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Big Ball of Mud

Much of recent systems theory revolves around applying ideal software development patterns. Big Ball of Mud, in contrast, is for those of us who live and work in the real world, where most systems emerge haphazardly from minimally controlled chaos under constrained development conditions. Bar Biszick recommends and describes the Big Ball of Mud Web site.

Bar Biszick's picture Bar Biszick
Book Review: Mastering the Requirements Process

Brian Lawrence points to Mastering the Requirements Process as a valuable reference book. The book presents a complete step-by-step method for gathering, modeling, and specifying requirements. Along the way the authors offer easy-to-understand and appropriate examples that nicely illustrate how to apply their techniques.

Brian Lawrence's picture Brian Lawrence
Tracking Severity: Assessing and Classifying the Impact of Issues (a.k.a. Defects)

How does one categorize Severity? Should you use numbers like 1, 2, 3; generic names like High, Medium, Low; or more specific names? A telephone switching system, for example, might use industry-specific categories such as "system issue," "line issue," or "call issue." Other environments, as we'll see in this article, tailor classification terms to meet their own functional needs.

Tim Dyes's picture Tim Dyes
Heuristic Test Oracles

For automated testing, expected results are generated using a test oracle. Here is a look at how heuristic oracles can strike a balance between exhaustive comparison and no comparison at all.

Douglas Hoffman's picture Douglas Hoffman
How We Get More Power from Existing Tests

Richard Schooler works with the development and testing of InCert's software behavior analysis tools. In this article, Schooler describes how InCert leveraged their automated tests by thinking carefully about changes that allowed test reuse.

Richard Schooler's picture Richard Schooler
A look at QARun, a GUI test automation tool

QACenter provides an integrated solution that will help you test GUI applications and track the bugs you find. As with most tool suites, you get the best results if you use all the features. If you don't need some parts of QACenter, the integration is less important to you. Then the strengths and weaknesses of the individual tools, like QARun, are more significant.

Noel Nyman's picture Noel Nyman
Do Your Interviewing Homework

In the nerve-wracking world of job interviews, a little preparation can go a long way toward a positive experience. In this article, we'll examine some pointers for doing the research that can mean the difference between a shot in the dark and a sure thing.

Joe Yakich's picture Joe Yakich
Testing and Quality: Are You As Bored As I Am?

The next time someone says to you something like, "You can't test quality into a software project," you might reply, "Well, you can't manage it in either." There may be a pregnant pause, but perhaps it will lead to thoughtful discussions about testing and quality. At the very least, it'll make those twin subjects a whole lot less (shh!) Dullsville and boring!

Robert Glass's picture Robert Glass
Finding Answers on the Net

The Internet provides a wealth of information on software quality and testing. However, finding that information can be a challenge. In this first edition of Web Watch, Brian Marick tells you how to start your search.

Brian Marick's picture Brian Marick
Getting Automated Testing Under Control

The authors have overcome a lot of the roadblocks to systems testing, especially automated testing. In this article they present their ideas and techniques that are easy to implement (for example, test clusters, templates, and navigation methods).

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