How Professional Testers Think: Why Microsoft primarily hires testers with a Computer Science, Math or Engineering background?

The easiest thing to criticize is that which one does not fully comprehend. There has been a lot of discussion lately about Jerome Groopman’s book How Doctor’s Think and a correlation between doctors in the medical profession and software testers. The book is an excellent read, and provides readers with valuable insights not only with…

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Blindly buying into rumor and innuendo: or how to lose stock in your credibility

It never ceases to amaze me that every time we see a calamity involving software the immediate reaction of the sensationalist media types and other people who are generally misinformed is to blame inadequate testing. Recently, it seems that Joel Spolsky not only fell victim to rumors and misinformation, but also to the lunacy of…

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Putting the Context back in Context-driven testing

Tonight I was having dinner at the superb Italian restaurant L’Olivo along the canal in Nyhaven, Denmark with my 5 year old daughter. She was slightly upset because they didn’t have chocolate mousse on the dessert menu so when the waiter came by to take our order she neglected to say ‘please.’ I reminded her…

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Exploratory testing vs. Scripted testing; Is it really only either or?

I just left Stockholm after spending a week there. That was my second visit to Stockholm and it is truly a remarkable city. I spoke at EuroStar which is the largest software testing conference in Europe, and had the opportunity to meet some old friends and colleagues as well as chat with many other speakers…

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Equivalence Class Partitioning Part 3 – The tests

In the last post we decomposed the set of characters in the ANSI character set into valid and invalid class subsets for use in a base filename component on the Windows Xp operating system. The second part of the testing technique of equivalence class partitioning is to then use this information in tests that will…

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Equivalence class partitioning – Part 2: Character/String data decomposition

 Again, I am remiss in my postings…too many irons in the fire these days. Two weeks ago, I posted a challenge to decompose a set of character data (The ANSI Latin 1 Character Set) into valid and invalid equivalence class subsets in order to test the base filename parameter of a filename passed to COMDLG32.DLL…

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Equivalence class partitioning – Part 1

Wow…where does the time go? I was remiss last week in posting, and it has been a month since I posted about equivalence class partitioning. So, let’s get back to it shall we? Equivalence class partitioning (ECP) is a functional testing technique useful in either black box or white box test design. A technique is a systematic…

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Exploratory Testing versus Ad Hoc Testing

A few weeks ago a read an interesting post on SQA Forums about exploratory testing. It was interesting not because there was anything ‘new’ to learn about ‘exploratory’ testing; but because it offered a compelling counter-argument to ad hoc testing. It is also a good read because it differentiates exploratory testing from ad hoc testing in…

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Boundary testing – hidden loops and the Deja Vu Heuristic

I previously discussed various types of defects exposed via application of the boundary value analysis testing technique including a repaint problem, a casting problem, and a wrapping problem. While the minimum and maximum physical linear boundaries of a parameter are often easy to identify, it is surprisingly more difficult to identify boundary conditions within the minimum and maximum…

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Equivalence class partitioning

I have been teaching formal testing techniques for several years at Microsoft and University of Washington Extension. Techniques are systematic procedures to help solve a complex problem. A technique does not find all types problems; techniques are generally very good at finding very specific classes of defects. But, the usefulness or effectiveness of any particular…

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