How to Take Yourself Out

Continuing on from David’s post here, another thing just happened. With Microsoft’s release of the Xbox they seem to have misjudged their customers and how eager they are to give $$$$.

So if you hit right now you will get the following:

Testers (and especially Stakeholders!!) out there, always think about your go live load and what can happen and how you want to mitigate it. Early Performance Testing is a good solution but even just having a good think about it can save you a lot of trouble. And if you think you’re not susceptible, then look at the above! Even Microsoft get’s it wrong sometimes.

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JMeter CSV data for remote clients [Update]

JMeter is a wonderful product but in some aspects it has it’s kinks. So when you do testing on several remote clients and have CSV data that fills variables you start to hit some ugly issues. In my example here I am reading login data from a CSV file. The thing is, if the same user logs in twice (or more times) simultaneously it’s  FIFO. All other users end up throwing an error.

The usual way to tackle CSV files in distributed JMeter environments is to copy the CSV to every client. But that would mean all of them kick off with the same line, thereby causing the problem. You can prevent that by cutting up your CSV into pieces and have one for each remote/client machine. This works but is tedious if the number of clients varies or the CSV changes often. You’d ideally want something more versatile and automagic.

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The Association for Software Testing (AST) has this year funded large parts of KWST. So I wrote a report for them on what we did. I thought I’d share here too.

The Third Kiwi Workshop on Software Testing

by Oliver Erlewein

KWST#3 Attendees

KWST#3 Attendees

It’s winter in the southern hemisphere: The weather is getting cold and windy, and people are staying inside.  But not all! Testers from all over Australia and New Zealand were flocking to one of the testing highlights of the year, the two day long Kiwi Workshop on Software Testing (KWST) held in Wellington, New Zealand.

This is the third time round and we’re going from strength to strength. This time 19 people were sharing their experiences – LAWST style – about “Lighting the way; Educating others and ourselves about software testing”.

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Can we learn from History? [Updated]

Today something wonderful happened (31 May 2013). The Ministerial Inquiry into Novopay has been released. Not so wonderful for Novopay/Ministry of Education/Talent2 but one of the few learning experiences we all have to reflect upon what we do in IT.

A little bit of history. Novopay is the second Ministerial Inquiry into an IT project in New Zealand that I am aware of. The first one was the INCIS project from the 90/00’ies run by the Police. The difference between the two is that this report was actually supported by all parties involved, and it is on a project that actually went live.

Anyway, I don’t want to berate MoE or Talent2. I do want to discuss the general issues I see in  many projects and my take on what it means and sometimes how it applies to testers or testing.

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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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Don’t Kid Yourself

Art01In every project (well, nearly every one) there comes the moment, when testing gets squeezed for time. Immediately the next question becomes how to cut back testing in a sensible way.

The immediate reaction of many a tester (especially if she went through some kind formal training) goes a little like this:

Use Risk Based Testing!

I agree but sort of don’t…

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WeTest Workshop #1

Last week (25.10.2012) the first WeTest Meetup Workshop was held in Wellington. This is a Meetup group that meets loosely bi-monthly and conforms to the same experience report style as KWST, OZWST and LAWST does.

Needless to say the event, instigated by Aaron Hodder, Katrina Edgar and Brian Osman, was quite a success. The topic was “Experiances in Test Automation”. Discussion was lively and there was lots to take home & think about. Read up on the details in these blog posts:

Assurity BLOG

TestSheep NZ

Thanks go to Assurity for helping fund the venue, food and drinks! Also thanks to everyone there for the great participation. The next Workshop will be on the 6th of December. Places are filling up quickly.

Author: Oliver Erlewein

Intent Driven Testing

Some weeks ago I saw John Hockenberry‘s talk “We are all designers”. It really struck a chord in me. The whole concept of intent and what part it plays in our lives. I’ll quote some parts of what he said:

Design — bad design, there’s just no excuse for it. It’s letting stuff happen without thinking about it. Every object should be about something, John. It should imagine a user. It should cast that user in a story starring the user and the object.

Good design … is about supplying intent.

It’s as though intent is an essential component for humanity. It’s what we’re supposed to do somehow.We’re supposed to act with intent. We’re supposed to do things by design. Intent is a marker for civilization.

An object devoid of intent –it’s random, it’s imitative, it repels us. It’s like a piece of junk mail to be thrown away. This is what we must demand of our lives, of our objects, of our things, of our circumstances: living with intent.

For weeks now there is a blog post of mine unpublished. It is all around the small things that count in testing. But I wasn’t really happy with it. Something was missing or I wasn’t getting the point I was trying to make. Today it dawned on me what was missing. It was the INTENT John talks about above.

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