Test tracing – it is not optional!

I’d like to talk about one of the first lessons I learned as a tester at Microsoft: Anticipate failure investigations, and log everything. Let me tell you a fairly rambling tale of my early days at Microsoft: We’d just shipped Windows NT 4.0 (and IIS 1.0).  I’d recently moved from a contract position in the…


Pre-PDC checklist

I’ve never been to an industry conference (yet; I keep trying to convince my management to send me…), but to my uneducated eye, this pre-flight PDC checklist by Adam Cartwright looks eminently useful… 


more Scoble stuff – there are many parts, but only one Microsoft

Again, while reading this same Scoble post, it got me thinking about my role at Microsoft.  When I tell people what I do at Microsoft, I say “I do software testing.  If you find a bug in a Microsoft product, it is my fault.” Of course, that is a vast oversimplification.  I work on one…


Scoble talks about “us” at Microsoft

I was reading this recent post on Scoble’s blog, where he talks about how he refers to “we” and “us” when talking about Microsoft.  A friend of mine told me once that they found it unusual that I say “we” and “us” when referring to stuff that Microsoft does. Apparently that isn’t the habit where…


I’m going to miss the company meeting!

Damn!  I just found out that the Microsoft Company Meeting, a yearly event, is on October 30th, and I will be out of town!  Its hard to describe these meetings; but let me try. You walk into SafeCo field, Seattle’s new baseball stadium, and look around, admiring the sheer size of the place.  The sliding…


Indigo PMs soliciting feedback

I noticed on meta-douglasp that some of our Indigo PMs are soliciting your input on a few issues; please take a look and let them know what you think! “Serialization Surrogates:  If you are using surrogates in your application or framework, we want to hear from you.  We are closing off on the extenstibility design…

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retrobox.com sells Microsoft’s old computers

I saw a question recently on an internal Microsoft alias, asking where old computers go when they are retired.  It turns out that Microsoft’s old computers (and those of other companies) end up at http://www.retrobox.com.  It looks like they have some great deals if you don’t need the latest and greatest technology. Sadly, I personally…


Red vs Blue – at the PDC?

 Ok, this is just awesome.  I just got mail about it; I’m not sure if its supposed to be public or not, but its on the public gotdotnet site, and its easier to get forgiveness than permission…  <grin> 


“The first priority, young man, is to find the bugs…”

 Prologue One of my teammates recently set up a Wiki site for my team, and I must admit that I have become quite addicted to it.  One of the pages I’ve created has been a list of common test areas, a checklist of things most of our tests will want to concern themselves with.  Things…

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Escape Analysis; or, ‘how *did* that bug slip through testing?’

 After the Indigo team’s last milestone (M4), most of our feature test teams did an analysis of the bugs in their feature area, and extracted some useful ‘lessons learned’ to help us improve our testing in future milestones.  Here are some of the lessons we learned: 1.      Do breadth-first testing, sanity testing, and test prototyping…