browser, go to the main page, and check the title. Then it will type in a correct username and password, click login, verify that the title is “Welcome Page”, and that the page contains the text “Login succeeded”. (Note: I’d start even more simply in real life – just open the browser for starters. But I have to try to keep this article a manageable length.) The following is from my test, which is in a .txt file in real life (Robot Framework tests can be plain text or HTML). The asterisks on the section names must start in column 1. There are two spaces between the Seleni- um keywords such as ‘input text’, and the data or argu- ments used such as the field name ‘username_field’ and the value ‘demo’. The “Test Cases” section includes all our test cases. The “Settings” section allows the test to access the correct libraries, and does tidying up. *** Test Cases *** Test Login open browser http://127.0.0.1:7272 firefox title should be Login Page input text username_field demo input text password_field mode Click Button login_button Title should be Welcome Page Page should contain Login succeeded *** Settings *** AUTOMATION Library SeleniumLibrary Test Teardown close browser Blog post: New to Testing? : http://bit.ly/cL7P4E
  • 3. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 3 Title should be Welcome Page Example Two Page should contain Login succeeded Cool, we tested that a valid username and password can log in. But we *** Settings *** have lots of test cases to cover. Valid and invalid combinations of user- Library SeleniumLibrary names and passwords, empty ones, special characters, too-long and too- Test Teardown close browser short ones, and more. Repeating the test above over and over with hard- coded values would get out of control pretty quickly. Plus, we want to test *** Variable *** in multiple browsers and possibly test multiple servers. ${LOGIN PAGE} http://localhost:7272 When we see duplication, we always want to extract it out. Good test ${BROWSER} firefox tools give you a way to do this. Robot Framework provides the concept of “keywords”. For example, we can use a keyword that navigates to the This test is still sort of end-to-end-y, in that it first does the invalid login page, a keyword to type in the username, and so on. case, then the valid one, then logs out. It’s a step in the right direction. If Here’s a first step towards extracting out duplication in our simple test. the name of the password field in the HTML changes, we only have to We have two test cases: “invalid account”, which tests an invalid user- change it in one place. Same thing if the text of the invalid login error name and password and verifies the error message, and “valid account”, message changes. which logs in with a valid username/password combination and verifies the landing page. We’ve put the values for browser and server into vari- ables. We’ve defined keywords for actions such as typing in the username Example Three and password, clicking the submit button, and verifying the messages. It’d be nicer if we could just run the test with whatever username and *** Test Cases *** password that we want to try, and check for the appropriate error message. One way to do this is by passing in variable values with command line invalid account arguments. We’ve refactored the test to expect variables to be passed in. navigate to the login page We also separated out verifying the title and verifying the message, type in username invalid type in password xxx *** Test Cases *** click submit verify the invalid account message login account navigate to the login page valid account type in username ${username} navigate to the login page type in password ${password} type in username demo click submit type in password mode verify the title click submit verify the message verify the valid account message click logout *** Keywords *** *** Keywords *** navigate to the login page open browser ${LOGIN PAGE} ${BROWSER} type in username [Arguments] ${username} title should be Login Page input text username_field ${username} ${title} = Get Title should start with ${title} Login type in password [Arguments] ${password} input text password_field ${password} type in username [Arguments] ${username} input text username_field ${username} navigate to the login page log hello, world! type in password [Arguments] ${password} open browser ${LOGIN PAGE} ${BROWSER} input text password_field ${password} title should be Login Page click submit click submit Click Button login_button Click Button login_button click logout click logout Click Link logout Click Link logout verify the title verify the invalid account message Title should be ${title} Title should be Error Page Page should contain Invalid user name and/or password verify the message Page should contain ${message} verify the valid account message A passing automated test does not always mean the underlying code is working. #dttip by @cowboytesting
  • 4. 4 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag *** Settings *** Example Four Library SeleniumLibrary There’s still a lot going on in one test file. It would be nice if each of Test Teardown close browser our keywords could be in its own little file. Good test tools allow this, and Robot Framework’s implementation is called a ‘resource’. *** Variable *** For example, we could take “Navigate to login page” and put it in a ${LOGIN PAGE} http://localhost:7272 separate text file called “navigate_to_login.txt” ${BROWSER} firefox *** Keywords *** We can supply the variable values from the command line: navigate to the login page ./runDemo.py --variable username:demo --variable password:mode open browser ${LOGIN PAGE} ${BROWSER} --variable message:‘Login Succeeded’ --variable title:’Welcome Page’ title should be Login Page demo_test2.txt ${title} = Get Title should start with ${title} Login I can easily visualize cranking a lot of username, password and mes- sage value combinations through this script. I could write a script to do Now we can simply refer to this file whenever we want to navigate to this so I don’t have to type them myself. My team uses a similar technique the login page in a test. In Robot Framework, we do this in the “Settings” to test many combinations of data values with our Watir scripts. Different section. Notice I also added some Documentation there. tool, same concept. It turns out that in Robot Framework, running the test multiple times by *** Settings *** passing in variables from the command line would be inefficient, because Selenium would start the browser up new each time. But this can be a Documentation Test account validation good approach with other tools, and works well in Robot Framework for running the same test with different browsers (see http://robotframework- Resource navigate_to_login.txt seleniumlibrary.googlecode.com/hg/demo/login_tests/invalid_login.txt for an example of this). Also, passing variables from the command line can be *** Test Cases *** a powerful way to leverage automated tests to set up scenarios for manual exploratory testing. login account Notice that I also split out the ‘verify title’ and ‘verify message’ test navigate to the login page cases. That’s a personal preference; I find that if my tests are more granu- type in username ${username} lar, it’s easier to debug problems with the test itself. I didn’t pass in the type in password ${password} login page or browser values, but I could. click submit verify the title verify the message We're Hiring Test Engineers a Brief Histor Y OF Time French Edition redgate a community for software testers www.softwaretestingclub.com Timebox the search for bugs or replicating bugs. Use heuristics to help. We can prove the existence of bugs but not their absence.  #dttip by @ThomasPonnet
  • 5. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 5 The Keywords section looks the same as before, except with the ‘navi- because there’s a regression bug. gate to the login page’ keyword removed. If you’ve read this far, you must be eager to learn more about test auto- If we’re testing a web application, we’re bound to have lots of tests that mation design. Ask a programmer on your team to pair with you to automate need to navigate to the login page. Now this functionality is encapsulated some tests, so you can learn some new techniques. into one little file. Whenever something about navigating to the login page Work through a good book such as Everyday Scripting with Ruby by is changed, we only need to update one file, and all the tests that use it will Brian Marick. still be able to do the navigation. We’d want to do something similar with the login account, so that our many GUI tests can simply include the login search Out Blog posts and articles. file in their Resource sections. Dale Emery has an excellent paper on Writing Maintainable Automated Design For Maintainability Acceptance Tests at http://dhemery.com/pdf/writing_maintainable_auto- mated_acceptance_tests.pdf. I’ve only scratched the surface of test automation design principles. Your team can successfully automate regression tests. You’ll need to I didn’t even get into patterns, such as “Build-Operate-Check”, where invest some time and effort to experiment and learn the best approach. It’s we build our test data, operate on it, verify the results, and then clean up a journey, but an enjoyable one. Once you get on the right road, you’ll have the data so the test can be rerun. But I hope I’m getting across my point: time for the other essential testing tasks you need to create a product your successful test automation requires good design skills, and they can be customers love. learned without too much pain. I’m no expert at object-oriented design. My programming experience is in structured and interpreted languages, and with proprietary C-like test automation tool languages. The only OO scripting I’ve done is with Ruby, but I was able to succeed because my fellow tester was a Perl programmer about author and all my programmer teammates are willing to help too. I’ve shown you some simplistic examples of how I personally would Co-author with Janet Gregory, start extracting duplication out of a test script and start forming a library _Agile Testing: A Practical Guide of basic test modules, like navigating to the login page and login. We for Testers and Agile Teams_ could have modules for verifying HTML page titles, text, messages and (Addison-Wesley 2009) elements, using variables for the names and values. Contributor to _Beautiful Test- These concepts aren’t easy to learn, but the investment pays off. My ing_ (O’Reilly 2009) team and I have spent lots of time over the years refactoring the early tests http://lisacrispin.com I wrote in FitNesse and Canoo WebTest, because I made design mistakes @lisacrispin on Twitter or was ignorant of the tools’ helpful features (and I had been automating tests reasonably successfully for at least a decade prior!) As a result of constantly learning, refactoring and improving, we’re able to automate 100% of our regression testing without a heavy maintenance burden, and our tests have a high return on investment. When they fail, it’s usually Getting a daily dose of Testing Tips By annE-MariE CharrETT I soon discovered that it’s quite a challenge to write a daily tip in Tuesday has become one of my less than 140 characters and so I put favourite days of the week because a call out from volunteers. Those it’s when testers from around the who heard the early call were Ajay globe start posting their valuable Balamurugadas, Matt Heusser, Rob and insightful software testing tips Lambert and Trish Khoo. on twitter. I’m truly astounded by Many other testers offered to the depth and quality of these tips. contribute too, so to make it fair, 4 Daily Testing Tip came about testers now contribute once a week last year as an extension to the for six weeks. Quick Testing Tips website which I At the moment I have the fabulous had been contributing weekly posts Selena Delesie, Ajay Balamuruga- to. I thought that this idea would das, Catalin Anastasoaie and Joel work well with twitter too, and so Montvelisky contributing a tip once a Daily Testing Tips was born. I now week. A big thanks to these testers as have over 500 followers and that I know it can be hard work to think number grows daily. up a tip, even if its once a week. Blog post: Anatomy of a Good Test : http://bit.ly/dAvuhX
