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Collaborative Exercises: What Make RBCS Live Courses Special

If you've never attended a live RBCS training course before, here's a sample of what you're missing. This week, we ran our ASTQB Agile Tester Foundation course. In this course, as with all RBCS live courses, in addition to detailed explanations of the topics and lively discussion, we have lots of collaborative exercises. That means working as a team, just like in a real Agile project, to solve testing challenges.

This week, we started by selecting a user story from the release backlog, grooming it to get the size right, and defining testable acceptance criteria:

Next, we did some iteration planning to identify some of the issues with testing this user story:

Then, we did a quality risk analysis for a few of the acceptance criteria associated with the user story:

We also covered assigning story points to a user story, including using the results of the risk analysis to inform the estimation process:

Now, with iteration planning complete, it's time to design tests for the user story. We used equivalence partitioning to address issues with valid and invalid payments:

Finally, we created specific tests cases for some of the test designs, using the results of our risk analysis to decide how to prune the potential set of tests:

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The Most Dangerous Kind

An obviously stupid bad idea.

The most dangerous kind of bad idea is the one that sounds reasonable. Bad ideas that sound stupid stand little chance of implementation, but bad ideas that sound reasonable often carry the day, with disastrous results. If you are having trouble dealing with bad ideas about software testing and quality, or having trouble making sure that you aren't coming up with bad ideas about software testing and quality, contact us. We can help keep you, your test team, and your whole organization out of the crocodile pool.

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Ten Worst Things in Software Testing

Are you exposing yourself, your testers, and your organization to toxic testing practices? Stop!

Lots of people give top 10 lists, but only the very brave will give a bottom 10 list! Let’s face it though: Smart people sometimes do dumb things. Smart testers and test managers are no exception. In this RBCS classic webinar (part 1 and part 2), I discuss things I've done and things I've seen other smart test professionals do that, upon close reflection, turn out to be big mistakes. Remember, any fool can learn from his own mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. If you need help avoiding (or undoing) testing mistakes, contact us for help.

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Look Familiar?

If you're sick of going around and around in circles on your software testing or quality improvement projects, let us know. We can help. Since 1994, we've been helping clients large and small around the world improve their testing and the quality of the applications, software, and systems.  Contact us today to find out how we can help you. No project or budget is too large or too small.

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Don't Get Hacked! We Can Help You Reduce Your Security Risks

Don't just pray you don't get hacked: take steps today to improve your security testing 

Seems that lately a lot of companies and organizations are making news for all the wrong reasons. Their systems are getting hacked. These hacks can lead cause embarrassment, stock price drops, legal liability, and job losses for the responsible parties. Here at RBCS, we can help you avoid these unpleasant scenarios Listen to my brief message here, then contact us today for more information about our Advanced Security Tester course.

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Testing and Quality Meets the Terminator

I gave a keynote speech at Austria's Software Quality Days 2015 conference, and you can catch the video on our YouTube channel now. This talk isn't going to give you urgently-needed ideas you can use today, but it does offer a chance to reflect on where technology is taking us and what it means for testing and quality in the future.

In this "pop culture meets software engineering trends" talk, I discuss the broader implications of the IoT, including refrigerators, autonomous cars, and more. How does human thinking about technology, expressed in myths, art, and movies, inform our thinking about IoT and where technology is going? Was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Phillip Dick's answer to Isaac Asimov's I, Robot series, and whose vision is closer to where we're going? What are the testing and quality implications of software everywhere, connectivity always, and the "if we can dream it we can build it" world that we now live in?

Watch this webinar for a thought-provoking talk. It won't make you more efficient in your job today, but it just might help you think about where your job will be in five years.

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If No One Sees Them, Maybe They're Not There?

Here's a story from a client's Test Manager. Maybe you can relate?

"A program manager stopped me in the hall and said: 'Tell your testers they're finding too many defects.'  My response: 'I think you're talking to the wrong person. The development manager's office is down the hall on the right.' It took him a minute, but he got my point."

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Q: How Would You Test This Clock? A: White-box, Black-box, or Both?

A lot of tester interviews start with questions like, “So, how would you test this pen?” Really great, if you happen to be in the pen-making business and rely on inspector-based quality control rather than modern manufacturing methods. Really silly if you are testing modern software and systems.

However, here’s a realistic alternative, one that actually explores something interesting with testers and how they approach testing.

Check out this video of this elaborate clock in Prague. Cool, huh? Well, imagine you had to test this clock.

Notice, if you were doing black-box testing, you wouldn't care if the logic was based on software or was entirely mechanical. The expected behavior is the same. However, what if you were doing white-box testing? Code and servo-motors work in an entirely different matter than gears and springs.  A good black-box testing can explain how to test the clock’s behaviors. Tester with good black-box and white-box abilities can not only explain how to test the clock’s behaviors, but can also explain how testing a mechanical clock like this one would differ from testing an electronic version of the same abilities.

Feel free to use this video and this mental exercise to interview testers, if you’d like. You’re welcome!

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Better Testing on Outsourced Projects

Are you testing on outsourced projects? Hey, who isn't! Whether the development is outsourced, the testing is outsourced, or both are outsourced to some extent, outsourcing brings a lot of for testing. Learn how to master those challenges.  In this classic webinar, part 1 and part 2, I'll explain how to achieve your testing objectives on outsource projects. If you need more help improving your outsourced testing efforts, from writing contract clauses that actually hold vendors accountable for performance to instituting skills-growth programs that cover your in-house and outsourced teams, contact us for a proposal.

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Corporate Values Are What Your Company Does When You Don't Think Social Media's Watching

An old saying goes, "Character is what you do when no one is watching." At the corporate level, the modern equivalent would be that corporate values are what you do when social media is not watching. The e-mail excerpt above is something I received just today from United. Unless you are living under a rock, you know the infamous incident in question happened quite a while ago, at least as time is measured on the Internet.

Before the video went truly viral and before United realized how much they had damaged their reputation--i.e., before they realized that social media was watching--the United CEO is reported to have sent an internal e-mail to United employees saying that the crew who asked the police to drag Mr. Dao from the plane had actually done nothing wrong and were just following policy.

This kind of behavior isn't just a problem with United. Uber has suffered similar reputational damage--repeatedly, in fact, starting with the "rides of glory" incident--when stories of boorish, sexist, sophomoric, and downright creepy behaviors hit social media.

The important take-away for executives, directors, managers, and even employees is simple: Corporate values are what you do when you think social media isn't watching. If that doesn't motivate you enough, if you've been paying any attention at all, realize that social media is always watching, though sometimes it takes a while to get from the incident itself to the point of maximal reputational immolation.

This is why RBCS has always operated with one very simple company value: we only have happy customers. We go above and beyond for every single one of our customers, from someone ordering a $50 book on our website to a company buying $500,000 in consulting services from us. If you're an RBCS customer and you're not happy with us, we're not happy, and we won't rest until you are happy. I invite the rest of the corporate world to shamelessly copy our corporate value. I certainly look forward to flying on the first airline that does.

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