Handling an Overstructured Mission

Excellent testers recognize that excellent testing is not merely a process of confirmation, verification, and validation. Excellent testing is a process of exploration,discovery, investigation, and learning. A correspondent that I consider to be an excellent tester (let’s call him Al) works in an environment where he is obliged by his managers to execute overly structured, highly confirmatory scripted tests. Al wrote to me recently, saying that he now realizes why … Read more

Best Bug… or Bugs?

And now for the immodest part of the EuroSTAR 2009 Test Lab report:  I won the Best Bug award, although it’s not clear to me which bug got the nod, since I reported several fairly major problems.  I tested OpenEMR.  For me, one candidate for the most serious problem would have been a consistent pattern of inconsistency in input handling and error checking.  I observed over a dozen instances of … Read more

EuroSTAR’s Test Lab: Bravo!

One of the coolest things about EuroSTAR 2009 was the test lab set up by James Lyndsay and Bart Knaack. James and Bart (who self-identified as Test Lab Rats) provided testers with the opportunity to have a go at two applications, FreeMind (an open-source mind-mapping program) and OpenEMR (an open-source product for tracking medical records). The Lab Rats did a splendid job of setting things up and providing the services … Read more

A Letter To The Programmer

This is a letter that I would not show to a programmer in a real-life situation. I’ve often thought of bits of it at a time, and those bits come up in conversation occasionally, but not all at once. This is based on an observation of the chat window in Skype Dear Programmer, I discovered a bug today. I’ll tell you how I found it. It’s pretty easy to … Read more

How Can A Trainee Improve His (Her) Skills

A blogger on TestRepublic asks “How can a trainee improve his/her skill sets in testing?” This is what I do. I recommend it to all trainees (or “freshers”, as they say in India). Find something that interests you, or something that would be useful to you or to a client, or something that you must do, or a problem that you need to solve, or something that you think might … Read more