Friday, November 22, 2013 12:36 PM
A long time ago I coded a now defunct modelling tool to help me with my testing. Half the battle with managing and reporting testing involves deciding how you will model it for the project you work on.
Lightweight Subjective Status Reporting
How to do this using Jira?
Use Dashboards to make things visible
But people don't like writing reports
You can report Daily, with mininal overhead
Friday, November 01, 2013 18:40 PM
I listed the results of my investigation into Android Screen Capture, Streaming and ScreenRecording tools for Mobile Testing, now time to turn to iOS.
Note that I'm not really covering static screen capture here, since short cuts are built into each operating system for static capture.
iOS is pretty locked down. And without jail breaking, your options are limited.
However, iOS has a built in screen sharing capability called AirPlay, designed to be used for streaming to your Apple TV. But that hasn't stopped some enterprising developers building AirPlay servers for both Windows and Mac OS computers.
Both are insanely affordable. And both have a version for Windows and Mac OS.
AirServer offers more configuration options, although it worked fine out of the box for me. AirServer offers a 7 day trial.
Reflector offers a trial where you can star as many sessions as you want. But each session only lasts for 10 minutes.
To capture your on-iOS-testing, 'airplay' the iOS screen to your desktop or laptop computer, and then use a screen recording tool like Camtasia, BB Flashback (or its big brother BB Test Assistant) and capture the screen movies there.
This doesn't let you interact with the actual iOS device from your computer, but goes some way to making your testing recordable and reportable.
Friday, November 01, 2013 17:07 PM
I'd like to embark on learning from your books and online course but should I do one before the other? Or does one set of materials supersede another?
A CorrespondentI receive this question often enough that I'm going to try and answer it fully on the blog.
On a timeline, I created the following products:
- Selenium Simplified Book
- Start Using Selenium WebDriver - a 'Getting Started' online course
- Selenium 2 WebDriver Basics online Course
- Java For Testers Book
- Technical Web Testing 101 online course
So, for Selenium WebDriver I created 3 products:
- To get started, setting up the tools Start Using Selenium WebDriver
- To provide detailed coverage of the WebDriver API without too much 'Java' hand holding Selenium 2 WebDriver Basics online Course
- To learn the Java needed to actually code automation Java For Testers
And since it seemed top heavy on Automation, when that only represents part of what I do in my daily work life, I created the Technical Web Testing 101 online course to introduce people to the tools and thought processes I use when testing Web Applications.
I think they complement each other rather than directly overlap or supersede each other. Java For Testers is designed as a stand alone introduction to Java Programming and the WebDriver course doesn't spend a lot of time explaining the Java used.
Friday, November 01, 2013 12:14 PM
Connecting an iOS device to an HTTP Proxy is much the same as we demonstrated on Android devices.
On your iOS settings:
- In Wifi
- Select the (i) information icon next to your wifi network
- On the bottom of the screen is the HTTP Proxy settings
- Set this to Manual
- Type in the Server IP address and port of your proxy
Friday, October 25, 2013 10:02 AM
We took delivery of the new iOS devices for mobile testing. And in order to activate them, you need to connect over Wi-Fi But they wouldn't connect to the Wi-Fi network during the activation wizard. What to do?
I decided to use my laptop as a local Wi-Fi hotspot. That way I could configure it with different passwords and encryption types to try the different options and hope that the iOS device would connect.
I had trouble sharing the Wi-Fi connection using the in built windows functionality (ably explained on lifehacker)
So I installed connectify.me to help me use my laptop as a hotspot. And LO! The iOS devices happily connected through my local hotspot and activation could ensue.
Of course - once I had activated them, the iOS devices had no problems connecting to the Wi-Fi network I originally wanted to use for activation.
I suspect that the local hotspot approach might have some useful secondary benefits that I may have to research:
- monitor traffic without having to setup a proxy
- throttle the network speed
Thursday, October 24, 2013 14:57 PM
I chain HTTP debug proxies.
That way I can use features from all of them, at the same time:
- Fiddler Autoresponders
- BurpSuite passive sitemap building
- ZAP's multiple breakpoints
FiddlerI usually work on Windows, so the first proxy I start is Fiddler. Fiddler hooks into the windows system seamlessly without any additional config. All other proxies I point at Fiddler as the down stream proxy.
When fiddler is running. Test your setup by pointing your browser through Fiddler.
BurpSuiteBurpSuite Options tab. Upstream Proxy Servers. Add an entry for Fiddler:
- Destination Host: *
- Proxy Host: localhost
- Proxy Port: 8888
At this point - test your setup again. Don't chain everything together and then try and figure out where the problem is. Point your browser at BurpSuite and check you can see traffic through them all.
If you get stuck, use the Alerts tab in BurpSuite to check for errors.
Hint: Firefox and Opera maintain their proxy settings independently from the Windows settings so test your setup with Firefox or Opera.
ZAPTools \ Options \ Connection. Then point it at BurpSuite
- Port: 8082 (or whatever you bound BurpSuite too)
And point the browser at this port now.
EndVoila, you should have it all chained.
