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Feb
20
comment How To Know When To Stop Testing?
As a system tester, I've rarely been in the position where the release date got delayed for more testing. I know I will never test anything completely - what I try to do is prioritise. Obviously, the quality of the calls I make about which areas to test first are dependent on the information I get about technical risk and business importance. The most important thing is that it should ALWAYS be a business decision and not a dev/test decision about what level of risk the company is willing to take on. We can advise, but it's the business that must decide.
Feb
20
comment How To Know When To Stop Testing?
The rate of finding new bugs is highly dependent on external factors, and sadly - some project managers will game this. Cem Kaner cites examples of the test team being sent to the movies so that the bug discovery rate would drop, and the PM could ship.
Feb
19
comment Should testers automate their work?
Identifying button by id rather than location is perfectly possible with some tools. Record and play scripts done like that are STILL horrid to maintain, unfortunately - it doesn't solve the problem of repetition. I don't think there's any getting away from the need to design your test automation carefully, if you actually want to keep any scripts around or create more than a dozen of them. Have you thought of using something keyword-driven like Robot Framework along with Auto-It?
Feb
19
comment Who should write the test plan?
+1 for pointing out that user acceptance tests need to be designed by the user. Although I've suggested an alternative approach in my answer (as it doesn't seem that they actually have any QA resource), user acceptance testing can't be done effectively by non-users. In this situation, it sounds like both dev and users are at a bit of an impasse, so I think dev needs to try to break that somehow.
Feb
19
comment Who should write the test plan?
Good up till the last sentence, but testing should never stick merely to checking the application follows expectations (but should also cover the unexpected!), and knowing at least a bit about how the application was technically designed ALWAYS helps me as a tester to identify the cracks I can get my tester crowbar into to lever the thing wide open. ;) It's a bit of an old-fashioned notion to imagine that testers are better not knowing anything about the implementation.
Feb
19
comment Who should write the test plan?
If you're moving towards Agile, try to hire some people who specialise in testing into your current development team. (Note: read up on the different schools of testing first, some are not compatible with an Agile approach - redcanary.mypublicsquare.com/view/hiring-software )
Feb
15
comment Are there any unions for software developers?
It is worth pointing out that in the UK for instance, the time you spend as a union member has NO effect on whether you get a role. The restrictions this answer discusses just aren't relevant to the way unions work here.
Feb
14
comment Should programmers help testers in designing tests?
This is such a strange idea. My mind is plenty polluted already - I'm a tester, by definition I'm a nosy type who pokes around looking at everything. I've never met a dev who could "pollute" my mind just by talking about their own test ideas - test ideas spawn more test ideas in my experience. And knowing what your prejudices and blind spots are can be very useful.
Feb
14
comment Do you count a Masters in CS as a negative?
Yes, good point - I'd completely forgotten about those.
Feb
13
comment Should testers automate their work?
Record & play rightly has a fairly poor reputation. It tends to be pretty fragile, and hard to maintain. Yes, as a quick & dirty "I have to run this on 4 different datacentres, I don't want to keep it for future use", it's fine, but it's horrible to maintain because you end up with tons of repetition. One small element changes - and suddenly you have to update 100 tests. Painful. It also in no way replaces the manual test, which tends to be designed with the assumption that a human will notice all those other things you didn't explicitly check.
Feb
13
comment What are your experiences with off-shore or outsourced testing?
I'm not sure it's that much better than nothing - have you factored in the cost of the time you're going to take to support this remote team with questions, chasing up progress reports to painfully extract the real answer, etc - you probably need to figure one full-time person as liason, plus significant time from your senior technical people to deal with all the issues your full-time liason can't answer. It's also harder dealing with the output of untrained temps, and they'll never get better because there's no incentive for the other company to to keep churn down.
Feb
12
comment What is the role of QA in a BDD-driven project?
+1 for 100% coverage is not the same as 100% tested.
Feb
12
comment Onsite Interview : QA Engineer with more Emphasis on Java Skills
A word of caution - as a tester, I find Stack Exchange contains a lot of highly voted up nonsense. There is good stuff, but it's rare. I don't think SE or SO have enough of a critical mass of testers to overcome the "ignorant and totally unaware of it" voting population. It's a pity the test-focused SE proposal isn't getting more traction.
Feb
12
comment What are good requirements for a QA engineer?
+1 Great answer - especially including a test audition. Some folk sound great when they're talking, but the only way to really evaluate a tester is to actually get them to test.
Feb
12
comment What are good requirements for a QA engineer?
That says rather a lot more about the kind of companies you've worked for than it does about testers in general. As Ethel says, you get what you expect - if you expect your testers to be mundane and pay accordingly, you simply won't attract really skilled testers.
Feb
12
comment Onsite Interview : QA Engineer with more Emphasis on Java Skills
+1 Great answer. I really like the idea of "framing" the interview in that way, and realised reading your answer that's actually how I've thought of all the successful interviews I've had: "cool, here's a chance to chat to nice new people about stuff we're both interested in".
Feb
3
comment Can you recommend a good test plan template?
Excellent - glad it was helpful. For brainstorming, have you thought about using mindmaps? This Lisa Crispin blog post describes how they used mindmapping for theme planning: lisacrispin.com/wordpress/tag/mind-maps
Jan
30
comment Where can I find statistics / figures on how long testing should / could take?
Then that's really a different question to the one you originally asked.
Dec
10
comment What mistakes do your users make, and how can you update your application to handle them?
+1 for users "learn your software through exploration".
Dec
5
comment Do you believe it's a good idea for Software Engineers to have to work as Quality Assurance Engineers for some period of time?
Er, that assumes you're working in a place that pays skilled QA folk less than devs. I know some places do, but it doesn't reflect my experience - when I've known people's salaries they've generally been on a par.