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.

QA Music: One for the Introverts at the Conference

February 15th, 2016 by The Director

QA or the Highway is coming up this week, so now it’s time for our long distance dedication to the introverts at the conference. It’s Alessia Cara with “Here”:

To be honest, I’ve held entire jobs where I felt this way.

Fortunately, QA Can Hit That Hotkey

February 12th, 2016 by The Director

My first ticket logged in Jira, and my first bug found in Jira.

Fortunately, I have an undefined key on my special QA-language keyboard.

QA Music: Poisonous Monday

February 8th, 2016 by The Director

Because I just loaded it onto a cheap MP3 player for my gym workouts, have Poison, “Come Hell or High Water”:

Item 1 On The List: I Can’t Finish The List

February 5th, 2016 by The Director

When you log into Slack, it provides you an inspirational message. How positive of the program. This particular item always gets me:

The first item on the list is that I couldn’t complete the list in under 24 hours.

Then we get into the physically impossible.

What, this is a rhetorical question? Then why ask it?

QA Music – Hello

February 1st, 2016 by The Director

Link courtesy my cousin the software tester.)

That Could Have Afforded A Couple Testers

January 27th, 2016 by The Director

How to lose $172,222 a second for 45 minutes:

The tale has all the hallmarks of technical debt in a huge, unmaintained, bitrotten codebase (the bug itself due to code that hadn’t been used for 8 years), and a really poor, undisciplined devops story.

I’d always sworn I’d never work for a health devices or financial services company because the risks were so great.

Well, so far, I’m keeping half of that pledge.

Internet of Things Making Wild Guesses

January 7th, 2016 by The Director

Fitbit heart rate tracking is dangerously inaccurate, lawsuit claims:

Fitbit owners from several US states claim that despite the company’s products purporting to accurately measure heart rates, Fitbits “do not and cannot consistently and accurately record wearers’ heart rates during the intense physical activity for which Fitbit expressly markets them”.

One claimant in the class-action lawsuit says that while her personal trainer measured her heart rate at 160 beats per minute, her Fitbit Charge HR recorded a rate of 82 bpm. Another who said his doctor had told him not to exceed 160 bpm found that his Fitbit Surge device was as much as 25 bpm below what other trackers said.

It looks as though the device derives the Beats Per Minute from a different measurement. So although it might be correct in a high percentage of cases, given enough absolute cases, it can have a high number of failures.

It’s like the new saying goes, “Where there’s an algorithm, there’s an error.”

I Feel Like I’m Repeating Myself

January 6th, 2016 by The Director

Twitter is all a-tweet about this news:

Internet Explorer has long been the bane of many Web developers’ existence, but here’s some news to brighten your day: Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 are reaching ‘end of life’ on Tuesday, meaning they’re no longer supported by Microsoft.

Just because Microsoft stops supporting these things does not mean you can stop designing, developing, and testing for these old versions of IE on Wednesday.

When you’re thinking about browser compatibility, you have to judge based on actual market share and your user base’s browser statistics, not press releases.

Otherwise, you risk alienating a certain segment of your user base (“But just the uncool ones!” the kids will say) or frustrating your help desk who now has to handle the callers/emailers complaining about the site not working in IE 8.

(Actually, I am repeating myself.)

QA Music – Lee Aaron Threefer

January 4th, 2016 by The Director

I got the 1984 Lee Aaron album Metal Queen after the holidays. One listen, and I was transported back to that era amid some inexpensive smoke effects.

To celebrate, here are three Lee Aaron tracks, although only two come from Metal Queen.

“Barely Hanging On”:

“Head Above Water”:

And, of course, “Metal Queen”:


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