  • 6. 6 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag Testing Tips "Think of your testing notes as a Whole team, not only testers,  Learn to be diplomatic, you  It's not about the test, it's about   flight data recorder. We crack them  needs to take resp. for quality,  want the bug to be resolved,  the result - seek and provide  open if something goes wrong."  testing. "it takes a village".  not to prove you are right.  actionable, referenceable  @jbtestpilot #testing #qa #dttip #dttip by @lisacrispin  #dttip by @gunjans  information. #dttip by  (@lisacrispin) @bradjohnsonsv (Brad Johnson) Hold your test and automation  Instead of talking about costs in  Testing ideas may come to you  Sometimes you have to  code to the same standards as  testing, start think about  at the weirdiest times, keep a  poke the code with a sharp  you hold the product code. It is  investments, donʼt translate notebook handy to write them  stick to find out where it bleeds.  your product. #dttip by  value in cost, was it worth  down & use them later. #dttip  #dttip by @artofsqa (Troy  @cowboytesting  investing #dttip by @JeroenRo  by @joelmonte (Joel Montvelisky) Hoffman) (Curtis Stuehrenberg) (Jeroen Rosink) One thing that science has  Automated tests should never  'Ever tried, Ever failed, No matter.  Use typewith.me to collaborate with  taught us some bugs are hard  be used as a show off to  Try again, Fail again, Fail Better'  other testers while pair testing or  to find but perseverance pays off  managers. They might think it's  Samuel Beckett - thought testers  even with programmers, #dttip  in the end. donʼt give up. #dttip by easy and useful to automate  might like it #dttip by @esconfs  by @sdhanasekar (Dhanasekar S) @mpkhosla (Mohinder Khosla) everything. #dttip by @knorrium  (EuroSTAR Conferences) (Felipe Knorr Kuhn) #dttip the sheer repetition of  Just because you've counted all the Find all users in a system, not  As lastactivity for today,  automated test steps makes subtle  trees doesn't mean you've seen the only the ones that people want  start with a short preparation  errors more visible e.g. when the  forest #dttip by @TestSideStory  to know about. That includes  for the next day #dttip by  system counts complex actions  (Zeger Van Hese) disgruntled employee and  @JeroenRo (Jeroen Rosink) incorrectly by @chris_mcmahon  hacker. #dttip by @Thomas (Chris McMahon) Ponnet (Thomas Ponnet) Assume nothing. Question  if you want to study the "effect"  If you test on Windows Vista or  draw pictures of the software you  everything. Trust no one #dttip by  of something, try removing it and  7 be sure to turn on the 'All  are planning to test; the pictures  @cartoontester see how the system behaves  CPU Meter' windows gadget.  will help you think about it  #dttip by @shrinik (Shrini Kulkarni) #dttip by @can_test  differently than the designer  (Paul Carvalho) did #dttip by @AlanMyrvold  (Alan Myrvold) It’s a great experience to post a and summed up by Markus Gärtner willingness of the software testing daily testing tip to the community in a tip the next day: community to help each other out. and all testers are welcome to do “I think tester’s blew the weekly I’m proud to be part of that. so. testing tip in a collaborative load Also, the beauty of #dttip is that about author So if there are any testers out testing session on this #dttip hashtag. your tip can really help out a tester there who want to try their hand out All after just 3 weeks :)” anywhere in the world. An encour- Anne-Marie Charrett is a at writing a daily testing tip for six Tester had fun voting for their aging tip can help a tester refocus professional software tester and weeks, send me an email at daily- favourite tip in a poll I had on the or validate their own thoughts in a runs her own company,Testing testingtip@gmail.com with a short daily testing tip website but when very practical way. Times [http://www.testingtimes. bio indicating why you want to the tips started getting too many I I’ve collated a list of tips that for ie/]. An electronic engineer by contribute. It’s that easy! had to stop that. me stand out (they are in no partic- trade, software testing chose her I think the success of #dttip is a ular order), I’m sure you have your when in 1990 she started confor- demonstration of the strength and own favourites. mance testing against European Tag Tuesday and If you want to post a tip on Tag standards. She was hooked and #dttip on Twitter was an Tuesday, you will need a twitter has been testing since then. She idea from the wonderful account. When you write a tweet, enjoys working with innovative just add #dttip to it anywhere in rosie sherry. and creative people, which has the message. If you want to follow led her to specialise working for all the tips, you can either do so at She thought it might be fun to start-ups and incubators. She’s a http://dailytestingtip.com or use have a day where anyone could keen blogger and hosts her own the feed http://search.twitter.com/ share a tip on Twitter using the blog, called Maverick Tester. search?q=%23dttip hashtag of #dttip. [ http://mavericktester.com/] Again, thanks to everyone who The record so far was 117 tips in contributes to making Tag Tuesdays one day which was truly amazing so much fun. You know the movie Zombieland? There is a rule: Double Tap! Works for testing perfectly... by @Skarlso
  • 7. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 7 organization where Mr. Smit- They were smart this time around The Managing Tester ten worked was business savvy. They decided not to hire another manager. Their question was “Do though. They did not ask Smitten about the new role. They dumped that role on him instead. Mr. Smit- reached the office. Unlike other we really need a test manager?” ten did not get a chance to say pariMaLa shankaraiah days, there was a flurry of activity Mr. Smitten wondered why this “No” as he was never asked in the Once upon a time, there was in the office. Several managers were question never came up when the first place. a man called Mr. Smitten who running around conference rooms previous manager was doing an Mr. Smitten was anointed as the was smitten by testing. His daily with ”long” faces. outstanding job. The plan was to new lead for the test team and took struggle to be a better tester kept The first thought that struck Smit- assign Mr. Clever as the team lead over the remnants left over by the him alive and kicking with enthusi- ten was “Is another wicket* down?”, as he was the next most senior highly talented outgoing manager. asm. Whenever he learnt something “Oh No! Not again”. person. Initially he only concerned himself new and implemented it he would He then got wind that the test They thought that in addition to with filling the gaps left over by the discover that there is still something manager had resigned for better testing, Mr. Clever would lead the previous manager. He had enough else to learn. He understood that prospects elsewhere. The test team team for no extra cost. So he would challenges already to learn and try “Learning is an Ocean” and started felt as if it was orphaned forever. work 150% instead of 100%. Sadly, new ideas in testing. savoring it drop by drop even if it Here was a test manager who really Clever being very clever rejected However he now had to attend would take a lifetime. He seemed to cared and fought for the team. He the offer outright saying he did lots of tiresome meetings, interact be content with his learning strat- supported and protected the team not like people management. They with other managers and prepare egy. through thick and thin and now he were disappointed with Mr. Clever reports as and when upper man- One fine Monday morning, Mr. had quit. It was a big jolt, especially and decided not to promote him to agement told him to do so. Why? Smitten woke up to pouring rain given the series of resignations by the next level and now placed their Because he was now a manager! and set off to go to work. He got managers in recent history. hope on Mr. Smitten who had great Smitten thought he was helpless. ready, beat the morning traffic and The senior management of the people and communication skills. Week 1 - 20 hours spent in meet- 18th Annual European Software Testing Conference COPENHAGEN 20 10 DENMARK 29 November - 02 December 2010 •  5 Keynotes Keynote Speakers •  12 Tutorials •  46 Track Sessions Putting Tradition to the Test: The Evolving Role of the Tester •  Hands on Test Lab Antony Marcano, RiverGlide, UK   •  Workshops •  Test Tools & Services   Monty Python’s Flying Test Lab   Expo Rob Sabourin, AmiBug.com, Canada •  Gala Awards Night      & much more… When Passion Obscures The Facts: The Case for Evidence-Based Testing Stuart Reid, Testing Solutions Group, UK   REGISTER ONLINE NOW For The Love Of The Game Dino Patti, PLAYDEAD ApS, Denmark Session Topics Include...   Agile Testing  - Automation – Test  Management – SCRUM – Test  Moving Beyond The Status Quo – Differentiating Ourselves and  Estimation – PEOPLE SKILLS  Demonstrating Value – Risk Based Testing – Mobile  Bob Galen, iContact, USA Testing – Practical Case Studies  – Building test teams  - Model  Based Testing – Test Environments  EuroSTAR Online Community - Access the Webinar Archive, Past Conference Materials, Testing  – Metrics – TMMI – TPI – Process  Forum, Articles, Newsletter Archive & more... Interact, engage & learn from the test community. Improvement – LEADERSHIP &  much more… w w w. e u r o s t a r c o n f e r e n c e s . c o m A developer should never test their own software." http://bit.ly/acwzK1 #SoftwareTesting by @teknologika
  • 8. 8 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag ings, 10 hrs for reporting and 10 devote more time to his learning him? Or make him a scapegoat like personal level from each individual, hrs for testing. There was a major related tasks. He was expected to he thought they had? their freedom is constricted due release, so he ended up stretching know everything about anything that Would he be forced to remain in to organizational hierarchies and on weekdays and over-stretched on every team member did. He had cur- the same role, go back to his previ- infrastructure. This in turn will weekends. sory knowledge of most things, but ous tester role or laid off for not have profound impact on people’s Week 2 – 15 hrs meetings, 5 hrs no deeper technical details. He did towing the company line? motivation. reporting, 40 hrs testing (stretch- not have time to get to the technical Did Mr. Smitten do the right Passionate testers may reject ing). level. thing? Of course he did. No matter managerial roles not because they Week 3 – 15 hrs meetings, 5 He stopped reading technical the outcome he knew inside that he lack people skills, but because hrs reporting, 20 hrs testing (No stuff. He stopped reading testing had stood up they don’t want stretching). After all, no one can websites and blogs. He stopped for his pas- passionate testers may reject to be a manager. stretch forever. writing about testing. He stopped sion. He had managerial roles not because Instead of penal- Mr. Smitten saw his manag- exploring. He stopped fighting back. spoken out. He they lack people skills, but izing them for ing job eating up his testing time He became disillusioned. He was had spoken the lack of managerial because they don’t want to which could severely impact the no longer the same man smitten by truth. skills, it would be upcoming release. When he raised testing. He started getting a feeling Vipul be a manager. good to motivate a red flag, the powers that be asked that he was neither a good tester nor Kocher (Co them to work on him why he was not delegating his a good team lead. His motivation President , PureTesting) once said their technical and testing skills. In testing work. Smitten loved to test, started to sink. “If you scare a crawling baby by fact, it’s a great investment strat- not to manage or delegate. He was What did Mr. Smitten do? He yelling ‘walk’, ‘walk’, ‘walk’, the egy to encourage passionate testers asked to manage fulltime which spoke to his manager the very next baby will stop crawling - forget because there are very few really he did not enjoy. He understood day saying he couldn’t work this about walking”. This sounds so true great testers. We need more of that management was a new arena way anymore. He was not inter- for testers. them. for him to learn and experience, ested in a management role. He was If there are many passionate tes- How many testers have you met but that is not where Mr. Smitten’s interested in testing which he was ters in the team who opt to test ver- who say they have ~20 plus years passion was. His heart belonged to now unable to do. He felt that he sus managing teams, it’s not right of experience in testing alone. One, testing. He did not love manage- was becoming a failure figure in the to force them into managerial roles two, three, ten? Just a handful. Let ment as much as testing. team. He poured his heart out. He as a need arises. At the same time, testers grow in numbers. Let testers Over a period of time, Mr. Smit- spoke the truth. if people are interested in manage- grow in expertise. Let’s hope for a ten became unhappy. Though he His manager took a while to think ment, but forced to test, they may better testing world. Let’s encour- learned to balance management about what has happened. Did they not do a good job either. Though age passionate testers. and testing, it was hard for him to do Mr. Smitten a favor promoting such decisions have to come at a Don’t sulk as a managing tester. Rejoice as a testing Tester! references Wicket is an Indian word used by cricket fans to refer to someone quitting the organization. about author Parimala Shankaraiah is one of the co-founders of Weekend Testing and works at Consona, Bangalore as a senior tester in the weekdays. She handles Public Relations at Weekend testing. She also co-facilitates testing ses- sions for Bangalore chapter. She authors a blog http://curioustester. blogspot.com/ where she writes about her testing experiences. She can be contacted atparimala. shankaraiah@gmail.com. Don't 'spy' on your testers. Monitor their work to learn how YOU can help them perform better. by @testuff
  • 9. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 9 Software Test Professional I am the very model of a software Test Professional, I've information computational, logical, informational, I know the current thinking, and I type in codes commercial, From COBAL to Javascript, in order categorical; I'm very well acquainted, too, with problems mathematical, I boundary test equations, using latest testing oracles, About probability distributions I'm teeming with a lot o' news, With many cheerful tests for the square of the hypotenuse. I'm very good at identifying behaviour anomalous; My defects address issues, the sublime and the ridiculous: In short, in testing behavioral, functional and structural, I am the very model of a Software Test Professional, I execute my tests, both the structured and the complete ad hoc's; My regression is useful, I've no time for silly paradox, I promote a mantra of stability, usability, reliability, I know all the programs as-designed peculiarities; I can tell minor typos from nasty bugs and show-stoppers, I know the various moods of all of the developers! I know all the testing tools from Quality Centre to Selenium, The in-house, the free, the cheap and the premium. I have worked in Agile and other testing methodologies, And have ranted on blogs - please accept my apologies: In short, in testing behavioural, functional and structural, I am the very model of a Software Test Professional, - Robert Healy Beware the phrase "no user would ever do that". you might be missing the connection, & malicious users do strange things  on purpose. by @shadowspar
