Friday, December 30, 2005

Software testing blog top ten survey

At the end of 2005, these are the top ten entries found using the search string "software testing blog" on

  1. Test notes
  2. Software test engineering
  3. Collaborative software testing
  4. Testing Hotlist Update
  5. Software testing (articles, links, tool and book reviews)
  6. Exploration through example
  7. Developer testing
  8. Christian Sepulveda's Blog
  9. James Bach blog
  10. Cem Kaner's blog

I edited out a couple of unlikely candidates - a site for blog software and an auto blog. Just shows that even the mighty Google gets a few wrong 'uns mixed in with the real thing. (In honour of the pantomine season: Oh no it didn't; Oh YES IT DID).

Anyway if you're reading this you probably like reading software testing blogs, so check out the rest of the list. And thanks to all the bloggers responsible for these - long may you continue.

Load testing UK

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Software Testing FAQ - No. 8

I do not like reading but I do like comics. Recommend me and my mates some good software testing books in comic format (no non-functional stuff, pal).

That question (or more accurately that directive) comes from a Mr D. Bannatyne, who describes himself as “more of a numbers man than a big, fat bucket of waffle”.

Mr D. Bannatyne, you should meet up with frequent questioner Oliver Letwin who is also a man of numbers, so to speak. It seems like only yesterday, when he was testing our knowledge on prime numbers and perfect numbers. Some say that there is an inverse correlation between how numerate and how articulate a person is. I say derrrrrrrrr - go figure.

In dealing with your instruction there is a temptation to go for a cheap shot and point out the comic qualities of seminal software testing book The Art of Software Testing by Glenford Myers. But in reality there are no comic strips in this book. Not one.

If you search lists of software testing books, such as Sticky Fingers, Compendiumdev book reviews or a software testing book list there is no joy there either. Well no joy is not quite right. I enjoyed the review of Automated Software Testing : Introduction, management and performance

"Sometimes testing is made to seem like such a dull, dry, plodding subject. I assume that's because this book is aimed at a dull plodding manager. This book will certainly improve their approach to automation but I don't think it will really help the working environment for their poor testers."

I think that is probably not a book for you Mr B. No cause for despair though. If you approach this from the comic end rather than the test end you will discover a comic strip called Dilbert. It’s about an engineer who is surrounded by people with varying degrees of terrible hair. Not that the eponymous hero has great hair himself. Only the bestial characters, such as a rat called Ratbert, have good hair.

Dilbert’s grasp of software testing techniques and methods is not immediately apparent when you read a few sample comic strips. But Mr B. I recommend you and your mates read every single Dilbert comic strip and you will probably get some insights into software testing. Plus they are funny so you would have less of an excuse for being a miserable, cantankerous, old git. Go on, treat yourself this Christmas and talking of which:

Merry Christmas everybody.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Software testing status - up, up and away

SEO Services, Search
Engine Optimization Company

"A career in software testing is the fastest emerging choice among IT students today, though for long it was not considered challenging enough.

Software testing has often been perceived by many as an overhead rather than a crucial part of an IT project.

But the fact is that proper testing is an imperative part of any project - the single biggest cause of failure in major IT programmes is lack of, or inappropriate testing. The emergence of testing as a professional discipline, that makes the difference between success and failure, has challenged outmoded perceptions and created a thriving industry focused on delivering quality, and ensuring both fitness for use and fitness for purpose.

There is also a perception that testing is not that exciting a career, it can be viewed as monotonous and not as fast paced or challenging as development for example. There is plenty of variety, innovation and challenge involved, and it is a career that has it all, interest, demand and longevity."

So the status of testers will change, right? With all that variety, innovation and challenge and all those IT students pouring into the profession how can it be otherwise!

But hold on there. Before you push and your chest and go posing down the West End with your "I am a tester" T shirt on you should know that the quotes come from The Hindustan Times in India. So it may take a while for the sentimant to filter across to the UK...

If you're interested in improving your software testing education consider these software testing UK training courses including ISEB software testing practitioner courses

Monday, December 19, 2005

Automated functional testing solutions

I just saw an interesting paper on implementing automated functional testing solutions from Mercury. It rightly stresses the need for everyone in the software development lifecycle to speed up the testing process and still increase the accuracy of the testing. It also argues that completeness is in this top need category - you can make your own mind up on that!
Automating testing has many advantages but the business case is not always easy to produce and the approach to take also raises a lot of questions.
The whitepaper focuses on how to provide answers to these issues. Many of the Mercury tools are being rebranded as was Mercury from Mercury Interactive. For ecample, TestDirector is now part of Mercury Quality Centre and here what was QTP (Quick Test Pro) has been rebranded as part of Mercury Functional Testing. Hope your keeping up with this, there will be questions later.

Judge for yourself. The link is at Information Week

YoY-search - a web portal with ten types of search

Performance testing tools

Saturday, December 17, 2005

User Acceptance testing

Definition of user acceptance testing - uat

Formal testing conducted to enable a user, customer, or other authorised entity to determine whether to accept a system or component. Also known as Operational acceptance testing - OAT or Customer acceptance testing - CAT.


User acceptance testing is frequently viewed as the single activity to confirm a system meets the business need for which it was intended. In practice this is equally often not the case and acceptance testing can become a meaningless milestone where the development project team push the system across to operations and support.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Software Testing FAQ - No. 7

Is it true that all male software testers are as good looking as Brad Pitt ?

That question came from a very nice lady called H. Keller.

Nice question H. Are you by any chance related to H formerly with pop-combo Steps? Hold on, shouldn't I be answering the questions here rather than asking them?

Well, first of all, I'm not sure that you have ever seen a software tester, have you H? Secondly, is it the whole Brad Pitt good-looking-ness I should be comparing the software tester with or just good looking bits of him like maybe his ears or his eyebrows? Thirdly, how should we treat the class of testers that were once one gender and are now the other - does the current or original state define them for the purposes of this question?

If only I could just clear these up I could come to a measured answer really quickly. Quicker than a shop sells out of Xbox 360's in this pre-Christmas rush to be sure. Failing that, I believe there is a strong (nay, even overwhelming) possibility that the answer is no.

If you're interested in a conundrum try these puzzles and quizes too.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Microsoft Visual Studio - new release is packed with defects

Microsoft has received a lot of criticsim over the release of Visual Studio 2005 dvelpment suite. Many blogs and news sites reported that the software, which was actually shipped early, should have been delayed. You can see fuller versions of the story at VNU IT Week or CNET or even go straight to a blog which lists some of defects. Industry analysts are responding by saying that it was tested enough and its unrealistic to expect a major release without a lot of defects.

This story highlights a core issue in the software testing world: speed to market against fitness for purpose. Its a complex issue and is oftten trivialised by the type of "I do believe you didn't mean to do that" type of response that Harry Enfield's character made famous.

It would be great to get your views in the comments. The only problem is that when you look at the blog comments on the link above it is mainly links to poker and the like. Still you can see what others are saying by trawling the blogs and news sites and then make up your own mind.