And Sometimes Ends With A

June 22nd, 2016 by The Director

Security Starts at the POS.

In this case, POS means Point of Sale.

However, not everyone is familiar with the acronyms and argot you are, so be careful when using them without explaining them first. This applies to your interfaces as well as your written work.

Another Branding Failure

June 21st, 2016 by The Director

A couple weeks ago, I pointed out the some flaws with inconsistent application of the trademark symbol. Today, we’re going to look at a failure of branding in a news story.

Can you spot the branding failure in this story?

After the refi boom, can Quicken keep rocketing higher?:

Quicken Loans Inc, once an obscure online mortgage player, seized on the refinancing boom to become the nation’s third largest mortgage lender, behind only Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Now, with the refi market saturated, Quicken faces a pivotal challenge — convincing home buyers to trust that emotional transaction to a website instead of the banker next door.

Okay, can anyone not named Hilary spot the problem?

Quicken Loans and Quicken are two different things and have been owned by two different companies since 2002. For fourteen years.

Me, I know the difference because earlier this year I did some testing on a Quicken Loans promotion, and the developers put simply Quicken into some of the legalesque opt-in and Terms of Service check boxes. So I researched it. And then made them use Quicken Loans in the labels instead.

After reading the story, I reached out to someone at Quicken Loans to see if they use “Quicken” internally informally, and she said $&#&^$! yes (I’m paraphrasing here to maintain her reputation). So maybe the journalist had some communication with internal people who used “Quicken” instead of the company name, or perhaps that’s what everybody but me does.

However, informal nomenclature aside, Quicken Loans != Quicken, and to refer to it as such could have consequences. If this story hit the wires and Intuit’s stock dropped a bunch, ay! Or something more sinister, which in this case means unintended and unforeseen consequences.

My point is to take a little time to research the approved use of trademarks, brand names, and company names before you start testing or writing about them. Don’t trust the developers (or journalists, apparently) to have done this for you.

QA Music: Where The Wild Things Are Running

June 20th, 2016 by The Director

Against the Current, “Running With The Wild Things”:

I like the sound of them; I’m going to pick up their CD.

When the last CD is sold in this country, you know who’ll buy it. Me.

(Link via.)

An Oldie, But An Oldie

June 14th, 2016 by The Director

Round round work around
I work around
Yeah
work around round round I work around
I work around
work around round round I work around
From job to job
work around round round I work around
It’s a real cool app
work around round round I work around
Please don’t make it snap

I’ve got little bugs runnin’ in and out of the code
Don’t type an int or it will implode

My buttons don’t click, the users all moan
Yeah, the GUIS are buggy but the issues are known

I work around
work around round round I work around
From town to town
work around round round I work around
It’s a real cool app
work around round round I work around
Please don’t make it snap
work around round round I work around
I work around
Round
work around round round oooo
Wah wa ooo
Wah wa ooo
Wah wa ooo

We always make a patch cause the clients get mad
And we’ve never missed a deadline, so it isn’t so bad

None of the data gets checked cause it doesn’t work right
We can run a batch job in the middle of the night

I work around
work around round round I work around
From job to job
work around round round I work around
It’s a real cool app
work around round round I work around
Please don’t make it snap
work around round round I work around
I work around
Round
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

Round round work around
I work around
Yeah
work around round round I work around
work around round round I work around
Wah wa ooo
work around round round I work around
Oooo ooo ooo
work around round round I work around
Ahh ooo ooo
work around round round I work around
Ahh ooo ooo
work around round round I work around
Ahh ooo ooo

I don’t want to make you feel old, old man, but most of your co-workers don’t remember “Kokomo” much less “I Get Around” and probably think the Beach Boys were the guys on Jersey Shore

QA Music: Fire, Fire

June 13th, 2016 by The Director

Puscifer, “The Arsonist”

Few songs use the word “deleterious.” Too few, if you ask me.

Inconsistency Ain’t Just A River In Egypt

June 8th, 2016 by The Director

So I went to the Hostess Cakes site today while researching a tweet (what, you don’t research your tweets?). I wanted to see if the Twinkie brand name had a registered trademark or trademark symbol.

The site was not helpful:

The site has both, but this is incorrect. Also, note how other products that bear a service mark have it in the headline but not in the copy. It’s okay to not have it in the copy, since it is in the heading, and it’s common to only use the service mark the first time it appears on a page, but this page has them for some and not for others.

It’s definitely the sort of inconsistency I notice on a Web site, and then I wonder what else is lurking beneath the unreviewed copy.