  • 10. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 9 Rosie has a look inside Red Gate Software By rOsiE shErry The relaxed and fun nature of the There was something that made images reminded me of The Soft- me smile when I walked into Red ware Testing Club monster style im- Gate’s offices last week. Whilst ages that we produce. I could sense waiting in the reception area I no- some strong similarities between ticed a great Red Gate recruitment Red Gate’s and STC’s ethos coming poster. It was the cartoon style along. characters that seemed to catch my eye. The one in the Gorilla suit It was during our lunch break that made me smile. I discovered that each of the cartoon characters was actually a Red Gate employee. I wondered if they had a gorilla working for them, but alas, no. Just someone who occasionally Gate have been advertising testing sucked into their book policy. I love We're Hiring dresses up as one! jobs on STC with free iPads up for books! This is where anyone can Test Engineers grabs for anyone who gets an in- order books up to the value of £100 I was at Red Gate to have a bit terview. Unfortunately they’ve run and claim the money back through of a nose about and get a feel for out of iPads now but they’re still RedGate. who the people behind the scenes looking for 4-5 new Test Engineers. were. I had kept seeing Red Gate here’s the advert on their website Yes, I admit to being tempted to appear in my interweb life. My first and here’s a page they’ve written work for them. recollection was by ‘friending’ and about what it’s like to be a Tester chatting about software testing with at red Gate. I’m sure there are other compa- David atkinson - this was over nies who adopt similar work ethos. three years ago. I then came across All these reminders of Red Google springs to mind, though Gate’s existence had me thinking they are obviously on a much bigger redgate The Business of software - started by the joint CEO. I’ve been yearn- that it must be a great company to work for. And I admit it. Whilst scale. To me it seems an obvious and logical work ethos to have. To ing yearning, but unable to go to this one. My strong interest in col- being shown around Red Gate, ca- talk about it is one thing, putting it laboration and coworking also made sually meeting the joint CEO Neil into action deserves credit. me aware of red Gate’s startup Davidson, drooling at the employee incubator. And then of course, Red benefits, having lunch with other If you are in or near Cambridge Red Gate-rs, viewing how testing is and like what we do at STC, then engrained into their agile approach you’ll find a similar professional and to development and their very open, work ethos to Red Gate. Do check trusting and collaborative approach them out. to working with people. I even got We're Hiring Test Engineers Blog post: Vuvuzela Testing : http://bit.ly/dhPaBk
  • 11. 10 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag was interested in him, his experi- not being seen as ‘just another pro- Yes, It’s Personal ences, and his perspectives. This helped Fred be more at ease, as I was not attacking him or defending grammer’... Now he was a distinct person. sELEna DELEsiE my position. I was just curious to “I don’t want your testers in Foster Open meetings with my team members. Listen learn more about him. Communication They will be disruptive and then It is easy to respond with anger Be personable use information they hear to make People don’t usually want to work when in a situation where you are us look bad. Keep them away from with someone they believe to be intentionally kept out of the loop It is difficult to maintain a hos- us.” deceitful. It is easy to be hostile with or unfairly blamed. Anger tends to tile relationship with someone who Fred said this to me a week after someone who hordes information, make situations worse though, and is friendly and sincerely interested we started working together. We is not open to receiving feedback, causes problems that need to be in you as a person. Building posi- had both just joined the company, or even lies. This does not support dealt with later on. tive relationships with colleagues he as a programming manager, the creation of an open environment A better approach? Take a deep makes work more enjoyable and and myself as the test manager. I where people converse and collabo- breath, calm down, and listen. more successful. This works only thought our interactions had been rate freely, but encourages a lacklus- Understanding the other person’s if you are genuine in your interac- positive, so wondered why Fred felt tre environment of negativity. perspective is an important first step tions, as people will sense if you this way. Creating an environment of open in arriving at a mutually agreeable are being deceitful. Not wanting to make assump- communication is challenging, espe- resolution. Allow them to share their It takes time to grow a positive tions, I inquired, “Fred, I’m curious cially when others behave adversely, frustration then ask them some ques- relationship from a hostile one, but to hear about some of your experi- but someone needs to take the first tions to learn more. Probe gently so stick with it. Working together will ences. Have you ever been in a situ- steps and lead by example. Why not you don’t come across aggressively. get easier, and you may even gain a ation like the one you just referred you? It may take time for your ac- to?” respected colleague in the process. tions to rub off on other people, but Looking surprised, Fred replied, For Example Some approaches include: they will in time. Some techniques “Um, yes. Why do you ask?” include: ... Does this situation sound • Learn more about their experiences • Smile in greeting. Say ‘Hello’, familiar to you? Have you had by using ‘what, when, where, how,’ ‘Good Morning’, and ‘Good • Speak openly and respectfully difficulty gaining support from questions. This helps people open Night’. People appreciate the ges- about what is on your mind. Share programmers to actively participate up to a conversation. ture, and often can’t help but smile your thoughts with others to help in the same meetings and regularly • What expectations do they have of in return. them see that you are not hiding collaborate together? the test group? • Use your manners. ‘Please’, and things from them (and you shouldn’t Building healthy relationships is • What value do they see in the test ‘Thank You’ can make a world of be!). critical in producing great products. group? difference when used genuinely. • Focus conversations about prob- If relationships between different • How could the test group change to Let them know when you appreci- lems on processes and projects. job functions and team members provide more value? ate work they have done. Your co- While many problems relate to the are less than stellar, don’t despair. • What do they need from the test worker will be encouraged to work people involved, a focus on ‘fixing’ There are techniques to transform group to succeed? with you, rather than against you. them comes across as an attack. The hostile organizations into healthy • Ask about their day or their goal is to engage others, not stop ones, with no management support I asked questions like these in my weekend. Show interest in their life communication. required. situation, which showed Fred that I outside of work to start creating a • Ask for feedback and sugges- relationship that can be built upon. tions from other people then follow • Take them out for coffee or lunch. through on some that make sense to Spend time together outside of the implement. Others will see that you office to strengthen the foundation respect their opinions and trust their for a relationship. At this point you judgment. may be seeing each other as real • When problems arise, ask others people, not just the annoying per- if they are open to hear suggestions son you work with! you have. If they are, share your • When ready, ask basic questions ideas and suggest a trial run in im- about their family and experiences. plementing one. If it does not work Most people will respond in kind. out it can easily be re-evaluated or At this stage you may be building a stopped. With this approach you are casual friendship. asking for permission to offer advice and proceed with a solution, rather In my situation with Fred, I than forcing one upon them. made an effort to stop by and chat with him for a few minutes every My situation required that I first day. While he was initially suspi- listen to Fred to learn about why he cious about my intentions, Fred felt the way he did. As Fred became soon realized that I was genuinely more open during the course of our interested in talking with him. He conversation, I asked if he would liked being treated respectfully, and Need help testing? Check out The Crowd : http://thecrowd.softwaretestingclub.com
  • 12. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 11 Do not become known as a gos- outlined in this paper. These are a sip or as someone who cannot be good starting point though, and will trusted to keep confidential infor- make a positive impact. mation to themselves. This is one of the easiest ways to lose trust. remember To: • Show competence and intelli- gence. Unfairly or not, people trust • Listen others who show they know what • Be Personable they are talking about in relation • Foster Open Communication to their job. If people believe you • Employ a Whole Team Approach, don’t have the knowledge required and to do your job, you will be dis- • Build Trust. missed and overlooked. • Follow through in good faith on Working in a positive and healthy be open to hearing some options. eryone time and reduces frustration other techniques described. environment with those around you When he agreed I suggested that later on. is not impossible. While being an the testers and programmers at- • Work through problems as a team, In my situation as a new test agent of change can be scary, each tend the same meetings, but that we without placing blame. Focus on manager I purposefully continued of us has the power to create such an would discuss and evaluate prog- finding solutions together in order to improving my interactions with environment. It can be achieved with ress each week. Fred agreed as he move forward. Fred and other colleagues. The sit- diligence, awareness of self and oth- was comfortable that we would stop • Do whatever it takes as a team to uation improved dramatically since ers, and a positive outlook. if he was not satisfied. In the end it get it done, regardless of job title or that first interaction in the weeks proved to not be an issue after all, documented responsibilities. Team following. Co-workers saw that I Best of luck in creating your own so the joint meetings and collabora- work is an important part of the job. could be trusted to follow through success story! tions became a regular occurrence. •Be appreciative and thankful for the on commitments, was trustworthy work that your teammates are doing. in keeping confidential information The Whole Team to myself, and proved to understand In working with Fred, I addi- about author the technology and processes I was approach tionally made a concerted effort to working with. Selena Delesie is a consulting change the language I used when Fred quickly became support- Sometimes people forget that software tester and agile coach discussing the project and problems. ive of my department and I. He each person working on a project who runs her own company, De- The term ‘We’ was particularly ef- and his programmers were soon is working on the same team. It lesie Solutions. She has more than fective as problems that arose were interacting frequently with us for is easy to niche one another into 10 years of experience testing, taken on collectively by the entire advice on software design, trouble- ‘’programmers’, ‘testers’, ‘project managing, and coaching in soft- team, so no one was put on the spot. shooting issues, and processes. managers’, etc. When that happens, Subsequently, whoever contributed Fred also became an advocate for ware, testing, and agile practices blaming other groups for problems to a problem owned up to their mis- early involvement of the test group for leading-edge technologies. She can quickly become the norm. facilitates the evolution of good takes and worked with the rest of the in projects, and in needing to hire Regardless of job title though, teams and organizations into great team to resolve it. additional testers to keep up with each person working on a project is ones using individualized and the heavy workload. I was pleased part of a larger team with the same team-based coaching and interac- Build Trust to have not only gained a positive end goal in mind: Release a quality tive training experiences. Selena and healthier work environment, product within budget that meets is co-founder and host for the The most important factor in but also a respected colleague and or exceeds customer expectations. Waterloo Workshops on Software transforming a hostile environment friend. A shift in mindset is often needed Testing, and an active speaker, into a healthy environment is trust. participant, and leader in numerous to work together to accomplish the end goal using a ‘whole team ap- Trust is the one thing that makes Conclusion industry-related conferences and or breaks relationships or change associations. She frequently blogs proach’. This includes: initiatives. It is difficult to acquire Regardless of the situation you at www.SelenaDelesie.com. and quite fragile. Some key factors find yourself in, approach it congru- • Recognize and communicate that to consider in building trust with any ently. There may be something go- you are in this together – no matter colleague: ing on for the other person that has what! • The ‘We’ mentality – using ‘We’ nothing to do with you. Learn what • Do what you say you will do. It is you can by asking questions so you instead of ‘Me’ or ‘You’. It is a difficult to trust someone who does don’t make assumptions about in- helpful shift in communication, and not follow through on work they tentions or reasoning. Do your best people will stop feeling blamed and have committed to. to speak openly and honestly with acting defensively. • Build relationships. People are others, regardless of how distress- • Understand that project and inclined to trust people they know ing it may seem. company success is dependent on as a colleague, and particularly as a There are many more tech- successful completion and delivery friend. Keeping a distance from oth- niques for creating an environment by everyone. ers will impede your ability to create where testers and programmers (or • Communicate and collaborate a positive work environment. any other groups) collaborate and early and often, which saves ev- • Keep private conversations private. support one another than the ones Tool to remember: RT @cgoldberg: Convert Web Page to PDF: http://bit.ly/RC6Fm @Oliver_NZ
