Stealing from Science

The Helix Nebula is 700 light-years away from Earth, but screened before audience's eyes in reconstructed 3D in Hidden Universe, released in IMAX® theatres and giant-screen cinemas around the globe and produced by the Australian production company December Media in association with Film Victoria, Swinburne University of Technology, MacGillivray Freeman Films and ESO. The original image was taken by ESO's VISTA Telescope.

The Helix Nebula is 700 light-years away from Earth. The original image was taken by ESO’s VISTA Telescope.

I just finished the short but very powerful book A Briefer History of Time, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. Space and how the universe works is something that has always fascinated me. I think it’s all the unanswered questions and the urge to understand what it ALL means, and the wonder of what may be out there.

A Briefer History of Time is a result of feedback about the original book A Brief History of Time in which many people requested a more accessible version. I for one am happy this was done as it’s now a great introduction to Hawking’s (and other’s) work which was relatively easy to grasp. Now that I have a taste for it, and a slightly better grasp, I’ll continue on and read his other works.

As I read non-fiction books I often think about lessons that can be misappropriated and applied to software testing. This wasn’t my specific goal while reading this book, but one that lingers in the background all the time. It’s often been discussed that testing can take many queues from science, and specifically the scientific method. I’m not going to try and put a new spin on this, but did have some ‘light bulb’ moments when reading this book that I wanted to share.

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Test Metrics Debunked – Defect Density (3/5)

This post is the third in our series on metrics in software testing. So far we’ve looked at residual risk (here), coverage (here), and this time it’s defect density.

The following is taken from the post that sparked the series…

3.  Defect density is another metric that matters. It translates into where are the defects and how many are there? Identify each of the parts of the solution that you care about (front end, back end, service layer), or user type, or functional area, or scenario then make sure everyone know these identifiers and uses them whenever a defect is raised.

From a bird’s eye view the idea of defect density is a good one, but as testers we know that the devil is in the detail. It could be seen as a powerful risk evaluation technique to be able to know where the defects are located in a particular product. However, the value stops with this illusion. It is about as useful as asking where the developer hid all the defects.

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The Thunder from Down Under – Let’s Test Oz

The Let’s Test Oz Program has been announced today, and it’s awesome!

It gives me great pleasure, and pride, to also announce that every member of Hello Test World will be actively involved in what’s set to be the biggest Context-Driven Testing event in the Southern Hemisphere! I can’t actually prove that, but if it’s not, it would be damn close.  🙂

Check out the program, the sponsors, the venue… it’s all awesome.

See you there.

Testing Trapeze

Testing TrapezeThe Australasian testing community has another reason to rejoice. We welcome the 1st issue of Testing Trapeze Magaine! Katrina has done a wonderful (and often hard) job of pulling together a fantastic magazine. And two of our own HTW writers, Aaron and David, are in it with cool articles that I am sure will rock some boats. So take some time over the weekend to have a look and read and I’m sure you will not be disappointed. And if you have something to say get in contact with Katrina to get published in future releases.

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ISTQB Fan-Mail

Not too long ago I received an email from my then CEO bringing my attention to an email he had received.  For some context, I will say that this CEO was very much in touch with all his staff, he wasn’t ‘removed’ in anyway so it wasn’t uncommon to receive an email from him (a brilliant trait I might add).

Upon my first read of the email I thought it was a joke. Have a look for yourself, then I’ll provide some thoughts.

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Why should the Kiwis have all the fun?

So, what a great KWST report from Oliver!  But now it’s our turn… by our, I mean us Aussies.  😉

I wanted to take the opportunity to let our wonderful HTW readers know what’s coming up in the Land of Oz!

Firstly we have OZWST – The Australian Workshop on Software Testing – happening on August 3rd and 4th in Sydney, Australia’s finance capital!  OZWST was born after I attended KWST 2 in 2012.  I enjoyed it so much that I just had to have one myself.  2012’s OZWST was stellar to be sure, so here’s hoping 2013’s OZWST will be even better!

On the very next day we will be launching Let’s Test Oz by giving everyone a ‘taste’ of what’s to come in 2014.  Tasting Let’s Test will be held on August 5th, also in Sydney.  This event is sure to kick butt!  What a line up of speakers, a true blue Test Lab, and conferring to your heart’s content.  I can’t wait.

Oh, by the way… NZ has some great representation at Tasting Let’s Test.  So Aussies, get on board!  😉

When you fail, get back up and do it again!

community“This is the second KWST where I’ve woken up the next day thinking of looking for another career.  Sometimes the problems in testing can feel just too big to tackle, and that hits home to me after the event (depressingly so).” – Anonymous

So, yet another wonderful software testing community event has come to an end; KWST3.  Oh, did I mention I wasn’t there?  Grrr… damn bills!  However, I did follow it quite closely on Twitter and have seen some snippets of feedback since the event.  The above quote was something that I could both relate to, and take great concern over.

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Testing Leadership Down Under

Well hello, Hello Test World.

Firstly, it’s an honour to be included as part of the team here.  What a great bunch of thinking testers to blog with!  Since KWST #2 in 2012 (where we met) I have formed a wonderful friendship with these Kiwi dudes, and have learned a great deal in the process.  Their passion for our craft is infectious, and for that I thank them.

The below article was originally put together by myself and Brian Osman for submission in The Testing Planet.  Unfortunately deadlines got the better of us and we didn’t polish it in time.  I thought it might be a good idea to share this with you all for my first ‘official’ post on HTW.  Being a joint piece helps with my HTW beginners nerves.  ;0)

First we discuss our thoughts on leadership, then what we’re trying to do for our little pieces of the world.  Oh, it’s long… but stick with it.

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Structured v Unstructured

Below is a response we wrote to the latest Tester Magazines Newsletter article; what’s All the Fuss About? Structured vs Unstructured Testing. This was email directly to the author Geoff Horne but after his reply suggested this be used in the next edition of his magazine we felt it would be best published on our own Hello Test World blog.

If you have any thoughts, we’ll be looking forward to the in the comments.

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Welcome David!

David GWe are excited to announce that as of today David Greenlees will be joining the HTW blog team!

He is from the land of Oz, but other than that he’s a really good guy 😉
He is also the creator of OZWST in Australia and is actively involved in progressing the testing profession. His next challenge is to get the Let’s Test conference started this side of the globe. Watch out 2014 for that one!