PNSQC Slides

Thanks to everyone who attended my talk today. Feel free to fire more questions here if you have them. Slides are available here.


Words and Status (and rants!)

Words are funny things. We use them to convey meaning – but there’s more to words than that. We also use words to try to change the way people view things. In real estate advertisements, for example, you see words like “rustic” used instead of “old”, or describe a home as “having character” when it…


Terms and other things we can’t agree on

I was in a meeting last week where we had a long drawn out discussion of some terms around scenarios, use cases, and design. I knew the ambiguity was there, but watching the conversation unfold reminded me how important a common understanding of terminology is in order to have a conversation that goes somewhere. The…


Metrics at STAR Conference

I think I forgot to mention that I’ll be speaking at STAR this spring. You’d think I’d be pimping hwtsam, but instead I’m speaking about something barely mentioned in the book at all – metrics. Software metrics are an old passion of mine – something I used to be heavily involved with, but much less…



I know I’m overdue for a post when Bj starts lapping me on posts. This week, I’ve been finishing up my presentations for STAR and PSQT (for those who haven’t presented at a conference before, presenters are expected to have their presentation complete 2-3 months before the conference date). The two conference presentations are barely…


Exploring Exploratory Testing

Exploratory testing seems to be the “it” word of software testing these days. Everyone from high profile consultants to newbie testers are talking about exploratory testing. My nature (similar to that of many testers) is to be a bit of a naysayer, and because of that, I’ve often tried to find holes in exploratory testing…


SDETs at Microsoft

Some time ago, MS began hiring primarily people with a programming background (industry or educational background) for test positions. As far as I know, there was no press announcement, but the idea seems to have worked its way into the overall global test community. Of course, anyone not close to information draws their own conclusions…


The happy path should always pass

I was in a discussion with some other test architects at work today. We were talking about challenges in testing, and at one point in our discussion someone mentioned his frustration in finding bugs in the basic functionality of an application or interface. Many, many years ago, I thought it was cool to find basic functionality…


About Certifications

I was listening to talk radio on the way home from work last night, and the topic of discussion was the recent crane accident a few miles from Microsoft in Bellevue. The focus of the discussion was on the capability of the crane operator, and one of the hosts kept asking if the operator was…


Thoughts from the week

I’ll post this tomorrow, but currently I’m somewhere over the northern US or southern Canada returning from a week in the Boston area. I spent the last week talking to testers from Groove and Softricity. Technically, I was delivering training, but all I really did was talk about testing all week. I don’t claim to…