  • 13. 12 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag STC Carnival of Testers June 2010 tester challenges to weekend testing. By siMOn MOrLEy Tester Challenges are a great way to exercise some key think- TEsTEr’s aCTiViTy FrOM ing and analysis skills for testers. If ThE BLOGOsphErE you can’t get weekend testing then having a go at a testers challenge is Spring - a time of renewal, re- always worthwhile. If you haven’t birth and other re- words... Well, seen them then it’s worth looking at spring 2010 (in the northern hemi- these challenges, there’s something sphere) has been eventful, diverse to learn in all of them. and - in the words of Steve ‘Inter- esting’ Davis - interesting! Pradeep Soundararajan made a write-up of his “Finding Nemo” Different aspects and angles Let’s have a look at some of the around QA were written about but Leftfield challenge; http://bit.ly/9OTpLf topics that have been discussed in Michael Bolton’s post was the most the last 4 months. Analogy is ever-popular amongst Markus Gärtner used both smurfs; comprehensive. testing bloggers. It’s helps to clarify http://bit.ly/abxs9P and a maths http://bit.ly/cpLeO2 (sometimes) and contrast. hot Topics proof as subjects for challenges; http://bit.ly/clL1B7 Toyota’s brake-related problems were put into a software testing Babies and Software Testing was Spring being a time when things the subject of Elizabeth Fiennes’ warm up... Let’s look at some Lynn McKee has produced a context by James Bach, here. http://bit.ly/bgYfWP writing, http://bit.ly/9DSUcv “warm” topics... range of puzzles from different sources; http://bit.ly/9YOHX1 When was the last time someone Reviewing Cem Kaner’s de- Volcanos scription of a good test case was a called you a muppet (in a nice way?) Lannette Creamer used Star Trek No? Well, Jared Quinert provides as a base for the challenge and write- subject of one of Rikard Edgren’s a guide on muppet related testers, On the lava end of the scale... posts. http://bit.ly/bvbmTU up. http://bit.ly/aQKLs1 The general disruption caused by the unpronounceable volcano doing unpredictable things to an unpre- A challenge in a bookshop? Pari- new pens Other groupings of testers were mala Shankaraiah wrote about it, and given the Animal Kingdom slant by pared European airspace was a lessons for testing; New bloggers appeared in the Simon Morley. http://bit.ly/bAuSyr “warm” topic in April. It triggered http://bit.ly/d6fKOZ past few months. Here’s a selection. some systems thinking from Zeger Van Hese: http://bit.ly/awLJRJ, The near-obligatory Monty Py- The #parkcalc topic generated a January saw Thomas Ponnet thon reference (by Phil Kirkham) is re-arranged schedules for Lisa lot of interest in the twitterverse as start some intelligent blogging. a good way to round off this look Crispin: http://bit.ly/9a59Lm and well as blogosphere. Matt Heusser http://bit.ly/5XE5Zr back over the last few months. the opportunity for Rob Lambert wrote a review of the challenge and http://bit.ly/9RIfqQ http://bit.ly/d9RoJs to attend the reaction; http://bit.ly/9v73SN Another January new pen was hastily arranged OpenVolcano event. Markus Deibel, with some good Weekend Testing continued its reports on his weekend testing in- march round the world by starting an volvement. http://bit.ly/5A1cVM about author Certification ANZ grouping/chapter. Could it be Africa next? http://bit.ly/aIL4qf Simon Morley posts the Carnival Selenium was the trigger for This topic got warm in May. Of Testers on his blog here: Felipe Knorr Kuhn to start his blog A range of views and discussion http://bit.ly/96ww51 smorgåsbord in May. http://bit.ly/bDIx4d was represented on a number of sites. The discussion-and-comment The analytic approach shines A whole range of other testing “warm” posts were by James Bach; through in James Christie’s topics were up for discussion. http://bit.ly/cYojkN Simon Morley; blog which started in March. http://bit.ly/cYojkN Nathalie de Vr- http://bit.ly/bdmXJJ A desire that testers shouldn’t be ies; http://bit.ly/cPDWTG and Dave sheep was put forward by Rob Lam- Whalen; http://bit.ly/chtOcB March and April also saw Ann bert, http://bit.ly/cSDw8e Flismark, http://bit.ly/ap5b19 popular Ever wondered what Black-Viper Tim Riley http://bit.ly/cXLShz Testing is? Then check out Pradeep & Kenneth Hastings dipping Some topics have been fun & Soundararajan’s post. their toes in the blogging water. popular during this period - from http://bit.ly/aM3kbN http://bit.ly/aVC7QM www.softwaretestingclub.com Set measurable/achievable goals around reducing test creation time and increasing test execution time @bradjohnsonsv
  • 14. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 13 Test Engineers and Development Engineers on the Same Agile Team The answers came from adopting By Liz rOBErTsOn a more holistic approach to the over- all software development process When my organization rolled out that starts to blur the lines between an agile approach across the whole what a developer and a tester con- French Edition Time company, we wanted to embrace OF Histor Brief Y a tribute to a team. all the agile best practices, includ- Practices such as test-driven ing having each agile team “own” development and unit testing put Over the Weekend all operations related to completing more testing responsibility into the what they planned for each itera- hands of developers. Expectations tion (including all the testing tasks). Testing became fun from testers on an agile team include For many of the staff, this was the working closely with individuals first time that developers and testers representing the business and with again were on the same functional team. developers to formulate test cases, It became apparent that at least in either manual or automated, which some of the teams the old distinc- often requires a more in-depth tech- Possible missions include finding tions and attitudes between separat- nical knowledge compared to what ing between these two roles were By anna Baik anD MarkUs bugs, evaluating a new test tool, as may have been expected from these well as generating test ideas around still in place. GärTnEr same testers in the past. a given application. Testers often Given that developers outnum- Clearly the role of the software Weekend Testing provides the bered testers on the teams, it was begin by testing the mission itself, tester is changing rapidly. As teams opportunity to learn new testing often the scenario that stories that by asking questions regarding the adopt more agile processes, as auto- approaches in a safe environment were development-complete and mission to narrow it down, or to mation plays a greater role in testing, away from daily work, project waiting for verification would re-phrase the mission completely - and as flexibility and adaptability schedule pressures and software pile up in an iteration, leaving the they’re wise to do so, as sometimes are ever more important the expecta- being thrown over the wall. Since testers scrambling in the final days the mission may contain traps for the tion of the software tester has shifted participation is on a volunteer of the iteration to verify and get unwary and unquestioning. from a functional expert who is good basis, people feel highly-motivated each story to a “done” status. It The session format is a text chat, at “breaking stuff” to a seasoned and eager to learn something new. was suggested by agile coaches though participants who’ve decided technical professional who can pro- This article introduces the concept that in these cases the entire team to pair up to attack the mission often vide a myriad of services on a cross around Weekend Testing, accompa- should commit to getting stories to choose to collaborate, and may use functional team to ensure a more nied with comments from the first done status, and therefore any team voice chat on a back channel for this. consistent and high quality output. Weekend Testing sessions. member should help get the stories Weekend Testing participants may completed, meaning that sometimes partition the work among the whole about author What is Weekend Testing? group, or pair with other partici- developers could test stories (as long as it wasn’t one that they had pants. Being able to test with other Liz Robertson is a Quality Engi- People might argue ”weekends, developed). people is fun, especially for testers neering Manager for Orbitz World- isn’t that supposed to be quality This is where previously held who are the sole tester in their team wide based in Chicago, IL. Her cur- time away from work?” – I admit attitudes about the distinction or company. rent focus is on test automation and that this thought crossed my mind between developers and testers The overall session is divided performance testing, and has been too. I now realize that this *is* kicked-in. Was it “beneath” a de- into two major parts. While the first involved with agile development and quality time, and far away from veloper to do testing tasks? Was it part is spent on testing the product testing teams for the last 5 years. work as well. Quality learning time. according to the provided mission, a good use of his/her time? - Zeger van Hese in the second half of the session Weekend Testing is a time- participants share their experiences boxed, collaborative testing session with their individual testing in a full over the Internet following a pro- hour of discussion. Beneath testing vided mission. Sounds very easy. traps and bugs, the discussion on Well, it is easy. The session facilita- individual learning experiences, test- tor leads the session and provides ing approaches and mistakes as well the product and the mission. The as tools and techniques are revealed participants then start to test the and discussed. Each participant product according to the mission is asked to reflect over the course and report their findings back into a of their testing. The professional public bug tracking system. exchange during this part is one of "Rotate" testers to different projects/products once in a while. It refresh theirs perspective and that of the whole team.  @joelmonte
