Agile Testing

by Stan Taylor

Category Archives: Quality Assurance

How to market yourself

by Stan on 2011/06/08, no comments

I really enjoy helping QA engineers with their careers, but if you’re a stranger asking for help, how you ask makes all the difference. Back in 1006, I received this email: Subject: QA in Austin Body: I am a QA professional in Minneapolis, and I may be moving to Austin in the next few months. […]

Testing and Toyota

by Stan on 2010/03/21, no comments

Testing rock star James Bach has published several good blog posts about the Toyota braking problems: Advice to Lawyers Suing Toyota, Toyota Story Analysis, CNN Believes Whatever Computers Say. The following line struck me from the ‘Advice’ post: “Extensive testing” has no fixed meaning. To management, and to anyone not versed in testing, ALL testing […]

Documenting code changes with defect reports

by Stan on 2010/01/20, no comments

Today, Rafe Colburn listed four reasons to file the bugs found in code reviews. A commenter points out that defect reports aren’t the only way of communicating about changes to the code: I guess it depends on the local culture, but in my experience, developers only look at a bug report if it’s assigned to […]

A note on defect severity and priority

by Stan on 2009/08/25, no comments

In my previous post, Defect severity vs. priority, I used examples that explained the rationale behind deciding when to fix and not fix defects. Given agile’s focus on not allowing defects to go unaddressed, I now see that some people could have been confused by these examples. Please note that that post addressed a general […]

Defect severity vs. priority

by Stan on 2009/08/25, 3 comments

In my recent post, Unnecessary abstraction, I used defect severity as an example. I also mentioned that more a more descriptive (less abstract) name for this information would be something like “Customer severity” or “Impact on user.” In my post, I assumed a specific definition of severity. In my career, I’ve dealt repeatedly with confusion […]

One unanticipated value of blogging

by Stan on 2009/07/25, no comments

Over at Snarkmarket, I ran across this thought today: I always tell people that blogging is useful, even if nobody’s reading, because it forces you to have an opinion on things. You don’t realize how blankly you experience most of the stuff you read every day until you force yourself to say something—even something very […]

Unnecessary abstraction

by Stan on 2009/07/22, no comments

At my new job, I’m currently putting together a defect management process, something I’ve done at pretty much every company I’ve ever worked at. Part of the process includes defining data fields and values associated with defect reports. A typical defect tracking system has the following combo box field and values: field name: Severity – […]

The $23,148,855,308,184,500 bug

by Stan on 2009/07/16, no comments

The story of Visa charging a number of customers $23,148,855,308,184,500 has been all over the news the last couple of days. Slashdot commenter rickb928 provides a plausible explanation for the error. I work in this industry. The only novelty here is that the error got into production, and was not caught and corrected before it […]

Descriptive vs prescriptive testing

by Stan on 2009/03/10, no comments

Over at his Collaborative Software Testing blog, Jonathan Kohl has an interesting post about Descriptive and Prescriptive Testing which he defines as follows: A prescriptive style is a preference towards direction (“do this, do that”) while a descriptive style is more reflective (“this is what we did”). Both involve desired outcomes or goals, but one […]

How did we get into this forest?

by Stan on 2009/02/09, no comments

In my previous entry, I described a conversation I had recently. A colleague asked for my opinion on how to solve a problem with maintaining automated UI tests. After hearing a few details about the situation, I told him that in my opinion, his team had a larger problem that that: they would be better […]