@adinnaplus Rapid Software Testing

The week starting with October 26th I attended the courses Rapid Software Testing (3 days) and Rapid Software Testing for Managers (1 day). It was brilliant! I feel I learned so many from both the course material and the trainer James Bach. Further on I’ll detail three things I learned and find valuable, and also mention other things I loved in this course.

Alexandra: Bad Habits During Testing Activities

Those bad Bad habits, who doesn’t want to get rid of them?…

Let’s consider the following hypothesis: small habits that slow me down in my work or stand in the way of solving problems could accumulate and have quite an impact on my work. This could mean that they are the silent, unnoticeable factors that influence my testing in a bad way. One such habit may not make a big difference, but when dealing with more, they could have a considerable influence.

Adina: Bad habits during testing activities

I’ve been thinking about how to approach the subject of “Bad habits during testing activities”.

This concept of bad habits was very abstract to me and no bad or good habit came to my mind no matter how much I struggled. Then an idea hit me. How about I put myself in the context of testing something and observe my habits while I test? I may not pass through all the testing activities with this exercise, but it is a good starting point.

I’ll think about the test activities I had yesterday. Let’s see. Yesterday I did pair testing with my colleague Raluca. We were supposed to test a pretty straightforward feature, but the setup to get there was a bit tricky.

Dolly: Bad Habits During Testing Activities

This is a really hard question and gives me a lot to think of. Not because I don’t have bad habits, but because it’s really hard to recognize them. Even though I know that there is a lot to learn about testing and a lot of improvement to do on my skills, it’s difficult to figure out what I need to do better while I’m doing my job.

But this is the first step in improving my testing skills. If I manage to recognize what my bad habits are while testing, I will know what to improve next.

The Article Challenge

Summer at Altom has been full of challenges. Some of these have showed up in previous posts on our blog. This post is an introduction to a challenge focused on writing and sharing of perspectives on testing matters that matter to us.

The idea was launched during one of our Friday lunches and the Altoms embraced it: let’s each propose one or several topics ­ related to the testing experience ­ that we consider significant/ would love to explore, write/ read about, then organize a poll, and write articles on the most-voted topics.

Sketching Lessons Learned in Software Testing

The other days I was reading a very interesting book “Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach – by Cem Kaner, James Bach and Bret Pettichord”.
I sketched some lessons that I found very interesting, mainly from the first two chapters “The role of the tester” and “Thinking like a tester”. Enjoy!

Activities in testing – a parallel from qualitative research

I mentioned in the previous article that I would discuss more on the similarity of the phases in a qualitative research process and the phases of the testing activity.
So I continue here the parallel with the book – ‘Reliability and validity in qualitative research’, by Jerome Kirk and Marc L. Miller – and a more extended discussion on invention, discovery, interpretation and explanation.

“[…] the full qualitative effort depends upon the ordered sequence of invention, discovery, interpretation, and explanation.” (page 60)

When I test a product, I go through a sequence of different activities that focus on different aspects of the testing process.
 
Invention denotes a phase of preparation, or research design; this phase produces a plan of action.”

In my case, I could see this as the stage at which I decide how to test a software service/product, by identifying and building a test strategy.

In the book three sub-phases associated with invention are presented, in the case of anthropological research: the first directions to the field to be studied, first look over the field and the first taste of it (meaning the first interaction with the culture to be studied). These further dictate the approach of the research.
I associate this with the experience of learning how to approach the testing task at hand. It’s what happens…

Test or be square! – Testing through the lens of a 12 year old

A while back, my mom had mentioned that Dara, my oldest niece, who is about to turn 12 soon, had started a computer science class at school and was having some problems with C++ programming that no one in the family could help her with. So, when I was at home visiting them a few months ago, I asked Dara if she wanted me to see if I can help her with that, and she mentioned she had problems understanding arrays.

We went through what the teacher had told them and I did my best to explain them a bit better and give her some examples, which seemed to have helped. However, I suggested that we try to do one of her homework exercises together and asked her if she had any that we could look at. She told me about this website that is used by students all over Romania (http://campion.edu.ro/) which has programming exercises grouped by age/level and by the topic they cover, and that there are a few there that their teacher had suggested they try if they want to practice the use of arrays. So we chose the first one.

Here’s what it said:

Ana and Maria are playing a game with cards with 5 digit numbers written…

Personal explorations of qualitative research in testing

One book I read a while ago from the office’s library is about qualitative research. It’s called ‘Reliability and validity in qualitative research’, by Jerome Kirk and Marc L. Miller.
It sounds fancy and scientific, and it has not been an easy read for me, but I really enjoyed it.
I find it full of great ideas, containing some very consistent examples and discussing ways in which qualitative research can be performed, as well as identifying some really interesting aspects of this approach, with relation to social sciences and anthropology. But I do not intend to review this book.

I’ll try to discuss how I find that some ideas in the book apply to my testing activities. As I read along the pages, I made some thought exercises and tried to identify how my work relates to the ideas presented.

As the title of the book suggests, its framework is given by the reliability problem and the validity problem that arise when performing qualitative research. I instantly related these two problems to…

Exploratory testing – a rookie’s thoughts (part 3)

Q: What other testing activities have you done besides pair testing?

 

A: Well, we also did something I named parallel testing, which involves less teamwork but can be just as engaging as pair testing. I’ll try to explain what this means using a similar analogy I used for pair testing. I compared pair testing to a car ride, where one tester is the driver, while the other is a passenger in the same car. Parallel testing is similar, with both testers being drivers (both with their own keyboard/computer), in slightly different cars (this can vary between using different browsers/OSs/computer configurations), driving parallel to each other (testing the same piece of software/section of application), with a communication link between them (both testers are within earshot of each other – in same office or room)…