  • 15. 14 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag chat window popping up each time a participant raises a question in the group chat. Conversely, some fall for the trap of ignoring the discussion and questions asked by other session members, thus missing out on useful information. Another trap may be that testers decide to work alone in- stead of pairing up with other testers. This list may sound familiar. Indeed, these traps are very common for software testers. In our compa- nies we get testing missions like “test this” and while we feel under pressure we jump straight in without stopping to question further how the reporting of the test results will take place or what the main focus of the testing activities will be. Testers who have participated in Weekend Testing are building an awareness of such traps and often take this back to their workplace. Interestingly, most of the time testers create these traps for them- selves and fall diligently into them. So, participating in a Weekend Test- ing session may help overcome your own self-blindness to these traps. Discussion I liked this a lot, as normally I work alone, so I guess this is the the biggest benefits for each tester FCC CUTS VIDS[1]. closest I get to working in a team participating. Each participant takes environment. - Anne-Marie Charrett away great lessons from the inter- Watch Out For Traps What To Test During the discussion and debrief national mix of testers involved. part of the session, each participant ...it was simply a lot of fun to So I am totally sold on the Week- takes turns to answer questions on be interacting with other testers Testing The product end Testing concept. Great way to their experiences while testing the and finding out how they had try out and learn new approaches [...] product. The facilitator will ask the approached the tasks and their ... I will say it’s the perfect anti- and great discussions with fellow testers questions to enable self- thoughts on it afterwards. - Phil dote to 6+ months of project death testers - Phil Kirkham reflection. While this may sound Kirkham march. Testing is fun again! - Anna Collaboratively testing on the odd, the debrief of the session is the Think about the last trap you Baik weekend over the Internet leaves most valuable part of the overall fell into at work - wouldn’t it have When participants start testing, little room regarding the products two hours. During this part partici- been better to find that trap when some may choose to keep a watch to test. So far, we have tested web pants share their experiences, what your boss wasn’t looking at you? on the discussion to see clarify- applications, which are accessible problems they run into, reflect over Weekend Testing sessions can make ing questions asked to the session to everyone around the globe, and the traps they fell for, and exchange you aware of traps, so that you can facilitators, or to ask them on their open-source applications which may thoughts and solutions collabora- avoid them gracefully at work. own. On occasion, the product be used on different platforms. Fre- tively. Often, each tester may have Over the course of the first half developers or representatives may eMind, Google Calendar, bingMaps, come up with an entirely different of the session participants fall into be available in the chat to answer TinyUrl, and WikiOnAStick are just approach to everyone else. This can many traps - just as in their day- questions about the product, and some of the example applications help other testers to learn about new to-day work. Some fall for the trap what information they’d like to we examined. The session and bug ways and ideas for their daily work. of starting testing before the mis- know about it. Most of the time, the reports from individual testers are In such a deliberate learning envi- sion was clarified or refined. Some participants remain silent indicat- publicly accessible, so the product ronment each participant gets a lot of give in to the pressure of the single ing they’re busy testing. Over the owners can take great value from the practical knowledge. While working hour they have for testing - thereby course of the first few sessions tested applications as well. on the weekends may sound odd, short-cutting either the mission there have been missions as vague testers are challenged to learn about or even the result reporting in the as “test this” up to following a new domains, new testing approach- end. Some fall for the trap of the particular set of test heuristics like es and to share and reflect their constant distractions caused by the experiences with other testers around I learned LOADS from a DB walk through session the other day by the devs. Why not organize something similar with your team? @Rob_Lambert
  • 16. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 15 the globe. Testers get to try new ap- were like meeting the elves and fair- ences, tester groups or [European about author proaches that they don’t work with ies responsible for keeping the world Weekend Testers] EWT. In my in their daily work. In fact, Week- spinning. There’s something enrich- book it’s an important part of why Markus Gärtner is a software end Testing provides self-education ing and soulful watching testers I do my job, to learn, confirm as- tester since 4 years from Germany for testers far beyond classroom- practicing testcraft while testers in sumptions and things we believe to Personally committed to Agile based certification courses. US time zones are asleep. The testers be true. Another important point for methods, he believes in continuous I had the pleasure of interacting with EWT is that at the weekend ses- improvement in software testing in these sessions were indeed magi- sions people may make mistakes. Global Exchange through skills. Markus presents cal in terms of their enthusiasm and The only thing that happens when at Agile and testing conferences, energy for a profession focused on they do is to learn from it and get blogs at http://blog.shino.de and I also look at all the participants critique. encouragement from the group as is a black-belt in the Miagi-Do here and think ‘I’m not worthy! many people will have done the school of software testing, and a These people are all so accom- same ones themselves. plished!’ Then I think ‘great, what anne-Marie Charrett co-founder of the European chapter When I started with EWT I of Weekend Testing. good company to learn a lot in’. - participated only. I’m now mod- Anna Baik If you want a taste at test manage- erating as well which has its own Though the sessions are run by ment, or you want to improve your challenges and learning curves. It’s local chapters - as of this writing management skills, I would recom- we have Mumbai, Europe, Ban- mend anyone volunteering to facili- fantastic to observe, from a test about author managers perspective, what works galore, Australia/NZ, Hyderabad, tate a weekend testers session. You in a group and what doesn’t. EWT Before testing, Anna Baik and Chennai - testers globally learn a lot about yourself & testing is not only great if you want to taught telepathy to telephonists, are invited to participate in every when you attend a weekend session, learn about software testing but also teaching people how to figure out Weekend Testing session around but when you facilitate a test session how to teach effectively, how to how to ask their customers the the globe. Every tester participating you get to work on those manage- steer a discussion and much more. right questions, and how to re- thereby has the opportunity to learn ment and soft skills that every test Some great people gave up their ally listen to what they said - and from basically everyone. Since in manager needs. Some of the chal- spare time to help me in the past didn’t say. She then got a job the second hour experiences are lenges include, creating an idea for so it feels good to give something in application support, and was shared in the discussion, Weekend a session, sourcing software for the back now. I might not be there drafted into testing from there. Testing provides a learning envi- session, planning the scope and the every week as my son wants a part When she realised testing was ronment beyond traditional class- purpose of the session. On the day, of me as well. But I’ll make sure about asking the right questions, room courses. A typical Weekend you get to practice your communica- to participate and teach and learn and seeing what isn’t there, she Testing session lasts just two hours, tion and leaderships skills. So, if you whenever I can. was hooked. She blogs occasion- while providing the benefit of glob- want to improve your skills fur- ally exchanging thoughts with some ther, why not take the next step and ally at the Software Testing Club, really great testers. volunteer to run a weekend tester references and tweets as TesterAB. She and session? Markus co-founded the Europe [1] FCC CUTS VIDS heuristic chapter of Weekend Testing. Guest Facilitators On http://bit.ly/9ezwWZ Weekend Testing Thomas ponnet Making time for testing at the Over the course of the last year, weekend is not always easy to do. Weekend Testing has gained the When my wife asked me “Why are attention of some great testers and you so keen to test again this Satur- test consultants all over the planet. day?” I actually had to think about We were happy to bring in guest that. I knew deep down that it was facilitators into the sessions. Here the right thing to do. What I said, are some of the experiences with PractiTest after some consideration, is that Weekend Testing they made. many testers in their day jobs have less than ideal environments when it Jon Bach comes to learning their craft. They might read or hear about something I was invited to be part of two but can’t try it as it might endanger Better QA Management WT sessions (sessions 32 and 33) their project, or so people believe. recently via Skype -- each starting The Weekend Testing group is a Free 30-Day Trial at 2:30 AM Seattle time. With the safe environment where testers can house dark and quiet, the glow from try out new ideas, talk about testing my laptop was like a cup of ruve- with peers and like minded people at nating coffee for me. It was a warm their level of experience. This is very window into what I found to be a important as often that is not pos- collaborative, professional and wel- sible in their day jobs. www.practitest.com coming enclave of testers. The folks I feel that I re-discover my en- who volunteer their time to hunt for thusiasm for testing whenever I’m problems and share testing tricks talking with peers, be it at confer- Your brain also requires a reboot every now and then. Don't take long testing runs without a rest or they won't be so productive. @knorrium
  • 17. 16 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag Why Testers Should Care About Static Analysis By anDrEW yanG anD actors FLash shEriDan Static source code analysis Who gets involved in static analy- (“static analysis” for short) tools sis? Usually architects and program- have been around for a long time. mers are the drivers for getting a Nearly everyone has heard of Lint, static analysis tool. They realize a program from the 1970’s, which that finding problems while they are flags potential problems in source coding is the least expensive way to code, along with a large number improve quality and security. In an of non-problems. Static analysis organization large enough to have tools advanced far beyond Lint in a tools team, it may end up owning the past decade. Modern day static the implementation and maintenance analysis tools perform sophisticated of the tool. Other groups like central data and path analysis across func- security or governance may play a tions and can detect problems with role. Testing should play a pivotal role: defining and helping to en- forbidding programmers to mark de- far more accuracy and depth than role but usually does not. force the goals for static analysis. fects as false positives, or forbidding traditional tools. Must all static analysis defects be (or even delaying) configuration Organizations intent on improv- fixed before release? Should “no changes to eliminate them, will bring Why Testers need To Care new defects” be the goal? What the static analysis tool into disrepute. ing their software have embraced static analysis as an important part are the priorities for each defect It can even make the code worse, by Testers should be involved in category — should all crashing forcing an inexperienced program- of the software development pro- and help to drive quality and secu- bugs, overflows, memory leaks, and mer to change code in a hurry mere- cess. Spurred on by the increase in rity throughout the entire software uninitialized data be fixed but other, ly to silence the tool. Any genuine popularity of Agile Development, development lifecycle. Gone are the lower priority, categories like dead solution will require judgment and the increasingly visible costs of days where the tester’s sole role is to code be handled later? prioritization of individual defects, software failure, and other trends, do the last minute testing just before In an organization large enough which is a matter for testing to drive software development organizations release. to have a software engineering or to resolution. It may not be neces- are automating their testing pro- Testers serve as a strong coun- tools development group, one or sary for testers to review all alleged cesses and finding and fixing errors terpoint to programmers, creating a the other will generally be in charge false positives, but at a minimum, and security violations earlier. healthy dynamic towards improving of deploying and running static the definition of what is acceptable Static analysis finds defects by quality and security. As the part of analysis tools. This is natural for and how it will be assured must be analyzing source code without run- the organization focused primarily the deployment phase for the tool; made. ning it. No test cases are required on software quality, testing’s role is but once the tool is successfully Improving software development and a good static analysis tool like to ensure that quality standards, and deployed, the goal changes, and quality early in the process means Klocwork or Coverity can analyze not merely the smooth running of the testers need to play a larger role. that testers are testing better soft- large numbers of logical paths in tool, are actually achieved. The software engineering group is ware. Fixing the problems sooner the code to find plenty of serious One of the most important roles primarily interested in developing helps testers focus on more func- bugs. Static analysis tools don’t in any static analysis initiative is code, and the tools group in having tional testing, where they can add even need fully working software finding the person or department that the tool run smoothly in accordance significantly more value. to operate, allowing programmers actually cares that the right defects with a clearly defined procedure. to use it from the early stages of are getting fixed. Quite frequently, Both attitudes conflict with the goal coding. Feedback is quick and how Can Testers without the right processes and of finding bugs and getting them errors are reported pointing to the advocacy, the tool becomes limited fixed. Bugs are unpredictable and Get involved? specific line of code where the in its use. For instance, develop- messy, and finding them without potential bug is, making it easier ers who are in charge of prioritizing getting inundated with false posi- Test teams now require more for programmers to fix. If a bug is their own defects may incorrectly tives requires flexibility and judg- skills — they need skills in security found by static analysis rather than mark genuine bugs as false positives. ment rather than adherence to a processes, automation, and even in testing, it saves almost all of the Programmers have a lot on their predefined procedure. programming. Testers should under- programmer’s time in isolating and plates and taking the time to review As an example, the problem stand static analysis technology and diagnosing the problem, and all of the problems accurately naturally mentioned above, of program- the benefits it can provide. With this the tester’s time in reproducing and becomes de-prioritized. Checks and mers incorrectly marking their knowledge, testers can work with reporting it, increasing the produc- balances are needed. own defects as false positives, has other stakeholders to obtain buy-in tivity of both. Testers can play an important no simple procedural fix. Simply that it will benefit a larger quality The real danger isn't that computers will begin 2 think like men but that men will begin 2 think like computers. ~SydneyHarr… @AGareev
