How have approaches to quality changed over the past 20 years?

We can all learn a great deal from people who have influenced our industry. BCS SIGiST recently hosted a discussion with Mary and Tom Poppendieck about “How have approaches to quality changed over the past 20 years?”. Mary Poppendieck wrote books with her husband Tom about Lean Software Development based on her experience of applying …

How can we communicate what agile testers do?

A tester’s job is to test, well that is what our job title says, however, we add value in a number of ways to features that we work on.  We need to be able to communicate how we add value. Some time ago we had some new managers where I was working and I wanted …

Don’t ask “Why did the tester miss that bug?”

“Why did the tester miss that bug?” is a question I have heard at many places but it is the wrong question. W. Edwards Deming’s philosophy shows that if something has gone wrong we need to look at the process and not blame the individual. A tester can be working in a system that the …

State transition diagrams help to define tests

Identifying what states exist in functionality and how changes in state take place enables testers to identify tests that should be executed. State transition diagrams provide simple notation for summarising states and how changes in states take place. I recently used a state transition diagram on a project and it helped me identify the tests …

Three Things That Have Helped Me in My Testing Career

The Ministry of Testing Bloggers Club has asked bloggers to write a post that describes t three things that have helped them in their testing career. Many things have helped me in my testing career, and here are three of them: The Testing Community The Testing Community has helped me throughout my testing career. I …

Which programming languages should a tester learn?

It is helpful for a tester to be able to program as it enables a tester to get a better understanding of the application they are testing. Being able to code also helps create test data, automate tests and build a better relationship with developers. But which programming language(s) should a tester learn? Over the …

Testing messaging with a decision table

Recently I was testing the messages sent from an app to the user when I noticed that the messages were dependent on the interaction of three conditions. I used a decision table to analyse the messaging because decision tables show how many tests are required to test something that is affected by a group of …

I have changed my mind about…Test Plans and Test Documentation

When I started as a tester I learned that test documentation, such as test plans, needed to gain approval from the Director and could be regarded as a project deliverable. I have learned that this is not helpful and that test documentation should support testing and the development. I remember that, before testing started, we …

An easy way to start testing your API

If you have not tested an API then starting to test an API can feel quite daunting as you may feel that you need strong technical skills for this type of testing. You can, however, start to test your API easily and then learn technical skills to test the API. An API is an application …

How Can I Test This? an app with microservices

“How Can I Test This?” is a book that contains examples of how to test different sites and apps along with test heuristics applied, the reasoning as well as ideas for which tools will help testing. The book aims to be useful both to new testers and to more experienced testers, and has just been …

Coaching tools for testers

Sometimes testers need to “coach”, when I do so I draw on my knowledge as a junior cricket coach and use the PoP framework. My cricket coaching qualification also included using the coaching tools that best suit the player, outcome and practice. The tools that we can use to coach are: Instruct Demonstrate Observe Analyse …

A coaching framework for testers

Sometimes testers need to “coach” and when I do I use a coaching framework to help me. At the weekend I coach junior cricket and I use what I have learned from cricket to help me as a tester. The PoP framework we use in coaching cricket can be useful to us as testers.  In …

Four insights from “a reference book for all who all who are involved with quality”

Joseph Juran wrote in the 5th Edition that Juran’s Quality Handbook ”is a reference book for all who are involved with quality of products, services, and processes”. I find it a useful book to refer to if I am thinking about a problem. There are eight editions of the Juran’s Quality Control Handbook. They are …

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 …

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