Better Software Magazine Articles

Value without Numbers

Justifying the role of testing and measuring the value of testers' performance are problems that many of us struggle with. James Bach offers some things he finds helpful when he has to give a quantitative answer to the question, "What is your group saving the company?"

James Bach's picture James Bach
All Hands on Deck

The challenge: With one week to go before release, the product still needs to be put through its paces. The test team: A few developers, a network engineer, a receptionist, an office manager, and a CTO. In this real-life story, Geordie Keitt explains how one dot-com employed some nontraditional testers to uncover the bugs in their new system.

Geordie Keitt
Tracking Wild Pointers

Tracking down wild pointer bugs is not easy; the wacky symptoms that result are inconsistent and confusing. Pointers are arguably the most difficult class of bugs to handle. Ibrahim El-Far and Herbert Thompson give some examples of tracking down wild pointers and tips on how to tame them.

Ibrahim K. El-Far
Hung Nguyen on Testing Web Applications

Here is a list of sources on Web testing, with descriptions, that Hung Nguyen has collected over the years. While most of these resources are on the Internet in the form of useful links and articles, some are training courses and books that Mr. Nguyen finds helpful.

Hung Nguyen
Mission Made Possible: Harnessing Tools and Procedures to Test a Complex, Distributed System

Automating unit, component, and integration testing can sometimes seem like an impossible mission. Read how one team of programmers combined the right tools and processes to make their test mission not just possible, but successful.

Using Your Staff Wisely: How to Make Do with Less

In the authors' experience, sharing testing and development tasks is a viable option when the test staff can architect the tests. However, it requires the full support of everyone involved–testers, developers, and managers. All staff members must be committed to delivering a high-quality product and have a common vision of how to achieve this goal. Suzan Noden and Jennifer Mingee describe their experience sharing testing tasks with development.

Ghost Bug Busters

The nasty bugs, some of the juiciest, aren't easy to replicate. The author calls these "ghost" bugs–things we've seen but cannot conjure up again. They leave us haunted with doubts about a system. In this Bug Report, Karen Johnson gives tips on how to replicate these apparitions.

Karen N. Johnson's picture Karen N. Johnson
Targeted Fault Insertion

Some programs must handle network errors, file system errors, and the like. Testing their error handling manually can be tedious and time consuming. Relying on accidental errors is unreliable and uncontrollable. Learn about a method for simulating errors that makes the process automated and flexible.

Paul Houlihan
Forecasting Software Defects

The six weeks of testing you've been preparing for are suddenly reduced to one, but you still want to provide some assessment of overall quality. Read about this statistical approach to predicting the number of failed test cases in an application.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
What a Tangled Web

Web applications provide platforms so wide open that they defy the very structure and predictability that make test automation feasible. Object names are optional, can be duplicated, and may change at a moment's notice. Page layouts can change between and within builds. This wicked combination makes test automation even more difficult, if not downright impossible. Linda Hayes explains the importance of unique, consistent object names in Web development.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes


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