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Resources for “Testing”

Articles

Suppose you went to a restaurant for dinner, sat down, and told the waiter, "Bring me dinner and a drink." You didn't provide any further details, though you had something specific in mind. What are the chances that you'll get the dinner and drink you expected? While no one would ever do this in a restaurant, it happens sometimes on projects that involve third parties.

If we have certain expectations and requirements for an engagement with a third party, those should be defined and clearly communicated between the parties. The best practice is to have that definition and communication before the project starts and to put the agreed-upon terms into the contract. If the third party is delivering software, then these requirements should include quality targets, including measurements of those targets. The measurements should be objective and not subject to distortions.

In addition to defining the requirements, the point at which those requirements must be met should be defined. This can be done by defining entry and exit criteria that establish quality gates for deliverables. Because these quality gates will control the start and end of project phases, they should be synchronized with the phases of the project and aligned with project schedule milestones. 

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Project Retrospective

By Rex Black

An excerpt from The Expert Test Manager: Guide to the ISTQB Expert Level Certification book by Rex Black, Jim Rommens and Leo Van Der Aalst due to be published by Rocky Nook. All material is provisional and may be subject to change
 
As a colleague told me once, a good motto for software teams is: "Make interesting new mistakes." His explanation was, since you are human, you'll make mistakes. But you should make interesting ones, ones you can learn from, and you should only make a mistake once.  How do you ensure that you make only interesting new mistakes? By learning from each mistake that you make. How to you learn from each mistake? In this short article, you'll read about a proven technique for learning from mistakes, retrospectives. Useful in both Agile and traditional lifecycles, this simple technique can make you and your colleagues a process improvement machine!
 

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Risk-based Mobile Testing

By Rex Black, President, RBCS, Inc.

Risk-based testing is a long-standing best practice, but can you apply it to mobile testing? Absolutely! In this short article, we’ll review what risk-based testing is, and then explain how it can be applied to testing mobile apps. Risk-based testing will help you focus on what to test, how much, and in what order on your mobile apps, which, given the timescales of mobile app testing, is more critical than ever before.
 
For any realistic-sized system, testing cannot reduce the risk of failure in production to zero, due to the impossibility of exhaustive testing. While testing does reduce the risk of failure in production, most approaches to testing reduce risk in a suboptimal and opaque fashion.

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This is an excerpt from my book, Expert Test Manager, written with James Rommens and Leo van der Aalst. I hope it helps you think more clearly about the test strategies you use.

A test policy contains the mission and objectives of testing along with metrics and goals associated with the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which we achieve those objectives. In short, the policy defines why we test. While it might also include some high-level description of the fundamental test process, in general the test policy does not talk about how we test.

The document that describes how we test is the test strategy. In the test strategy, the test group explains how the test policy will be implemented. This document should be a general description that spans multiple projects. While the test strategy can describe how testing is done for all projects, organizations might choose to have separate documents for various types of projects. For example, an organization might have a sequential lifecycle test strategy, an Agile test strategy, and a maintenance test strategy.

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Webinars

Podcast Episodes

Let’s suppose you bought a car. Six days later, someone from the dealership let himself into your garage, removed the tires on the car, installed some “updated” tires that actually had holes in them, and then left. In the morning, your car was there in the garage, all sad and undriveable on its flat, flabby tires. That’s clearly unacceptable, in fact even criminal, but we allow the same thing to happen all the time with software. Why? In this webinar, Rex will catalog infamous automated software updates, released without sufficient testing to wreak havoc, or at least inconvenience. He’ll then give a detailed roadmap for reducing your chances of being part of the problem.

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One Key Idea: Pairwise Testing Using ACTS 2/16/17


Length: 0h 38m 45s

If you’ve been testing for any length of time, you know that the number of possible test cases is enormous if you try to test all possible combinations of inputs, configuration values, types of data, and so forth. It’s like the mythical monster, the many-headed Hydra, which would sprout two or more new heads for each head that was cut off. Two simple approaches to dealing with combinatorial explosions such as this are equivalence partitioning and boundary value analysis, but those techniques don’t check for interactions between factors. A reasonable, manageable way to test combinations is called pairwise testing, but to do it you’ll need a tool.  In this inaugural One Key Idea session, Rex will demonstrate the use of a free tool, ACTS, built by the US NIST and available for download worldwide. We can’t promise to turn you into Hercules, but you will definitely walk away able to slay the combinatorial Hydra.

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Webinar: Enterprise Challenges of Test Data 5/16/17


Length: 0h 53m 46s

If you are testing a simple mobile app, you may find it relatively easy to find representative test data. However, what if you are testing enterprise scale applications? In the enterprise data center, one hundred or more applications of various sizes, complexity, and criticality co-exist, operating on various data repositories, in some cases shared data repositories. In some cases, disparate data repositories hold related data, and the ability to test integration across applications that access these data sets is critical.  In this keynote speech, Rex Black will talk about the challenges facing his clients as they deal with these testing problems. You’ll go away with a better understanding of the nature of the challenges, as well as ideas on how to handle them, grounded in lessons Rex has learned in over 30 years of software engineering and testing.