If not, just revisit the last step. And don't panic.
Step by step. check each part of the journey. If its not working, it will probably just be some stupid error where you had previous config left over from a previous session.
Just remember to unwind them when you are done.
I have a video in the Technical Web Testing 101 course that shows this in more detail.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 12:46 PM
- You need to find the right IP address on your desktop
- You need to change your proxy settings on your phone
- Make sure your proxy allows external connections
- Make sure both Mobile Device and Proxy Machine are on the same network
- Phone connected to wifi network
- Windows Desktop connected to same network via wired connection (or laptop connected via wireless)
- Start Fiddler
- Check that Fiddler has "Allow remote computers to connect" (via Tools \ Fiddler Options \ Connections)
- Start a command prompt and use "ipconfig" to show you the current list of ip addresses for you computer
- Open Settings
- Wi-Fi settings
- Long press on the wireless network you are using to access the connection settings
- Modify Network Config
- Proxy Settings - Manual
- change the Proxy HostName to the IP Address of your desktop
- Add the port for your debug proxy e.g. 8888 for Fiddler
It makes a big difference to the visibility of your testing when working through mobile.
- For burpsuite, in "Proxy \ Options" edit the proxy listener to Bind to address "All interfaces"
Friday, October 25, 2013 09:43 AM
I looked at my mobile testing options and I realised that I didn't have a full toolbox to help me.
I first wanted to identify screen capture and screen recording options for my Android devices.
Most of the tools I found wanted root devices. When testing, you may not have this option, people might come across paranoid about interfering with the device state.
So I limited myself to tools which did not require root access. They all pretty much work the same way using ADB and Debugging over USB enabled.
If you bought all tools that I recommend in here, then the total cost would hit the dizzying height of £8.98, so I don't see a lot of point trying to roll my own solution.
To use these tools you pretty much need to have a working SDK setup. So work on that first. And if you can connect to your device with adb or monitor.bat then you're probably good to go.
In order to record the screen for some of these I use them in combination with a desktop screen recording tool like Camtasia or the Blueberry Software tools BB FlashBack or BB Test Assistant
Free and Open Source Tools
Droid@Screen is a pretty good wrapper around the adb.
The main GUI display shows a continually refreshed view of the device.
- You can take a screenshot very easily.
- The main GUI has easy orientation buttons to adjust the GUI display for landscape or GUI.
- You can capture screenshots to a folder automatically.
- You can view device properties
- You can scale the output view
Android Screen Monitor
Much the same as droid@screen, the GUI is simpler with a right click menu instead of icons.
Sometimes this is a little faster than droid@screen, sometimes droid@screen is a little faster.
ASC - Advanced Screen Capture
ASC performs on device screen capture, so it writes a movie file to the phone's memory. It has a bunch of options to adjust framerate. What I particularly like is that it will highlight the taps you make on the screen so you can view the interaction on the device.
On non rooted devices requres you to use an 'activation' program on the PC or mac. The desktop activator program acts as a simple way of making a connection to your device and taking a screenshot, so an easy way of accessing some of the sdk funtionality.
Looking at the popups as the screen 'activates' it is using adb in some way - I assume to enable the android screenshot api.
Application description on the play store says it only works on non-Tegra devices. The trial worked fine on my Samsung Galaxy Note II.
Buy through an in-app purchase for £3.99
Activation Notes: I had some trouble activating it after purchase, but after a few emails with the developer. I had to uninstall it, then re-install it, then click the 'buy' again (I wasn't charged twice). The activation does work, but a bit more fiddly than it needed to be.
VMLite VNC Server
A desktop program to start the server on your phone if you work non-rooted.
Once the server runs I can head off to http://<deviceip>:5801 to use the HTTP interface.
Or connect a desktop vnc server to <deviceip>:5901
The HTML5 viewer was about the same as Droid@Screen or Android Screen Monitor.
The Java Applet VNC is a little faster, and the best out of the desktop tools I tried.
The video was not as smooth as ASC, but remember that this has the advantage that I can interact with the android device as well from the desktop and use my mouse and keyboard.
Used But Can't Recommend Fully
- Android Screen Cast
- Faster than Droid@Screen
- But a bit flakey on my machine and threw some errors. I tried it on Windows 8, it might work well on other machines.
- Looks Good, but hung on my Windows 8 machine after one screenshot. It might work for you.
- Desktop Connection for Screenshots and low frame rate streaming
- VNC for higher framerate and interaction
- On Device Capture for High Frame Rate
Friday, September 27, 2013 08:00 AM
I seem to default to WinMerge for my file and directory comparisons.
Whenever I need to:
- compare two directories
- compare two files for differences
- copy a set of files between directories
- compare contents of zip files or rar files
When you install WinMerge:
- You can choose to use it as the merge view in Tortoise SVN. I tend not to do this because the built in Tortoise SVN diff works fine for me.
- Add WinMerge to your system path, which allows you to call it from the command line easily and use the command line options. I choose this option.
- Enable explorer context menu integration - an essential option.
