testing sucks

Bet that got your attention. It’s true, but let me qualify it: Running test cases over and over in the hope that bugs will manifest sucks. It’s boring, uncreative work and since half the world thinks that is all testing is about, it is no great wonder few people covet testing positions. Testing is either…


tour of the month: the intellectual’s tour

As promised, here is the first tour on the tour-of-the-month parade. It’s probably not the best place to start, but it’s finding so many good bugs for so many testers around the company that I wanted to get it in the hands of others sooner rather than later where it might make more logistical sense….


of moles and tainted peanuts

There was a full page ad for Jif peanut butter in my morning paper that caught my attention. (For those non-US readers, our nation is experiencing a salmonella bacteria outbreak which has been traced back to contaminated peanuts.) The ad touted Jif’s rigorous testing processes and reassured readers that testing for salmonella was a long…


explaining exploratory testing

I just got finished talking (actually the conversation was more like a debate) to a colleague, exploratory testing critic and a charter member of the plan-first-or-don’t-bother-testing-at-all society. I am happy to say, he conceded the usefulness (he would not grant superiority, if he had I would be on my way to the pub right now…


the Zune issue

As you can imagine there is a pretty lively debate going on over the Zune date math issue here in the hallways and on our internal mailing lists. There are plenty of places one can find analyses of the bug itself, like here, but I am more interested in the testing implications. One take: this…


google v. microsoft, and the dev:test ratio debate

Every since I gave a talk at Google’s GTAC event here in Seattle this past October, I’ve had the chance to interact with a number of Google testers comparing and contrasting our two companies’ approach to testing. It’s been a good exchange. Now it seems that, their toilets notwithstanding, Google focuses on testing with an…


no more testers?

I gave a keynote at EuroSTAR on the future of software testing where I began by painting a picture of the promise of software as an indispensible tool that will play a critical role in solving some of humankind’s most vexing problems. Software, I argued, provides the magic necessary to help scientists find solutions for…


manual v. automated testing again

In my Future series I was accused of supporting both sides of the manual v. automated debate and flip-flopping like an American politician who can’t decide whether to kiss the babies or their moms. Clearly this is not an either-or proposition. But I wanted to supply some clarity in how I think about this. This…


the manual v. automated testing debate

There’s an angle to this debate that I missed during the prevention v. cure series I did last month. It surfaced in a lunchtime conversation I had today with two test managers in our e-home division (these are the guys that test the Media Center PC and other such delights).  Michael Friend, a Group Test…


prevention v. cure (part 5)

Ok, we’re getting to the end of this thread and probably the part that most of you have asked about: exploratory testing, particularly how it is practiced at Microsoft. We define four types of exploratory testing. This isn’t meant as a taxonomy, it’s simply for convenience, but it underscores that exploratory testers don’t just test,…