Monday 26 November 2012

Press the Bug key!

For when you're having a bad day at work and you can't find any bugs:

Thursday 22 November 2012

Creativity Rocks

The latest issue of The Testing Planet is now available. It includes a centre spread with my ideas on being creative as a software tester. Here's a glimpse:
On that note, I am proud of the work I've done - on this blog and especially that centre spread in the Planet. This is hard for me to say, I'm usually reserved and at times embarrassed about the cartoons I draw! But if I hadn't overcome my shyness this blog would never be.

I often think as testers we are reluctant to 'shine'. We keep hearing messages like testing has no value, testing is a cost, testing is dead, testing is a bottleneck, testing doesn't add quality, testing can be automated - no wonder we hide. Some of these messages are true, yet we can still perform well as testers, be proud of our work and add value as members in a development team. Recently I’ve been thinking that we need to ‘show off’ our work better, or to use more business like words, we need to visualize our work so other team members and stakeholders can have a deeper and thorough understanding of testing and it’s status, or as Michael Bolton says, we need to tell the testing story. One other way is to be transparent in your approach to work, or… be more like the naked tester! This cartoon was published in one of the first editions of the Planet but I somehow forgot to post it to the blog.

Do check the latest Testing Planet, it’s Awesome! Rumour has it that the centre spread will also be available as a poster - AwesomeX2

Monday 19 November 2012

The cloud

Friday 16 November 2012

Lessons Learned On A Running Tour Of Amsterdam

Last week I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at EuroSTAR in Amsterdam. This is my third year attending the event and one I won't easily forget. It was great to catch up with testers and meet new ones. I found the keynotes specially good, the seminars were very informative and gave me plenty to think about. The evening social events were, as expected, great!
All this fantastic testing stuff left me with just 1.5 hours spare for sight-seeing, by the time I got into Amsterdam centre I would need to get back again... this called for the Running Tour! I got my shorts on, my free EuroSTAR t-shirt, trainers/snickers, a map of Amsterdam. I checked the map, decided a rough route to run and off I went!
Since testing was in my head (due to conference about testing) I was thinking how testing related to things I observed in my run... See lessons learned below the drawing.

Here are possible software testing lessons learned for each finding above.

1. You can only found certain bugs using different tests types/techniques. Vary your testing and the tools you use.

2. Experience and skills count in testing. 

3. As testers we often raise bugs which can come across negatively. How about saying something positive about the software on a regular basis?

4. There are certain things that you shouldn’t do as a tester. A possible example: don’t use live private data for testing.

5. Isn’t software about the look and feel? So don’t just look… feel!

6. Going off in tangents is a MUST in software testing. What tangents is the question!

7. There are no best practices in software testing. The running tour did me no favours for this area of Amsterdam.

8. Documenting while you test can be very useful especially when you get ‘lost’. Use video recording tools.

9. Often more info is required to make assessments on the software you are testing. It turns out the man was a teacher and had nothing to do with the war.

10. Many features can be accessed via different means, some bugs will only show themselves one or two of those means.

11. Explore, explore, explore! You never know what you’ll find. 

Running Tour: If you haven't much time, then do a running tour. Set a rough route of what you will look for and start running. 

Thursday 1 November 2012

Bug Magic

The main idea for this cartoon came from a developer I work with. We were both working on a difficult project where there was lots of scope creep, unreliable technology, and a few other project smells. Bugs seem to appear and disappear at their own will. The bugs seem to be working as a team, one bug would sacrifice itself and gather all of our attention so the other bugs could enjoy a life of freedom.