Are metrics always helpful? an example of a success and a failure

Engineering teams often keep metrics on their work, but are these metrics always helpful?.  Metrics could be something that the manager or director has asked for or metrics something that the team has created to help the team. I have found that creating metrics on quality is something testers often do. Creating useful metrics is …

What job should you hire a tester to do?

Jobs Theory gives us a way of understanding clients by asking what job did they “hire” a product or service for. An example of Jobs Theory is given in “Competing Against Luck”: by Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David S. Duncan. The example they give explains why people “hired” milk shakes. Research …

I often “see” functionality I am testing as a tree diagram

Creating a tree diagram can be a helpful way to visualise functionality that is accessed via hierarchical structures like menus and the tree diagrams can help to plan testing. In my mind’s eye I often see functionality as a tree diagram. C.S French says that trees are “hierarchical data structures rather like the familiar family …

Reasons why you should write a test strategy

I wrote our test strategy after taking Michael Bolton’s Rapid Software Testing course using what I had learned on the course. I reviewed the strategy recently and one of the thoughts I had while reviewing it was why should you write a test strategy? There are many good reasons to write a test strategy and …

Can decision tables help you test API endpoints?

I recently saw a comment about how testers should be able to use decision tables to aid their testing. I decided to refresh my understanding of them and these are the notes I created about them. Decision tables are an analytical tool. They are used to describe logic and can be helpful in understanding the …

Use Low Code as a springboard for learning

I have been using Ghost Inspector to automate tests that run through the UI for a few years. It is an automation tool which says “No coding required”. If you are not a programmer you can use Ghost Inspector to automate tests. You can also use Ghost Inspector to learn about development practices and coding. …

A quality costs scorecard

Juran’s Quality Control Handbook is a reference book for people who “are involved with” quality. The 4th Edition of the handbook includes an article by Frank M. Gryna about Quality Costs. Gryna says that as companies began to extend the concept of identifying costs to quality they found that costs relating to quality were much …

One cycle to inspire them all

I have worked in lean or agile teams for a number of years and developing my knowledge of lean and agile has helped me. The Deming Cycle is something I have found helpful to understand because it is a part of agile and lean and it is also about continuous improvement of quality. Engineering teams …

Learning JavaScript is helping me to test

I am learning JavaScript because it helps me in so many ways when I am testing.  Many apps have JavaScript sandboxes that enable you to write some JavaScript that adds to the testing you are doing. Examples of where you can write JavaScript are the Tests tab in Postman, and browser dev tools which enable …

API Testing can enhance automated testing strategy

An automated test strategy will normally include tests that are automated through the UI, and unit tests. It is an advantage if an automated testing strategy also includes testing that is automated via the API. Automated tests need to run quickly so that developers get fast feedback on their work. Tests that are automated via …

Improving quality creates a chain reaction

W. Edwards Deming wrote that improving quality results in a chain reaction “lower costs, better competitive position, happier people…and more jobs”. Deming worked in Japan after World War Two where he helped rebuild the Japanese economy. He received honours from the Emperor of Japan and the President of the USA. His work underpins agile, lean …

What testing does your team do that is Lean?

We want to find bugs as early as possible so that the cost of fixing them is as little as possible. The earlier a bug is found the cheaper it is to fix. If a bug is found and fixed in a specification before any code is written then it costs very little to fix. …

Three short stories about the Definition of Done

What does it mean when a card is put into the Done column? Done can mean that the coding  is completed, it can also include that the code has been reviewed, that it includes unit tests and many other things. Teams sometimes create a “Definition of Done” to state exactly what “done” means and this …

How can you work with your team to identify risks?

Identifying risks to their work helps development teams.  Recently I spoke to a team who had talked through the ways in which their work could fail, and built on this to identify risks to their work. The team adapted Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA) to suit their needs. FMEA is a technique that is used …

Quality is Free

Quality is Free is the name of a book by Phlip B. Crosby in which he argues that quality is free and lays out a Zero Defects program to improve quality. Crosby’s ideas, along with Deming, Juran, and others, influenced the Quality Movement. Crosby says that there is a cost of quality. The cost of …

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