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 …

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 …

Understanding Last Week’s Notes

All testers know the feeling: coming in on a Monday, looking at your notes from last week, and understanding nothing. If not for the handwriting, you’d think they were someone else’s notes. How do you write notes that you’ll understand on a Monday, without wasting too much time? Here are some tips, in no particular …

Talking to Users: Polite, Friendly and Helpful UI (Part 2)

(Read part 1 here) A helpful UI is not as rare as a friendly one, because being helpful is more of a technical skill than a personality. Helpful means informative¬†and organized, as well as comfortable to use. I’ll discuss organized and comfortable in a later article. For now, let’s talk about informative.

Talking to Users: Polite, Friendly and Helpful UI (Part 1)

Because I am both a technical writer and a software tester, one of my pet peeves is an interface that falls apart when it needs to communicate anything to the user. On every project I see code instead of text, poor grammar and spelling, ALL CAPS, odd choices of punctuation marks and a great many …