The Latest

Metrics That Matter[magazine]

Metrics are only worthwhile if you review and use them. Do your quality reports go directly from the inbox to the trash can? A quality metrics program can be a great asset to your organization. Engineering, sales, and the company overall can benefit from having such a program. This article will help you explore ways to make measurements meaningful outside of QA.

Marsha Holliday's picture Marsha Holliday
Deconstructing GUI Test Automation[magazine]

Window mapping gives elements specific names so tests are easier to update and understand. Task libraries group sequences of steps that make up part of user tasks when those sequences show up in multiple tests. Data-driven test automation separates the parameters of a test case from the test script so that the test script can be reused for many related tasks. Keyword-driven test automation formats tests as tables or spreadsheets and creates parsers to read and execute the test descriptions. Take advantage of these four techniques to help you test a graphical user interface, and see how developers can make your life easier.

Bret Pettichord's picture Bret Pettichord
A Calculated Gamble[magazine]

Starting a project without considering the risks is quite a gamble. Learn how to increase your odds through the practice of good risk management. Effective organizations recognize that bad stuff may happen during a project. Risk management is about anticipating what might happen, examining and prioritizing those possible bad events, and figuring out what to do about them. In this article, review the Risk Management Glossary and discover remedies to risks that may help you prevent many common problems.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Venus and Mars in the Workplace[article]

In the "Venus and Mars" series of mainstream relationship books, author John Gray attests that differences in outlook and inherited traits account for relationship problems between genders. His position is that men and women come from inherently different places and therefore approach things from inherently different perspectives. In this week's column, Carol Dekkers explores how some of the issues in software development might be similarly rooted in differences between the software development and customer communities.

Carol Dekkers's picture Carol Dekkers
Where Are the Testers in XP?[article]

With Extreme Programming, programmers are taking responsibility for writing their own unit tests. What work does this leave for testers? Some people think that XP saves costs by eliminating the need for testers. Does programmer testing really take the place of tester testing? In this column, Bret Pettichord offers ways for testers to provide value to XP teams.

Bret Pettichord's picture Bret Pettichord
Stop Destroying My Team with Bad MBOs[article]

It's 2003, and you're a manager casting about for a good New Year's resolution. Sure, going to the gym, quitting cigarettes, cutting down on the cheeseburgers-those are all good resolutions for you personally. But how about a resolution that helps you professionally, and will help everyone who works for you? How about resolving to stop destroying your team with bad MBOs? Find out how, in this week's column by Rex Black.

Rex Black's picture Rex Black
Making Virtual Teams a Reality[magazine]

What all virtual teams have in common is that they are working on a project, but may not be located in close physical proximity, and they must find ways to communicate, track progress, and manage tasks without being able to physically meet regularly. The prerequisites for success with virtual teams are 1) clear, manageable objectives; 2) management's commitment to necessary resources; and 3) mature management and technical personnel. Learn how to lead a workgroup you cannot see.

Linda McInnis's picture Linda McInnis
Mastering the Discipline of Testing[magazine]

Becoming a master software tester requires training. We are not artists whose brains are wired at birth to excel in quality assurance. Uncomfortable with labeling software testing as either an "art" or a "craft," Dr. James Whittaker makes his case for testing as a discipline to be mastered.

James Whittaker's picture James Whittaker
A Look at the Performance Testing Aspect of TeamTest from Rational[magazine]

Jonathan Harris looks at performance testing with Rational TeamTest, including its capturing ability, data correlation ability, scripting language, recording response time, and scalability.

Jonathan Harris's picture Jonathan Harris
Advance Your Career--Get Involved[magazine]

Professional development activities can help you stay competitive in the marketplace. Eric Patel describes ways you can benefit from extracurricular career activities such as volunteering, joining professional associations, attending and speaking at conferences, and pursuing continuing education.

Eric Patel's picture Eric Patel
It's in the Bag[magazine]

Kristi Wheeler wanted to create a forum in which all of the testers in her company could come together to talk about their skills, learn more about testing, and bring individual experiences into a group setting. Here, she describes how she started up brown bag groups for testers and developers in her organization–and how you can start them in your own company.

Kristi Wheeler's picture Kristi Wheeler
An Atypical Confused Deputy Bug[magazine]

FreeBSD is a popular free version of Unix, much like Linux. In April, the FreeBSD project released a security advisory, which warned that any logged-in user could gain full control of, or "root access" to, almost any machine running any previous version of FreeBSD. The problem was due to a bug in a program called keyinit. It’s an atypical example of a confused deputy bug. However, it is often useful for programs to be allowed to do things their invokers can’t. In this month's bug report, Kragen Sitaker tells the story of this atypical "confused deputy" bug.

Kragen Sitaker's picture Kragen Sitaker
Eileen and Wayne Strider on Building and Managing Technical Teams[magazine]

Eileen and Wayne Strider recommend some useful resources for building and managing technical teams. Technical team leaders have two different yet related responsibilities. One responsibility is to build a product such as a system, an application, a network, or a Web site. The second responsibility is to build and maintain their team's ability to work together so they can build a product. Building a product requires the right mix of technical skills and experience. Building a team's ability to work together requires a different skill set. Reading about those skills is valuable, but practice is essential.

Eileen Strider's picture Eileen Strider Wayne Strider
The Shopping Cart Delusion[magazine]

Believing that a technique is a well-defined thing can hamper you if you're not careful. It encourages you to react to problems in just one way: try ever harder to do the technique right. It turns off the "situated" part of situated reasoning. Brian Marick shows how the "shopping cart delusion," or strictly adhering to definitions, keeps you from breaking the rules to your benefit.

Brian Marick's picture Brian Marick
Wall-to-Wall Tools[magazine]

Got blank walls? Instead of hiring a decorator, perhaps you should enlist the help of a facilitator. This article examines how three experts use the wall in very different ways to make retrospectives, design, and collaboration better and easier.

Amanda Sulock's picture Amanda Sulock

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