Podcast Episodes

The RBCS podcast allows you to stay current on important topics in software testing and training. Subscribe for the RBCS software testing podcast and, about twice a month, you'll learn something new and interesting. Rex will share important lessons learned from RBCS' consulting, training, and expert services engagements. Listen while exercising, going for a walk, shopping, or driving, and become a more informed software tester.

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The Most Dangerous Fallacies of Risk-based Testing

Length: 0h 43m 17s
Download (48.4 MB)


Mark Twain once wrote, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”  In logic, that thing you know that just ain’t so is called a fallacy.  Fallacies abound in software testing, and risk-based testing especially suffers from a number of misconceptions.  Are you laboring under such delusions?  If so, what damage is that doing to your ability to implement the most effective and efficient way to manage the risk to the quality of your software and systems?  In this free webinar, Rex will identify and dispel these fallacies, and take your questions about risk-based testing fallacies that are affecting you.

One Key Idea: Test Automation ROI

Length: 0h 18m 11s
Download (20.3 MB)


Test automation is all the rage.  Spinning away in Agile lifecycles or playing key roles in DevOps pipelines, automation is supposed to be everywhere, right? However, such widespread automation is a big investment. If you want to obtain management approval for the kind of automation investments all the webinar and conference talking heads are saying you simply must do right now, you better be able to talk automation ROI. In this One Key Idea session, Rex will explain the measurable business benefits of test automation and how to calculate automation ROI.  In twenty minutes or less, you’ll learn how to bridge the gap between automation techno-speak and the managerial bottom-line focus.

Shift Left and Friends

Length: 1h 0m 28s
Download (67.6 MB)


Shift left. Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). Continuous deployment. DevOps. What is all this stuff and what does it mean for you as the tester? In this keynote, Rex Black will explain these concepts and their test implications.  He’ll then describe the emerging role of the SDET (Software Development Engineering in Test, also called SET) and what SDETs do.  Yes, being an SDET is about test automation, but it’s about a lot more than that, and Rex will give you some examples of things you can expect to do as an SDET in a shift left world over the coming decade.  Don’t worry. Life as a tester in the SDET reality is gonna be fun and exciting, and Rex will give you some ideas how.

One Key Idea: Measuring the Value of Testing Using Cost of Quality

Length: 0h 29m 26s
Download (33.7 MB)


You know that testing and quality is important, right? Okay, prove it. Exactly how much money do you think testing saves? Yes, that’s right saves. Testing is often thought of as a regrettable cost center, something that must be funded to avoid some dimly-understood “bad stuff that could happen.” In fact, software testing and other quality assurance activities save money. Typically, every dollar spent on testing saves eight dollars in the long run. In this One Key Idea session, Rex will demonstrate the use of cost of quality, a technique known for over 50 years, using a real world case study and a spreadsheet you can download and use that same day. Testers, know your value!

The More Things Change (Location), the More They Stay the Same

Length: 0h 49m 27s
Download (56.6 MB)


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.

One Key Idea: ISTQB Agile Program

Length: 0h 22m 26s
Download (25.7 MB)


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.

Stupid Metrics Tricks and How To Avoid Them

Length: 1h 1m 48s
Download (70.7 MB)


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.

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

Length: 0h 19m 51s
Download (22.7 MB)


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.

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

Length: 0h 53m 46s
Download (60.1 MB)


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.

One Key Idea: Code Coverage Demonstrated with gcov

Length: 0h 29m 40s
Download (61.8 MB)


One important way to test software is based on the way it’s supposed to work, verifying conformance to specified behavior from user stories and requirements, and validating that the software solves the users’ and customers’ problems.  This is often called black-box testing. However, another way to test software is based on the way it’s built, which is the complementary concept of white-box testing. We measure completeness of black-box testing through coverage of requirements, user stories, risks, personas, and more, and we measure completeness of white-box through code coverage. In this One Key Idea session, Rex will explain the meat-and-potatoes of code coverage, statement coverage and branch coverage, and demonstrate these concepts with a free tool, gcov. Technical and non-technical testers alike will walk away with a clearer understanding of this critical concept.

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