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Session-Based Test Management: A Strategy for Structuring Exploratory Testing[magazine]

Unlike traditional scripted testing, exploratory testing is an ad hoc process. Everything we do is optimized to find bugs fast, so we continually adjust our plans to refocus on the most promising risk areas; we follow hunches; we minimize the time spent on documentation. That leaves us with some problems. For one thing, keeping track of each tester’s progress can be like herding snakes into a burlap bag. Every day I need to know what we tested, what we found, and what our priorities are for further testing.

James Bach's picture James Bach
The Ritual of Retrospectives: How to Maximize Group Learning by Understanding Past Projects[magazine]

You've just finished your software release. You have signed off, and it's been shipped. You’re done, right? No! The moment a project ends is the perfect time to reflect on the entire project to see what there is to learn—it's the unique moment when the project can be seen in its entirety. It’s also a perfect moment because the end of your project forecasts the beginning of a new project in the not-too-distant future, which you can improve by applying what you’ve learned from this project. You can look at completing the project as having “paid your tuition.” So now what are you going to learn from it?

Norm Kerth's picture Norm Kerth
Retiring Lifecycle Dinosaurs: Adaptive Software Development[magazine]

Adaptive Software Development (ASD) is one of a growing number of alternatives to traditional, process-centric software management methods. Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Development, SCRUM, and Crystal Light methods—although different in many respects—are tied together by a focus on people, results, minimal methods, and maximum collaboration. They are geared to the high speed and high change of today's e-business projects.

Jim Highsmith's picture Jim Highsmith
Risk-Based Testing: How to Conduct Heuristic Risk Analysis[magazine]

Software testing is often motivated by risk. If you accept this premise, you might well wonder how the term "risk-based testing" is not merely redundant. However, conducting a heuristic risk analysis by employing a checklist of open-ended questions, suggestions, or guidewords is a proven approach to help you find the most important risks for developing your testing plans. 

James Bach's picture James Bach
Lessons in Test Automation[magazine]

Elfriede Dustin has worked on many projects at various companies where automated testing tools were introduced to a test program lifecycle for the first time. In reviewing these projects, she has accumulated a list of "Automated Testing Lessons Learned," taken from actual experiences and test engineer feedback. In this article, she will share examples of this feedback, hoping that this information will help you avoid some typical false starts and roadblocks.

Elfriede Dustin's picture Elfriede Dustin
Testing Web-based Applications[magazine]

To be most effective in analyzing and reproducing errors in a Web environment, you need to have a command over the operating environment. You also need to understand how environment-specific variables may affect your ability to replicate errors. With the application of some of the skills covered in this article, your Web testing experience should be less frustrating and more enjoyable.

Hung Nguyen's picture Hung Nguyen
Designing Useful Metrics: Using Observation, Modeling, and Measurement to Make Decisions[magazine]

First-order measurement can help you understand what's going on, make decisions, and improve results. Observation, modeling, and simple data gathering are things that you can implement in your work group without a big measurement program or big funding. Start by modeling your system and working out on paper how different measures will affect your system. Then involve your team, expand your model, and try some simple data gathering. This approach to measurement is one more tool in your toolkit, and it will move your organization toward better quality.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
The Influential Test Manager: How to Develop and Use Influence to Help Your Test Group - and Project - Succeed[magazine]

Test managers often feel that while somebody might be in control of schedules or resources, they certainly are not. An experienced test manager shares ways to develop and use professional influence to help the test group.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
On-Track Requirements: How to Evaluate Requirements for Testability[magazine]

Prior to using the requirements to develop the Test Plan, an analysis should be performed to evaluate the testability of the requirements. This article suggests a proven method used on a recent project that accomplishes such an evaluation.

Rodger Drabick's picture Rodger Drabick
Cem Kaner on Rethinking Software Metrics[magazine]

The theory underlying a measurement must take into account at least nine factors. This article defines these nine factors (e.g., the scope of the measurement, the scale of the instrument, and the variation of measurements made with the instrument) and applies them to a few examples.

Cem Kaner's picture Cem Kaner
Avoiding Scalability Shock[magazine]

Web application scalability tops the list of challenges for those designing and developing e-commerce sites. Here are five steps to managing the performance of e-business applications: architecture validation, performance benchmarking, performance regression testing, performance tuning and acceptance, and continuous performance monitoring.

Billie Shea's picture Billie Shea
Testing in the Dark[magazine]

How can you test software without knowing what it should do? Here is a step-by-step approach to overcoming undocumented requirements, including how to discover the requirements, how to define "quality" for the project, and how to create a test plan including release criteria.

The Test Matrix: How to Keep a Complex Test Project on Track[magazine]

When testing needs to account for different user environments and installation configurations, the possible combinations can add up quickly. Read how one company used a simple data organization method to keep everything on track.

Mark Pawson's picture Mark Pawson
Karl Wiegers Describes Ten Requirements Traps to Avoid[magazine]

Recognized requirements expert, Karl Wiegers, shares the symptoms and solutions for common requirements-related project problems, including inadequate customer involvement, vague and ambiguous requirements, inadequate change process, and scope creep.

Karl E. Wiegers's picture Karl E. Wiegers
Managing Your ERP Project[magazine]

Managing your ERP Project

Marie Benesh's picture Marie Benesh

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