I Hate to Bug You

Is this nasty bug lurking in your code? Learn to open the black-box and find him!

We hate to bug you, but have you signed up for one of our one-day black-box bug-a-thons yet? In just one day you'll learn the most important black-box test design techniques, and you'll learn them by finding bugs in real apps. Take a listen to what it's all about in this short 40 second video. At this point, relieve the severe FOMO you must be suffering right about now. Register for the nearest black-box bug-a-thon now. I look forward to seeing you there.

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Affordable, Powerful, Flexible: Test Assessments for Everyone

A quick reminder: During the holidays in 2016, we introduced our new, flexible assessment approach for 2017. Listen to my quick description here.

No matter what your constraints, I can work with you to improve your test and quality processes. Save money. Raise team morale. Get more Agile. Improve testing of functionality, performance, security, portability, or more. Deliver more and better features. Contact us today for a quote.

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Two Days of Agile Tester Training

You may have heard me talk about our training offerings, including our ASTQB-accredited Agile Tester Foundation class. Like all of our classes, a hands-on class, and that means you learn by doing. Take a look at this series of deliverables, created collaboratively by this week's attendees of the public class at STPCon. For our case study, we use the OmniNet example project, which is a network of public Internet access kiosks (an "Internet cafe in a box").

First, we start with a user story:

Next, we define and then refine acceptance criteria:

Now, we do some user story test planning in terms of what to test, where to test it, and what kinds of dependencies we need to take into account:

Then, we do Agile risk analysis (for more information on Agile risk analysis, check out this video:

Note that we didn't get all the way through the risk assessment, but the idea was to give people a feel for assessing likelihood and impact.

Now, time to apply black-box test design techniques to some of the acceptance criteria. We chose to focus on the ones that had to do with accepting cash.

Note the issues, questions and assumptions noted on these two pages. Those were discovered through test design, which is one reason by upfront test design, prior to coding, makes so much sense.

Finally, here's the acceptance test-driven development table we created for those elements of our test design we chose to cover:

Interested? You can find the class outline here. This class is available in public, onsite, virtual, and e-learning modes, so contact us today to get more details. If you are outside the US and want a public or onsite class, contact us to find out who our local licensee is. We have licensees on every continent, so the class is available to you wherever you live.

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Risk-based Testing and Mobile Apps

Some good information from the ASTQB here in their quarterly newsletter, including a short article from me on one of my favorite topics, risk-based testing. In this article, I explain how to apply it to mobile testing:

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Just What Is It You Do?

Why did the wild turkey cross the pathway? "To get to the other side"​ just doesn't feel like a very satisfying answer, does it?

Unclear about what exactly you and your fellow testers or QA team members do? That's bad. In my assessments with clients around the world, I've found that many problems for many test groups, more frequent and serious than problems caused by lack of core competencies, were due to bad expectations about what testing and QA were doing and what they could accomplish. These bad expectations were held either within the team, by others about the team, or (usually) both.

Fortunately, there's a straightforward way to fix this issue. By working collaboratively with the test team and with key test and quality stakeholders, it's possible to clearly define the objectives for testing. With the objectives defined, success criteria (yes, metrics) can be devised and used as test process health monitors. The questions of what testing does and whether it is working are thus answered.

If you need help solving this problem, contact us. We have solved this problem for other companies around the world, and we can help you solve it, too.

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Game Testing Is Serious Business

Is gaming bigger business than movies? There's a lively debate about the topic, and it comes down to how your count the money. Read about the controversy, and the big bucks involved, here. (As you can see, this brings us back to metrics, another theme I've covered a lot recently in this space.)

Either way, gaming is serious business. And we've been helping gaming companies deliver better games for over a decade. Check out my short video here.

We're serious about game testing and quality. Contact us for more on how we can help.

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Secure Your Systems and Applications

We've already announced our ISTQB Advanced Security Tester boot camps earlier this year. Ready to get even more secure? We're ready to help. In the next few days, we'll announce another option for those who want help preparing for the Advanced Security Tester exam. Stay tuned.

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TDD Perspectives: Learn One that Even Caught the CIA's Eye

Considering test-driven development? There's certainly a lot of hype out there, but what's the reality? In the webinar here, I explain what I'm actually seeing with clients. I also introduce a contrarian view from James Coplien.

Ready for the full contrarian view? Read Cope's article here. Yep, this is the one that attracted huge social media attention when we first published it, and even made it into the CIA archives (and from there into Wikileaks). Want more? Ready Cope's second installment here.

Before you jump into TDD, get the unvarnished low-down. If you want help looking at your whole bug filter funnel, from TDD to system testing and beyond, contact us.

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Avoid Dangerous Metrics Mistakes

Take a look at the photo below. How is item A like item B?

That's right, both the pistol and the metric are dangerous when misused, and you can hurt yourself or others with them. But they are also both useful tools when applied by skilled professionals. You can get some hints on stupid metrics tricks to avoid in my keynote from PNSQC 2016.

Don't shoot yourself in the foot with bad metrics. Contact us for help. Whether a one-day off-site metrics evaluation, a one-week on-site metrics development engagement, or hands-on help building a sophisticated test and quality dashboard, we can help you.

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Metrics Made Simple

Four keys to successful test metrics:

  1. Who are the quality and testing stakeholders?
  2. What do they need from testing?
  3. How can you measure whether you’re doing that?
  4. What constitutes success for each of those metrics?

If you can use these keys, you can unlock successful metrics. If you need more help to institute a successful testing and/or quality metrics program, contact us.

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