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Better Testing on Outsourced Projects

Are you testing on outsourced projects? Hey, who isn't! Whether the development is outsourced, the testing is outsourced, or both are outsourced to some extent, outsourcing brings a lot of for testing. Learn how to master those challenges.  In this classic webinar, part 1 and part 2, I'll explain how to achieve your testing objectives on outsource projects. If you need more help improving your outsourced testing efforts, from writing contract clauses that actually hold vendors accountable for performance to instituting skills-growth programs that cover your in-house and outsourced teams, contact us for a proposal.

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Corporate Values Are What Your Company Does When You Don't Think Social Media's Watching

An old saying goes, "Character is what you do when no one is watching." At the corporate level, the modern equivalent would be that corporate values are what you do when social media is not watching. The e-mail excerpt above is something I received just today from United. Unless you are living under a rock, you know the infamous incident in question happened quite a while ago, at least as time is measured on the Internet.

Before the video went truly viral and before United realized how much they had damaged their reputation--i.e., before they realized that social media was watching--the United CEO is reported to have sent an internal e-mail to United employees saying that the crew who asked the police to drag Mr. Dao from the plane had actually done nothing wrong and were just following policy.

This kind of behavior isn't just a problem with United. Uber has suffered similar reputational damage--repeatedly, in fact, starting with the "rides of glory" incident--when stories of boorish, sexist, sophomoric, and downright creepy behaviors hit social media.

The important take-away for executives, directors, managers, and even employees is simple: Corporate values are what you do when you think social media isn't watching. If that doesn't motivate you enough, if you've been paying any attention at all, realize that social media is always watching, though sometimes it takes a while to get from the incident itself to the point of maximal reputational immolation.

This is why RBCS has always operated with one very simple company value: we only have happy customers. We go above and beyond for every single one of our customers, from someone ordering a $50 book on our website to a company buying $500,000 in consulting services from us. If you're an RBCS customer and you're not happy with us, we're not happy, and we won't rest until you are happy. I invite the rest of the corporate world to shamelessly copy our corporate value. I certainly look forward to flying on the first airline that does.

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Testers, Don't Master the Irrelevant

There is no award for wasting people's time with irrelevant information

It's fair to say that the more we test, the more we learn, but testing needs to focus on learning (and telling people about) the important aspects of the system.  Not all questions deserve answers.

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Testing: A Hidden Treasure

Do you know what your testing is worth? Most test professionals don't know, but testing is actually a vast hidden treasure in many organizations. Learn how to measure the value of your testing with this classic webinar. Part 1 consists mostly of my presentation, while part 2 is my Q&A with the 100+ people who attended the live webinar. Give a listen, and then let us know if you want help quantifying your testing's value.

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Beware of Geeks Bearing Risks

Risk-based testing is a proven best practice, well established in the ISTQB program and beyond.  Of course, it only works when you get the whole team involved, business stakeholders, technical stakeholders, testers, and beyond. However, when these folks come to geek out on quality risk analysis, are they always rational? In this classic short video, Rex discusses why people aren't always rational about risk, and gives you a pointer to more resources on risk irrationality. Don't crap out. Listen now. Enjoy!

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Software Testing Made Really Simple

In this classic video, RBCS owners Rex Black and Laurel Becker explain software testing in general, and what RBCS does in particular, to elementary students. Hey, if it was simple enough for them to understand, maybe these ideas will help you explain testing to busy stakeholders on your projects.  Enjoy!

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Start Your May in a Bug-squashing Way

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I've got two summits and a black-box bug-a-thon scheduled for the start of May. Here are the details:

What's a bug-a-thon, you ask? Well, check out this video, and then sign up. You will go away a changed person, at least in the way you do black-box testing!

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Exploring Myths and Realities of Exploratory Testing

Are you struggling to implement exploratory testing in your organization? Maybe you're falling victim to some of the myths that surround it. In this classic webinar, Rex Black steps up to debunk some of those myths. Tune in for a iconoclastic tour of some of the truths, half-truths, and whoppers, the best practices and worst practices, surrounding exploratory testing. Enjoy!

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Sorry You Missed It

Well, we're sorry you didn't make it, but we went ahead and held our ASTQB-accredited Advanced Test Analyst course without you. What did you miss? Well, you missed quality risk analysis, risk-based testing, equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, decision tables, state transition diagrams, state transition tables, 1-switch coverage, pairwise testing, the ACTS testing tool demo, classification trees, defect taxonomies, exploratory testing, usability testing, domain analysis (see below), use case testing, user story and requirements reviews, accuracy and correctness testing, interoperability testing, defect management, and the use of tools. You missed hands-on exercises (such as the risk analysis one that resulted in the information in the figure above) and over 100 exam practice questions. Don't miss the next live or virtual ATA class. Sign up today.

More interested in an Advanced Test Manager course? We've got that covered, too. Sign up here. We still have room in next week's course, and you can register here.

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Have We Integrated Testing Best Practices into Agile Yet?

Some bad ideas about Agile testing are in ruins, but the best practices stand the test of time.

Back in 2009, I wrote, "Integrating testing best practices into Agile methodologies will be a key success factor for many test teams in the 2010s. The lesson of the 2000s is that doing so poses a number of challenges."

With the advent of the ISTQB Agile Test Foundation syllabus, and the courses and books supporting it, I think the path for integrating testing best practices into Agile is well-defined. However, as I continue to work with clients around the world, I continue to see challenges.

We've certainly made progress, but have we made enough progress? If you're testing in Agile projects, what is in the way of your testing? Are you feeling about as Agile as the folks in this meeting? Or maybe you're feeling as Agile as this little fellow jumping the bar, but someone keeps raising the bar on you?  

What do you think? What remains your biggest challenge to integrating testing best practices into Agile?

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