Basic Instincts

I was involved in a conversation today that started something like this: Team X:  “Feature Y is completely broken, but we don’t want to fix it because we don’t think any users will actually use it this way.” My first instinct was, “Are you crazy?  The fix is so easy and low risk!  Of course…


Canaries and Scouts in Software Testing

In software testing, what you don’t know is often your biggest risk. As smart as we think we all are, no reasonable amount of brainstorming and careful test planning can discover all possible tests that should be put in place for a given system.  Even for seemingly simple systems, “test space” can be huge.  I…


Don’t Assume If Something Worked Once, It’ll Work Again

My team discovered a bug recently that had been around in our daily builds a while.  We did a retrospective after the fact and found some interesting facts.  We had a test case covering the scenario, and it had been passing with no problems over the past several weeks.  There were no bugs in the…


No More Test Plans

I’m saying goodbye to the term “Test Plan”.  To me, “Test Plan” implies a plan that details how the test team will measure the quality of the product is and report it back to the team.  While this an important piece of the a quality strategy, it’s not sufficient by itself. I’m replacing the term…


Thinking About ROI for Test Automation

After we shipped Team Foundation Server 2010, I took on a new role on the TFS team as a Test Architect.  I’m excited about this role because it’s a little more hands-on than being a manager and because I get to help tackle some of the most challenging test problems we have across the product….


Should I test the individual layers in my app or test from an end-to-end perspective?

I have this debate with other testers and developers from time to time, so I thought I post my own thoughts on the subject.  Many applications today consist of multiple layers.  For example, a typical ASP.NET MVC web application may have views, controllers, services, data repositories, a domain model, etc.  A typical IT type application…


8 Tips For Doing Ad Hoc Tech Support via Twitter

I do a lot of ad hoc technical support for Team Foundation Server via Twitter (follow me at @JasonBarile).  As a Test Manager, I love interacting with customers directly, and I often find that Twitter is a great source for finding issues people get frustrated about but don’t necessarily get blocked by or get upset…


Mining Work Items for Opportunities to Improve Your Engineering Process

One of the things I spend a lot of time doing as a test manager is mining for interesting data in our work item tracking system (TFS of course).  For example, this morning, I went through a query of bugs that had been resolved as “won’t fix” but were also marked as regressions from previous…


In testing, you have to cross jurisdictions

The other day on the way to work, I was almost side-swiped by a big rig weaving all over I-40.  The truck’s erratic driving continued, and after I watched a few more cars quickly veer out of its way, I decided to call 911 to report the truck.  Although I described to the triage operator…


Twitter Poll Results – How Testers Define Their Jobs

It’s a bit late, but I’m finally posting the results of my recent Twitter poll.  This was definitely an experiment.  I only received 4 responses for this poll, but it’s a start.  For future polls, I’ll allow blog comments as well. The 4 responses I received were: “I’m the person who investigates and reports on…