Blog

Follow up on Bug Investigation

Earlier in this space, I wrote an entry about Bug Investigation. But there is an important component I did not even begin to talk about – bug advocacy. Bug advocacy means making stakeholders want to fix the bugs you find by finding effective ways to communicate. It might mean overcoming objections, motivating stakeholders with “salesmanship,” […]

Read More

My name is Nat Burnett and I am a Software Test Engineer

That title has a decent ring to it don’t you think? Perhaps the word “Engineer” reminds you of your early childhood playing with K’nex, Legos, or setting up that model train set that eventually snaked its way through your entire basement. Those are the things I thought of when I was given the title and […]

Read More

CAST 2008

For the third year, I’ve been an officer for the non-profit Association for Software Testing (http://www.associationforsoftwaretesting.org). Each year, we’ve staged a small conference of less than 200 people who gather to talk about innovative developments in software testing. What makes this gathering unique is that each session has a facilitator to encourage discussion. This year, […]

Read More

Acceptance Testing Guidance

A few years ago, I met Grigori Melnik at a workshop for software professionals interested in learning new ways to teach testing. He was a programmer and a professor at the University of Calgary, and his presentation was titled “Test Infecting Your Developers.” I liked him even before I heard him speak because he seemed […]

Read More

If you want to practice testing skill, play chess

I’ve got an online account at www.chess.com, a chess website where I can play other people from around the world. A few days after joining, I felt like a better player, but I’ve noticed that the feelings I have when playing are a lot like the feelings I have during a software project. More to […]

Read More

Bug Investigation

I’ve been to many testing conferences and workshops in my testing career (maybe you have, too), and I’ve noticed an interesting pattern. Speakers talk about all kinds of methods, techniques, approaches, technologies, tools, heuristics, mindsets, skill sets and even theories that will help you find bugs, but rarely what to do when you succeed in […]

Read More

Plenty Questions

Here’s a little game to help you think of context when testing. It’s called “Plenty Questions.” It goes like this: I give you a riddle and you figure it out, asking an unlimited amount of “yes” or “no” questions. For example: “A woman died because she was a voracious reader. How is this possible?” Although […]

Read More

Can vs. Will

Whenever I run a test that passes, I never stop wondering if it will pass when the customer does the same thing. Up until today, I thought that was just me being a worrier and that I needed to seek counseling about it. But a discussion today on software-testing@yahoogroups.com helped convince me otherwise. Whenever a […]

Read More

Brain Rules

The brain is the greatest automated tool. 24 hours a day, it is creating, writing, running, observing, interpreting, and reporting tests. With such an important machine at our disposal, it may be useful to study how it works. The only meaningful thing I knew about how the brain affected my software testing was that it […]

Read More