December 15, 2011

Get Some SQAForums Swag in 2012!

Join me and my 190,000 good friends at SQAForums.com

The good people over at SQAForums.com are giving stuff away!  Yes, stuff for free!

All you have to do is actively participate.  copyrightjoestrazzere
  • If you post 100 times in 2012, you get a Pen or Stress Ball!
  • If you post 200 times in 2012, you get a Mug or Tumbler!
  • If you post 300 times in 2012, you get a T-Shirt!
  • If you post 400 times in 2012, you get a Polo Shirt!
  • If you post 500 times in 2012, you get a Pullover or Sweatshirt!
  • If you post 1000 times in 2012, you get a Jacket!

Each of these is an official "SQAForums Limited Edition" item.

But even more than these rewards, you'll get to be part of a thriving community of professional testers from all over the world that is currently over 190,000 strong and growing! And of course, you'll find me there, helping to Moderate a few forums, answering a few questions, and asking a few of my own.

You'll also find Webinars, free blogs, job postings, and lots more.

Check out http://www.sqaforums.com/showflat.php?Number=693404 for this and other exciting SQAForums.com news.

Won't you join me at SQAForums.com in 2012?


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

December 14, 2011

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Windows Phone

Mang... oh, no!


A recent flaw in Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 allows certain SMS messages to cause the phone to reboot and come back up with the messaging hub disabled. It's kind of one better than the Google Android flaw which rebooted a phone in response to a simple texted message. In the case of Windows Phones, you get a reboot and a disabled service - a twofer! And the only way to cure the now-disabled messaging service is to reset the phone, and clear out all of its data.  copyrightjoestrazzere

Perhaps Microsoft should have tested more?

It does lead one to wonder - what messages might do that to a Windows Phone?  Here are a few guesses:
  • Reboot
  • SJobsRulz
  • URJustAZune
  • Mangle
  • QualityIsJob1
  • WhoNeedsSMS
  • IE9
  • PutPeopleFirst
  • wINrUMORS
  • Droid
  • Windows95

See also:

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

December 13, 2011

Sharing Lessons Learned

Good Lessons Are Meant To Be Shared


Yesterday, I posted a long-overdue report on my favorite book on QA and Testing: Lessons Learned in Software Testing.

I mentioned that I use it in group discussions with my Team. When I handed out copies of the book, I wrote up a few notes and put them inside the cover of each book. I talked about them during our first group discussion. I thought I'd share them with you.



Lessons Learned in Software Testing
The book is a gift to you.  Put your name on it and keep it for yourself.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

My thoughts on what we can do with this book.
1.       Of all the testing books I have ever read, I think this one is
a.       The most useful
b.      The most practical
c.      One of the easiest to read and understand
d.      Has a great Bibliography at the back copyrightjoestrazzere

2.       The authors are all smart, practical, thoughtful people.  They also write a lot of other things you might want to read.

3.       On the Dedication page, Anna Allison was a friend and co-worker who died in the first AA plane to crash into the world trade tower on 9/11

4.       Lots of lessons here
a.       You already know most of them!  (But you might not know that you know)
b.      Not all of them apply to us
c.       None of them are “gospel”, just ideas to talk about

5.       I thought we might go through a chapter at a time
a.       Spend 2 weeks reading a chapter and writing up a few notes
b.      Discuss what we see in our next bi-weekly meeting
c.       We don’t have to cover the chapters in order
d.      We don’t have to cover all chapters

6.       I hope this is
a.       Fun first
b.      Educational second
c.       Not too boring for anyone

7.       Please let me know what you think
a.       I’m considering blogging about our process if it works out well


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

December 12, 2011

Book: Lessons Learned in Software Testing

Lessons Learned in Software Testing
by Cem Kaner, James Bach and Bret Pettichord


I'm often asked to recommend a good book about software testing. Sometimes I'm even asked what I think is the best book about software testing. I usually hesitate to ever say "best", since I believe the best for me may not necessarily be the best for you. But if I had to pick just one book that I think would prove to be the most valuable across the widest range of readers, it would be Lessons Learned in Software Testing by Cem Kaner, James Bach, and Bret Pettichord.