- You can drag and drop like a crazy man
- drag and drop folders on to the desktop icon for comparison
- drag and drop on to the main pane to start a compare
- drag and drop into the input fields
- If you install 7-zip and the7-zip plugin you can compare rar and zip files
- 7-zip acts as my default archive management tool
- The tree mode makes life excellent, just make sure you enable it
- Look through the options and switch on all the "Shell Integration" options - particularly the "Include subfolders by default"
- I create a backup folder before testing. I test. I can compare and see what changed.
- I want to revert back to previous files selectively, so I compare dirs and selectively move changed files
- I have an oracle file and want to compare results
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 09:28 AM
A few days ago I realised that one of my use cases for Fiddler, did not stem from a need for debug proxying.
- Game Over? Stop using the tool?
- Mess around with config settings for a few hours trying to get it to work?
- Use Fiddler?
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 08:40 AM
We spent a good 5 or 10 minutes thinking we were crazy. "I'm sure the option used to live here..."
As ever, Google came to the rescue..
Why did Mozilla do this? Because of "Checkboxes that kill your product".
Unfortunately, as a tester I still experience moments where I need to kill the product, so How can I do that now?
Add-onsOne of the official forum Q&A items mentions an add on called QuickJava, just make sure that enable the "Add on bar" from the toolbar menu "View \ Toolbars \ Add-on bar"
Other plugins mentioned in this other official forum Q&A item
Friday, September 06, 2013 10:35 AM
I have some 'rules' that I apply when I take notes as I perform exploratory testing.
When I look back over how I took notes in the past I can see that I tried different experiments with my approach when building those 'rules'.
I recommend some of my experiments to you now:
- In Memory
- Only use pen and paper
- Only use a text editor
- Use a text editor and screenshot tool
- Record the screen and talk as you test
- Use a tool designed for exploratory testing
- Use a Mind Map
- Draw a diagram
- Automate the capture of logs
- Use a Spreadsheet
1 - In MemoryOnly use your memory to track your exploratory testing.
This experiment mainly helps me remember that I need to do more. I now feel very uncomfortable testing with just my memory, but when I started this felt natural. I changed.
2 - Only use pen and paperYup, you use your computer to test, but you make notes on pen and paper.
- different pens,
- different colours,
- different sized paper,
- loose paper,
- mind maps,
I find this works well with a single screen, and intense moments in the testing, but I try to re-transcribe or take a photo with my phone and have the image in evernote.
3 - Only use a text editorExperiment with different text editors, find an editor you like - I've pretty much settled on NotePad++ and Sublime Text, and I import the text files into evernote for later searching.
Different styles of note taking:
- Time Stamped Entries,
- Annotations like #test #bug etc.
Can you parse your logs at a later date automatically? Would that benefit you?
Touch typing helps. learn to touch type if you can't already.
4 - Use a text editor and a screenshot toolSometimes you need to capture the moment as a screenshot.
Do you just use Ctrl+Print? Do you use an image editor? Do you use a dedicated screenshot tool?
I tend to use SnagIt or Jing now. I've used lots of others in the past.
- Where do you store the images?
- What filename standard do you use?
- How do you cross reference your text edit notes to the screenshot?
- Do you think you would benefit from using a Word Processor and embedding the screenshots along side your text?
5 - Record the screen and Talk as you testEnvironment can get in the way for this if you work in a shared office.
Do you have equipment that you can comfortably use for long periods of time?
Talking, and thinking and doing takes practice and time.
6 - Use a tool designed for exploratory testingPeople have created a whole bunch of tools; designed, or marketed, as helping exploratory testing.
Try them. See if they work for you.
If your style clashes with the tool. consider if the tool benefits warrant a change of style from you.
If you could write your own, what features would it have? Perhaps you could use a combination of tools to gain those features now?
7 - Use a mind mapEveryone loves creating mind maps. Few people use mind maps like Buzan suggests. Who cares, use mind maps and do it your way.
What do you represent in the model?
- To Dos?
Over time, learn the features of the tool. consider which features you don't use. Should you? Would they help?
Perhaps you don't use enough of the features? Try a less featured tool and see if it still works for you?
8 - Draw a diagramPen and Paper works well for diagrams.
What do you diagram?
GraphViz lets you write text files that it compiles into automatically positioned graphics.
You can use draw.io as an online diagrammer.
At last count there existed a Bazillion diagramming approaches and tools. Try some of them.
9 - Automate the capture of logsYou can't argue with logs right? Why bother making notes when the logs will do it for you?
- Fiddler - for HTTPsessions
- tail system logs (logtail, multitail, etc)
Do the logs capture everything you need?
How do you cross reference your notes to your logs and to your screenshots?
10 - Use a spreadsheetWhat about a grid?
Would that help?
Try it and see.
RepeatThe above covers a lot of note taking styles
- Outline, Tree
Take care about your judgement because some of it didn't work due to your lack of experience - try it again. Some of it didn't work because it doesn't fit you, your environment, your system, etc.
Having done them all - try them again. Some of them will seem offensive. Some will feel restrictive. You gain gain more insight when you try it again.
