CASTing About

Last week found me at CAST thanks to Jeff Atwood on behalf of Stack Exchange (now with a tester-centric site!). Thanks, Jeff! You might remember I went to CAST last year and came back way impressed; this year’s CAST managed to actually surpass my expectations! And it failed to meet them as well. Location. CAST 2011…



Last week found me braving the Grand Rapids, Michigan summer (heat! humidity! sun! loved it!) to attend my first CAST. While I propped it a couple years ago, I didn’t actually make it until now. The short version: CAST is awesome, conference proceedings will soon be up at so you can see what you missed,…


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…


Book Review: Mistress of Molecules

Last fall Jerry Weinberg sent me a review copy of his scifi novel Mistress of Molecules. I pretty much read it straight through, and then didn’t blog for six months so never posted my review. So here goes: I enjoyed it! Although I guessed the major plot points and some of the details well ahead…


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…


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…


Testing Curiosity

What drew you to testing? What keeps you here? What would cause you to leave? I fell into testing by accident. Autodesk needed testers for a new version of AutoCAD, I had registered copies of AutoCAD, they asked if I was interested, I said “Oh yeah!”, they sent me test builds, I sent them bugs….