Archive for August, 2015

QA Music: QA Tells You The Odds

Monday, August 31st, 2015 by The Director

According to Michael Jackson, they’re not good.

That’s “You Can’t Win” also known as the Crows’ Anthem from The Wiz.

A Ping Pong Defect

Friday, August 28th, 2015 by The Director

While sitting in a restaurant, I saw that the closed captioning on the sports program was frequently emitting a string of random characters in the speech:

Forensically speaking, we could assume that this bug occurs in one of the following places:

  • The software transliterating the text to speech. That is, when the software encounters a certain condition, it puts a cartoon curse word into the data.
  • The network transmitting the information. That is, the transmission of the data introduces garbage.
  • The device displaying the transmitted information. That is, the television or satellite box that introduces the captions into the picture inserts the junk every two lines or so.

Okay, I’ll grant you the fourth option: That the broadcasters were actually cursing that much. However, given that the FCC has not announced fines daily, I’m willing to say that it’s nonzero, but unlikely.

The beauty of a defect that could occur almost anywhere, between disparate parts of the product and across different teams and technologies, means that it could ultimately be nobody’s fault. Well, if you ask one of the teams, it’s one of the other team’s fault.

You know, a little something squirrelly happens, you log a defect, and the server, interface, and design teams spend megabytes reassigning the defect to each other and disclaiming responsibility. It drives me nuts.

So what do you do? You find a product owner or someone who’ll take charge of it and pursue it across fiefdoms or who’ll put the screws to the varied factions until it gets fixed.

Because everybody’s got something they’d rather be working on than somebody else’s problem. Even if it’s everybody’s problem.

Apparently, The Screen Size In Production Is Different

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 by The Director

At least, I hope this is the result of the screen size being different in production than it was in the spec.

Otherwise, the implication would be that the interface was not tested.

Remember when you’re testing that the spec or requirements are merely suggestions, and you should go afield of your testing matrix as often as you can.

Suggestions For Your QA Mission Statement

Monday, August 24th, 2015 by The Director

Victor Frankenstein’s creation speaking in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein pretty much sums up my testing approach:

I will revenge my injuries: if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear; and chiefly towards you, my arch-enemy, because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred. Have a care: I will work at your destruction, nor finish until I desolate your heard so that you shall curse the hour of your birth.

Nineteenth century curses are the best.

Here’s a statement of work from Frankenstein himself later in the book:

My present situation was one in which all voluntary thought was swallowed up and lost. I was hurried away by fury; revenge alone endowed me with strength and composure; it moulded my feelings and allowed me to be calculating and calm, at periods when otherwise delirium or death would have been my portion.

Extra Naughty Strings

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 by The Director

As the child of two former United States Marines, I already know plenty of naughty strings; however, a client pointed me to this resource on GitHub: Big List of Naughty Strings.

It is a pretty comprehensive list that includes a couple things not in my standard bag of tricks.

Until now.

Word for the Day: Recrudescence

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 by The Director


Recrudescence is the revival of material or behavior that had previously been stabilized, settled, or diminished. In medicine, it is the recurrence of symptoms in a patient whose blood stream infection has previously been at such a low level as not to be clinically demonstrable or cause symptoms, or the reappearance of a disease after it has been quiescent.

I don’t normally mention the mouthfeel of words, but this one has it.

I’m looking forward to using this when reopening bugs whose behavior recurs.

Also note I plan to mispronounce it as re-CRUD-escence.

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