The Latest

Why Testers Should Care About Patterns[magazine]

Patterns, as described by the architect and theorist Christopher Alexander and his colleagues over the last thirty-five years, are a way of describing problems and customizable solutions. Patterns became popular in the software development field, and they've been applied to testing. Here, Brian Marick explores patterns and problem solving.

Brian Marick
Developing Your Professional Network[magazine]

Do you shudder at the thought of having to learn social etiquette in order to manage your professional network? Networking rituals do have to evolve to fit with new communication mechanisms. But the workings of the human psyche haven't changed, and you still need to learn the skills that are necessary to develop a network that can bolster your career.

Danny R. Faught's picture Danny R. Faught
A Detour Around Dead-end Bugs[magazine]

Show-stopping failures in Web applications are all too common. One serious but easily avoidable failure is the "dead-end" bug, where a user is left staring at a blank screen without any clue about what went wrong. Derek Sisson describes different types of "dead-end" bugs and shows how to avoid them.

Derek Sisson
The Power Loss Trap[magazine]

In order to be effective, Testing must co-exist on a level playing field with Development and Project Management. It cannot be subservient to them. A test lead's authority on a project springs from his or her projected sense of self-confidence in the role, and the Power Loss Trap undermines this authority. Here are a few commonsense ways to protect yourself.

Matt Leahy
On the Cost of Quality[magazine]

Technical Editor Brian Lawrence explains four types of costs of quality: prevention, appraisal, internal failure, and external failure.

Brian Lawrence
Beyond Belief[magazine]

Technical Editor Esther Derby talks about how unconscious beliefs, filters, and maps influence the way we react to situations and the conclusions we reach.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Know Thy User[magazine]

Testing, in its broadest sense, means ensuring that your visionaries and programmers are creating a helpful product that people will actually use. As the two authors of this installment of Bug Report illustrate, understanding how those users will operate your application is more than an exercise in empathy; it's a simple key to avoiding some real usability meltdowns.

Brian Marick
Thinking About Thinking[magazine]

Esther Derby recommends The Logic of Failure and The Thinking Manager's Toolbox. Both authors share the same goal: helping you be a better problem solver. They stress the importance of recognizing the situation you're in, choosing an appropriate problem-solving strategy, and having the right thinking tools.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Houston, We Have a Problem[magazine]

Errors start with individuals, and a primary job of testers/QA people is to prevent those errors in the first place. But an equally important part of the job is to find them once they are there, understanding that errors will happen. Jon Hagar asks, "What can we do personally, above and beyond the normal day-to-day jobs that we testers and developers have?"

Jon Hagar's picture Jon Hagar
I am a Bug, and Refactoring[magazine]

Our editors recommend the books I am a Bug (a children's book written by a software development manager and tester to explain his job to his children) and Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (by Martin Fowler, with contributions by Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, and Don Roberts).

Brian Marick
Network Testing with Shunra's STORM[magazine]

STORM is a software-driven combination of hardware and software that recreates multiple, real-life, WAN links in terms of bandwidth limitations, packet loss, latency, jitter, and more–all in a local area network (LAN) lab. By providing a test bed that brings the WAN into a controlled and repeatable LAN environment, we can test and evaluate the performance and robustness of IP applications or devices before wide-scale deployment, or compare new technologies before field testing.

Ron Ioszpe
Book Review: Adaptive Software Development[magazine]

Johanna Rothman recommends the book Adaptive Software Development by James Highsmith. She says, "Highsmith shows the reader how to recognize when development practices need to change and how to acquire the skills to adapt. For a fresh approach to software development, be sure to check it out."

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
How Do You Build the Right Software Right?[magazine]

Technical Editor Brian Lawrence explains his top-three list of things to do to deliver the right software right: risk-based planning, problem definition and modeling, and congruent leadership.

Brian Lawrence
Making Numbers Count[magazine]

Numbers count—no two ways about it. But any numbers you include in a bug report should also include the appropriate units of measure. In an example from their experience, David Wilson and Leonidas Hepis explain the importance of using consistent terminology and units of measure.

I Think, Therefore I Prototype[magazine]

Prototypes can help you deliver the right software. Here, Technical Editor Brian Lawrence gives examples of prototypes and some guidelines for prototyping.

Brian Lawrence

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