As software professionals we spend far too much time fixated on speed and asking questions about how long a task is likely to take. In this week's column, Mike Cohn says we need to focus more on quality than speed. When something is done well, it's only a matter of time until it is done quickly.
Have you ever felt like you were going in circles trying to explain programming to nontechnical people? Simply telling them what programmers do just isn't enough. In this column, Naomi Karten demystifies the programming world by showing nontechnical people how to think like programmers?on a basic level. This seemingly intricate journey starts with a few simple directions.
Recently I overheard a conversation between a test analyst and a business analyst about how a function should be tested. The response from the business analyst was, "If it is not breaking the application, it must be working fine!" Testing staff comes across such scenarios where a part or functionality of the application under test is not "testable." The tests they carry out are not conclusive enough to say that the functionality is working as specified. In this week's article, Ipsita Chatterjee defines testability and looks at the benefits of incorporating it in the products. Also discussed are simple ways to monitor the incorporation of this non-functional requirement in the software development life cycle and a few industry myths about testability.
This humorous video clip was created to promote the benefits of automation testing within our organization. It is an original 'rap song' and might be useful to other organizations seeking to do the same thing. The format is WMV (Windows Media Video), the size is 4.4 MB, and it should play successfully on up-to-date versions of Windows Media Player (i.e. ones that contain the CODEC for the WMV file format).
Being a hero is great, but only if your heroism doesn't involve a situation you could have avoided in the first place. In this week's column, Harry Robinson explains that goats are to forest fires as early detection tools are to the software development process. There is a lesson about software reviews and inspections in this comparison that testers and project heroes can benefit from.
In this article, Mr. Gunn covers the importance of having solid business requirements on which to build your application. He also discusses the consequences of not having business requirements.
IT budget cuts always seem to affect testers first. If we don't think we are being valued, then maybe it's time to speak up—not just at budget time, but all the time. In this column, Linda Hayes says to make yourself visible, make yourself heard, and make sure your value is communicated and understood. Realize that you are, in effect, raising money from your company to pay for the time and people you need.
Do you know how your work affects the bottom line? Esther Derby explains that taking more time to communicate company strategy to everyone on your team is an investment, which will save you time in the future. When people can connect the dots from their job to company success, they'll be better equipped to make decisions and set priorities.
Automation testing, when implemented correctly, is an asset to QA teams, development teams, and to IT departments. While it will not replace a manual testing effort, it is great for executing routine tedious tasks, functional tests, and long regression tests. With combo tools like WinRunner, regression tests can be scheduled to run unattended. What would take weeks or months now can be completed in 4 to 8 hrs.
Guy Arieli offers a simple method to answer a common question asked when working on testing automation projects, "Will it be profitable?" A more accurate question is, "When will I see the return on the investment?" In general Return On Investment (ROI) is a factor that is calculated in specifics points in time. When the ROI become positive the project worth investing. Most of the ROI models are very hard to implement. Here, Guy provides a model that by answering a few simple questions will give you a good first appraisal.