  • 18. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 17 and security goal. Testers need to view quality as about author a whole, which includes building quality and security into the soft- Andrew Yang and Flash Sheri- ware development process. Test dan are consultants with Code teams can help define reasonable Integrity Solutions (http://www. acceptance criteria and work with codeintegritysolutions.com), a development and management professional services firm fo- teams to create the right processes cused on static analysis and and infrastructure to support the ef- software development infrastruc- fective use of the tool. When prop- ture. Code Integrity Solutions the requirements to “what’s impor- erly implemented, static analysis helps leading companies greatly Count On serendipity tant”, and to do it in an effective will result in big gains in productiv- improve the quality and secu- way. ity as well as quality. rity of their code. Andrew and You will find the best things when Testers can combine knowledge Flash can be reached at andy@ looking for something else; execute from a variety of models, from the codeintegritysolutions.com and two different tests at the same time, product’s history, from the tech- flash@codeintegritysolutions.com. and explore the areas in between nologies in use, from software testing itself, from actual usage (or Keep all your senses wide open! Testing & Creativity stories thereof), from the context of the project, by conversations with different people, and by using their Learn a Lot, and Combine things that are easily expressible in own skills. Disparate knowledge By rikarD EDGrEn written format. The implicit require- We can’t find every bug, but we ments, things that a user would want, can aim to find all bugs that are Creativity never comes out of the I think I love software testing blue; it is most often a new combina- are not included here. important. because it involves such a great tion of existing things. The blue area is all possible us- deal of creativity - “the process Ergo; learn more different things, age and errors, which in reality is an of having new ideas that provide Cheating With Creativity and combine them in fruitful ways. infinite area. value”. Sir Ken Robinson. [http:// Steal, combine and adjust two But we’re lucky! The area for www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_ Since each project is unique, I important things isn’t that wide, and well-known concepts and invent says_schools_kill_creativity.html] can’t give you any secret methods we can perform sample tests (sym- your own method. The creativity is needed both of how you can create low-hanging bolized by dashes.) when generating test ideas outside fruit with ingenious test ideas and The samples doesn’t cover ev- explicit requirements, and when approaches. Use Creativity Techniques erything, but if a skilled tester looks finding the effective methods for But I can give you some hints on at what’s happening, there is a great running important tests. cheating: There are many ways to stimulate chance that they will discover impor- I’d like to explain this by visu- creativity, e.g. brainstorming, pro- tant issues in nearby areas (this is the alizing software in the form of a po- allow Creativity and The vocative operators, mind mapping, everyday serendipity of the software tato The square is the requirements pair testing… tester.) Mistakes That Go along document, which covers important My favorite is “the opposite Creativity is needed to go from With it method”; thinking about things like “How can our software be as bad as Try many approaches, and cheat possible” (Can’t start it; Can’t Install by letting there be some waste in it; Can’t Find it) has a good chance your test efforts. Try rotating a of generating insight of what is re- “free role” within the team. You ally important. will make up for it, eventually. Creativity is not a gift, but rather Have a diversified team, and let the result of discipline and patience people collaborate and inspire each together with an open and curious other. Trust the tester’s intelligence. mind. Everyone is creative. Find your creative thinking and set it free. Use Check Lists and Cheat sheets Your own list is the best, but as inspiration, search for “Test Heu- about author ristics Cheat Sheet”, “Exploratory Testing Dynamics” or “Software Rikard Edgren, tester at TIBCO Quality Characteristics” Spotfire, blogger at thetesteye.com Get inspired by solutions and bugs for similar, and radically dif- ferent, projects.  Eat lunch with your developers -- they'll talk about changes they've forgotten to tell you about. @jbaibel
  • 19. 18 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag Black Box Software Testing in the quality, breadth of applicabil- By sCOTT BarBEr ity, and effectiveness of their train- Depending on what research you ing. When taken together, it is clear trust, there are between 4 and 14 to me that testers should have more million people currently employed access to high quality, affordable, in the areas of software quality or broadly applicable, and reference- software testing worldwide. I like able education and training. to say “about 10 million”. Of them Over the last 3 years the Asso- only a tiny percentage, I estimate ciation for Software Testing (AST) in the neighborhood of 1%, receive has been piloting a new way to any reference-able training, profes- deliver education and training to sional development, or education testers that we refer to as the BBST specific to testing software each program. I’m sure that many of year. If total book sales are a fair you have at least stumbled across indicator, fewer than 10% those something about this program in the employed in software quality or blogsphere, but I’d like to take a few software testing own a book di- minutes of your time to share some rectly related to their job. With things about it that you probably numbers like this, it’s no wonder don’t already know. that many people feel like educa- Understand that my intent is tion and training in the field is, shall not to “sell” you on this program we say, lacking. (though I would be pleased if after the education and training that complementary course evaluations, And what about the quality reading this at least some of you should be available to all testers. but I’ve never seen the words “… or effectiveness of this existing decided to take one or more of the Also understand that it’s not learn more than I thought I could.” education and training? We know courses). My intent is to share with my intent to discuss the quality of I struggle to think of higher praise. that the majority of the available you what I believe is the best cur- the content of this, or any other, It’s my opinion that this kind of education and training is delivered rently implementable model that I course. While I believe that quality praise is only possible because of by tool, certification, and training am aware of to better educate more education and training begins with this program’s unique variety of vendors who, appropriately, are as testers at all stages of their career quality content, I also believe that teaching, learning, and experienc- interested in promoting their prod- and to raise your expectations about it takes more than just content for ing methods employed during each ucts and earning a profit as they are people to learn effectively. What I course. The following description am discussing is how a particular of the program comes from the latest delivery format is being shown to status report to the National Science be more effective, particularly for Foundation: working testers seeking profes- “Each of the AST courses is a sional development, that either fully-online course taught over four university or commercial formats weeks. The first three weeks use a you may be familiar with. In fact, collection of videos, readings, online the content that is currently avail- activities, reflections, and quiz- able through the BBST program has zes to present course materials. In been, and continues to be, delivered the fourth week, students turn their in both university and commercial attention to writing a final exam, formats, and that is part of how peer reviewing another student’s the effectiveness of this format has exam, and completing the course been assessed. But don’t take my evaluation. In addition to the formal word for it, read what this student instructional delivery, we provide had to say in the mandatory, but online space for student study ef- anonymous, post-course evaluation forts (asking for help, discussing survey: quiz results, and preparing for the “This was a terrific experience. final exam) and social space to meet I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot. their peers and share non-course I got to be around diverse testers related information regarding jobs, from diverse backgrounds who promotions, new babies, and links to came in from all over the world. I interesting current events. For more had some really knowledgeable tes- details, please refer to the complete ters give me advice and correct me, paper at http://bit.ly/cYIGwg. which made me learn more than I Assignments are due twice a thought I could.” week, on Wednesday and Saturday. I’ve delivered a lot of training in Over a 4 week period successful my career, and read a lot of highly students spend 32 hrs or more per- use personas, aligned with the sequence in which they'll do things in the app, to think of scenarios to explore and test.  (#notnew) @lisacrispin
  • 20. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 19 forming all of the activities above tor assessment. In the words of differentiates it from commercial welcome to use the same materials at a time when it’s best for them. another student: courses. I’m only slightly kid- to conduct their own training, with Unlike a 5 day face-to-face class “In my opinion, the 4-week long ding. The format also challenges proper attribution, of course. This that also provides approximately 32 online course was a systematic the participants writing skills when might not make a big difference hours of interaction with the mate- journey towards learning a few core answering and reviewing other to students while they are taking rial, this format allows students to fundamentals of software testing. In students’ work. This is a skill that the course, but I know that when I “pause, rewind, play, and replay” addition, it helped me build a practi- I find more and more important in started filling lead and management at will to work around distrac- cal approach to look at test strate- the relevant professional world.” roles, I found myself wishing that I tions, to take some time to absorb gies, testing mission and oracles, This student was particularly had access to materials from courses concepts, and to discuss the mate- and how the mission is dependent impressed by the value of learning I’d taken years before to help me rial with their peers, instructors, on context. This journey was very in an environment where they can train my staff. I also know that and co-workers at their own rate. effective because it was based on interact with a diverse peer group: even when I knew people who were Students don’t have to worry about cognitive learning -- due to which “One of the best things about willing to pull strings on my behalf, having their questions “tabled” the knowledge could be applied and this class was never once because they don’t fit in the course used in new situations while thinking the peer reviews This course forces the was I suc- schedule. Students can even “test” about new challenges. I think that and being able participants to think. That im- cessful in the material as they go at their this was the epitome of this online to work with mediately differentiates it from getting my workplace instead of having to wait training program.” people on the hands on commercial courses until after the course is over and the It is the diversity of methods that assignment. It anything instructor is gone to figure out what enables courses in this program to was amazing to more than implementation challenges they are focus on problem