My top 10 rants of 2007

I haven’t “ranted” in a while (note blog title), so I thought I’d catch up in one post with the top 10 things that got under my skin in 2007. I have ranted about some of these things before. Others will likely find their way into posts for 2008. There are a few that I…


Vacation, all I ever wanted?

I took (and am taking) the final three weeks of 2007 off from work. Well, at least full time work. I’m still glancing at email once in a while and responding to anything I can respond to in two sentences or less, and I’m still getting on the MSDN testing forums every week or so…


Some down time

I must not be a fan of “hitting the ground running.” After taking on a new role within my current group in the November, I have spent three of the last five weeks travlling (and teaching and having fun!). Now that I’m back in Seattle, I’m taking a vacation for the rest of the year…

More Whiteboard Videos

We just posted a few more videos on TesterCenter (also of note is updated content on the overall site – check it out!). The videos are: Testing in incubation mode (Video && Discussion) Diagramming the XBox platform (Video && Discussion) Model-based testing overview (Video && Discussion) Enjoy.

Newsflash: misuse of quality metrics

I’ve seen a few posts recently on bad software metrics. What I find interesting is that the points made in the posts are the same points that I’ve been reading (and teaching) for years. I guess the old saying about history, learning and doom is spot on. Metrics have always been a passion of mine….


Oracles are hard…

In a previous post, I mentioned that when writing automated tests, the grey area between pass and fail can be confusing. A point I didn’t mention is that often, just determining pass or fail can be hard. Take the Win32 API CreateFile, for example. The CreateFile function in the Windows API creates a new file,…


Software quality at 10,000 feet

I’m returning home from India. I talked, I taught, and I discussed software testing with a lot of the testers at the India Development Center (IDC) in Hyderabad. The trip had its ups (great people and great sights) and downs (a bit of food poisoning on the last day), but overall was a fantastic experience….


Pass, Fail…and other

In a perfect world, tests either pass or fail (ok – in a really perfect world, they would all pass). The problem is, that there’s a gray area in between pass and fail that has a lot of potential confusion. If a test fails during setup (e.g. configuration or application launch), it could be reported…


Mixed Emotions

Almost every time somebody changes groups at Microsoft, there’s some sort of “send-off” email. 98% of the time, these emails contain the phrase “It is with mixed emotions that …” Mixed emotions? The only thing I want mixed are my drinks! I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog (and more often internally), that sometime…


To cleanup or not to cleanup

One attribute typically considered important for automated test cases (or almost any other test case for that matter) is cleanup. The test shall leave the system in the same state it was in before the test ran. This is a good theory, but I wonder how practical it is. Anything a test does has potential…