Blog

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

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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Your Test Process Improved: Now on Your Budget and Schedule

As you can read here, we now have new remote and scalable options for our quality and test assessment services. With software companies searching for higher productivity and effectiveness, they have begun to realize that sometimes they need a coach and sometimes an outside opinion to help them take advantage of their strengths while identifying their weaknesses and putting them on the path to improvement.

These days, people want to optimize not just their costs, but their time. So, we’ve decided to offer our assessments remotely.

RBCS has performed assessments, carried out consulting engagements, defined testing metrics, and delivered training to over 200 clients, small, medium, and large, on six continents around the world. Typically assessments are one week to two weeks in length and involve interviews with the entire test team and management and an evaluation of the test environment. The resulting product includes a delivery of a thorough 100-page report complete with valuable suggestions and detailed instructions.

While we will still deliver the standard assessment, we will broaden the range of test assessment services in 2017, including helping smaller teams via a focused assessment with as little as a day or even just a few hours.

In every assessment I've ever done for a client, I've found savings that vastly exceed the time and money investment associated with the assessment. In some organizations, I've found millions of dollars in annual savings. If you want to save time, save money, and become more effective, contact us today for more information on our assessment services.

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Beam Up Huge Savings

Start the year off right, with some big savings on training that'll really Klingon to your company's bottom line. Our enterprise licenses, available for both live and e-learning courses, will allow you run unlimited classes for your employees. Yep, that's right, the licenses are perpetual and unlimited. Spock would call such a business offer hardly logical on our part, but you can live long and prosper on our training, years after you've paid the invoice.

How much is that invoice, you ask? About the price of two or three on-site training courses. Imagine that: for the same money that would allow you to train 20 or 30 people, you can instead provide training to hundreds of people. Even better, while maintenance is available at a low annual fee, it is also entirely optional.

We're so confident that our enterprise licenses are a crazy-good value, we guarantee there is no better deal on software training available from any of our competitors. If you find a better price on a comparable package, we'll match it. Period.

Want more details? See our website or just contact us. Don't spend another latinum, darsek, dirak, frang, lita, quatloo, renn, or credit until you do.

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Sharpen the Saw to Tackle 2017's Challenges

While it's useful for testers to have broad interests, remember that there is a fine line between a Renaissance man (or woman) and a dilettante. Start the year by asking yourself some pointed questions:

  • What skills in the area of testing, user knowledge, and technology are important for the applications I test?
  • How well do I understand my applications' user community, their needs, their expectations, and their personas?
  • Do I know how to effectively participate in test automation? If the answer is "no," how sure am I that's not an impediment to my career?
  • Can I read and understand (and maybe even write) code and scripts in the languages used for my applications? If the answer is "no," how sure am I that's not an impediment to my career?
  • Which of my skills gaps have the greatest impact on my effectiveness, efficiency, and job marketability? What skills growth goals for 2017 follow from that answer?

Whatever your most important skills gaps, we can help you address them. If you are a test manager or test director, we can help you assess your team and create a solid skills growth and training plan to significantly increase your team's effectiveness and efficiency. Contact us today for more information.

As President Lincoln once said, "If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I'd spend the first four hours sharpening my saw." Think of RBCS as your one-stop, saw-sharpening shop!

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Join an Elite Group: ISTQB Certified Expert Test Managers

I hope you are excited to get started with 2017. For those of you who've achieved an Advanced Test Manager certification, consider achieving one or more Expert Test Manager certifications in 2017. 

I won’t lie to you, these exams are tough. You earn Expert Test Manager certificates through hard work, not luck or mere memorization. When you do receive an Expert Test Manager certificate, this achievement places you in an exceptionally elite group of ISTQB certified testers. So far, fewer than 500 people worldwide have one or more Expert Test Manager certificates, compared to about 500,000 Foundation certificates and about 100,000 Advanced certificates. 

RBCS will provide broad support for all three Expert Test Manager exams in 2017, through the following channels:

  • Live, instructor lead on-site and public courses
  • Licensing of our courseware to international partners
  • Virtual classes and boot camps

You can find more information about these offerings here. In addition, I have a book on the Expert Test Manager syllabus coming out, with co-authors James Rommens and Leo van der Aalst.

Please contact us if you’d like further information about our Expert Test Manager offerings for 2017. We have an Expert Test Manager Strategic Module boot camp coming up later this month, and you can find the details here. We'd love to see you there.

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Top-tier ISTQB and ASTQB Live Training in the US

If you want to attend a top-tier ISTQB and/or ASTQB training course in the US, we've got you covered. See some of our current offerings here. I teach many of these courses personally, so I hope to see you there.

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Achieving Consensus on the Direction for Testing

The arrow points the way...

Testers need to collaborate with other project stakeholders on what to test, but all too often attempts to allow stakeholder input on this question are like taking turns driving on a road trip when there's no agreed destination, or, worse yet, allowing random stakeholders to grab the steering wheel while the test manager is trying to drive. Analytical risk-based testing, the way I do it, results in a clear, transparent, accessible roadmap for testing that leads to an agreed destination.

If you need help getting risk-based testing in place in your organization, let us know. We have a variety of resources available, from free videos and webinars to training courses and consulting.

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Virtual Training. Real Certificates. Measurable Improvements.

As 2017 approaches and even arrives, it's time to figure out smart, affordable ways to get the training and certifications you need to improve yourself and your abilities in the coming year. We are here to help. Find options here. Still not sure what you need? Contact us for an in-depth discussion about how we can support your training needs. From individual training all the way up to enterprises licenses to train thousands, we have you covered.

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