QA Music: Annual Review Self-Assessment

January 30th, 2017 by The Director

It’s time for annual reviews. How do you think you did in 2016?

Here’s mine: “Monster” by Skillet.

Belated Birthday Wishes to Rutger Hauer

January 24th, 2017 by The Director

Yesterday was Rutger Hauer’s 73rd birthday, and we at QAHY wish him the very best and many more.

Why? Because we’re members of the Rutger Hauer school of software testing, remember.

QA Music: Every Good Existentialist Story

January 23rd, 2017 by The Director

Gemini Syndrome, “Remember We Die”:

This week, I’m starting all user stories the proper Existentialist way: “Remember, we die, but….”

Remember, we die, but during the course of his meaningless existence, the store clerk wants to scan or type the SKU to find out if other stores in the local area have the same item in different sizes in stock.

Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Herb Albert! Or Not.

January 20th, 2017 by The Director

Amazon illustrates a test case I have been overlooking.

If you search for herb alpert i feel you, you get no results:


Click for full size

Which is really weird, because I’ve bought Herb Alpert’s I Feel You. And I just successfully found it. However, I previously searched for i feel you herb alpert:


Click for full size

It looks like in the first case, when the artist’s name came first, Amazon incorrectly “corrected” the name to herb albert before conducting the search and then returned me an erroneous result.

So now in my test cases for searches, I have to alter the order of the search terms to ensure they return the same results.

No Comment

January 18th, 2017 by The Director

I’ve gotten a link to the Big List of Nasty Strings several times in the last couple of days, so it must be going around the social media again. I’ve already used it for a number of years as a second set of strings to test after my first line of strings (including Hamlet) if I have time.

But you know what the BLNS lacks? Code comment markers and other code keywords. Oh, yeah. I like to use these:

<!HTMLComment>

<!

// JavaScript Comment

""" Python Comment
comment that spans multiple lines"""

''' Python Comment
comment that spans multiple lines'''

""" Python Multiline comment end

''' Python Multiline comment end

/* Comment */
*/ Comment ended

?> end PHP Script

REM batch and Oracle comment

-- SQL Line comment

GO //start SQL Script

/// C# XML Tag Comments

' Visual Basic comments

<!--- Cold Fusion Comments

<% ASP Comment <% Response.End %>

<?php php.script(start)

Try those bad Oscars out in your edit boxes. Keep in mind, they might well go into the database without a problem, but as with any other string test, half of the test (and quite often much of the fun) comes when your Web or other application is called upon to display these values again.

For example, WordPress itself cannot handle HTML comments and the end PHP script line above; when I first reviewed this post, the complete text of the post did not display and much of the blog itself did not display (as PHP after the end PHP line did not work).

A Hint For Video Interviews and Sales Calls

January 10th, 2017 by The Director

Whenever I have to take a video call, I spend a couple minutes testing out the angle of the Web cam (and the sound quality of the microphone).

Not only does it ensure that your video call is professional-looking and impressive, but in my case, it can be the difference between frightening someone who doesn’t know me well and impressing them with my well read nature.

That is, I lower the Web cam to hide the bladed weapon collection and focus on the bookshelves below it.

I also remove the room’s second chair and make sure there are no comic book boxes, vacuum cleaners, or piles of rubbish within view.

But, to be honest, I’m still making a fictitious shot, though, because the books behind me are the books I have yet to read.

QA Music: Season’s Greetings

December 19th, 2016 by The Director

Adelitas Way, “Ready for War (Pray for Piece)”:

Well, it has Pray for Peace right in the title. That makes it a Christmas song to me.

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


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