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An Open Letter to Readers of Technical Books

I received a nice message from a LinkedIn connection, thanking me for my books.  Here's my response: 

"Thanks. The greatest compliment you can give authors of technical books such as me is to actually buy the books and not ever use, distribute, or encourage the use of pirated copies of the books that are on the internet. Authors of technical books like me make almost nothing from those books, but what little money we do make does help. Seeing people steal those books and post them all over the internet is a real insult to the efforts we put into writing them. Thanks again for your kind words and support.
Regards,
Rex"

Just in the last year, I have had to deal with four blatant examples of intellectual property theft, and I didn't even have to go looking for the stolen materials. If I tried right now, I could find pirated copies of my four best-selling books on the internet with one search each.

I would ask everyone who appreciates technical books and finds them useful to keep this in mind. Stealing the meager royalties associated with such books from the people who work long hours creating those books is hardly a way to repay the favor. 

Thanks,
Rex

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Don't Let Your Testing Go Pear-shaped; Get Wise about Pairwise Testing: Part 2

When you are doing certain types of testing, there are a relatively small number of factors, each with a relatively small number of options, that are not supposed to interact. For example, consider testing a browser-based application on a PC or Mac. You may have five or six browsers, four or five OS versions, six or seven anti-malware packages, a few browser plug-ins, and three or four connection speed options. If you do the math, though, there are thousands of combinations. You can't test everything, but you want to go beyond basic equivalence partitioning. What to do? 

The standard solution is pairwise testing, but can pairwise testing be misused? In this classic RBCS webinar, I explain the most pervasive myths associated with pairwise testing, which can lead to over-use, under-use, and misuse of this powerful technique. Give a listen and get wise about pairwise! 

Need more help designing effective and efficient tests? Contact us. At RBCS, we've been helping people test better for over two decades, and we can help you.

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Don't Let Your Testing Go Pear-shaped; Get Wise about Pairwise Testing: Part 1

During my recent presentation of our Advanced Black-box Bug-a-thon here in Milan, people were very interested in pairwise testing. What is it? What kinds of problems can it solve? How do I avoid the pitfalls of using it? What tools are available? In this three-part series of classic RBCS webinars, I'll address all these questions and more.

First, let's define the problem we're trying to solve. When you are doing certain types of testing, there are a relatively small number of factors, each with a relatively small number of options, that are not supposed to interact. For example, consider testing a browser-based application on a PC or Mac. You may have five or six browsers, four or five OS versions, six or seven anti-malware packages, a few browser plug-ins, and three or four connection speed options. If you do the math, though, there are thousands of possible combinations. You can't test everything, but you want to go beyond basic equivalence partitioning. What to do? 

In this first classic RBCS webinar, we'll examine what pairwise testing is all about and how it can help solve these kinds of problems. Need more help designing effective and efficient tests? Contact us. At RBCS, we've been helping people test better for over two decades, and we can help you.

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First-ever ISTQB Advanced Security Tester Training Yields Perfect Result

Earlier this month, we ran the first-ever ISTQB Advanced Security Tester course with our partners imbus at their offices in Erlangen, Germany (near Nuremberg). It was a great experience, with excellent feedback from the attendees.

Now, the exam results are in: 100% pass rate. That's rate, all eleven attendees passed the exam, based on their hard work and the course materials. Regarding the training delivery, I'll let one of the attendees give his appraisal of that, "No problem with such a good trainer."

With security risks to applications and systems growing day by day, you really need to be aware of the best practices of software and system security, regardless of your role, whether a security tester, a functional tester, an SDET/SET, a test manager, a product owner, or a developer. With our three-day Advanced Security Tester course, we can teach you those best practices, and, based on these exam results, give you an excellent chance of passing the exam.

Take a listen to my short message on the risks you face, and then contact us today for more details on how to schedule this course at your location.

