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…

Notions of “Completeness”

For the past ten years or so, part of my job as a test manager has been interviewing testers. In that time, I’ve interviewed hundreds of testers using an “audition” format. An audition is a one-hour simulated project, where the tester applying for a job comes in and demonstrates their exploratory testing ability on a…

Getting Dressed for Testing

Colleague Michael Bolton responded to my “Case Against Test Cases” entry and reminded me of a recent (recorded) conversation he had with my brother James about this topic. The link is to an MP3 – an hour-long conversation between Michael and James where Michael role-plays a tester as James plays the customer. As you listen,…

A Case Against Test Cases

I learned something today. I may not know how to run even the simplest scripted test case. I’ll show you. This one is for the File/Open dialog of Internet Explorer: On a clean XP machine, launch Internet Explorer Go to the File Menu, select Open Enter the word “TEST” into the text field Click OK…

Emergent Complexity

This is from an episode I happened to catch when flipping channels tonight. I usually linger on PBS for a few seconds, and caught this exchange about something called “emergent complexity”. Immediately I thought of why software often behaves “irrationally”… From Nova ScienceNow, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3410_sciencen.html#h03 JOHN HOLLAND: Anything I know that exhibits emergence, involves, a lot…

A Note About Peer Conferences

This past July 7 and 8, I hosted the 4th Workshop on Heuristic and Exploratory Techniques here at the lab. That shouldn’t excite you. But what you may find interesting is WHET’s format. It was modeled after the Los Altos Workshops on Software Testing (LAWST) where attendance is by application or invitation, and limited to…

The Seattle Testing Community

Posted by Jon Bach on July 6, 2007 You know about Silicon Valley, but up here, we’re just as much a software community. We have Starbucks and Boeing, Microsoft and Google, RealNetworks and F5 Networks, Getty Images and Corbis, Safeco and Washington Mutual, T-Mobile and Verizon, Amazon and Adobe… With all of these big name…

Baby on Board

Posted by Jon Bach on July 1, 2007 An honest admission: I became a father this past February and I *still* don’t know what to do when I see a “Baby on Board” sticker on the car in front of me. Seriously. What does that driver want me to do? NOT carjack them? NOT honk…