Lessons Learned is a terrific compilation of 293 "lessons" - short, real-world, easily-readable treatments of a range of topics relevant to new and seasoned testers, developers, managers, and executives. These lessons, culled from the experiences of the authors, are arranged in chapters addressing everyday topics you might face: copyrightjoestrazzere
  • The Role of the Tester
  • Thinking Like a Tester
  • Testing Techniques
  • Bug Advocacy
  • Automating Testing
  • Documenting Testing
  • Interacting with Programmers
  • Managing the Testing Project
  • Managing the Testing Group
  • Your Career in Software Testing
  • Planning the Testing Strategy

Of all the testing books I have on my bookshelf, this is the one I find myself coming back to time after time.

I've even gone as far as purchasing a copy of this book for each member of my Test Team, and using it in group discussions. We find ourselves disagreeing about some of the points made in the book (as you will too), but we have found that virtually all of the lessons lead to a lively discussion about software, testing, and our profession. Books that are this thought-provoking are rare.

I'm convinced that every software tester who reads this book will find at least a few gems that are particularly relevant for their individual situation. And I believe that most folks will find most of the book extremely valuable.

If you get a chance to read Lessons Learned in Software Testing, do so, then let me know what you think.  And if you've already read it, do you agree with my assessment?


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

December 5, 2011

Requirements Are...

Requirements are

According to Google (and Google knows everything), requirements are ...
  • Requirements are your friends
  • Requirements are surprisingly reasonable
  • Requirements are bullsh!t copyrightjoestrazzere
  • Requirements are not enough
  • Requirements are changing
  • Requirements are approved
  • Requirements are fittingly barren
  • Requirements are the test
  • Requirements are the foundation of knowledge
  • Requirements are changing continuously
  • Requirements are absurd
  • Requirements are cumulative
  • Requirements are your true north compass
  • Requirements are rules
  • Requirements are met
  • Requirements are reasonable
  • Requirements are helpful, but
  • Requirements are needed
  • Requirements are driving significant technology purchases
  • Requirements are getting tougher
  • Requirements are wasting your money
  • Requirements are coming
  • Requirements are a joke
Can you add to the list?


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

November 30, 2011

Top 5 Books About Testing and Quality Assurance

Just a few books from my bookshelf


A while back, I posted a list of Testing and QA books I have on my bookshelf. http://www.allthingsquality.com/2011/11/my-testers-bookshelf.html

A few folks commented that the list was good, but too long.  They wanted to know a short list of books I would recommend.  It's tough, because there are so many good ones worth reading. But for those who want to start with just a few, here goes. In no particular order:


Lessons Learned in Software Testing by Cem Kaner, James Bach, and Bret Pettichord
In this book, the authors present almost 300 "lessons" covering a wide variety of testing topics that should be of interest to any testing professional. In addition to reading and enjoying it personally, I also use it in group discussions with my test team to help us explore what we do, why we do it, and how we might do it better. copyrightjoestrazzere

How We Test Software at Microsoft by Alan Page, Ken Johnston, and Bj Rollison
This book provides a terrific mix of insight into testing at Microsoft, along with in-depth explanations of practical test processes. While not all of the solutions will apply to everyone (unless you happen to work at a company with over 9,000 testers), everyone will learn something.

Perfect Software: And Other Illusions about Testing by Gerald M. Weinberg
Perfect Software is a high-level look at some of the "big picture questions" about testing, such as: Why do we have to bother testing? Do we have to test everything? What makes testing so hard? Is perfect software possible? Why can't we just accept a few bugs?  
It's a small book (under 200 pages), and a quick read.  
If you are looking for a "how to" book, you should look elsewhere. If you are looking for a "why" (and sometimes "why not") book, this might be for you.

The Art of Software Testing by Glenford J. Myers
This was the first book on software testing I ever read.  Some of it is outdated, but much of it still stands up.  You may find it hard to get hold of a copy at a reasonable price, but if you do - it will be worth a read.

High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers by Steve Souders
In High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers Steve Souders explains that at least 80 percent of the time it takes to display a web page happens after the HTML document has been downloaded, and describes the importance of the techniques in this book.  
The book is a quick read containing some good hints and tips. Many are fairly easily investigated and implemented in most companies.  
Overall, an interesting book, particularly for those tasked with testing websites that could benefit from a performance improvement.

So there you have it.  Have you read any of these? Agree or disagree with the list? Can you recommend a book that should have been here, but isn't?