SummaryEven though I gave you this as a "10 experiments to improve your exploratory note taking". I have not given you a quick fix.
- If you tried one each day, this would take you 2 working weeks.
- If you try variants in each of the experiments ( different tool, different paper sizes, etc.) This could take a month or more.
- If you repeat them and challenge yourself to master them, and change them, this could take up to 6 months.
- I still experiment with my approach. I have done for years.
What experiments would you recommend" or "What experiments you have conducted?". Let me know in the comments below.
You might want to watch "What is Good Evidence" by Griffin Jones, which reminded me I needed to write about this. Griffin's talk overlaps very nicely with this post. I recommend you watch it.
Friday, August 30, 2013 12:43 PM
Normally I add my automation posts to SeleniumSimplified.com but this particular case study demonstrates how I think about testing and incorporate automation into my test approach.
The scenario you face as a tester:
- You have a main web site www.eviltester.com
- You have a new mobile site m.eviltester.com
- You have a set of redirection rules that take you from www to m. based on the device
- And the device is identified by the user-agent header string
The first thought for testing?
- We need to get a bunch of devices to test this on.
- We could spoof the user-agent.
- Well, Chrome has the override settings where we could choose a different user-agent.
- We could have our debug proxy change the user-agent for us.
Where will we find the user-agents?We need an oracle source for our data set of user-agents. Fortunately there are a few sites out there that track what user-agents are in use:
useragentstring.com - if you have a preference that differs then leave a comment and let me know.
So I wrote some code. And I know about all the "testers shouldn't code", "tester's don't need to code", "blah blah blah" discussions.
I can code. It increases my ability to respond to the variety of conditions on a project. Requisite Variety. I encourage you to learn how to code. (Hey I'm writing a book about that.)
So I code.
I wrote a simple set of Java code that:
- Uses GhostDriver - the new headless driver wrapper around PhantomJS
- Visits useragentstring.com and scrapes off the user-agent strings
- Filters the user-agent strings to those that I consider 'mobile' devices
- Iterates over all those user-agents
- Creates a new GhostDriver with that user-agent and visits the www site
- Checks that I redirect to the mobile site
Surely it would be faster to use direct HTTP calls?
- Faster to run, but not necessarily faster to write. Yes.
- See I can use the WebDriver findElements commands when scraping the page and not have to remember how to parse XML in Java or download another Java library.
- I can use the WebDriver to visit the site and handle all the redirection for me, rather than write some redirect handling code for the Apache HTTP libraries.
I tidied it up a little for release to github so it isn't completely embarassing, but hey ho, it added value. I'll use it again. It looks pretty nasty, but it works.
Sometimes that's the type of automation I write when I test.
But that wasn't the requirement scope!
- True. It wasn't.
- The requirement scope was small.
- Sometimes we have to explore.
- I look for external oracles and comparative sites and rules to help me evaluate if the requirements meet the actual user need.
- In this instance I found a lot of user-agents that the redirect rules didn't cover.
But if it wasn't in the requirements we can't justify the testing!
- I can use a comparison with other sites handling of the user-agents (e.g. bbc or tfl)
- I can see if the gaps in the system under test are better or worse than theirs.
- BBC didn't handle 1 user-agent I found,
- TFL didn't handle 3,
- The system under test didn't handle 100+
What would you do?Do let me know how you would have done it differently.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 20:40 PM
I feel anger when I stumble across very, very, very simple security issues. Especially when they compromise my data.
Yes I do. And I hope, as a tester, that you do too.
But I face a problem... As a tester, I can't say "Did no-one test this!" because I know that they might have done, and someone else might have chosen to go live anyway.
But on the off chance that no-one did 'test this', I offer you this post.
Security by obscurity
If I visit your site and I can gain access to top level pages that I shouldn't have, then I get angry, because that should never happen.
Even if you haven't told me about the URL, I can try to guess it from your other naming conventions.
Please make sure you secure your URLs.
Security by obscurity doesn't work for very long.
Validate Parameters on the server
And if I see parameters in your URLs. I'll change them.
Yes I will.
- Because I don't want the list of items to stay limited at 25, I want to see 2500
- No I don't care about the performance impact on your database - fix that a different way
- Because I want to skip ahead more pages than you have listed on the page. "I want to go to page 15 now!"
- No I don't care about the user experience you want me to have, I care about the user experience that I want to have
- Because I can
- Yes, because I can
Security by ignorance
When I visit your site, I look at the traffic you issue when I hit a top level URL.
I look at what requests you make to build the page.
Yes I do.
Most browsers have the functionality to view traffic built in now. Any user can view the traffic and see the URLs that you access.
And then I use that information...
I take the URLs you've used. And I use them.
Sometimes I change them. Simple idea, but sadly all too effective.
- So if you access
- http://site/api/123456/report (note: not a real domain)
- I'll access
- http://site/api/123455/report (note: I changed the number)
And if you haven't locked down the API to specific users, with specific role level controls. Then I'll probably see another user's report. Then I get annoyed, because as a user it means that other people can see my reports. And I don't like that.
