On Beauty, Quality, and Relativity

The saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” rings true whether you’re staring at a centuries-old painting, listening to a busker’s music reflect off the tiles in a subway station, or testing software. It’s one thing to evaluate quality, but how do we evaluate how we evaluate quality?

Zeger van Hese's picture Zeger van Hese
Is Test Automation a “Project”?

Test automation can turn into a real pain in the neck if a designated team is in charge of it or if the automators work on it as a separate project. In this article, Lisa Crispin seconds Bob Jones’s recent call for whole-team test automation and elaborates on the dangers of relegating test automation to an isolated project rather than integrating it into the overall software development process.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
Specification by Example: Collaborating on a Scope without High-Level Control

Understanding what the business users are trying to achieve can significantly help you focus the project on things that really matter. In this excerpt from Gojko Adzic's book Specification by Example, the author offers some tips for effectively collaborating on the project scope when you don’t have high-level control of the project.

Gojko Adzic's picture Gojko Adzic
Tester, Know Your Product

Should you diligently produce multiple big documents before testing begins? Consultant Fiona Charles argues that you should do that only if you believe that documentation is your product as a tester. If your product is information, you should instead minimize test documentation and engage with the software to build the product your stakeholders are paying for.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Load Test Your Website Before Your Customers Do

When you release a website or web application, it’s going to face a lot of very public load testing. If it performs poorly, there’s a good chance that you’re going to lose a lot of customers. Colin Mason offers some tips for load testing in order to ensure a better customer experience.

Colin  Mason's picture Colin Mason
Pair Programming in the Clink

In this personal experience story, Daryl Kulak relates the day he spent behind bars. He was there to participate in a program that pairs prisoners with software developers “from the outside” to explore the art and science of agile software development. “It’s like a code retreat,” Kulak notes, “except it’s inside a prison.”

Daryl  Kulak's picture Daryl Kulak
How to Squeeze the Most Out of Your Automated Testing

Jonathan Lindo describes examples of automated test infrastructure utilizing both open source and traditional, independent-software-vendor-sourced software. In addition, he discusses new techniques for extending the value of automated testing by transforming the process from defect finding to defect resolution by reducing the effort required to document, reproduce, and troubleshoot the defects generated from automated tests.

Jonathan Lindo's picture Jonathan Lindo
Branching to Distraction

Branching can be an effective solution for managing change, enabling parallel development and improved productivity. But, working on a branch is a distraction and can decrease agility, productivity, and code robustness. Learn when the value of working on a branch outweighs the cost.

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk
What Are You Doing?

Your issue-tracking and version-management systems are powerful tools that you can use to help you manage change and improve team and individual productivity. This article provides some simple advice on how to use your tracking system to be more productive without introducing excessive overhead.

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk
My Experience with Test-Driven Development

Vinay Krishna explains why agile development includes testing and coding concurrently, which is also what test-driven development emphasizes. The transformation from coder to developer to tester is needed in all agile software development projects.

Vinay Krishna's picture Vinay Krishna


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