Weighing the Evidence

Friday, September 12, 2014 18:59 PM

I’m going to tell you a true story. Recently, in response to a few observations, I began to make a few changes in my diet and my habits. Perhaps you’ll be impressed. I cut down radically on my consumption of sugar. I cut down significantly on carbohydrates. (Very painful; I LOVE rice. I LOVE noodles.) […]

Construct Validity

Tuesday, September 09, 2014 18:42 PM

A construct, in science, is (informally) a pattern or a means of categorizing something you’re talking about, especially when the thing you’re talking about is abstract. Constructs are really important in both qualitative and quantitative research, because they allow us to differentiate between “one of these” and “not one of these”, which is one of […]

Frequently-Asked Questions About the 29119 Controversy

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 19:11 PM

This is a first stab at a frequently-asked questions list about the movement to stop ISO 29119. Here I speak for myself, and not for the community. If you see “we”, it refers to my perception of the community at large, but not necessarily to the whole community; your mileage may vary. There is plenty […]

An Example of Progress in the Drafting of ISO 29119

Monday, September 01, 2014 21:03 PM

The proponents of ISO Standard 29119 proudly claim that they have received and responded to “literally thousands” of comments during the process of drafting the standard. So I thought it might be interesting to examine how one component of the basic model has changed or evolved through the course of its development. Here’s a screenshot […]

Rising Against the Rent-Seekers

Monday, August 25, 2014 17:23 PM

At CAST 2014, a quiet, modest, thoughtful, and very experienced man named James Christie gave a talk called “Standards: Promoting Quality or Restricting Competition?”. The talk followed on from his tutorial at EuroSTAR 2013 on working with auditors—James is a former auditor himself—and from his blogs on software standards over the years. James’ talk introduced […]

The Sock Puppets of Formal Testing

Monday, July 21, 2014 20:22 PM

Formal testing is testing that must be done in a specific way, or to check specific facts. In the Rapid Software Testing methodology, we map the formality of testing on a continuum. Sometimes it’s important to do testing in a formal way, and sometimes it’s not so important. From Rapid Software Testing. See http://www.satisfice.com/rst.pdf People […]

How Models Change

Saturday, July 19, 2014 19:38 PM

Like software products, models change as we test them, gain experience with them, find bugs in them, realize that features are missing. We see opportunities for improving them, and revise them. A product coverage outline, in Rapid Testing parlance, is an artifact (a map, or list, or table…) that identifies the dimensions or elements of […]

Very Short Blog Posts (20): More About Testability

Monday, July 14, 2014 21:30 PM

A few weeks ago, I posted a Very Short Blog Post on the bare-bones basics of testability. Today, I saw a very good post from Adam Knight talking about telling the testability story. Adam focused, as I did, on intrinsic testability—things in the product itself that it more testable. But testability isn’t just a product […]

Scenarios Ain’t Just Use Cases

Thursday, May 15, 2014 17:45 PM

How do people use a software product? Some development groups model use through use cases. Typically use cases are expressed in terms of the user performing a set of step-by-step behaviours: 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5. In those groups, testers may create test cases that map directly onto the use cases. […]

Very Short Blog Posts (19): Testing By Percentages

Sunday, May 04, 2014 20:12 PM

Every now and then, in some forum or another, someone says something like “75% of the testing done on an Agile project is done by automation”. Whatever else might be wrong with that statement, it’s a very strange way to describe a complex, cognitive process of learning about a product through experimentation, and seeking to […]