No I don't.
Assume that anything you do automatically someone else will do manually.
Just because they can.
Make sure you have low level permissions on your API, don't assume that no-one will notice it.
I frequently do this because I want to bypass the horrendous GUIs that web sites put in my face, when I want to achieve a result, rather than experience your broken GUI. So I script it. Or if I can get away by posting a URL with some data, then I'll do it.
I bet other people do this too.
Testers should do this too, because...
Security by ignorance doesn't work.
Security through sequential numbering
And if you're using sequential IDs for reports, or users, or accounts, etc. you actively encouraged people to hack you.
Yes you did.
No-one has ever recommended - Security through Sequential numbering.
No they haven't. Never Ever.
Security through sequential numbering doesn't work.
Tips for Testing
So now, the inevitable 10 tips for testing:
- Play with the URLs
- Change URL Parameters
- to check that permissions surround the public level
- to check that request validation takes place
- Try URLs when logged out to make sure permissions apply
- Guess some URLs
- Use an HTTP Debug proxy and look at the traffic
- Investigate the traffic and see what the requests do
- Issue the traffic requests out of context on a page to understand the 'real' state rules in place
- Change the URL parameters in the traffic URLs
- to check that permissions surround the AP
- to check that request validation acts at the API level, not just the GUI level
- Issue the requests when logged out to check the permissions still apply
- And if you do test like this, and your organisation keeps ignoring these types of defects, check if you reported them effectively, and if you did, then leave because that company doesn't deserve you.
You wouldn't like me when I'm Angry
I didn't even describe security testing above. I described functionality testing.
And really basic functionality testing at that, just simple input variations. I haven't messed with cookies, I haven't done anything hard (because cookie editing ain't easy, 'right kids).
If you don't include this "really really simple stuff" level of test activity, then please let me know so that I can avoid your site and find a competitor quickly before we develop a user/supplier relationship.
I really don't like getting angry when I act as a user.
Trust me, you wouldn't want me as an Angry user.
- Yes, this blog post does describe problems found at a specific web site.
- No I will not name that site.
- Yes, I have already told them... and more than once.
- Yes I have started looking at alternatives, sigh.
Friday, June 14, 2013 22:37 PM
I've been working on a lot of stuff in the first 6 months of this year.
Most of this hasn't been converted into usable product form yet, and is still working through my drafting process.
But the first thing has made it to the 'public' stage - a new book called "Java For Testers".
I've released this as beta, the same way I did "Selenium Simplified" when I was writing that.
Monday, October 07, 2013 21:33 PM
Back in 2011, I decided to try recording an exploratory testing session.
I uploaded the results privately to Youtube and essentially forgot about it.
It was the first time I tried to think out loud, and record, and conduct exploratory testing, and make notes, all at the same time.
Despite its rough edges, and horrible editing, I'm going to make it available.
I have long lost the original recording so I can't recreate a full unedited version, and I can't really adjust this video too much, so I'll let it stand as a time bound representation of where I was with the multi tasking approach to exploratory testing back in 2011.
If you want to learn more about Technical Exploratory Testing then I have a free course that covers more of the basics.
Friday, April 12, 2013 06:08 AM
Well a revenant actuallyThis is a still from the 2002 film "Mad Dogs", specifically 1 hour, 23 minutes and 44 seconds into the film. And that's me on the left. In full zombie mode.
And you can't tell from the film still, but all of us in this picture are actually covered in fake blood and dirt. The whole segment is on screen for about 10 seconds but took about 6 hours to film.
I'm not sure if there are any parallels to testing in this story, but I can at least say "I was a zombie tester, and I have the photographic evidence to support it".
If this film was a project, it would have run massively over budget It was wildly inefficient (6 hours for 10 seconds) and was filled with waste - which you'll hopefully identify as the story goes on.
Wot, no Script!As an extra - which I was. We didn't receive a script. We were told to turn up, that we would be playing the part of a zombie, and that we should wear clothes that we didn't mind getting messed up.
Being a closet thespian I turned up in a suit, shirt and tie, after all, I've just risen from the grave, and when you are buried you wear a suit. Or at least, I plan to.
I was a little surprised then to see all my fellow extras in jeans and T-shirt.
- Didn't they read the requirements?
- Didn't they interpret the requirement?
- What kind of zombies were they?
- Had they really just risen from the grave in their scruffy T-shirts?
The make up and costume people were also a tad miffed at me.
"We told you to wear something you could mess up", they said.
"Yes", said I. "I am", said I.
"But you are wearing a suit", they said.
"And you can mess it up", said I
"Hmmmph", they said.
Regarding Domain KnowledgeBecause they were the professionals, who clearly knew what they were doing. What did I - a reader of horror novels and comics from a young age, and watcher of horror films my entire life - know?
I suspect a lesson can be found here regarding the value of tacit domain knowledge. Possibly having more value than the explicit contextual script and staging knowledge that the project team had.
It was a suit that I had purchased at a charity shop for the princely sum of less than 5 pounds, for the express purpose of events such as these, and other theatrical play acting in the woods that we don't need to go into right now.
