Now It's Even Easier to Find Out If Your Test Processes Are Naughty or Nice

With this press release, we've just announced 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.

However, while lots of companies want to get a detailed assessment from RBCS, some can't afford the time. And even while the return on investment is always much more than 100%--I've never done an assessment where I didn't find many more opportunities for improvement than the assessment cost--some companies simply don't have tens of thousands of dollars to invest. We realized that people want to optimize not just their spending, but also their time. So, we’ve decided to offer our assessments remotely, and with small-scope and pay-as-you-go options to allow short, focused consulting.

We have 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. Our traditional 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.

We think that's a great service, and will continue to offer traditional assessments to our clients. In such assessments, I guarantee that I will find more potential savings--often ten, hundreds, or thousands of times more savings--than the assessment costs. However, we want to expand and increase our focus on test assessment services in 2017 to help smaller teams, groups on tighter budgets, and organizations with specifically defined testing problems. These focused assessment will take as little as a day or even just a few hours. We can perform them remotely or at your site.

Curious? Contact us for more information. We can arrange a free one-hour initial consultation to discuss your specific problems and how to structure the assessment work. Whether you want a full-scale, traditional assessment or a remote, focused assessment, we can help you move your testing processes firmly out of the naughty column, and into the nice column. That's a Christmas gift that will put you in a jolly spirit all week long. So, don't be a Scrooge, contact us today.

— Published

Complimentary Webinar: The Psychopolitics of Test Management

While much of testing and test management involves rational decision-making, measuring quality and providing testing services to the team, there are realms of the test manager's job where psychology meets politics to form psychopolitics. In this webinar, drawn from three decades of industry experience and materials in my best-selling book Managing the Testing Process, 3e, I'll discuss how psychology and politics can collide to make the test manager's job...interesting. Join in the discussion after the initial presentation with your own questions and stories about testing psychology, testing politics, and plain ol' psycho-politics.

Date: January 4, 2017

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM CST or 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM CST

Instructor: Rex Black 

Fee: None!

To support our international clientele, we will present this webinar at two times:

For the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East: 1:00 PM Central US Time (January 4) and 8:00 PM Central Europe Time (January 4). To register, click here.

For the Americas, Australasia, and Asia: 8:30 PM Central US Time (January 4), 10:30 AM Beijing Time (January 5), 11:30 AM Seoul/Tokyo Time (January 5), and 1:30 PM Sydney Time (January 5). To register, click here.

Please use the world clock to determine the webinar start time in your area.

— Published

Software Testing, Inside Looking Out

Do you know how to assess what parts of the software you have tested and what parts your haven't? Do you understand the reports produced by code coverage tools? If not, don't worry. In a little over an hour, I explain white-box testing (a.k.a., structural testing), code coverage metrics, and related technical topics in this recorded webinar.

— Published

Test Managers: At the End of Every Day, Ask Yourself One Question

One question a test manager should ask herself or himself every day: How did my team and I deliver value to project stakeholders today?

— Published

Software Testers Still In High Demand

Just like in 2015, software testers were in high demand in 2016, according to this article in Fortune magazine. It's certainly an eclectic list of jobs, but keep in mind that the list is not saying "software testers are similar to truck drivers and nurses," the list is saying "demand for software testers is almost as high as truck drivers and nurses."

A related article emphasizes the need for diverse skills, which is something I can attest to. Software testers need to understand not just software testing, but also the user, customer, and business perspective on the software they are testing. Increasingly, software testers must understand technical details such as software development and system architecture. Testing itself is becoming more technical, so testers need skills in white-box testing, test automation, and non-functional testing (e.g., performance testing).

If reading the preceding paragraph makes you feel a bit limited in terms of your skills, don't worry, we can help. We have a complete line of ISTQB, ASTQB, and non-certification training offerings. To help people become more technical, we are increasing our offerings of SDET and white-box training. In addition, to help people learn more about the business perspective, we're adding more support for IREB, IBBA, and IIBA training for business analysts, requirements engineers, and product owners.

— Published

Happy Holidays from RBCS!

The Christmas tree ornament salesladies join us in wishing you a happy holiday.

As we wind down the year, happy holidays to all our clients and friends around the world. Please take a minute to watch a quick video from me, wishing you the best!

— Published

Gearing Up for an Agile 2017

It looks like 2017 will be a good year for Agile testers, SDETs, developers, and product owners.

First, a book--which I'm proud to have edited and coauthored--will finally be available that is 100% aligned with the ISTQB Agile Tester Foundation syllabus. So, in addition to our live courses, virtual courses, e-learning courses, and bootcamps, you'll have one more valuable resource to use to prepare for the ISTQB Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester exam.

Second, as you can see here, two new syllabi are under development in the Agile tester space. Exact information about the content and delivery dates is yet to be released by the ISTQB, so I'm not at liberty to give any further details, but you can see by the titles that both address vital topics: technical challenges (e.g., test automation, continuous integration, ATDD/BDD/TDD, etc.) and organizational challenges (e.g., scaling Agile, maintaining tester independences, DevOps, etc.). Expect more news on availability and content in 2017, and rest assured RBCS will support these syllabi with a full line of training options.

So, stop slipping and sliding, falling on your ice, flailing around with your Agile testing. Plan to get more Agile with our help in 2017.

— Published

Naked Testing Leaves You Out in the Cold and Embarrassed

Are you testing naked, or partially naked? In other words, are you failing to cover yourself and your product with adequate tests? Just because you tested every requirement or user story doesn't mean you have covered all the important dimensions. Pull up the coverage and get the cozy feeling of confidence that you're aware of what needs to be tested by listening to my recorded webinar on the topic here.

— Published

There Is No Flashing Red Warning Sign

Sometimes, people make decisions that seem good at the time. However, had they studied known best and worst practices associated with the decision, they would have chosen very differently. This is quite common with test environment decisions, test data decisions, and test automation decisions. Remember, in life, there is usually no flashing red warning sign, and no big booming voice yelling out, "You are about to make a BIG mistake!" There is no substitute for careful forethought and planning when making an important decision.

— Published

Two Concepts Every Tester Must Master

Did you build the software right? Did you build the right software? Two key questions testing can help answer, but only if you know how. Learn more here.

— Published

Copyright ® 2017 Rex Black Consulting Services.
All Rights Reserved.
PMI is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.