Talking Clocks

We have a set of clocks counting down the time until our next big milestone, one where all the testers are, one by the devs, and one by PM. I just noticed that they tell a story: PM reaches the end of the milestone first; Dev reaches it next; And Test reaches it last Isn’t…


Reliable Intent

I’ve been super busy talking with as many testers and leads on my team as I can, gathering data on what is and is not working for them. I’m completely unsurprised to learn that, as with many other teams I’ve talked with, they’re having problems understanding what tests mean to test, finding and using functionality…


Stressing The Matrix

Recently I saw a way to describe any particular stress test that I liked: First, define the sets of qualities you care about: Input Execution entry point Resources Validation for example. Next, define the qualities within each set you are interested in; maybe: Input Concurrency of operations Data quality / noisiness Load / frequency of…


My Very Busy CPU

Hmmm…I start a build and all eight of my cores gets busy – what’s up with that? <g/>


How To Increase Your Chances Of Surviving A Microsoft Interview

I’ve talked with several people recently about how they can increase their chances of making it through their upcoming interviews at Microsoft. After noticing definite patterns in their questions, and in my answers, I decided to record them here where they may help a broader audience. I’m so nervous! Yep! In my ten-plus years here…


Implementing Automated Software Testing

Elfriede Dustin sent me a review copy of Implementing Automated Software Testing (IAST), which she and her colleagues Thom Garrett and Bernie Gauf recently published. I am familiar with some of Elfriede’s work on test automation, so I was looking forward to an in-depth explanation of how she does test automation. That is not what…


How We Test Software At Microsoft (Sometimes, Somewhens)

Some time back, Alan Page sent me a review copy of How We Test Software At Microsoft (HWTSAM), which he, Bj Rollison, and Ken Johnston published late last year. I was curious to read this and discover whether their view of testing matches mine. Now that I have finished HWTSAM I can say it more…


Baskets Of Bugs

My life of late seems to be one bug after another. It all starts with my product: Live Mesh for Mac. I have  set some setting on my Mactop that prevents our Mac client from running on it. No one else has reported this issue, and I cannot reproduce it on any other machine, so…


Banking Expectations

For weeks now I have been seeing ads for a local bank. These ads consist of a vast expanse of white space disturbed only by the phrase “(This space intentionally left blank)”. These ads baffled me. Yesterday, however, I realized that the last word in these advertisements was not “blank” – it was “bank”! Now…


Falsely Responsible

Newbie testers often believe they can actually stop their product from shipping. Product teams often foster this belief by forcing their testers to sign off on their product before shipping it. Can you imagine the result if we decided to exercise our alleged power and elected to not sign off? CEO: Why haven’t we shipped…