Category Archives: Articles

Lessons I Learned as a Tester, 4: Testers Should Write the First Draft and Approve the Last Draft of Release Notes

You might say I learned this lesson as a technical writer, too.

Posted in Articles, QA, Technical Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Articles, QA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Articles, Beginner Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Five Questions for Technical Writing Interviews

These questions are for experienced candidates, not aspiring writers, and are meant to reveal general attitudes and methods. You want to see how people think, and how they act and react to other writers.

Posted in Articles, Technical Writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Articles, QA | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lessons I Learned as a Tester, 2: Sanity is Relative

The further away you are from the QA department, the looser the definition of version sanity. By the time you get to the back of the development department, where the newbies sit, the definition of sanity is “compilable”.

Posted in Articles, Beginner Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Articles, Beginner Tips, QA | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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, … Continue reading

Posted in Articles, Beginner Tips, Technical Writing | Tagged | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Articles, Beginner Tips, QA | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Testing Teams: Specialists or Generalists?

If you’re not the only tester in your company, then you’ve run into the question of who tests what – QA’s idea of Going Dutch. Before you distribute testing, however, you need to answer a more basic question: do you … Continue reading

Posted in Articles, QA | Tagged | Leave a comment