The Latest

Normal Processes[magazine]

Using a sociological theory as his starting point, Technical Editor Brian Marick shows how sometimes systems can encourage local problems to blossom into system-wide catastrophes.

Brian Marick
Interviewing Your Interviewer[magazine]

Job interviews are stressful. Often, people are so eager to impress the interviewer that they don't find out critical information about the company and the position. But it's just as important for you to be convinced of the position's suitability for you as it is for the company to be convinced of your suitability for the position. If you ask the right questions, interviews can be much more productive at helping you avoid poorly managed, unhappy projects and zero in on well-run, professional projects.

Joe Yakich
Big Ball of Mud[magazine]

Much of recent systems theory revolves around applying ideal software development patterns. Big Ball of Mud, in contrast, is for those of us who live and work in the real world, where most systems emerge haphazardly from minimally controlled chaos under constrained development conditions. Bar Biszick recommends and describes the Big Ball of Mud Web site.

Bar Biszick
Managers Are Just for Budget Cutting, Right?[magazine]

Luisa Consolini tells us why the managerial side of quality is as important as the technical side. The precepts she imparts are: 1) there is something as bad as not doing testing—not managing it; 2) if you don't manage quality, you won't improve it just by applying some fancy quality techniques; and 3) people are not second to quality.

Luisa Consolini
Book Review: Mastering the Requirements Process[magazine]

Brian Lawrence points to Mastering the Requirements Process as a valuable reference book. The book presents a complete step-by-step method for gathering, modeling, and specifying requirements. Along the way the authors offer easy-to-understand and appropriate examples that nicely illustrate how to apply their techniques.

Brian Lawrence
Welcome to Software Testing and Quality Engineering[magazine]

Technical Editor Brian Marick introduces the first issue of STQE magazine. He says the magazine "is for people who get their hands dirty, whether by writing tests, cranking out code, managing others, or--perhaps the hardest task of all--being the internal QA consultant who has no direct authority but must somehow persuade ten projects with impossible deadlines to think strategically."

Brian Marick
Heuristic Test Oracles[magazine]

For automated testing, expected results are generated using a test oracle. Here is a look at how heuristic oracles can strike a balance between exhaustive comparison and no comparison at all.

Douglas Hoffman
How We Get More Power from Existing Tests[magazine]

Richard Schooler works with the development and testing of InCert's software behavior analysis tools. In this article, Schooler describes how InCert leveraged their automated tests by thinking carefully about changes that allowed test reuse.

Richard Schooler
A look at QARun, a GUI test automation tool[magazine]

QACenter provides an integrated solution that will help you test GUI applications and track the bugs you find. As with most tool suites, you get the best results if you use all the features. If you don't need some parts of QACenter, the integration is less important to you. Then the strengths and weaknesses of the individual tools, like QARun, are more significant.

Noel Nyman
Do Your Interviewing Homework[magazine]

In the nerve-wracking world of job interviews, a little preparation can go a long way toward a positive experience. In this article, we'll examine some pointers for doing the research that can mean the difference between a shot in the dark and a sure thing.

Joe Yakich
Testing and Quality: Are You As Bored As I Am?[magazine]

The next time someone says to you something like, "You can't test quality into a software project," you might reply, "Well, you can't manage it in either." There may be a pregnant pause, but perhaps it will lead to thoughtful discussions about testing and quality. At the very least, it'll make those twin subjects a whole lot less (shh!) Dullsville and boring!

Robert Glass
Finding Answers on the Net[magazine]

The Internet provides a wealth of information on software quality and testing. However, finding that information can be a challenge. In this first edition of Web Watch, Brian Marick tells you how to start your search.

Brian Marick
Tracking Severity: Assessing and Classifying the Impact of Issues (a.k.a. Defects)[magazine]

How does one categorize Severity? Should you use numbers like 1, 2, 3; generic names like High, Medium, Low; or more specific names? A telephone switching system, for example, might use industry-specific categories such as "system issue," "line issue," or "call issue." Other environments, as we'll see in this article, tailor classification terms to meet their own functional needs.

Tim Dyes
Getting Automated Testing Under Control[magazine]

The authors have overcome a lot of the roadblocks to systems testing, especially automated testing. In this article they present their ideas and techniques that are easy to implement (for example, test clusters, templates, and navigation methods).

Software Measurement Programs[magazine]

A metrics program is any planned activity in which you use measurement to meet some specific goal. If you do not have a clear technical goal for a metrics program, then you are almost certainly not ready for such a program. Here's how to design a measurement program that leads to decisions and actions.

Norman Fenton

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