make you most nervous.
Please send your comments and anecdotes to me and I'll publish some of them in this space in future STQe-Letters. Of course, anonymous stories with only general references to products are expected.
7 June 2001
Some people like basketball, some people like unit testing
some like the NFL, some like the CMM
some like acupuncture, some like function points
some like the Mets, some like metrics
some think out of the box, some in a glass box
some use testers, some test users
some like French, some like C++
some like coffee, some like Java
some like Star Trek, some like Data
some like chaos, some like a UML
some like dogs, some like dos
some like romanticism, some like oo
some like extra crispy, some like GUI
What do you like...?
18 July 2001
I was at a family reunion recently, and of course there was at least one blowup. The usual. One parent criticized another parent's child. Oops. You have to be careful pointing out defects in other people's kids.
Do you ever get the feeling that some developers view their apps as their children? The exercise of creating something, even when it's a collaborative effort, seems to evoke a parental instinct in some. This is a good thing to know when you are a tester. Think of going to a parent and enumerating the defects of his or her child. Of course it's not quite that emotional, but some developers' responses indicate a measure of similarity.
My point? Well, don't hesitate to enumerate defects in the software--but perhaps present the problem as your own, e.g., "I ran into this problem, and maybe you can help me with a couple questions..." You both have the same goal: the well-being of the "child." You get the idea. (BTW, have you seen "A.I."?...talk about a developer treating his app like his kid!)
17 October 2001
You are required to enter your social security and pin
numbers at your bank's Web site.
You are required to pass a test before you receive a
You are required to have your pet tested for rabies.
You are required to stop at a red light.
These are some of the requirements of everyday life. It's easy to see the consequences of not having them. That's why they're called "requirements" instead of "suggestions." If you're not the end user of a software application, you may not always understand the consequences of ignoring the requirements. In fact, you may not even understand the requirements to begin with! Step one in succeeding as a software developer, tester, manager, or QA person is to fully understand requirements and to hold the project to them. That's my opinion. What's yours?
5 December 2001
Why are user requirements so important? Here's a "metaphoric" reason. I just bought a car. My old once-reliable "legacy" car lasted many years with no defects. Then a few signs of wear, then...collapse. My upgrade vehicle is more sleek, reliable, clean, and efficient. What more could one ask in an upgrade? But wait, where are the louvers (you know, the little triangular windows that swing open and let more air in)?! I didn't notice their absence till it came time to use them. I liked using louvers on a medium-warm day. Who decided to eliminate them from the upgrade? No one asked ME about such a decision.
Many software development businesses do have the luxury of personal contact with their customers. My suggestion is, take advantage of it. When it's upgrade time, be sure to have compiled as much information