More on Playing With Fire

As a continuation from my last blog entry, here are some more thoughts I have about code coverage measurements. ·         Never roll up code coverage data without the interpretation of that data.  Without some text about what your numbers mean, people will draw different conclusions which sometimes will require you to then provide more detail…

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Play with fire, but don’t get burned

Instrumenting your product’s source code to get an indication of how much of the code was covered during testing is a really, really smart measurement to get.  If you aren’t at least measuring this number, you should be.  Visual Studio provides features that continue to make this easier.  What does this have to do with…

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Going Dark

Since the nights are getting longer and it’s Halloween, let’s talk about going dark.  This isn’t about wearing a black costume for trick-or-treating!  Going dark is a term used to describe the situation where someone hasn’t communicated in a while.  This could be on any topic but mostly for individuals it is about the lack…

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Cooking with Windows

Since Windows7 released today, I think it is a good time to reflect back on my experience in the Windows Client team and working on the different versions of Windows.  Vista and Windows7 were done much differently.  When Vista shipped and we were making big changes to how we were going to manage the next…

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15 Years Ago Today

15 years ago today was my first day at Microsoft.  In the last 15 years, a lot has changed.  Here is the way things were 15 years ago: There was no IE.  There was no Outlook.  There was no concept of mobile or digital media. There was no Office, just separate apps like Word, Excel,…

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Do Whatever It Takes!

I had a test lead years ago that did a great job at setting expectations for his people.  But for himself, his main goal was always stated as “do whatever it takes to ship the product”.  This was really difficult to measure him against.  But the concept is an interesting one.  Many teams fall somewhere…

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Commitment Calibration

  At Microsoft, we set commitments regularly for all employees. These are basically goals and focus areas that are written down to help employees remember what to work on and to clarify how their work is being measured. Here are some guidelines on verbosity that help when I review others’ commitments: Some people get carried…

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Action-oriented vs. Results-driven

In many project teams, I see people mistaking actions for results.  One of the best inputs a manager can give to a team is to evaluate when the team is too action-oriented and guide them to be more results-focused.  If a project team is always really busy and working long hours but then they keep…

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Test is not a landfill

I heard the statement “Test is not a landfill!” today from one of my leads and thought it was a great way to describe what Test is striving for.  Test should not be like a landfill.  When I picture a landfill, I see a fenced in area that garbage gets dumped into.  The garbage is…

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Should BVTs pass 100%?

This is the gray part of testing.  Should the goal be that BVTs pass 100%?  On every build, all the time?  The right answer is YES.  But is that really the right answer for all cases.  Well, of course not.  I do believe it is the right answer for most cases.  BVTs (build verification tests)…

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