Third Party Dependencies And Your Site’s Security, A Dramatic Recreation

June 6th, 2016 by The Director

The chain is not as strong as it’s weakest link; it’s as strong as the link you assumed someone else affixed.

I Am A FogBugz Overachiever

May 31st, 2016 by The Director

It looks as though FogBugz has decided to offer a little advice in the defect report’s description field:

Its placeholder says:

Every good bug report needs exactly three things: steps to reproduce, what you expected to see, and what you saw instead.

Exactly three things? Well, I must be an overachiever then when I add some analysis or relationships to other bugs, logs, and so on.

But that’s my way.

The Right To Scowl

May 17th, 2016 by The Director

Employers can’t stop the QA mindset:

The NLRB’s ruling last week said that requiring employees to maintain a “positive work environment” is too restrictive, as the workplace can sometimes get contentious. You can’t keep your employees from arguing.

To celebrate, I’m going to turn this smile upside down. Which is just as well, as co-workers fear my smile more than my frown.

(Link via.)

The JavaScript Warning By Which All Others Are Measured

May 13th, 2016 by The Director

If you have JavaScript blocked and go to DocuSign, instead of a little bit of red text above the form, you get a page with a message that tells you how to enable JavaScript in the browser you’re using:

Your Web site probably falls far, far short of this.

However, the page still has a common bug. Anyone care to tell me what?

Not Tested In Alternate Configurations, I See

May 10th, 2016 by The Director

Facebook logs a helpful message to the console to help prevent XSS exploits:

However, if the user displays the console on the right instead of the bottom, this message does not lay out properly in Firefox:

Obviously, Facebook did not test this in all possible configurations. If Facebook tested it at all.

QA Music: Happy Monday!

May 9th, 2016 by The Director

“Happy Song” by Bring Me The Horizon.

The V.5H Bug

May 3rd, 2016 by The Director

How prepared is your software for this sudden shift?

Venezuelans lost half an hour of sleep on Sunday when their clocks moved forward to save power, as the country grapples with a deep economic crisis.

The time change was ordered by President Nicolas Maduro as part of a package of measures to cope with a severe electricity shortage.

I’m calling this the V.5H bug.

Experience Matters

April 26th, 2016 by The Director

I came across this today: Being A Developer After 40

It also applies to testing and software QA. Most of the good testers I know or have known were older than the stereotypical 23 year old wunderkind. Because they’d seen things.

QA Music: It’s Sixx:A.M. Somewhere

April 18th, 2016 by The Director

“Rise”

Exploratory Testing During Load Testing

March 29th, 2016 by The Director

In Connecticut, some exploratory testing types found and exploited a software flaw in lottery terminals:

An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed.

It’s a condition that only occurred while the system was under processing load.

Which is why, whenever I get to do some load testing, I also like to call up the application under test and run through some basic smoke tests with it. You can find different places where resources are not available or where the load times can lead to unintended consequences–like allowing the user to click a button that renders but is hidden when the page fully loads. Or to act on data that the user should not be able to act on, as the lottery terminal displays.

Of course, you can do something like this through some network-throttling tools, but that will only really handle client-side slowdowns and problems, not necessarily issues with the server and infrastructure.

Also, it’s a way to get one more user’s worth of load on the system, and given our load testing budget most of the time, that can be a 5% increase over the 20 virtual users we have licenses for.

Preach It, Brother

March 25th, 2016 by The Director

NPM & left-pad: Have We Forgotten How To Program?:

Finally, stringing APIs together and calling it programming doesn’t make it programming. It’s some crazy form of dependency hacking that involves the cloud, over-engineering things, and complexity far beyond what’s actually needed.

What’s worse is that if any of your code (or the 3rd party library code) has a bug or breaks, you won’t know how to debug or fix it if you don’t know how to program.

Events of the last week should make developers wary of third-party stuff, but they won’t.

QA Music: Sing Me A Song Of Startups

March 21st, 2016 by The Director

Linkin Park, “In the End”

Test Passes, Sorta

March 17th, 2016 by The Director

I found this interesting article on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Web site:

There are a lot of test articles floating through the Internet in production systems. Why people don’t bother to turn them off after the testing is done, I don’t know.

Bonus points to you if you can spot the issue with the test article itself.

My Talk On How To Succeed At Being A Consultant Is Online

March 16th, 2016 by The Director

If you want to be a successful consultant, you might learn something:

What defects will you log? Whatever defects you like. What is the best methodology for testing? Whatever methodology you like. What’s the best time to start automated testing? Whatever time you like.

Well, “succeed” might be a misnomer. But you’ll certainly be employable.


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