Our featured partner this month is Aeturnum. Aeturnum is an leading
provider of IT services, pillared on innovation through research. With offices
in the US, Sri Lanka and India, Aeturnum provides collaborative IT development
to Fortune 500 companies, VC-funded startups, and internal IT
organizations. RBCS has partnered with Aeturnum to provide test assessment
and consulting services to a Fortune 50 software organization. Both sides
are confident that their cooperation will extend to other clients in the 2008
time frame and
We are pleased to announce that our e-learning courses are now
ISTQB Test Engineering Foundation
Managing the Testing Process US$ 999
Assessing Your Test Team
ISTQB Advanced Test Manager
ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst
Each course includes two months of on-line access, notesets,
exercises and either sample exam questions (for ISTQB course) or knoweldge-check
questions (for other courses). ISTQB courses are written against the new
syllabus to be released in 2008. Prices shown are for asychronous courses
(pure e-learning). Blended courses (with a facilitator) and custom
training packages are also available.
|ISTQB Certified Tester Training
February 25-27, Toronto, ON, ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst.
February 26-29, Austin, TX, ISTQB Advanced Test
Manager. US$ 2,500.
March 3-6, San Jose, CA, ISTQB Test Engineering
Foundation. US$ 2,500.
March 18-21, Toronto, ON, ISTQB Advanced Test Manager. US$
March 31-April 2, San Jose, CA, Advanced Test
April 9-11, Atlanta, GA, Advanced Test Analyst.
April 28-May 1, Richmond, VA, Advanced Test Manager.
Other Public Courses
February 6-8, Toronto, ON, Managing the Testing Process.
March 5-7, Toronto, ON, Performance Testing Immersion Workshop.
April 7-9, Austin, TX, Performance Testing Immersion Workshop.
April 23-25, San Jose, CA, Managing the Testing Process. $2,000.
|South East European Software Testing
Rex Black will
present a tutorial on risk-based testing at the South East European Software
Testing Conference (SEETEST), the first conference ever in South East Europe in
the area of Software Testing and Software Quality Management. This
conference will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, July 2-3, 2008. Quality
House, together with the South East European Testing Board and the International
Software Quality Institute, ISQI, are the organizers of the SEETEST 2008
Conference. For more information, visit www.seetest.org.
Welcome to our
first newsletter of 2008. In the spirt of New Year's resolutions, this
newsletter includes three quick and easy tips to improve your testing in
just two weeks. Each of them is easier than most New Year's resolutions
and I promise you that you can do them all!
In addition to the article,
there's some information on our new and improved Web site. The new site
will make it easier for clients to find resources and easier for
clients-to-be to find out more about our services. Of course, being the
RBCS Web site, the site was extensively tested. Being tested by RBCS
professionals, we found some bugs in that testing. Fixing those bugs held
up delivery a bit, but we think you'll agree that the quality and content are
We are also
happy to mention a new RBCS partner, Aeturnum, who is working with us on a
top-secret and fascinating test process improvement project for a major
organization whose name you would recognize--if I were allowed to tell
Rounding out the
newsletter is some information about our new e-learning offerings, a handful of
Rexisms, and a brief mention of a charity here in Texas that we think does some
really nice work.
We hope you enjoy
Two Weeks to Better Testing in
by Rex Black
We asked some
clients, associates, and colleagues what some of their top New Year's
resolutions were. While we can't
share them all, you won't be surprised to find one of the top "to dos" for 2008
is to find practical ways to improve testing. So, if you're like most testers,
you are time constrained and need to make improvements quickly that show fast
results. Here I present three
practical ideas which you can put into action in just two weeks, which will make
a noticeable difference to get your testing year started off
Get Hip to Risk-Based
I have a simple rule
of thumb for test execution: Find the scary stuff first. How do we do this? Make smart guesses about where
high-impact bugs are likely. How do
we do that? Risk-based
In a nutshell,
risk-based testing consists of the following:
Identify specific risks to system quality.
Assess and assign the level of risk for each risk, based on likelihood
(technical considerations) and impact (business
Allocate test effort and prioritize (sequence) test execution based on
Revise the risk analysis at regular intervals in the project, including
after testing the first build.
You can make this process
as formal or as informal as necessary.
I have helped clients get started doing risk-based testing in as little
as one day, though one week is more typical. For more ideas on how, see my article,
"Quality Risk Analysis," in the Library at www.rbcs-us.com, or my books
Managing the Testing Process
(for the test management perspective) or Pragmatic Software Testing (for
the test analyst perspective).
Whip Those Bug Reports into
One of the major
deliverables for us as testers is the bug report. But, like Rodney Dangerfield, the bug
report gets "no respect" in too many organizations. Just because we write them all the time
doesn't mean they aren't critical-quite the contrary-and it doesn't mean we know
how to write them well. Most test
groups have opportunities to improve their bug reporting
When I do test
assessments for clients, I always look at the quality of the bug reports. I focus on three
What is the percentage of rejected bug reports?
What is the percentage of duplicate bug reports?
Do all project stakeholder groups feel they are getting the information
they need from the bug reports?
If the answer to
questions one or two is, "More than 5%," I do further analysis as to why. (Hint: This isn't always a matter of
tester competence, so don't assume it is.)
If the answer to question three is, "No," then I spend time figuring out
which project stakeholders are being overlooked or underserved. Recommendations in my assessment report
will include ways to gets these measures where they ought to be. Asking the stakeholders what they need
from the bug reports is a great way to start-and to improve your relationships
with your coworkers, too.
Read a Book on
testers have never read a book on testing.
This is regrettable. We have
a lot we can learn from each other in this field, but we have to reach out to
gain that knowledge.
(Lest you consider
this suggestion self-serving, let me point out that writing technical books
yields meager book royalties. In
fact, on an hourly basis it's more lucrative to work as a bagger at a grocery
store. Other benefits, including
the opportunity to improve our field, are what motivate most of
There are many good
books on testing out there now.
Here's a very small selection:
What You Want
General tips and
techniques for test engineers
Software Testing, Rex Black
A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test
Design, Lee Copeland
Object-Oriented Systems, Robert Binder
The Web Testing
Handbook, Steve Splaine
For more reading
recommendations, including books on security testing, dynamic test
strategies and techniques, test management, test process assessment and
improvement, and ISTQB tester certification, read the remainder of this article
in the new RBCS
Some of you may have heard Rex's
sayings over the years. We decided to coin them "Rexisms" for your reading
pleasure. So here they are to ponder - some useful aphorisms to help you plan,
prepare, perform, and perfect your testing activities, compiled from over a
quarter-century of software and systems engineering
"Testing is a filter, not
"The number one cause of trouble for testing groups is not incompetence,
but rather bad expectations, within and without."
"For any work product that matters, it isn't done until it's been looked at
by at least two pairs of
Launches New Website
We are proud to
announce the launch of the new and improved RBCS website - www.rbcs-us.com! The completely redesigned website
offers a wealth of information on the services RBCS provides in Consulting,
Outsourcing and Training. In addition, the site is a comprehensive resource for
testing professionals. New features include a Library of basic and advanced
materials, current articles on testing, and a list of upcoming training dates
with the new website was to showcase how RBCS helps clients improve their
testing process, save time and money, and assure quality products are delivered
to customers and users," said Rex Black, president of RBCS. "New and current
customers will be able to find exactly what they need, as well as sign up for
courses, license intellectual property, and even buy autographed copies of
In December 2007, RBCS sponsored a family of five for the
holidays. Every effort was made to fulfill the Christmas lists made
by each of the family members. This project was in collaboration
with Temple Beth-El of San Antonio and the Family Service