solving and deci- me how relatively simple it actually the slide deck. up against. sion making while introducing the was. People were civil and kind, Did I mention the pricing? AST Other things that distinguish student to new material rather than and yet could assess your work offers Foundations free members and these courses from other formats simply presenting disembodied pro- and be honest. I really loved being charges $200 for members ($300 for with a similar number of hours of cedures to accomplish specific tasks around other software testers who non-members) for advanced courses. interaction is that in addition to that may or may not turn out to be at really love what they are doing.” I think you’d agree that compared video lectures, readings and discus- all applicable when you get back to The following students draw to most reference-able training sions, it has individual and group the office, or as this student writes: comparisons to other training they available today that this qualifies as exercises, welcomes discussion of “This course forces the partici- have received: affordable. diverse experiences and opinions, pants to think. That immediately “This course was more intense 163 students have successfully and employs self, peer, and instruc- and made more sense than {certi- completed the first course in the fication} (which I have done) - its series (Foundations) as of June 1, more in depth and had me thinking 2010, and 48 have completed the at a different level. I have identified second (Bug Advocacy) with more Association for some of my weaknesses and will be classes currently in session. There Software working on them. The BEST course are a number of new courses in Testing ast I have taken on software testing - active development, a growing period!” number of trained instructors, and “I have taken a number of com- growing interest from potential mercial courses and they gloss over delivery partners. The next face a lot of what I have learnt in the last to face version of the instructor’s 4 weeks. BBST is worth more than course (open to anyone who has the {deleted} certificate I have in completed one BBST course) will my possession!” be held on August 5, 2010 in Grand “I feel you need only one skill to Rapids, MI, USA for a mere $100 clear commercial exams, that is to ($50 for AST members) on the day memorize and deliver. University following AST’s annual conference, exams, though, depended much on (see http://www.CAST2010.org for memorizing. They had labs, group more information). Those numbers discussions, and assignments, certainly don’t put much of a dent in which was more challenging and millions of testers who didn’t receive helped [me] to learn, but I some- any training last year, but it’s a start. what felt the application was miss- And the numbers are growing. For ing, which was addressed in this more information visit the links course. The examples discussed, below: peer reviews and the orientation AST’s delivery of BBST Courses: exercises were fantastic in BBST http://bit.ly/1a5nMj and I feel all these are missing in BBST Instructor Training: the university syllabus.” http://bit.ly/awZ0r5 www.associationforsoftwaretesting.org As an added benefit, all of the Course Materials: BBST course materials are pub- http://bit.ly/1KijAa lished under a Creative Common’s License, meaning that anyone is Blog post: Will A Bug Destroy Civilization? : http://bit.ly/9NhvjI
  • 21. 20 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag Whatever you may think about education in our field is going to get AST’s program, I ask you to put the better on its own. I believe that it is training model to the test against going to take testers and their em- your own training experiences, then ployers demanding something better ask yourself the following ques- and rejecting training that isn’t meet- tions: ing their needs or isn’t cost effective • Why it is that most software before we see widespread improve- testers don’t receive any training at ment. I believe that better and more all each year when more and more accessible training is one thing that fields all the time require people to testers can actually unify over. complete some form of professional As a field, we may never agree on development annually? what a test case should include, what • Why it is that so much of the percentage of tests should be auto- training available for software mated, or how many testers per de- testers is reported to be “not use- veloper is ideal, but I see no reason ful”, “not implementable”, or “not why we can’t unify over demand- permissible” for their job or their ing, creating, and making widely company when asked about the available affordable, high-quality, Context Driven training later? referenceable, effective training and • Why it is that so much of the education for software testers – Do referenceable training for software you? testers is so cost prohibitive? • Why have we accepted this as the state of our field’s professional Jumping development? these practices or standards and By DhanasEkar I suspect that after asking your- about author question them. Few people trial sUBraManiaM self those questions, you’ll find these practices or standards before yourself asking yourself one more Scott Barber is the Chief Tech- Once upon a time, a herd of applying them to their own projects. question - the question that led me nologist of PerfTestPlus, Execu- sheep were grazing in green fields Suppose, there was a team leader to get involved in this program in tive Director of the Association in the countryside. There was a who said you should execute 23.45 the first place… for Software Testing Co-Founder fence along the field’s border to re- test cases per day, find 23.456 bugs • What can I do to improve the of the Workshop on Performance strict the sheep from crossing over per thousand lines of code and au- availability and quality of training and Reliability and co-author of to the other side. One fine day, one tomate 3.56 test cases per day. The available for people working in the the Microsoft patterns & practices sheep from the herd jumped over next day this becomes a standard for areas of software quality and soft- book Performance Testing Guid- the fence to the other side. Another every tester in the team. It becomes a ware testing? ance for Web Applications. Scott sheep followed. The shepherd saw Best Practice. Maybe the answer to that ques- thinks of himself as a tester and this and decided to remove the I once worked for a company tion will lead you to get involved trainer of testers who has a pas- fence so that the sheep would not which asked testers to execute X with the program too. Maybe it sion for testing software system get hurt. number of test cases will lead you to start a training performance. In additional to None Why not use something that per day. Executing X program of your own. Maybe it performance testing, he is particu- of the has succeeded in the past?” target would ride so will lead you to speak out against larly well versed in developing remain- high on tester’s minds over-priced, ineffective, low quality customized testing methodologies, ing sheep that they would ignore training that you’ve experienced. embedded systems testing, test- realized that the fence had been re- all the bugs that they find outside of But if you agree that training and ing biometric identification and moved and continued to jump over the test cases, assuming that any of education in our field is lacking, I personal security systems, group a fence that did not exist anymore. the testers ventured from the scripts want to encourage you to take ac- facilitation and authoring instruc- This type of herd behavior is in the first place. Their focus was on tion. tional materials. not just restricted to sheep, but also X test cases in a day, nothing more, I do not believe that training and www.perftestplus.com among us testers as we try to follow nothing less. Such standards cage the so called processes, best prac- testers’ imagination and prevent tices and industry standards. Such them from thinking beyond the test standards often start as an answer to scripts. a problem which itself has a spe- If such standards are questioned, cific context. Yet many testers who management often asks “Why re- follow these processes don’t bother invent the wheel? we solve your testing problems to check if it suits their context Why not use something that has www.testingtimes.ie or not. If a particular process/best succeeded in the past?” The manage- Services include practice/standard has succeeded on ment fails to ask if it suits the current · Review your testing strategy a couple of occasions, it is assumed context. · Usability Reviews that it will succeed for all time. The intention of quantifying · Coach Software Testers through a software development release · Train Software Testers Few people analyse these prac- everything is an overhead. Instead · Supplement your software testing resources on-site or o -site tices or standards to see if it suits of focusing on such overheads, the their context. Few people revisit need of the hour is to understand Check out http://feeds.softwaretestingclub.com - nice aggregation of Software Testing Club blogs and news :)
  • 22. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 21 the customer’s context and their who entered the particulars on that needs and decide what works for page added a second signature in them rather than what worked for the comments column by error (or a different customer two years ago. intent?). The twenty other people Customers depend on us to use who completed stationary requests our technical knowledge, experi- that day copied without even bother- ence and skill to provide them what ing to check why they needed to sign is best suited for them. Custom- twice. ers don’t ask about metrics if you So what happens if the processes deliver them the best (Unless, you are questioned and analysed? It leads want to overcharge them by show- to the discovery of new information ing these metrics). Customer feed- which can be raised with the “right” back is the right way to measure people. It leads to new ways of quality. It’s not just counting test working. It leads to change. It leads cases and defects raised. to new ideas. It leads to bugs, issues I encountered this example of and further questions. It breaks down blindly following when I was in assumptions and leads to real im- need of a new notebook and a pen. provement. The stationary is available at the reception desk in our office where process is Mere process we need to make an entry in the register when we collect the items. I Process doesn’t find problems, went to reception to get my station- people do. Don’t follow the sheep in ary where the receptionist gave me plained where I disagreed with her shines”. Of course that’s not wrong, front of you blindly jumping obsta- the register to make the entry. There arguments. She was surprised but but shouldn’t they be providing cles that have since been removed, were already many entries made on accepting that her view of the test- value for the money they charge? or didn’t even exist in the first place. the page, I was almost at the end ing lifecycle could well be wrong. I Shouldn’t they be imparting the right Question, challenge and analyse. of the page, so I checked the last talked about mine, but I didn’t stop knowledge, rather than teaching entry to know what details to enter, there. I wanted to know from where misplaced information without really it had the following details; Name, about author she had studied and learned about caring about the aftermath? Employee ID, Particulars, Quantity, testing. What she told gave me the “Pragmatist, Sapient Soft- a signature and again the same sig- shock of my life. nature in subsequent column. ware tester, Automation Checker, She had enrolled and paid a impact On The Practising Context driven test- I was wondering why he has ing, Strongly believes Question- hefty sum to a testing institute who Testing Community signed it twice. I then looked an en- sent her a heap of training material ing leads to Progress, Hakuna try above and that too had two sig- to learn remotely. Now, that left me What is the the impact on the test- matata.Take life as it comes natures. So I scanned a few others perplexed. I wondered how much ing community at large? What would and make it beautiful,blog at: entries, all had the same patterns. of what she learned was right and be the impact on the companies http://bit.ly/bXUt89 and tweets @ Now I looked at the column head- how much was wrong. these people end up working for? sdhanasekar. Favorite quote “Life ers. They were as follows; Employ- Will we get skilled people at work? begins at the end of your comfort ee Name, Employee ID, Particulars, What kind of quality deliverable can Quantity, Employee Signature and zone.“– Neale Donald Walsch” Masters Of The Field we expect out of people who have Comments. It seems the first person been trained this way? It’s shocking to me that com- panies whose business is to teach how To handle Future Testers In The testing and who claim to be mas- ters in the field impart misguided and potentially wrong information This situation? Making Or Breaking? to candidates. How can a person, totally new to the testing field, ever figure out if they are getting honest, It would be good if people, who enrol in training institutes, verify the correctness of the information given By krishnaVEni One of the candidates started dis- real and accurate information? to them via trusted, impartial, online This incident took place when cussing the testing life cycle. I got resources or by talking to their peers. I went to attend an interview for interested and focused my attention. Cash Cow Mentality Unfortunately, this requires a testing a prestigious IT company. While What I heard was a shocker. With- mindset, something these people are I was waiting for my interview, I out fearing bad manners, I politely One of the major problems is maybe trying to build upon in the overheard a conversation between volunteered to correct her. that anything that becomes a trend first place. two other candidates who were I told her that what she was say- or the “in-thing” and is widely seated alongside me. They were ing didn’t fit with my understanding in demand, becomes a very good talking loudly enough to be heard of the testing life cycle, so I pro- business opportunity. There are read More Testing Books across the hallway, so I didn’t have ceeded to give her what I believe to many people who bank on it to to strain to listen to their conversa- be the right information. At first she make quick money, just as the say- refused to accept my version. I ex- ing goes “Make hay while the sun Read, read and read more. There are tion. many great books on testing avail- Thanks to Stephen Hill (@Stephen_J_Hill) and Thomas Ponnet (@ThomasPonnet) for volunteering time to help out with  The Testing Planet
