Blog

A Sneak Peek of a New Book on Agile Testing

Did you miss our bi-monthly newsletter this week? If so, you missed your chance to see a section from the soon-to-be-released book, Agile Testing, edited by me, Rex Black, and featuring an all-star international cast of co-authors and contributors. You can find the newsletter, and the book excerpt, here.

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An E-learning Winner Every Month

Congratulations to Rajesh Kompulira, winner of this month's free e-learning drawing. Want to win? Just attend next month's free webinar. Register here.

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Save Yourself from the Seven Deadly Sins of Software Testing

In case you missed it, or if you know someone important who did, the recorded webinar on the Seven Deadly Sins of Testing is posted. Spread the word. Save more sinners from the pain. 

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Paging Dr. Android and Dr. iPhone, Stat!

Mobile devices. They ain't just for Candy Crush, Mobile Strike, or Pokemon Go. More and more, personal medical information, diagnostics, and more health-related and other private details are showing up on Android, Apple, and Windows tablets and phones. For example, check out this article title: “Mobile healthcare information management utilizing Cloud Computing and Android OS."  Hey what could possibly go wrong with that, huh?  Or take a look at this one.  

What are the safety, privacy, testing, and quality implications of all health-related and other private data going mobile? Have we figured that out yet?  This is the topic of my talk at TEST-IT Africa next month. We're also offering a special two-day mobile testing course, including a chance to become an ASTQB Certified Mobile Tester.

If you're not in Africa, don't worry. You can take our mobile course virtually (see listings on our website) or catch me live at the STP Conference, also happening in September.

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Intelligent Use of Testing Service Providers

If your company is using testing service providers, you might not be getting all the value you can from that relationship, and you could be making some basic mistakes. Want to get more bang for your buck with less headaches?  Check out my article in this edition of Quality Matters magazine.

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Don't Gather Test Metrics: Gather Insightful Test Metrics

To paraphrase Lord Kelvin, a test team has little insight if they have no metrics.  However, there are plenty of test teams who, through the wrong choice of metrics, have plenty of metrics, but no insight. Find ideas on developing and using insightful metrics at our website, in the webinars, articles, and templates, and in our training courses.

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Are You Living in Sin?

Are you a software testing who is living in sin? Not sure if you're naughty or nice? Join our free webinar this week, and learn the seven deadly sins of software testing and how to avoid them.

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Think "Test Strategies" and Become a More Successful and Flexible Test Professional

As discussed in this webinar, there are a wide variety of patterns in how testing teams carry out testing. These patterns are properly called strategies, because perceptive testers and test managers can adapt their strategies and shift the blending of archetypal strategies to suit their situations. (These patterns are not properly called schools, since schools require ongoing adherence and conformance to orthodoxies set down by the authorities of the schools.)  By gaining a better awareness of patterns of testing approaches in other teams, you can expand your repertoire of options in handling testing challenges and achieving testing objectives.  Take a listen to the webinar to become more successful and flexible.

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Time to Tap the Brakes on Self-driving Cars Until We Know More About the Testing

As the recent car-maker announcements and now this from Uber shows, everyone is full-steam ahead on self-driving cars.  However, unlike avionics software in airplanes, the software that runs dialysis machines, or even the spinach that ends up in salads in the United States, we know nothing--nothing--about the testing and quality assurance steps that are being taken to ensure the safety, security (hackable self-driving Jeeps and VWs, anyone), and quality of this software. This software will be on public roads, operating vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds, at up to highway speeds.

Here's a thought exercise: Imagine a robotic law enforcement officer, armed with a gun. Imagine knowing nothing about how that software worked or was tested. Imagine that powerful business interests were pushing said cops on states, who were lining up to replace their expensive, error-prone human cops with these new robots. Sound familiar? It should, because it's a story-line that's showed up in more than one hit movie.

At this point, what we're looking at is robo-car, not robo-cop, but the basic story line--and the public safety implications--are not that different. The damage that can be done by an errant car is certainly no less than that of a few stray bullets

We need to tap the brakes on this headlong pursuit of self-driving cars to make sure that at least two things are in place:

  • Testing and quality assurance standards that can reduce software-related risks to safety, security, and overall quality to an acceptable level, and which are transparent to anyone who wants to review those standards (a la the FAA, FDA, and even food-safety standards)
  • Laws and regulations that can answer basic questions such as, "Who's at fault when a self-driving car injures or kills someone?" and "Can click-wrap contracts of adhesion force people to give up rights that are currently theirs when they buy a vehicle?" as a start.

I'm not confident that either of these things will happen in the short-run. There's too much money pushing to build these driverless vehicles now, too much FOMO at the state level for any one state to take on the regulatory aspects, and absolutely no willpower at a Federal level to do anything. In the long-run, unfortunately, once people start dying and being maimed, that will drive some of the changes needed. It's a shame that it will probably take dead people to make automakers and lawmakers do what they could do right now.

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It's Back

By Rex Black

Well, with our new website up and running, I've decided to get back into the blogging business. It's be a leaner-and-meaner version, more like a cross between the RBCS Facebook posts that I've been doing over the last few years and my usual articles. I'll be tying it all together through our RBCS Facebook page and our RBCS Twitter feed. To provide an opportunity for us to interact in public forums, I'll be using the RBCS Facebook page and the RBCS Twitter feed as a way of collecting and reacting to comments. If it turns out that doesn't work as well as I'm hoping it will, we'll get public commenting turned on here on the blog, though somehow having yet another way of commenting on something seems to be less good, not more good. 

So, what do you want to talk about? Post a comment and let me know what topics you'd like to see discussed here in the blog.

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