Magic Numbers: Integers

After many moons of sitting in a queue somewhere, the MSDN Tester Center just posted my intro article on special numbers you probably want to think about when running tests. The paper addresses several interesting domains of integers (all the way up to 64-bits) and gives you samples of important values to use:   In…

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Test Plan Template

While looking at some of the traffic statistics for the MSDN Tester Center, I noticed that a bunch of people arrived at the site as a result of doing a Google search for “test plan template”. The primary starting point for a template is really the IEEE standard 829-2008 which breaks apart the various types…

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The Brute Tester

A co-worker of mine was working on a tool to watch our release share for the appearance of a test result file, for which he would then publish up to a TFS server. The “trx” results file in question is actually being created on the Xbox console by our custom test harness, and historically was…

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Crashed Conference Room (ɯooɹ)

So we have these fancy touch screen displays on the outside of our conference rooms which will tell us when the room is booked (and by whom). They are definitely handy as they help resolve the inevitable conflict when multiple groups arrive at the same time and then fight over who owns the room. They…

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Upcoming Testing Conferences (2nd half of 2009)

Here is my semiannual post on testing conferences that will be occurring later this year.   CAST July 13 – July 16 Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA ISSTA July 19 – July 23 Chicago, Illinois, USA softec July 20 – July 22 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia STANZ August 24 – August 25 Wellington, New Zealand STANZ August…

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Finding Database Connection Strings

For a simple tool I was working on I needed to talk to a Microsoft Access database from my program. Now, most of the database work I’ve done in the past has been against SQL Server, so I needed to dig up the magic voodoo which represents the “connection string” for Access 2007 files. The…

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Communication is Optional

Clear communication is essential to our jobs and yet it always amazes me how poorly we do it. I received this chart in an email (about stress results).       Now, the interesting part: I’ve just given you as much context as to the meaning of the chart (and the email) as the author…

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Top 25 software errors

SANS, along with a coalition of individuals and software organizations, just released their list of top “25 most dangerous programming errors”. There has been some talk of making these a “requirement” or some sort of logo program to help protect customers when deciding which software to use or purchase.   From a developer’s perspective you…

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New Black Book

Before the holidays, there was a big re-organization of personnel here in Xbox land. As a result, I figured that this would be a good time to update my Black Book and have some more copies printed out for all the folks which are now a part of our new-and-improved software testing family.   The…

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MiniDumps and "Bad" Stacks

A fellow reader sent a comment outlining the following problem:   I’m using the DMPSTK example from the Debugging Tools SDK. If I generate a crash dump from within Visual Studio 2005, I can see the call stack perfectly. However, if I create my own crash dump (the same as  you do in your blog),…

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