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

November 29, 2011

My Sports Bookshelf

Sports!  Read all about it!

I enjoy sports, particularly NFL Football, and most particularly the New England Patriots. Here are a few sports books I have on my bookshelf:

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

November 28, 2011

Book Recommendations for Testing Circus Magazine

Testing Circus Magazine - November 2011


Last month, I received an email from the good folks at Testing Circus Magazine. They recently started a monthly feature on "Testing book recommendations by testing celebrities", and asked if I would help.

Specifically, they wanted: copyrightjoestrazzere
  • A list of 2 books that you would recommend for other testers
  • 2 lines on why you'd recommend that book

While I'm certainly not a celebrity, I'm always happy to help. So I wrote back with my recommendations and reasoning. The results are in the November 2011 Issue of Testing Circus in the Book Worm's Corner on page 11.  Check it out at http://testingcircus.com/default.aspx. Enjoy!

And yes, they spelled my last name incorrectly.  No worries - with a name like Strazzere, I've seen lots worse! 


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

November 23, 2011

A New Free Kindle Game - Pirate Stash


Amazon released yet another new (free) game for the Kindle - Pirate Stash.
Pirate Stash is a logic puzzle game that challenges you to hide all of your treasure chests on a deserted island. 
X marks the spot as you push one or more treasure chests to be buried in designated hiding places. Maneuver your loot through a maze of obstacles, but be careful not to make the wrong move. You can only move one chest at a time and the chests cannot be pulled. When the treasure chests are all in place, you have solved the puzzle. 
Your score for a puzzle is the number of times each chest is pushed, with a lower number of pushes being better. Achieve up to three stars on a puzzle. Gain one star for solving the puzzle, two stars for matching par for the puzzle, and three stars for a perfect score. Over 100 puzzles of increasing difficulty allow anyone, from beginners to experts, to challenge their minds. Can you beat them all? 
If you like puzzle games, you'll love Pirate Stash!
It's an interesting game, requires a small bit of thought, and is reasonably well implemented within the e-ink limitations of the device. Not my favorite, but it can be amusing. copyrightjoestrazzere

Note: This game was free at the time I downloaded it from Amazon.  As with all free items, you must check before you download, since it may no longer be free.


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

November 22, 2011

Free Sites For Practicing Your Web Testing

If you miss a note, I'll whack you with this stick!


As the old joke goes: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice."

And how do you get to be a good Web Tester? Practice, Practice, Practice.

Here are some free web sites that might help.


ParkCalc Widget
copyrightjoestrazzere
A copy of the parking fee calculation widget from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

This "application" has some serious flaws, and has been the subject of lots of exploratory testing. Often the goal is to try and attain the highest parking fee you can, and discover the features/bugs in the widget along the way.

Read more here:


Brown & Donaldson (B&D) online brokerage Web site

The case study featured in The Web Testing Handbook by Steven Splaine & Stefan P. Jaskiel and the SQE Web testing training seminars.

B&D is a fictitious online brokerage firm created with the specific purpose of providing you with the opportunity to practice the Web testing techniques discussed in the book and training seminars, thereby gaining real-world interactive Web testing experience.

It even includes sample Requirements and Test Plans.


The Mercury Tours Web Site

Used in conjunction with the tutorials for some HP (formerly Mercury Interactive) products, such as QuickTest Pro.


Know of any other sites used for practicing your web testing craft? Shoot me a note, and I'll add them to the list!


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

November 21, 2011

All Things Quality Is Now AllThingsQuality.com!


strazzere.blogspot.com


is now


AllThingsQuality.com


After six years of posting, I've decided that this little blog might actually have a chance to stick around a bit. So I purchased the domain AllThingsQuality.com. copyrightjoestrazzere

So, when you have a chance, change your bookmarks to http://AllThingsQuality.com.

Same great blog you know and love... in a beautiful new blog domain!


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://AllThingsQuality.com/.

November 16, 2011

My Tester's Bookshelf

Books!

While I've been reading a lot using my Kindle in the past year, most of my technical books are still of the paper variety.

Here are some of the books I currently have in my bookcase that are either directly related to Testing, QA, or Technical Management, or have influenced my life as a Software Professional:

November 15, 2011

How Do You Keep In Synch With Your Test Team?

