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Partners in Testing

Manual software testing can never catch all errors–so can automation help? David Norfolk looks at the pros and cons of automated testing and offers advice–and warnings–on its use.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Institutionalizing Poor Quality

Have you ever noticed how many professional activities don't utilize a separate testing phase? Veteran tester and instructor Lee Copeland has. And it got him thinking about our industry and the role a tester plays. In this week's column, you may be surprised by his conclusions.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Managers and the Helpitis Malady

Most of us want to be helpful. It's satisfying knowing that we've been able to solve a problem for another person. But what about those times when the other person doesn't really want our help? In this column, Eileen Strider shows how to offer "healthy" assistance, without giving in to the sickly variety.

Eileen Strider
A Selection of "Our Take" Columns

"Our Take" is a regular column from the editors at Software Quality Engineering. It appears in the twice-monthly StickyLetter since its inception in September 2000 (originally "STQe-Letter"). From jazz music, to car troubles, to the Lewis and Clark expedition, Robert Rose-Coutré, former StickyMinds.com Editor, will use anything to make a point about building better software. The editors at Software Quality Engineering have compiled a collection of some of these pieces. Musings from StickyLetter's "Our Take" are presented here.

Robert Rose-Coutré's picture Robert Rose-Coutré
Bug Counts vs. Test Coverage

Occasionally, we encounter projects where bug counts simply aren't as high as we expect. Perhaps the product under test is in its second or third release cycle, or maybe the development team invested an inordinate amount of time in unit testing. Whatever the reason, low bug counts can be a cause of concern because they can indicate that pieces of functionality (which potentially contain bugs) are being missed. When low bug counts are encountered, management may begin to wonder about the quality of testing. This article covers techniques for dealing with low bug counts, and methods for reassuring management that coverage is being achieved.

Andrew Lance
Make Your Point—Without Pointing a Finger

When errors are not detected during testing, somewhere down the line someone has to take responsibility. In this column, Linda Hayes shows you when and how to do so—and you might even be able to turn the situation to your advantage.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
build and deployment mechanism layout Build and Deployment Process for Web Applications

This paper describes practices that have led to a sound and reliable build and deployment process at Hewlett-Packard. Two teams of engineers, later joined by a third, responsible for developing e-service components to build a Web application, chose to use open source development tools/utilities in the "Evolutionary Software Development Lifecycle" environment.

Bhushan Gupta
How to Preview User Satisfaction before Your Release

Why wait to discover how your users will react to your system when there are ways to measure such things during development? This column describes a simple tool to develop visibility into customer satisfaction. Learn how you can begin to manage expectations so that neither you nor the customer has an unpleasant surprise on release day.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Giving the Human Touch to Software

Yogita works as a QA/testing professional with Mindfire Solutions, and has written a number of articles on QA and testing strategies. Yogita is currently exploring thoughts of beauty as an area of testing and its relation to usability. Her role at Mindfire has been to implement Quality processes throughout the organization and build a dedicated testing team. The team recently published a White Paper “Porting projects: Test techniques,” downloadable from www.mindfiresolutions.com. Yogita can be reached at [email protected].

Yogita Sahoo's picture Yogita Sahoo
Avoiding the Script Cemetery

It's frightening how many companies are on their second, third, or even greater attempt to automate their testing—each time junking months or years of effort and work product. Here, test automation advisor Linda Hayes shows the way to avoid having to bury your automation project.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes

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