The Latest

How to Break Software Security[presentation]

This presentation addresses classifying, finding, and attacking software security vulnerabilities.

James Whittaker, Florida Institue of Technology and Herbert Thompson, System Integrity
Keeping Your Outsourced Testing Under Control[presentation]

As companies focus on their core business, the option to outsource software testing becomes more and more attractive. And there are plenty of organizations out there that specialize in the practice.

Martin Pol, POLTEQ IT Services BV
What Does Your Title Say About Your Job?[article]

"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." True, sloppy naming schemes may be all right in some cases. But as Johanna Rothman explains in this column, when software professionals are looking for a job, hiring, or negotiating work assignments, it's crucial for their job titles to accurately portray the work they do. Read on to see if you agree with the definitions Johanna assigns to the more common QA-related job titles.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Surviving the Witch Hunt[magazine]

A witch hunt is the search for whoever let those darned bugs out into the field. How do you stop a witch hunt? The best way is to refocus attention from "someone to blame" to "something to fix." If you focus on what in the process is causing the defects and discuss how to minimize or even eliminate the causes, you have a real chance to turn things around.

Tony Akins's picture Tony Akins
Salary Survey 2002: Are You Weathering the Storm?[magazine]

The results of the third annual STQE magazine/StickyMinds.com salary survey give the temperature of the testing industry. Thanks to our readers' continued participation, we now have three years' worth of data and the ability to start looking for trends.

Anne Meilof's picture Anne Meilof
A Look at TeamTrack by TeamShare[magazine]

David Lee's company needed a system to track customer support and development issues—one that had the right combination of tools and the scalability they needed to effectively address their customer needs, as well as their own internal requirements. Here is a discussion of why they chose Team Track, and an evaluation of the tool.

David S. Lee's picture David S. Lee
How to Avoid Adaptive Testing Syndrome[magazine]

Adaptive Testing Syndrome happens when, for various reasons, test team members become blind to the idiosyncrasies of the software and even accept them as a normal part of the design. However, when a different tester, or maybe just a different set of tests, comes in contact with the software, the bugs become painfully obvious. Here's how to diagnose and avoid ATS.

Paul Sixt's picture Paul Sixt
Karl Wiegers on Software Inspections and Peer Reviews[magazine]

Peer reviews and inspections are among the highest-leverage software quality practices available. Here are some useful sources of guidance on how to perform software inspections and peer reviews, as well as some tools and online resources that can help you jump-start your fledgling review program.

Karl E. Wiegers's picture Karl E. Wiegers
XP, Iterative Development, and the Testing Community[article]

A recent StickyMinds column criticized the new Agile development methods as bad for business. The column generated many reader comments, and prompted this response from industry veteran Cem Kaner. Read on for his defense of iterative approaches.

Cem Kaner's picture Cem Kaner
If at First, and Last, You Don't Succeed ...[magazine]

Sometimes, no matter how talented you are and how hard you work, you will not be able to succeed, at least within the constraints you are handed. If your boss says you have to achieve project goals with the resources you have, what can you do? Esther Derby suggests: 1) Start by assuming that a reasonable approach will get reasonable results; 2) If your boss isn't willing or able to hear what you have to say, decide what you are willing to do; and 3) Consider what you might do differently next time.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Project Archaeology[magazine]

This article aims to show you the rich variety of information that can be used to help you build a good model of the system you are involved with. Some of the areas covered are: the business context; the language; the organizational structure; the culture; and cross-departmental relationships.

Andy Schneider's picture Andy Schneider
Bypassing the GUI[magazine]

Graphical User Interfaces make test automation hard. The problems are well known. You need specialized tools to drive the GUI. Those tools can be confused by the common programming practice of inventing custom user interface controls. When they are used in the simplest way, the tools lead to fragile tests that tend to break en masse when the GUI changes. Making the test resistant to change requires elaborate and sometimes awkward testing frameworks. Learn how to use a scripting interface to get around the GUI problem.

Brian Marick's picture Brian Marick
Delivering Unwelcome News to Developers[magazine]

How well you present a defect to a developer can impact when a defect is resolved–or whether it is resolved at all. Deliver the information abruptly or inappropriately, and you run the risk of alienating a person or creating project hot spots that aren't needed. Deliver news too passively, and your report may be discarded. Karen Johnson describes some ways to soften the blow so that your defects are not only acknowledged, but fixed.

Karen N. Johnson's picture Karen N. Johnson
A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words[magazine]

Maps are a universal way of describing an area. You use them to plan your route and find your destination. Just as it's a good idea to have a map when traveling, it's a good idea to have a picture of the software you're testing. Elisabeth Hendrickson describes UML, parts maps, flow charts, state diagrams, and more.

Elisabeth Hendrickson's picture Elisabeth Hendrickson
A Measured Response[magazine]

An infinite number of metrics can be applied to various aspects of software development. In fifteen years of managing software development, Mike Cohn has found a handful of metrics that really help him do his job--and keep him cool and confident when the heat is on. Here, he describes product stabilization metrics, programmer quality metrics, customer satisfaction metrics, and complexity metrics.

Mike Cohn's picture Mike Cohn

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