Are you Managing the Product or its Quality?

As a lead tester, you fall somewhere on a scale between being completely passive about bug fixes and being in complete control of them. If you are completely passive, you are managing neither the product nor its quality. If you are in complete control, you are managing both. Neither of these situations is good for …

Lessons I Learned as a Tester, 3: Chinese Whispers Are no Basis for Testing

Written in collaboration with Efrat Wurzel The basic premise of QA is that developers – being human – make mistakes; but too many testers think that developer mistakes are limited to the code they write. The truth is that developers can misunderstand the spec, forget a part of it, never notice that a spec is …

In-Crowd-Sourcing: Using Random Employees as Testers in a Pinch

As a version’s release date approaches, and bugs and untested features are looming large, there is a temptation (not usually in the QA department) to recruit people from outside the QA to help the testing effort. This, I’m going to argue, is not at all a good idea. It relies on false assumptions, is not …

No Spec? No Problem: Testing When Nothing’s Written Down

Written in collaboration with Efrat Wurzel Got a new product to test, and the most documentation anyone can provide is an e-mail saying “wouldn’t it be cool if we got drunk and then wrote some code”? Don’t worry – testing without a spec is not quite the disaster you were expecting. Using some exploratory testing …

Writing for How-To Videos, Part 1: Basic Considerations for Scripts

Two notes before we begin: first, this article is about software how-to videos, not instructional videos that explain a subject or your business plan. Second, this is the first article of two. I’ll present some basic considerations in this one, and focus on the content of the scripts in the second one.

Lessons I Learned as a Tester: Don’t Let Developers Go Crazy With Testing Instructions

When asked to provide testing instructions for a new feature or bug fix, there are three types of developers: some are surgically precise, some are fairly precise while erring towards caution, and some give the widest set of instructions they can get away with, usually in an effort to protect themselves against accusations of insufficient …