  • 23. 22 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag able. The Internet is also a great Elizabeth Fiennes: which is a great skill in testing source of information to guide new trisherino: Elizabeth: good point, that’s a good testing skill search To Evaluate The apprentices to the world of software Marlena Compton: There’s an American saying, “I disagree with what you testing. You can join many online Companies Credibility say, but will die defending your right to say it.” discussion forums to share your Elizabeth Fiennes: exactly knowledge and find lots of informa- Know more about the institutes Elizabeth Fiennes: except with that particular author, I might just take a tion for you to browse through. before joining in blindly. Research Chinese burn on their behalf but not much more sufficiently. Talk to students who Elizabeth Fiennes: have studied there in the past. Talk Markus Gärtner: so, to wrap up on self-education in testing is worthy, network With to the lecturers and teachers to get an maybe we need a different teaching model, besides universities...and certi- passionate Testers understanding of their personalities, fication is just paper passion and course material. Elizabeth Fiennes: that’s the masters you get after the degree from the The Testing field has progressed university of life? rapidly over the last few years. ray Of hope Markus Gärtner: blogging helps to have ideas floating around, and im- There is loads of information on proves our argumentation skills, argumentation skills? Or discussion skills? testing available on forums and I hope this has been a good, if not Markus Gärtner: oh, and conferences are great to connect and get new websites including groups of pas- brief, eye opener for the many aspir- ideas sionate testers who are dedicated to ing people who are thinking about trisherino: It forces you to form ideas properly into words, which I think helping grow and steer the testing parting with large sums of money helps with learning. community. and their precious time in the pursuit Rob Lambert: lol we’re off again It’s really good to see that pas- of becoming a more experienced Elizabeth Fiennes: Engagement skills sionate testers are willing to share software tester. Rob Lambert: engagement skills - interesting. their precious knowledge and are Rob Lambert: Takes it to the level of a two way conversation with empathy willing to help people learn more on each side about testing. about author Marlena Compton: We need much more engagement skills and less debate skills in testing. Name: Krishnaveni Markus Gärtner: +1 Marlena Find a Mentor For yourself Job title: Senior QA Engineer trisherino: @Marlena completely agree About Me: Have been in testing trisherino: Written engagement skills even. Which can be difficult. for the past 5 years and am truly Elizabeth Fiennes: well, 20-ish years ago, we all started off on IRC and it Having a mentor makes learning passionate about it. was mental the flame wars that took place easier by setting a suitable direc- Elizabeth Fiennes: then we graduated to nicer message boards, webpages, tion and context to your learning IM chats, forums and blogs goals with someone highly skilled Elizabeth Fiennes: and the same flaming is still going on by newbies to the and motivating. It is good to find formats like- minded testers willing to help Elizabeth Fiennes: whereas us old hats know that is not the way to engage budding testers to learn and practice Rob Lambert: oh how there have been some flame wars in testing testing. Rob Lambert: what is the best way to engage? Marlena Compton: so.... Rob Lambert: when faced with distance STC Chat Elizabeth Fiennes: stepping back Elizabeth Fiennes: asking yourself, is this someone looking for a flamed response, is it worth my time to give it, will me ripping his head off (meta- hOsTED By rOB LaMBErT phorically) in a public forum achieve anything? Elizabeth Fiennes: and if the answers are yes, no and no, then go and find something else to read that is not going to make me go all 1995-IRC on is The Explosion in Blogs about Testing a positive Thing, their post Even if We Don’t agree With The Message? trisherino: I think when it comes to online debates, we have the advantage of being able to take the time to calm down before writing a response, un- Elizabeth Fiennes: Yes it is as it promotes discussion like in some face to face scenarios. Markus Gärtner: yes Rob Lambert: @trish - indeed Marlena Compton: Visibility is good. Marlena Compton: twitter, on the other hand. trisherino: yes absolutely! Rob Lambert: @trish - in our daily jobs it can also be prudent to take a step trisherino: Free flow of ideas. If people don’t agree with the message, it back and think about things. Especially in heated meetings will at least get them talking. trisherino: @Rob That’s true as well, if possible. Rob Lambert: for sure Elizabeth Fiennes: thing is, I think that slowing yourself down online Marlena Compton: +1 for that teaches you the value of holding back your reactionary self and once your Markus Gärtner: it helps in bouncing ideas around, thereby making our embrace that, you can apply it in real life (without realising it) as well profession even more professional Thomas Ponnet: A couple of thoughts from me after reading the quite sub- Elizabeth Fiennes: and understanding the views of someone you do not stantial discussion. I didn’t read it with a glass of wine as Elizabeth sug- agree with help with engaging with them gested, I didn’t think that would improve the reply.. Markus Gärtner: ok, got a topic for the weekend Coverage must apply to performance tests, too. Showing the truth (low % coverage) will drive innovation in your testing  #dttip by @ bradjohnsonsv
  • 24. Follow us at www.twitter.com/testingclub 23 is attending Conferences Valuable? so is a Diploma With Work Experience a Way To Go? Markus Gärtner: depends Elizabeth Fiennes: For me, yes Elizabeth Fiennes: oooh, there is a question Markus Gärtner: that depends Marlena Compton: yes...it gets you out of your own fishbowl trisherino: Sounds like a good idea. Elizabeth Fiennes: attending can be expensive, whatever about valuable Marlena Compton: Seems like it assumes certain limits to software. Marlena Compton: Especially if you are a solo tester or on a small team. Markus Gärtner: diversity in work experience would be more interesting to Markus Gärtner: attending a conference on the solar system may be of an employer, I think lesser value than attending eurostar trisherino: I guess it depends on what’s being taught? trisherino: I’ve only ever been to STANZ for testing conferences. Went to Marlena Compton: I think I agree with what you said. some developer ones though. Rob Lambert: I have worked in many industries and each one has needed trisherino: but STANZ was invaluable, especially as I was the only tester a new set of ideas and principles not to mention new people with different on my team at the time skill sets and new terminology Marlena Compton: I went to GTAC and it opened my eyes Marlena Compton: Do you mean “testing diploma” or “a diploma” Markus Gärtner: I think the professional exchange during the breaks is the Markus Gärtner: well, I think it’s unlikely that you learn everything at a best benefit you can get from a conference with a bad program single company, and that everything you learned there is of any meaning at Marlena Compton: and GTAC is free a different company Markus Gärtner: oh, it is? Elizabeth Fiennes: I mean a software testing diploma Marlena Compton: yep Marlena Compton: that assumes limits to software trisherino: I found the conference really opened up a whole new world for trisherino: It would be nice to have something like that to give wannabe me, of people who are interested in testing. testers a starting point to further their own education through self-learning Markus Gärtner: you should have told me this one year earlier and experience. Marlena Compton: @trisherino I think I had a similar feeling at GTAC Rob Lambert: @markus - absolutely. Staying at the same company can trisherino: where is GTAC? often be detrimental Marlena Compton: This year it’s at Hyderabad. I attended in Seattle Rob Lambert: you need to explore how different places work Rob Lambert: I find them inspiring. Gives me the ideas to try out and the Elizabeth Fiennes: That’s true Rob but in every company I have gone to, I enthusiasm to do so have drawn on skills that I have learned somewhere else Markus Gärtner: I noticed that a community of great people also helps my Elizabeth Fiennes: (and developed some new ones) own thinking Rob Lambert: but have these been general skills suitable for any industry Markus Gärtner: it’s infectious Markus Gärtner: (weekend testing can provide you with some experience Elizabeth Fiennes: you know what I would find really useful as a tester in different applications, if you like to take the challenge) (esp. one working as the dogsbody for a startup) - an online calender of Elizabeth Fiennes: Yes, the ability to think quickly, stay calm, not throw testing events, confs etc heavy objects at PMs, all very transferable skills Rob Lambert:check out the SoftwareTestingClub calendar Rob Lambert: commuinication? Analysis? trisherino: Elizabeth - yes! I have been looking for some calendar like that Rob Lambert: Social skills? Learning? Self teaching? Markus Gärtner: last year, GTAC was in Switzerland, I think Rob Lambert: Being unafraid to ask questions? Rob Lambert: @markus - the conversations outside of the event are the Marlena Compton: So would the same “testing diploma” prepare me to test really great value add. at Microsoft and Atlassian? Elizabeth Fiennes: I tend to find out about confs in retrospect when ppl Markus Gärtner: i think there is a difference between experience in terms blog about them of practically applying something, and knowing about it trisherino: There never seems to be many testing events happening in Aus- Markus Gärtner: the most critical thing for myself was my ability and will- tralia. But maybe I’m just not aware? ingness to learn new things on my own Marlena Compton: @trisherino You are right. Markus Gärtner: so, learning is a worthwhile thing to have Rob Lambert: Start one Rob Lambert: @markus essential some might say? Marlena Compton: I’ve counted 3 trisherino: Sounds about as good as any other diploma / degree - enough trisherino: Marlena: good time for us to start some? to learn some terms and concepts, but then you get into the industry and Rob Lambert: yay realise you don’t know a damn thing. Marlena Compton: A peer conference or unconference might be fun. Rob Lambert: @trish - good point. I’ve seen that first hand Rob Lambert: open space events are fun Markus Gärtner: I learned some of that during my university courses (to Markus Gärtner: started to love the open space parts at the last few confs I get back to Rob’s question from earlier) visited Marlena Compton: I stick by my Interdisciplinary Studies degree. The CS Marlena Compton: New Zealand is having one soon. Wish I could go. degree has made it easier, but I could have done without it. trisherino: Marlena: I’d be happy to help organise something in Sydney Markus Gärtner: I don’t know whom to attribute it, but “I’ll stop learning sometime. when I’m dead.” Marlena Compton: @trisherino We can talk about it. Rob Lambert: If you think you’ve reached the top you are already on your way down Elizabeth Fiennes: There’s a top to software testing? Marlena Compton: yeah....less specialization Elizabeth Fiennes: I heard it as I’ll stop improving when I’m dead but same principle Any comments on The Testing Planet? hello@softwaretestingclub.com 
  • 25. 24 July 2010 www.softwaretestingclub.com Use #testingclub hashtag Weather & Games Across 2. Simultaneous learning, test design and test execution 4. An iterative, incremental framework for project management and agile software development 7. A name of a test tool and a chemical element 9. The real name of ‘The Social Tester’ 10. A software implementation of a machine Down 1. A type of people who join The Software Testing Club 3. A name of a test conference that shares it’s name with a train service 5. An open source automated acceptance testing and ATDD framework 6. Also known as an error 8. A type of team also confused with a test team We're Hiring Test Engineers redgate Bug Forecast JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPT HOLIDAY a Brief Histor Y OF Time French Edition See what lovely @testingclub services are on offer - http://bit.ly/d88e69

×