To recap, the people involved in the film hadn't intended the requirement to be interpreted in the manner that I had.
Consequently, I looked forward to seeing what costume they actually had in mind then.
Actually, they didn't have anything in mind.
Not a thing.
Scripts require interpretationIt wasn't in the script. The script just called for some revenants to be scarily visible through some dry ice at the back of a garden (Highgate Cemetery).
The professionals covered us in fake blood, dirtied us up a bit. But that didn't work.
And at one point they even put sheets over us (remember this is a true story relating to a professional film with a budget in excess of a million dollars (1,400,000 according to IMDB)).
The sheets came off when the writer came across and put his foot down, or started crying, I forget exactly which.
"Revenants, not ***** zombies or ****** ghosts" I heard him say.Because he had written a script you see.
And it plainly described revenants approaching from Highgate cemetery. We were filming in Crouch End, which is some way from Highgate Cemetery, but due to the magic of film making and by summoning the spirit of Ed Wood, that would make no difference. They could edit in Highgate Cemetery, and indeed they did, for you can briefly see a gravestone, which then turns into a bush.
I did meet the writer upstairs. He looked a bit sad. I tried to cheer him up by mentioning that I was wearing a suit because I knew what a revenant was. But it didn't seem to cheer him up.
As it got chillier. And darker. I was quite glad of my suit. Because it has a jacket you see, not just bare arms, which is what you have if you're wearing a T-shirt.
And we zombie/revenants got shuffled off to the back of the garden.
Action, doesn't mean much without motivationWe didn't actually see the script. We were just told to walk forward slowly when they told us to.
They shouted action. And we just stood there.
Because we weren't real actors you see, and we were expecting to be told "walk forward slowly" or some other instructional phrase.
Instead we had to wing it. But slowly, because we were really dead.
So we all shuffled forward in a 'we don't really know if we are zombies or what" type of fashion.
I thought we must have done well because we were given a round of applause and promised we could turn up for the film premiere.
I assume the film went straight to video because no premiere invitation ever actually arrived.
Little things countBut, not to be too down on the professional make-up costume people... when I was walking home I certainly looked particularly gruesome because everyone I passed looked at me in a truly horrified fashion - covered in fake blood and dirt as I was, and dressed in a suit and tie.
Its the details that are important. Even if you can't see them on the screen.
Take for instance our triumphant close up at 1 hour, 24 minutes and 8 seconds into the film.
It just looks like a black blob to the uninitiated. But no, there are 5 or 6 zombies in that picture. Can you see them?
This is like a horror version of "Where's Wally?", if "Where's Wally" was inked by someone with a 6 inch emulsion paint brush instead of a 0.5mm pen.
So there you go. I was a zombie tester. The last picture acts as evidence. And testers value evidence.
Thursday, March 28, 2013 09:04 AM
I've said in various talks that I don't enjoy creating, justifying, or applying, definitions.
I think creating your own definition does work well as an exercise, because you can explore your vocabulary and try and create an encompassing statement of intent to cover what you mean when you use a word. And there exist, people who do the 'definition' thing really well. James Bach and Michael Bolton act as exemplars of this approach and freely share, discuss and debate their definitions via blogs and twitter.
I do not appear to fit into that group, my definitions do not work well, and when I adopt a definition it feels stifling. I find that my definitions change, not because I have changed, or the situation changed, but because I created a definition that didn't encompass everything I needed it to cover.
Fortunately, for me, I found an exercise that words better for me. Using words as symbols, and identifying words that apply to the concept or term I want to explore. These words might act as attributes, or characteristics, or high level abstractions, or symbols.
When used as symbols we deliberately read into them. We deliberately don't try and tie them down. We deliberately explore them from different angles and take from them what we need at the time. The symbol doesn't have a definition. You find and explore the relationship between yourself and the word, at the time and place you find yourself now.
I phrase it slightly differently in the 99 second talk. Different medium. Different message.
I prepared this 99 second talk in advance of TestBash 2.0 but in the end the talk didn't feel right on the day. So I created another one instead. Since I prepared the talk in advance I have a recorded practice session, which I release now.
- Create your own definitions - see if that works for you, see how you feel about it
- Identify some symbols, explore them - see if that works for you, see how you feel about it
Create your own mind maps at MindMeister
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 22:17 PM
I presented a 99 second talk at the TestBash 2.0
I went to the TestBash with a different talk prepared, but it didn't feel right for the TestBash so I created something else when I was there. As a result I forgot 1/4 of it, so I only hit about 70 seconds.
I don't think anyone noticed, but I'll link to the recorded video should it ever find its way online. (The actual video is contained within this vimeo).
So that I have a record of what I meant to say. I recorded the 99 Second talk at home.
The basic theme revolved around the same concepts as the talk I didn't do. About ownership of the words that we use to describe testing. Something that I've talked about and blogged about before. But I say it again because I think the testing world will transform into something more effective when we take responsibility for the words we use and the testing we do.
