February 29, 2008

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Leap Day Bugs

It's hard for me to believe that systems still experience Leap Day bugs.

But, apparently, it's still happening.
United Airlines had problems with its "Easy Check-In" kiosks.
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles "had a bug in one of the programs that calculates the date".
These Leap Days occur on a reasonably regular basis, right?  I seem to recall another one happening around four or five years ago.  I've heard from a reasonably reliable source that we may even see another in my lifetime.  They can't exactly be a surprise, can they?

Perhaps they should have tested more.

For information about Leap Day, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_day

February 25, 2008

I Like The View From My Office!

I really like the view from my office.

When I look out the window, particularly after a light snow, I see a nice facility, good amenities, good landscaping, free parking, comfortable, and relatively close to home. 

I like it.

But it's when I turn around, and look inside - that's the view I really appreciate the most.

Just outside my office I see my QA Team, and just beyond that are the Developers.

I see a group of really smart, really hardworking people, who like to work together to solve difficult problems.  I see a group of people who really care, who are really trying to make a difference.

That's the view that makes me happy to come to work each day.

February 11, 2008

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Research In Motion (Again!)

Seems that Research In Motion is again having Blackberry network problems.

This time
  • A "significant failure" occurred somewhere in the server infrastructure which connects Blackberrys to the Internet
  • Up to half their customers were affected
  • Disruptions lasted for several hours
  • The backlog of messages will take even longer to clear up
This is the second time in less than a year that R.I.M. has had a significant outage.  Last time, the company indicated that their software had not been adequately tested, and vowed to correct the process.


Also see:

Updates - 02/13/2007:

Reports indicate that the outage was caused by an upgrade in its Network Operations Center.

February 10, 2008

Bug Reports as To Do Lists

How do you know how many features must still be developed for your release?

How do you know which features in a release are ready for testing, and which are not?

When a new build is released into the QA environment, how do you know what's in it?

Perhaps you have Release Notes.  And perhaps these release notes tell you everything you need to know about the changes from the last build to this build.  If not, here's a simple method. 

One light-weight technique my teams have used in the past is to utilize the Bug Reporting System as a To Do List: copyrightjoestrazzere
  • When the team commits to delivering a feature within a release, an Enhancement Request is entered into the bug tracking system, describing the feature.
  • When the developer checks in the changes required to make the feature testable, the Enhancement Request is marked as FIXED
  • When the next build is available, the QAer knows he/she can now begin to test the feature and write bug reports against it as needed.
This allows everyone having access to the bug tracking system the ability to assess the progress of the develpment effort, to determine if the release is Feature Complete yet, and to understand what remains to do.

Winter Surprises - Deer in the back yard

My wife just called me into the kitchen. Actually, all she said was "Joe. Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!"

When I got there, we saw a deer in the back yard - beautiful animal. Then as we watched, a second, then a third. I took some pictures and watched a bit longer. In a little while, a fourth and fifth arrived.

It's a nice winter day in New England - some new snow, not too cold, and a few happy surprises.