Starters vs. Closers

I haven’t written a new blog post in a while because my new role has given me new perspective and I am personally learning a lot and organizing my thoughts so I can share them with everyone. One way to describe the change in my role, and what I suspect others have come across, goes…

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Stop Hoping for Quality and Just Test It!

As I continue to apply more engineering rigor to the release process in my team, I hear statements referring to engineers being hopeful and hoping things will go well.  Hoping is not the correct way to ship software.  I also hear a lot of statements like “we are confident this will work”.  Confidence, although great…

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Quality First

Whether you are a developer, a tester, or in a combined Software Engineering role, understanding the fundamental thinking behind testing your own code is of significant importance to producing solid, quality services for our customers.  Due to this, I’d like to spend some time directing you to some of my previous blog posts pertaining specifically…

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Sprint to the Finish!

A sprint team that starts together, ends together.  That seems like a fairly simple principle to follow.  Yet for teams that are transitioning from a waterfall methodology to an agile one, following this in a practical sense is much more difficult.  These teams are used to a milestone based approach to deliver software which includes…

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Don't Call My Baby Ugly

A big change is happening in the engineering teams across Microsoft IT.  We are combining developers and testers into one role we are calling Software Engineer.  This new role owns coding and testing equally, and specifically feature design and coding, unit and functional testing, and system level testing like integration and performance testing.  Traditionally, we…

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What's Your New Currency?

There’s a change spreading across the software engineering landscape.  What you thought you knew about testing and shipping software is changing and it’s time we all get on board.  Some of us older engineers have learned how to ship software in a traditional way similar to the Waterfall methodology.  But the software industry is changing…

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Fixing What's Not Broken

Many engineering teams look at change as a bad thing, something that will disrupt their work.  And granted, changing for the wrong reasons, or making changes for the right reasons but too many of them too quickly, can be disruptive and affect productivity.  But you should also be careful about being too stagnant as a…

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A Routine Life is Boring, But Routine Work is Awesome!

What is your routine?  We all have one.  Mostly these exist because there are actions we do every day and we can take the same steps to accomplish them.  For example, driving to work or brushing your teeth.  You can also find routine actions in the work your team does and identifying those can gain…

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97%

Metrics are very important to the success of an engineering team.  They help with data-driven decisions.  Today let’s focus on QA metrics, although having metrics for all the important indicators we use to ship products is essential to any engineering team.  For QA metrics, some of the most important ones are around # of test cases, % automated, %…

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What are Testers Thankful For?

When I think about all the issues my QA team has to deal with to ship projects, I wonder as we get closer to Thanksgiving what they are thankful for.  What makes their jobs easier or fun?  Two things come to mind. Testers are thankful when their developers produce quality builds.  Getting a build that…

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