This talk above came out different from the talk at the Test Bash, which came out different from the one in my head. Because despite having some notes on what I meant to say. I reinterpreted those notes differently each time.
Your browser is not able to display frames. Please visit the mind map: Test Bash 99 Seconds: Contrast, Analyse, Ridicule on Mind Mapping - MindMeister.
Create your own mind maps at MindMeister
- I used e.ggtimer.com as the timer
- Richard Bradshaw posted his experience and talk description for his 99 Second Test Bash talk
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 16:52 PM
As part of "Technical Web Testing 101" I wanted to provide an example of what an exploratory test session with additional "Technical" focus might look like, at the same time demonstrating some of the capabilities of modern browsers whilst comparing them to proxy servers. Phew, a bit of a mouthful, and you can see the resulting video below.
I uploaded the video to Youtube, as well as it forming part of the course, because I think it has interesting elements that can stand alone. And I don't see many examples of exploratory testing on the web. I wanted to try and provide an example of 'doing' exploratory testing, and the type of notes I took.
As testers we can provide harsh criticism but I won't let that stop me sharing. If you don't think this provides a good example then I encourage you to share your own. I do welcome constructive comments and critique.
I'm getting better at thinking aloud as I test, so my verbal narration actually makes sense in this video.
A few things I want to point out.
- I try to explain the thought processes and decisions I'm making
- You can hear me verbally describe risks that I want to investigate
- You see me spin off track a little to investigate some 'interesting' ideas and then get back on track
- Modern browsers have a lot of impressive functionality built in that we used to have to use proxy servers to achieve the same effect
- I'm "Tool Augmented" not "Tool Driven" so the tool helps me do what I identify I want to do, not what the tool allows me to do
- I'm testing http://google-gruyere.appspot.com/
- I'm using the "Edit This Cookie" chrome plugin
- I did this as two sessions. The first was to get my bearings - and I made notes during it, which you can read below. The second was to record the video. The second session was slightly different as you can see if you compare the video with the notes, which shows that even when we repeat sessions, we learn additional things and do the testing differently.
Regarding the notes
- This was an informal session so I didn't timestamp anything - which I would do if I was testing on site professionally.
- The notes were mainly to guide me in replay so aren't formatted with any annotations e.g. @Bug or headings
Testing with Gruyere with Google Chrome
Create a new account
I can see the new account is created with a "GET"?!?
perhaps I can use different actions?
Perhaps I can amend? and change password?
Perhaps is_author has other alternatives
Having created an account - check storage
And I have a cookie - have I logged in automatically? I have I'd like to amend the cookie and check if the name can allow me to login as someone else, or the permission field can change - but I can't do that out of the box with Chrome
Technique - means I have to look for a tool to do that - fortunately I already have one installed, but if I didn't - this would prompt me to do so.
Try changing the cookie value to admin, refresh, and I no longer appear to be logged in
Perhaps that is a key? to the ID?
Repeat the get request and see what happens
User already exists - ok fine.
Try and use the url for different actions e.g. "amend" gives me an invalid action
Let's see what profile does
I'll inspect the form and I can see an update value and it is a get request again
So instead of "amend" try "update" in the url
incorrect password? But it is the same one?
Ah - perhaps it is looking for the validation password as seen in the profile update form
for update it probably needs oldpw as well
If I take out pw then what happens? request accepted
but presumeably didn't update anything
what about the is_admin risk?
hmm nothing seemed to happen, - what if I logout and login again?
Monday, October 07, 2013 21:32 PM
I have put "Technical Testing" at the top of my agenda this year and have just released a new course - Technical Web Testing 101.
You can suggest things you want me to cover by filling in this 2 question survey.
- I pretty much 'officially' started this last year with "The Evil Tester's Guide to Technical Testing" webinar for Eurostar.
- I followed this up in February at the Test Management Summit by hosting a session on "Managing Technical Testers".
- In May this year I will provide a tutorial at TestNet on "The Evil Tester's Guide to HTTP Proxies", and also in May I'll present at Let's Test with "The Evil Tester's Guide to Technical Web Testing".
Since I build up a fair bit of material from all of this, I've started putting it into video form, and have setup a new free course Technical Web Testing 101. to provide introductory and overview material. I'll build longer courses around this material but I like to try and put out some material for free.
Monday, February 11, 2013 12:22 PM
Let's assume that the people who created the V-Model weren't completely mental. Lets assume they had some secret mystical wisdom that over the ages has been corrupted and obscured by layers of rules.
- It doesn't need to be a V - I just threw in that whole "V for Value" thing as motivational noise.
- In the real world, we have a set of stuff, and we have to remember to question it and check it, so you could model that as three columns: |Stuff | Some questions of each piece of stuff | Some checks to make on the stuff|
- And we don't limit ourself to questions and checks, we question our answers, we model it all as a graph, we don't just use columns, we iterate, we do whatever it takes to model our world. By all means start with a V-model, and own it, but build your own model.
Friday, February 01, 2013 16:06 PM
Last post I said you 'can' submit to conferences. Now I say you 'should' submit.