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Immediate Results from Expert Test Manager Training

I received some immediate feedback from Kapros Gabor who attended last week's ISTQB Expert Test Manager course, "Your training was really thought-provoking for me. Next days I am creating a real automation strategy for my system testers team – I took a liking for creating that. We will have a management review on 06.July, so I have a rather strict deadline to create and present it. :-)"  

It's always good to hear of such a quick, measurable benefit from our courses. All of our training includes extensive hands-on components to enable quick transfer of lessons learned from the training to the real world. If you're interested in an Expert Test Manager course, or any of our courses, contact us.

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The Year of the Expert Test Manager Continues (Again)

This week, I ran the @ISTQB Expert Test Manager--Strategic Module course in Budapest, Hungary. This was the first-ever Expert Test Manager course, anywhere in the world. What was it like? 

This intensive, immersive, and extraordinarily interactive course provided the attendees with the expert skills needed to establish the objectives of testing (in the test policy) and the means of achieving those objectives (in the test strategy), in a way that relates directly and indirectly to the broader product, project, and organizational objectives. In an intensive series of hands-on, interactive discussions, exercises, and exercise presentations (see photos here), participants developed relevant test policies, strategies, metrics, and more for case study projects. These case studies include projects that follow Agile lifecycles, traditional lifecycles, emerging lifecycles, and blended lifecycles. Participants applied the ideas to both collocated and distributed teams, and to products ranging from safety-critical to entertainment systems. Their metrics defined key process indicators (KPIs) to quantify the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction associated with their organizational test policy and strategy. 

Want to join to develop your expert test management skills? Contact us today for more information.

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Agile V Model: Oxymoron or Best Practice?

Is the V model dead, crushed by the onset of agile methods? In the age of agile, are those who talk about the V model anachronistic dinosaurs? Or was the V model actually ahead of its time, illuminating best practices that now form the core of agile testing? 

In this keynote speech recorded live at Testing Stage 2017 in Kiev, I explained how the fundamental principles of the V model can be successfully applied in the context of an agile development effort, and how the application of those principles make agile software development even more agile. Not only that, I explained that many agile best practices actually derive from ideas rooted in the V model.

Give a listen, and come away with some new insights into how to use best practices, regardless of life cycle or origin. If you need more help applying testing best practices to your projects, contact us for information for a consulting, assessment, expert services, or training quote.

Thanks to Yaroslava Socur for providing the recorded audio of this presentation. Дякую!

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Monkeying Around with Quality And Going Bananas

A few years ago, I worked with a client, Arrowhead, to develop a dumb monkey test automation solution to address a number of significant quality risks with their ePro system, an FDA-regulated medical system. If you'd like to learn more about how we achieved significant, multi-dimensional quality risk management with a minimal investment and a positive automation return on investment (ROI) in mere weeks, check out this article, republished in Luxoft's Logeek magazine.

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Understanding Unit Testing and White-box Coverage

Today, I'm giving an intensive, hands-on workshop on white-box testing and code coverage in Kiev.  These are important topics and I'm glad to be offering this hands-on workshop here at Luxoft.  

As Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and DevOps become ubiquitous, early testing to build confidence, find and remove bugs, and reduce risk become increasingly important. One key element of early testing is incorporating unit testing into the continuous integration and build processes. However, just running tests isn’t enough. You have to run tests that cover the software adequately, and that goes beyond just acceptance criteria or Gherkins. You have to know, down inside the code itself, that your tests have covered every executable statement, every branch, and (for safety critical systems) every condition in every branching or looping construct. Fortunately, the concepts behind achieving this level of coverage are well-defined and plenty of tools exist to help you. 

In this classic RBCS webinar, part1 and part 2, I'll explain the fundamental concepts and techniques of code coverage, so you can be more effective and efficient in your unit testing. If you'd like to go beyond just understanding these concepts, and learn to put them into action on real programs with real tools, contact us for more info about our one-day, hands-on white-box testing workshop.

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Go Ahead; Push Us Over 200K; We Dare You!

As you can see, we are approaching another fun and exciting YouTube milestone: 200,000 views.  Whether that happens this week or next, it's clearly happening soon. And why not, with all the free resources you can find there.  So go ahead. Be the one who pushes us over 200,000 views. We promise you'll learn something in the process. Let me welcome you to the RBCS YouTube channel in this video.

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