Testing a sumoBot

Robot-sumo, or pepe-sumo is a sport in which two robots attempt to push each other out of a circle/ring (in a similar fashion to the sport of sumo).
The robots used in this competition are called sumoBots.

The challengesfor the sumoBot are:

  • to find the opponent (accomplished with IR [infrared], Ultrasound, Presence sensors)
  • to push it out of the flat arena
  • to avoid leaving the arena (usually by means of a sensor that detects the edge, e.g BW [Black & White] sensors)

Standardclass sumoBots: …

Setting up your environment for Flash/Flex Automation

Before going into details about some of the tools mentioned in the previous post, we thought it would be a good idea to start with what you need to do to get your environment ready for Flex/Flash automation. There’s a lot of information out there but there isn’t a place that walks you through the entire process – so we decided to write everything down and try to make it easier for other users.
Here is what you need to get started: …

Flex/Flash Test Automation Tools

For a while now, I’ve been involved in testing a complex media web application developed in Flex, and I got to the point where some help from a tool would have been much appreciated :). I have to admit that this was my first RIA project, so I decided to dig a little bit into it, especially regarding the options one would have in automating some of the functional tests.

I don’t want to argue about the ROI of an automated GUI test suite, or about the fact that maybe it would be much more useful to automate some other types of testing like unit and performance (there are specific tools for each of these).

All the info from this post can be found on the internet, but it takes a lot of time and trouble to gather and analyze it. This post will provide a list of tools I found that support Flex Automation, hoping it will help you if you’re thinking about functional testing automation for Flex based applications.

The Flash in the blackbox
The main issue with RIA Flex applications is …

ISTQB Certification Survey Results

We had a total of 81 responses to our ISTQB certification survey. The analysis below will first look at the responses provided by the 57 testers that are certified and will then show the same graphs with the answers provided by the 24 testers that are not yet certified.

(click on the graph to enlarge picture)

ISTQB Certified Testers and their opinions

To find an answer to our initial question, have a look at the graph below. Though arguable, this graph tells us that ISTQB really is worth it: …

ISTQB Certification

We’ve heard many different opinions about the efficiency and value of an ISTQB certification (Foundation or Advanced level) so we decided to upload this survey on our blog.

We will gather the results and post them here later on to see if you think getting an ISTQB certification is really worth it. …

What are the common misconceptions regarding test consultancy?

I sometimes hear opinions like: “Test consultants are hired to just click on some links/buttons and they don’t have advanced technical skills”.
The main source for this misconception is the general opinion regarding testers – employees or consultants – generated by software companies that don’t really focus on quality and prefer to hire unskilled/low qualified testers with no knowledge of test planning, design and execution.
The latest experience I had was with a UK company that hired a team of test consultants for their final acceptance testing. At the end of the test round, they were puzzled by the fact that the test consultants were more efficient than the offshore test employees and found a lot of new defects on a product version that was considered stable and ready for release. Most probably, they shared the same misconception, as they were not expecting the test consultants to perform better than their own employees, but to be less efficient and to simply execute some tests. …

What companies should not hire test consultants?

Most companies would benefit from either test management services that would improve their testing processes, test specialists that would target and test very specific parts of a product or test execution services that would bring fast and objective results. There are a few companies, however, that would be better off not hiring test consultants.
Some companies are so resistant to change and so confident in their own processes and practices that hiring test consultants would not bring any value to their software development activities and their quality. …

When should you hire a test consultant?

You always need a test team. However, here are a few situations when you should think about hiring a test consultant:

  1. When you have tight deadlines and you need (additional) resources very fast
  2. Don’t waste time employing resources that may only be needed for one particular project and for a short period of time. If you are sure that the initial schedule cannot be changed and you cannot move the deadlines, the best approach is to quickly hire a test specialist who will start working on the project right away and will have all the necessary skills for testing your product. However, make sure that everything that has already been done for the project is well documented or you may find out that you are not buying extra time by hiring a test consultant.

  3. When you need a person that is highly specialized
  4. It takes time and money to train one of your employees to get really specialized on a certain test area. The testing training courses are not cheap. You might also …

Why would you want to hire a test consultant?

We think that many don’t yet understand why and when they should get a test consultant and what the benefit of getting one is.
Here are some of the main reasons we consider important:

  1. Independence

The level of independence for test consultants is very high. If they are from a different company than the one developing the application, you can get the maximum degree of independence.
What does this independence mean in terms of software quality? In any project, there will be a pressure at some point to release the product as soon as possible. The pressure comes as budget and time are limited and most of the time companies compromise to the detriment of quality. The more independent test team members are, the more they can provide an objective measurement of the software quality. This helps the companies understand …

Using Test Consultants

We have decided to write a series of articles to explain the benefits, the disadvantages and the common misconceptions regarding the use of test consultants in the software development industry.

Before going into any details, we should first understand what a Test Consultant is.
A Test Consultant is a professional that is focusing on objectively measuring and evaluating the quality level of a software product and advising project managers regarding further actions needed before a product goes live. Test Consultants may be specialized in test management, performance, security, usability, automation or functional testing, on mobile devices software, or applications specific to a particular platform etc. They may belong to organizations that do software (test) consultancy or they can be independent consultants (working on their own).
We will structure the series into 4 different articles: …