For a while I didn't submit to conferences and I let other people set the agenda for software testing. But sometimes I didn't fully agree with them, and sometimes I disagreed. And I didn't see anyone making quite the point I wanted to see made.
Fail: But I didn't think that I had anything to offer, even though I had a different perspective on things.
Fail: But I still went to conferences listening to people spout things that I thought were nonsense.
Eventually I submitted for conferences.
Fail: But I missed a few conferences because I planned to submit but never actually got around to doing it.
Win: I submitted to some conferences and didn't get accepted. With each failed submission I generated more energy for getting my point across next time. And so I wrote more blogs, or submitted to another conference.
Win: And when I did get submitted, clearly that was a mark of excellence from the perspective of the conference organiser.
You should submit to conferences because then you get to form part of the 1% setting the Software Testing agenda. You should submit to conferences so that you recognise that you have something to say. You should submit to conferences so that you put yourself in a position where you have the opportunity to say it.
The deadline for Eurostar 2013 submissions ends on 13th February 2013. You should submit now.
Thursday, December 13, 2012 15:35 PM
Eurostar Conferences have published "The EuroStar 2013 call for submissions". You should answer that call and submit a presentation.
Note: Do not read this as an official EuroStar conference blog post, consider this a communication just between you and me. I form part of the programme committee. So everything I write here comes from my perspective, and since we have a committee, my perspective will receive the balancing influences of Bart Broekman, Rikard Edgren, Maaret Pyhäjärvi and Michael Bolton.And as part of the programme committee, I feel duty bound to help make the conference one that I want to attend, and to me that means... encouraging you to submit.
But I don't want to see you submit any old rubbish.
I want you to open up your soul, and make it impossible for me to say anything other than "yes" to you when you submit.
Make it so that I vociferously campaign on your behalf to have you attend Eurostar 2013, so that you can tell other people, about the experience that you will write about, in the proposal that you will submit.
How? As follows...
First the obvious, but important.
- I also want you to read the TED Commandments
Most people will not do this.Specifically, they will not talk from the heart about their experiences and lessons they learned
I will write some other posts on the topics of submitting and speaking at conferences because I know that the first few times seem daunting. But for the moment, because I want you to get started right away, since you have to submit by early February, I will say this to you... do not use any of the following excuses:
- "I don't have anything to say"
- "No-one will be interested in what I have to say"
- "Nothing that I say will be original"
- "I can't talk in public"
- "We don't do anything interesting at work that I can talk about"
I spoke to a lot of people at EuroStar 2012 and asked them if they would submit at 2013 and I heard a lot of the above excuses.
And every single person, when I continued to talk to them, eventually told me a story about their work that I had not heard before. Every single person told me how they had approached a problem in a unique way, and they shared with me what they had learned, and what they would do differently next time, and every single one of them made me laugh.
I have seen a lot of conference talks that did none of the above. But every single person that I spoke to when they originally said that they had nothing to offer, and could not speak at a conference, managed to out-do a lot of conference talks that I have seen over the years.
I know you have something to offer. You just have to find it.
I covered this somewhat in the talk I gave at EuroStar 2012 - specifically covering this point in the paper, so read the paper (I condensed it to make it a super fast read).
And let the theme help you.
The theme "Questioning Testing" lends itself to reinterpretation so start by reinterpreting the theme and then:
- Decide which re-interpretation resonates the most?
- What ideas does it inspire?
- What experiences does it remind you you have had?
- What lessons does it remind you you have learned?
- I don't want to say too much here because I don't want to influence you in how you can best interpret it.
I have read a few books on leadership written by ex-military personnel, because I think they know how to lead people. And not one of those books has ever talked to me about "Thought leadership" or "Big Ideas", every single one of those books has said "lead from the front", "lead by example", and "learn from experience".
So when you submit, do that.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 07:31 AM
My Webinar for Eurostar 2012 "The Evil Tester's Guide to Technical Testing" generated a lot of questions, so I look forward to answering those in a future blog post.
Eurostar Conferences have made the webinar available on youtube.
I have uploaded the slides to SlideShare, and I pulled out some of the links below, so you have no excuse not to follow them up now.
Technical Testers will find a way:
- I wrote a bunch of stuff in Excel to bypass some 'environment lockdown', see also Testing when your hands are tied - a bit old now, but the spirit still shines.
- I also have a bunch of other tools and utilities that I have written over the years. Most have been open sourced.
- My Selenium Training Courses:
- Start Using Selenium WebDriver
- Selenium 2 WebDriver Basics in Java
- Selenium Simplified: ebook, amazon.co.uk, amazon.com
- Google Apps Script
- Databene Benerator
- I have some BurpSuite tutorials on my YouTube Channel eviltestervideos
- I recommend the Web Application Hacker's Handbook
- I recommend Eric's book on Fiddler
- MS VPC Compatibility Images
- Selenium IDE
- Chrome Developer Tools
- Opera Dragonfly
- OWASP Testing Guide
- Putting Systems To Work by Derek Hitchins
- The Art of War, and sonshi.com
- The Book of Five Rings
And you decide, how you do it.