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Webinar: One Key Idea: Decision Tables 6/26/17


Length: 0h 19m 51s

In our inaugural One Key Idea session, we looked at how use pairwise testing to examine combinations of inputs, configuration values, types of data, and the like. This is a great technique when the interaction between these factors is unpredictable. However, in some cases, specific business rules govern these interactions. How can we model these business rules and use that model to develop a reasonable set of tests? Simple: decision tables. In this One Key Idea session, Rex will explain the basics of this fundamental technique.  In twenty minutes or less, you’ll learn how to create and use these straightforward, table-based representations of business logic in your daily work.

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One Key Idea: ISTQB Agile Program


Length: 0h 22m 26s

Agile methods have become widespread over the last 20 years, but it’s taken a while for testing to catch up.  However, Agile testing best practices have emerged, and the ISTQB Agile Working Group has taken on the task of capturing those for you.  In this brief webinar, Rex Black, Chair of the ISTQB Agile Working Group, will explain where the program has been, where it is now, and how it is evolving to support Agile testers in their careers. In twenty minutes or less, you’ll learn how the ISTQB Agile syllabi can help you advance your career as an Agile tester.

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Stupid Metrics Tricks and How To Avoid Them


Length: 1h 1m 48s

If you have been in software engineering for a while—or in fact just in the working world in general for a while—you’ve probably seen someone do something stupid with metrics. Such mistakes raise a whole bunch of interesting questions. What are the most common metrics mistakes? Why are they mistakes? Why do people make these mistakes? Are you making these mistakes? Why use metrics at all, when there are so many mistakes? In this talk, Rex will give real-world examples of these mistakes, explain the management and economic theories behind metrics, and help you find ways to implement metrics that aren’t stupid.

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In just a few years, mobile devices and the applications on them have upended the way people use computers. People spend more time than ever on their PCs, but people spend even more time on their mobile devices. Obviously, mobile devices and apps have important differences from their PC counterparts. It’s not just a smaller screen! However, does that mean that all proven best practices for testing and quality go out the window when dealing with mobile apps? In this webinar, Rex will explain what changes, and what doesn’t change, when you move into the mobile world.

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Training

Testing Metrics: Virtual Workshop

Some of our favorite engagements involve helping clients implement metrics programs for testing. Facts and measures are the foundation of true understanding, but misuse of metrics is the cause of much confusion. How can we use metrics to manage testing? What metrics can we use to measure the test process? What metrics can we use to measure our progress in testing a project? What do metrics tell us about the quality of the product? In this virtual workshop, Rex will share some things he’s learned about metrics that you can put to work right away. You’ll work on some practical exercises to develop metrics for your testing, and have a chance to discuss those with Rex and with other attendees.

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ISTQB Virtual Expert Test Management Operational Test Manager Boot Camp

The Expert Test Management Operational Test Manager Boot Camp, created by Rex Black, past President of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), past President of the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) and co-author of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board Expert Level Syllabus Test Management, is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification in a short timeframe with time and money constraints. 

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ISTQB Virtual Advanced Security Tester Boot Camp

The Advanced Security Tester Boot Camp course, created by Rex Black, past President of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), past President of the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) and co-author of a number of International Software Testing Qualifications Board syllabi, is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification in a short timeframe with time and money constraints.

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ISTQB Virtual Advanced Test Automation Engineer Boot Camp

The Advanced Test Automation Engineer Boot Camp, created by Rex Black, past President of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), past President of the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) and co-author of a number of International Software Testing Qualifications Board syllabi, is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification in a short timeframe with time and money constraints.

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ISTQB Virtual Advanced Security Tester Training

This hands-on course provides test engineers with the ability to define and carry out the tasks required to put the strategy into action and is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification. In preparation for the exam, participants will key concepts related to security threats, risks, policies and procedures, and how to address those through testing processes integrated into the software lifecycle. 

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ISTQB Expert Test Management Strategic Test Manager Training

The Expert Test Management Strategic Test Manager course, created by Rex Black, past President of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), past President of the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) and co-author of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board Expert Level Syllabus Test Management, is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification. 

This hands-on course provides test engineers with the ability to define and carry out the tasks required to put the strategy into action and is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification. In preparation for the exam, participants will learn the subject matter behind the test standard and deepen their understanding by working through case studies and exercises. In group exercises, typical review situations are played out and analyzed.

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ISTQB Virtual Expert Test Management Strategic Test Manager Training

The Virtual Expert Test Management Strategic Test Manager course, created by Rex Black, past President of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), past President of the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) and co-author of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board Expert Level Syllabus Test Management, is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification. 

This hands-on course provides test managers with the ability to define and carry out the tasks required to put the strategy into action and is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification. In preparation for the exam, participants will learn the subject matter behind the test standard and deepen their understanding by working through case studies and exercises. In group exercises, typical review situations are played out and analyzed.

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ISTQB Advanced Security Tester Training

The Advanced Security Tester course, created by Rex Black, past President of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), past President of the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) and co-author of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board Advanced Syllabus, provides test engineers with advanced skills in security test analysis, design, and execution through direct instruction and group exercises. 

This hands-on course provides test engineers with the ability to define and carry out the tasks required to put the strategy into action and is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification. In preparation for the exam, participants will key concepts related to security threats, risks, policies and procedures, and how to address those through testing processes integrated into the software lifecycle.

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