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.

QA Music – Wolf Out

March 14th, 2016 by The Director

In This Moment, “Big Bad Wolf”

If you need more Monday morning wolfery, see also this.

Everything I Know About Testing I Learned From Zork

March 10th, 2016 by The Director

Login Screen
This is a login screen before you can use the application, with an account name, password field, and a Log In! button.
There is bubbly copy and a licensed stock image of a bearded man holding a small boy.

> check copy

The copy is cheery, but not particularly informative. In a stunning turn of events, the words are all spelled correctly, AND they've remembered the serial comma.

> mouseover image

The title and alt text are set for the image and read "Welcome back!"

> type </html> into account name field.

The value displays in the edit box.

> type </html> into password edit box.

The value displays in the edit box.

> click Log In!

A Potentially Malicious Request warning displays! Oh, woe and agony! The site is eaten by a grue.

How I Became That Guy / The JavaScript Twofer

March 9th, 2016 by The Director

I’ve set as a basic test visiting sites under test without JavaScript enabled, without Flash enabled, and without cookies enabled. It was a bit of an exercise for me, because who would visit the Web with JavaScript enabled?

Well, suddenly, that’s me.

I was running an old version of Safari on my iPhone because my client required a lot of backward compatibility testing. I don’t do a lot of processing on my phone, but I do a lot of reading, and suddenly Safari was crashing all the time. It was the ad content JavaScript, and once I turned it off, I could read on my phone again.

I’ve since updated the phone, but I’ve kept the JavaScript off because the pages load faster (if at all) and I’m using less data.

Which means I see all sorts of bad behavior. Not just counting unresponsive forms, but sites completely failing to load because they’re doing something JavaScript before page load with no alternative.

So I’ve set one of my browsers to block JavaScript by default just to see what happens when I hit a new test site. A lot of the time, I encounter something weird and start to log a defect before I realize nothing’s working because I have JavaScript disabled.

So I log a bug to indicate that the page should display a message in this case. That’s the first part of the two-fer.

Then, nine times out of ten, I retest and close that issue and open a new one to capitalize JavaScript correctly. Although I’m pretty clear in the defect, the developers type Javascript. All. The. Time. The JavaScript Disabled message is two bugs in one.

I’ve read memes and jokes on the Internet and Twitter that people who don’t use JavaScript are like vegans and CrossFit people and must tell everyone. Apparently, with this post, I have become that guy.

Oh, and I look forward to the first through one hundredth times I have to log a bug about capitalizing CrossFit correctly.

(Meanwhile, while we’re on the topic of JavaScript, also read Maybe we could tone down the JavaScript.)

Category: Bug

March 3rd, 2016 by The Director

You know I log every instance of controls/edit boxes/drop-down lists where the lower-cased g gets chopped at the bottom.

Well, except this one in the FogBugz defect tracker itself:

Internet Explorer is the worst offender in this regard, but the screenshot above is from Firefox.

Now you know why Roger Dougherty, single, born in August and living at 1021 Brighton Way, Harrisburg, Oregon always signs up for applications I test.

QA Music – Better Relationships with Co-Workers

February 22nd, 2016 by The Director

“The Monster” by Eminem

I’m not friend with the monsters under my bed. I’ve frightened them all away.

Not Only Wireframes, But Yes, Wireframes

February 18th, 2016 by The Director

You know, I like to get a look at any and all artifacts as soon as possible to see if I can spot any flaws as early as I can. This includes comps, prototypes, copy, and wireframes, where I hope to catch oversights before they get into the code.

But in addition to looking for oversights, I always wanted to review the documents qua documents, especially if your company is providing wireframes, comps, prototypes, copy, and so on to the client for review. It gives you a chance to catch mistakes, misspellings, improper branding, and inconsistencies before your client can look at them and think, “Ew, these guys can’t spell our name right on the wireframes. What would they do to our Web site?”

Yes, I did review RFP responses and proposals as well.

The Purple One links to this article entitled Wireframes – Should They Really Be Tested? And If So, How?

New trainees came on board and we had a training class to learn software testing concepts. After seeing those enthusiastic faces with their almost blank-slate minds (professionally), I decided to take a detour to my routine training.

After a brief introduction, instead of talking about software testing like I normally do, I threw a question at the fresh minds – ‘Can anyone explain me what a wireframe is? ’

The answer was a pause and thus, we decided to discuss it. And that is how it started – Wireframe/Prototype Testing

This should provide a good argument and overview if you need one.

New Software Development Employee Orientation Guide

February 17th, 2016 by The Director

You owe it to yourself to make your new co-workers read this: Living in the Age of Software Fuckery: Ten Anti-patterns and Malpractices in Modern Software Development

Well, all except the new managers. They teach this stuff in MBA and MIS programs already. But as a good idea.

Link via iDisposable.

QA Career Advice from Barron’s

February 16th, 2016 by The Director

Last week’s Barron’s had an article that pretty much covers the best way to enjoy a long career in QA.


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