Inherent Challenge or Accidental Obstacle?

When testing on Agile projects, distinguish between the challenges that are inherent in Agile methodologies from those challenges that arise from the improper implementation of Agile methodologies. The former challenges arise from too little tailoring of the chosen Agile methodology, while the latter challenges arise from too much tailoring.

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Don't Get Stung by Bugs: Listen to Them

Nasty bugs are hiding in your software. It's just a fact. They're waiting to sting your users, which means you'll get stung for missing them. How do you reduce the risk of getting stung by them? Listen to them. Check out this recorded webinar on how to listen to your bugs, and learn from them.

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Something Every Quality Professional Should See

I'm often surprised at how many quality professionals haven't seen or even heard of Deming's Red Bead Experiment. In this experiment, people experience the mishaps, misunderstandings, and distortions of behavior that can occur with improperly implemented metrics programs. So, join me for a talk about metrics use and misuse, including a hands-on demonstration--which you can participate in--of Deming's Red Bead Experiment. It's at the meeting of San Antonio Quality Forum, Monday February 13, 6-8 PM, Geekdom Events Centre (GEC), 131 Soledad Street, San Antonio, TX 78205. RSVP I hope to see you there.

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Mobile Devices and Apps Shift IT--and IT Quality

In San Antonio? Join me tomorrow at the AITP SA meeting for my presentation on the how mobile apps are shifting the IT world.

Topic: The More Things Change (Location), the More They Stay the Same

In just a few years, mobile devices and the applications on them have upended the way people use computers. People spend more time than ever on their PCs, but people spend even more time on their mobile devices. Obviously, mobile devices and apps have important differences from their PC counterparts. It’s not just a smaller screen! However, does that mean that all proven best practices for testing and quality go out the window when dealing with mobile apps? In this talk, Rex will explain what changes, and what doesn’t change, when you move into the mobile world.

BIO: With over 30 years of software and systems engineering experience, Rex Black is President of RBCS (, a testing leader, providing consulting, training, and expert services. RBCS has over 100 clients on six continents, spanning all areas of software and system development, from embedded systems to gaming software to banking and insurance to defense systems. Rex is the most prolific author practicing in the field of software testing today, having written thirteen books (and counting). He is past President of the ISTQB and of the ASTQB, a co-author of many of the ISTQB syllabi, and Chair of the Agile Working Group.

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Think Fast!

Why does testing matter (in one elevator ride or less)? (Image

Quick: Give me the elevator speech on why what you do for your organization matters. Now, take a look at your company's strategic objectives. If your elevator speech doesn't have clear traceability to each one of those objectives, your elevator speech let you out a few floors shy of the C-suite.

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ISTQB Agile Working Group Gets to Work

Building on the success of the Foundation Agile Extension syllabus, we're back together again to build the Advanced Agile Technical syllabus. Here's a picture of the team right before kicking off the ISTQB - International Software Testing Qualifications Board Agile Working Group meeting in New York City. One (very productive) day completed as of now, and another cued up for tomorrow.

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Paging Dr. Timberlake!

Test managers and brain surgeons both need serious expertise to do their jobs well. (Image New York Times.)

2016 was a tough year to be an expert, at least on TV, because it seems like everything those experts on TV said turned out the opposite. To help make things even, we're making 2017 the Year of the Expert. The Expert Test Manager, that is! Join us. We'll start on January 19, with the first-ever in the world Expert Test Manager Strategic Module boot camp. You can register for that boot camp today at More boot camps will follow, as well as live, instructor-lead classes. Hey, if Justin Timberlake could bring sexy back in 2007, we can bring expertise back in 2017, at least for test managers. Contact us for more information.

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Stop Throwing that Stinky Fish Around

As a tester, tester manager, or SDET, your job occasionally involves delivering bad news. It's like you are carrying a stinky dead fish into the project status meeting or daily stand-up. Sometimes, test professionals make the mistake of simply throwing that dead fish down. In this brief video, Phil Lew and I encourage you to adopt a different, more-effective approach to delivering bad news.

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A Thousand Subscribers; 188,471 Views

We got notification this morning that we had reached 1,000 subscribers to our YouTube channel, and, by this evening, it had reached 1,006. Even better, we have had over 188,000 views on our videos.

So why is our YouTube channel so popular? Because it's the best place on YouTube to start learning how to improve your software testing practices! For no charge (just help us keep the lights on by watching the ads, please), you get access to over 100 hours of free resources that can get you started on your path to better testing--and better software. Literally years of recorded webinars, presentations, and more are all yours. You're welcome.

Need more help? Contact us to get a quote on our consulting, training, and expert services.

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Gives Us 20 Minutes, We'll Give You One Key Idea

Does this remind you of your testing challenges? In our inaugural One Key Idea session, learn how to slay the combinatorial Hydra. (Image: Mythology Wiki.)

Give us 20 minutes or less, and we'll give you one key idea. This series will deliver one relevant, timely technique, skill, or insight, every other month, as part of the RBCS free webinar program. Join us to learn one key idea. If you are a tester, test manager, SDET, or programmer who tests, you need these key ideas. RBCS delivers--again.

We'll start with an eminently useful technique, pairwise testing, and show how to do it using ACTS. If you’ve been testing for any length of time, you know that the number of possible test cases is enormous if you try to test all possible combinations of inputs, configuration values, types of data, and so forth. It’s like the mythical monster, the many-headed Hydra, which would sprout two or more new heads for each head that was cut off. Two simple approaches to dealing with combinatorial explosions such as this are equivalence partitioning and boundary value analysis, but those techniques don’t check for interactions between factors. A reasonable, manageable way to test combinations is called pairwise testing, but to do it you’ll need a tool. 

In this inaugural One Key Idea session, Rex will demonstrate the use of a free tool, ACTS, built by the US NIST and available for download worldwide. We can’t promise to turn you into Hercules, but you will definitely walk away able to slay the combinatorial Hydra. Sign up now.

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