How to Become a Consultant

September 20th, 2016 by The Director

Although taken from the medical world, this offers some good advice on how to become a process improvement style consultant.

QA Music – Crashing by Design

September 5th, 2016 by The Director

Peter Townshend, prescient:

Fun Test: Hot Key Race Conditions

August 16th, 2016 by The Director

Did you know if you select multiple items in Mozilla Thunderbird and press Delete followed quickly by enter, Thunderbird deletes the messages and then opens multiple empty message windows?

You can often find unexpected behavior when you trigger two actions at once that the user would never do, such as this particular thing I always do.

In Web testing, you can do this using the Enter key to trigger one button while clicking another or by clicking multiple buttons in quick succession.

In mobile testing, you can do this by tapping two things at once or making two gestures at once. Or by Doing something and pressing the Home button or the Power button.

In desktop application testing, this can be by clicking a button while pressing a hot key or pressing multiple hot keys at once or in rapid succession.

Regardless, the application should always pause other input while taking an action and should always check to see if it has everything it needs to act on when starting an action. In this case, it would be an active, not deleted message.

Will Code for Food

August 10th, 2016 by The Director

Literally. I saw this in the back of Ozark Farm and Neighbor magazine:

At the very cheapest, a domain registration + a year of simple hosting with domain purchase + use of templates and standard copy means that any beef above a couple of steaks is pure profit.

As A Wise Man Once Said….

July 27th, 2016 by The Director

Check out this piece at Ministry of Testing:

When Your Mentor Moves On:
 Dealing with A Change In Ideal Leadership

QA Music: They’ve Come To Snuff The Testing

July 25th, 2016 by The Director

You know it ain’t gonna die.

Alice in Chains, “The Rooster”:

Keeping Your Test Data Out Of Production. Also, Your Production Data.

July 14th, 2016 by The Director

There’s a right way and a wrong way to keep test data out of production. Citigroup chose the wrong way:

It turned out that the error was a result of how the company introduced new alphanumeric branch codes.

When the system was introduced in the mid-1990s, the program code filtered out any transactions that were given three-digit branch codes from 089 to 100 and used those prefixes for testing purposes.

But in 1998, the company started using alphanumeric branch codes as it expanded its business. Among them were the codes 10B, 10C and so on, which the system treated as being within the excluded range, and so their transactions were removed from any reports sent to the SEC.

The SEC routinely sends requests to financial institutions asking them to send all details on transactions between specific dates as a way of checking that nothing untoward is going on. The coding error had resulted in Citigroup failing to send information on 26,810 transactions in over 2,300 such requests.

Citigroup was fined $7,000,000 for the problem which probably stemmed from a lack of communication.

When You Hide The Interface for Functionality

July 7th, 2016 by The Director

You know when your company wires off some part of the interface because the functionality is incomplete or not ready for the release?

Yeah, it’s like that.

It, too, is a risky maneuver as it’s generally a last minute decision, which doesn’t leave you a lot of time to test to ensure it’s wired off completely in all areas where the user would encounter it.

Fantaztic

June 29th, 2016 by The Director

After ordering a video game from Amazon to-day, I received an email with an offer:

Spelling the product name right two out of three times ain’t bad. It’s worse.

Remember, every time you spell something wrong in a marketing email, you’re making it easier for the phishers.

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.


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