Sunday, 25 April 2010

System Crashes. Also needs ellipsis

A recent post on the STC from Tony Simms asking for Real Examples of Bad Bug reports got me thinking.

Sadly, I could have supplied him with a page full of examples.

Going back to my days as a dev, the company I was working for had one 'tester' and he had the most aggravating bug reports.

"Selecting foo from the menu bar crashes the system. Also foo needs to end with an ellipsis"

So I'd fix the crash, forget to add the ellipsis to the menu item and the bug fix would get rejected. I had some petty revenge when I was put in charge of testing and would reject bugs that had more than one defect reported.

This was several years ago but I still come across poorly reported bugs ( including ones similar to the above where two defects are reported in one report )

One solution seems to be to use the approach that MS outlined in their demo to the London Tester Gathering of VS 2010. All the tester has to do is click a button and the defect and its environment are sent to the developer.

Or the testers can learn Bug Advocacy. Check the date on this famous paper - 2002 and still relevant today ( and still unread by a lot of testers I've worked with )

Maybe it's part of the dumbing down of testers - give them a tool to use rather than teach them how to report bugs.

Eric Jacobson recently posted about The Joy Of Cracking Repro Steps - another skill that some testers don't seem to have. Find a bug, log the bug - no effort to find the simplest way to reproduce the defect or exactly what causes it. My recent example of a Campfire Bug is a case in point - I got a great buzz out of narrowing it down to having spaces in the mobile phone number field and it meant that when the dev had to fix the defect all the information required was there.

but if you are only measured on how many tests you run and how many defects you find, what incentive is there to narrow down a bug and report it effectively ?

Sunday, 18 April 2010

London TesterGathering April

After too long a break it was good to be going to another London Tester Gathering

Lots of people there - was it the charisma of Tony Bruce, an interest in MS Visual Studio 2010 or the chance of free drinks courtesy of MS ?
Either way it was a good evening, a chance to chat to the Evil Tester, put some faces to names of people I follow on Twitter and meet some new people.

Stephen Allot kicked things off with a talk on the online testing community, sadly he did not give the Software Testing Club a big a plug as he should have done but I'll forgive him as he was doing an auction for a good cause.

MS then gave a talk and brief demo on Visual Studio 2010 and how it was useful for testers. Seemed to have some cool features and could be worth a more in-depth look. They kept stressing how it would be easy to report bugs so the dev would always believe the tester as the evidence would be right there, is this old dev-tester at war still really an issue ?

Free MS screwdrivers were given out as well as some MS silly putty and then it was networking time. I made sure the MS marketer was aware of the STC and then sadly had to go

Next session is provisionally May 12 and Michael Bolton might be a special guest - dependent on volcanic activity I suppose....

Friday, 16 April 2010

Zap Those Nulls

I usually leave finding bugs in websites and shopping receipts to QA Hates You but a fault in a website for testers and promoting quality is a target not to be resisted.

So sorry Zappers but when your main site has one of the dreaded 'null' defects on it then you're gonna get called on it.

I signed up for the London event though it seems I dont even have to leave my sofa to find a defect

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

What are Amazon smoking ?

Thanks to the 'Amazon recommends' feature I got to know about the book I've been waiting a long time for. Because I'd purchased Testing SAP Solutions Amazon thought I'd be interested in a book that would teach me the secrets of smoke testing
"Smoke testing of sanitary sewer systems is primarily used to find places where ground water and storm runoff can enter the sanitary sewer system"

Seems a tad pricy though - £31 for 80 pages of a book of "High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles"

Still, newbies on the testing forums always seem to be asking about smoke testing so maybe I could recommend this book and get affiliate fees

Thanks Amazon - but no thanks

Monday, 5 April 2010


Those of you who follow football (soccer) will know that England has been in a panic recently with the injury to Wayne Rooney and will he / wont he be fit for the World Cup in June.

I dont really see the problem myself - Wayne's hands and vocal chords aren't injured so he could simply write down or tell a subsititute striker how to play and score goals.

Or is it not as simple as following a script and you need some talent and experience as well ?