Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Staying here...

I've decided that I like the look and feel of this blog more than the other one, so I'll simply make a point of linking here from there.

It's been a really long time since I've posted anything here. That's because our little group of testers has been "out-of-our-minds" busy.

The company had a very aggressive new product plan this year, and we've been testing our butts off.

Tip for other SQA Managers: If you need to have your team work over a weekend to meet project schedules, be sure to spring for lunch for the team. Pizza's are usually a good way to go.

Automation update: We found a CE/Windows Mobile tool that is robust, while coming in at a price point similar to tools for PC's. We've purchased it I hope to free up one of my test engineers to begin creating scripts when we get into the new year. Once we've had some time using it, I'll let everyone know how helpful it is and if it really is helpful, I'll give the vendor some word-of-mouth advertising here in the land of blog.

Until next time - Happy testing!

Monday, February 27, 2006

New Location for my postings is now hosting blogs for SW Testers!
I'll occasionally make posts here, or maybe make duplicate posts in both places, but I'm thinking that SQAbolgs is better suited to my random thoughts actually having meaning to the readers.

Here's the link

Happy Testing!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

May 19 post

YES... I have been neglecing my blog.
Resources are still my biggest problem. We've had some good candidates in for interviews, but things just didn't pan-out. In the mean-time we've added a co-op to the team to fill a void left by one of our testers when she went on Maternity leave (It's a big void - she's an excellent tester!)

We met the new baby, what a cutie!

Meaningful post...

We've got an automation tool for Windows apps now, will be ramping up on how to use it. We don't do a lot of Windows development, so once we've got some good scripts in place it should be a big help. Things look promising for purchasing a tool for mobile device testing too, keep your fingers crossed (I am). By the way, after searcing for over a year, posting on every SQA forum I could find - to ask, I've only found 3 automation tools that support Windows Mobile/Win CE platform testing. Only one of them is a comprehensive tool that compares to the stuff that's available for desktop testing - so that is the one we're looking to go with. Of course, we're going to do our due-dilligence and bring them in for a proof of concept (show their tool running tests on our devices), then we'll get some training and go through an evaluation period. If the evaluation shows that we'll reap a long-term benefit, we'll go ahead and buy it. It's EXPENSIVE - compared to the tools for desktop testing, so we'll definitely want to make sure we'll get our money's worth.

Don't worry... I'm not looking at automation as the be-all, end-all for my resourcing problems, and it won't eliminate the need for solid manual testing, but boy will it help with some of the mind-numbing, tedius, repetitive stuff we have to do. Not to mention speeding up some of our regression testing when we get new builds.

I guess the meaningful part of all this is:
-Automation can be helpful, but is not a "Silver Bullet".
-Automation tools are a big investment, investigate and evaluate before buying to make sure the investment is worthwhile.
-Training - make sure the vendor you choose provides training, otherwise you're looking for trouble

Until I get another chance to make a post... Happy Testing!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Weekly Meaningful Post...

Sorry I haven't made any meaningful posts lately, I'm a bit burried these days. My test schedule was booked through the beginning of April, and we got a "drop-in" project added to the queue. This particular project has been determined to be the number one priority right now (business-wise), so I've been juggling the schedule and available resources to minimize slippage on everything else - while developing a test plan and starting on test case design for the new project. Fortunately the other projects are on existing products - so the testing is ready to roll. I was a little flustered at first when this particular drop-in appeared, but worked through it with my team, pulled in an extra resource from another department to write some test harnesses for me, and things look like they're going to be OK.

I guess the meaningful part of this little story is twofold...
1) "Flexibility": In order for a Test Team to be successful, flexibility is mandatory. We need to test thoroughly on all of our projects, try to meet project schedules, and handle the unexpected when the business case requires. Juggling schedules and resources is often needed to meet all of these requirements. Being flexible, is the only way to keep things flowing in an ever changing landscape.
2) "Relationships": Good relationships with other departments (development in particular) is critical to your test team . Being able to pull an extra resource in from another department was a direct result of keeping relationships healthy. Sometimes a bit of animosity grows between developers and testers. " Us vs. Them" is a bad way to relate to your developers. A good tester is part psychologist. The Faults we find in a piece of code neeed to be presented in a way that makes the developers see "feedback" as opposed to "criticism". Keep it positive, let them know that you and they are working toward the same goal - good software. After all, that really is the goal for both teams.

Happy Testing!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Static Testing

Looks like blogBuddy is good for quick-posts, but doesn't put titles on posts.
Forunately Blogger allows for editing posts, so I can always add them later.

Meaningful post for this week:
Static Testing:
Careful review of requirements and design for anything that is vague, unclear, or ambiguous may appear to consume too much time when trying to get a project going, however, taking more time up front to eliminate faults in the requirements or design will save time and money as the project gets closer to the target release date.

It's faster, easier, and cheaper to fix your product before code is written than it is when Sales and Marketing are screaming because the date slipped and they've already promised the product to someone.

It costs far more to go through test/rework/retest cycles because the requirements, specs, and/or design are vague, unclear, or ambiguous. With poor or no Static Testing at the front-end, the faults found in test tend to be more severe, costing time and money to fix and retest.

If your development process doesn't currently include your Test Team in review of requirements, specs and design, SPEAK-UP! When you explain the value of up-front static testing - if you do a good job of it, that is, people will listen.

blogBuddy test

Just a quick test to see how well blogBuddy works for posting...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Updated page

OK, in order to try and get more traffic (any traffic at all), I've gone ahead and listed this beast in several of the blog search directories. Right now Blogarama (see link at the bottom of the page) has me listed and I turn up if you search on "software test"

I also added links to some other tester's blogs that I found. If I'm lucky, maybe they'll return the favor :)

I'm going to try to make some sort of meaningful post each Monday.

Today's meaningful Post:

A little about me and where I fall in the general scheme of Software Testing.
I'm a Software Test Engineer at a company that designs and manufactures Portable Data Terminals (PDT's). What's a PDT? In our case, it is a Pocket PC based device (now called Windows Mobile for Pocket PC's) with integrated wireless (WiFi, Bluetooth, GSM/GPRS) and an integrated barcode scanner (imager-based, so it takes pictures too). We do have a couple PC based apps that we test now and then, but most of the tests I develop are for the PDT's.

Things that we test are our implementation of the OS, Drivers for the radios and scanner, Utilities for the OS, radios & scanner, Demos, and Custom SDK's (eC++, VB & C#.NET) that control the radios and scanner - along with the standard API for the OS.

That's the scoop on me.

Tune in next week for a "real" post.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

New Google Group created

I couldn't find any Google groups that were setup as a Software Test Community, so I went ahead and created my own.

If you're interested in joining, go to
and become part of the group.

I took the liberty of sending invites to everyone that attended the STF class with me in Tampa back in December. Hopefully everyone did well on the exam. Passing means that you're certified instead of ceritfiable :)

I put out an invite for members of the Google Group to join this blog as team members - we'll see how that goes.

Here's a parting question...
Does anyone know of any automation tools for Pocket PC/Windows Mobile? I've only come across two, TestQuest, and Spb Software house. I'd like to have a longer list as a starting point for my tool selection process. Leave a comment if you know of any!

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