How are things?


One of the challenges for a busy manager with a team of busy testers working on multiple projects is keeping in touch, knowing what's going on, where help is needed, how to unblock obstacles. It's difficult (for me at least), and takes some work, but it's well worth it.

Here are some of the things that I do:
  • Weekly Team Meetings - On Mondays, I have a meeting with the entire QA Team - associates and contractors alike.  I remind them of upcoming company events, make sure we all know if any of us is going to be out of the office during the week, celebrate last week's releases, give everyone a turn to talk about what they did last week and will be doing this week, and discuss any problems or issues which might be affecting the group. The primary goal here is to try and ensure that everyone hears a bit about what everyone else is doing and how it might affect them. copyrightjoestrazzere
  • Weekly One-on-One Meetings - Once each week, for at least 1/2 hour, I meet individually with each QA Team member. This is our scheduled chance to talk privately. We talk about current and upcoming projects, about any problems needing attention, and anything that might be getting in the way of success. I keep a Word document for each individual and add reminders to myself into it during the week. Then I use that document during our One-on-One so that I can remember to bring up the important topics.
  • Bi-Weekly Team Discussions - Every other week, we get together to talk about "QA stuff" for an hour. This meeting is led by one of the team members rather than me. Often we talk about testing tips, about how to do something more effectively, and anything else that might help us grow as QA Professionals. Recently, we've been discussing the book "Lessons Learned in Software Testing" - kind of a book club discussion. It's informal, and fun.
  • Status Reports - I try not to burden my team with a lot of formalities. I want them to test, not fill out forms. But one I do require is a brief weekly Status Report. I only ask for five things: What I worked on this week, What I plan to work on next week, Unplanned activities, Time away next week, and Issues and concerns.  Reading these helps me help them, and gives me a way to look back at a later date.
  • Project Meetings - At my company, for all major projects, the entire project team usually meets once per week. The appropriate member(s) of the QA Team attend those meetings, and I do too. This means that I attend a lot of project meetings, but for me it's generally time well spent. I get to hear what might be impacting my team in real time.
  • Read ALL of the Bug Reports - Our bug tracking system (currently Bugzilla) allows me to automatically receive bug reports via email when they are filed by someone I am "watching". I look at all of these bug reports at some point during the week. It gives me a lot of insight into the issues testers are finding, what patterns might be emerging, what they aren't finding, and what I might need to do in order to help them and the projects.
  • Read and write emails - Obviously, I get a lot of emails from my team.  I read them all, respond to some and file some away. If I read something that demonstrates particularly good work, I try to reply with a "Thank You". If I read something that needs correction, I may reply by email, but more often I'll put it on my list of things to be discussed in the next One-on-One weekly meeting.
  • Read all the test assets (plans, checklists, etc) - The written output my team produces is a valuable source of information for me. It helps me understand who might be struggling and needs help and who might need more of my attention. Particularly good output might also serve as w terrific model for others on the team.
  • Informal talks - Lots of discussion is informal: in the halls, between meetings, etc. There is often a lot of value in these discussions, too. Sometimes people will tell you more in an informal setting, than they would in your office. Plus, it's fun!
  • Work together on some projects - For some projects, I like to get personally involved. Sometimes I'll help test, sometimes I'll help plan. This is a good way for me to see how things are going, particularly on some of the bigger projects.
  • Formal reviews (quarterly, annual) - My company requires several formal reviews. I'm not a big fan of formal performance reviews, but if they have to be done anyway, I at least try to get something useful out of them. It's one more chance to talk, to reflect over the past time period, and to discuss the future.
  • Greetings in the morning - Since I tend to be the first one in the office each morning, I can't say hello as I walk in. But I do try to make a point of greeting everyone at some point in the morning - as I walk to get some coffee or on my way to a morning meeting.
  • Goodbyes in the evening - On my way home, I say goodnight to anyone who is still around.
These things all help me feel connected and hopefully provide some value to my team as well.

As a busy Test Manager, how do you keep up with all that is going on with your test team?
And if you are a busy Tester, how does your Manager keep up with you?


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

November 14, 2011

Where Were You on 11/11/11 at 11:11:11?

Where were you on 11/11/11 when the clock struck 11:11:11?


Have you ever entered 1111111111 as test data into a numeric field or 11/11/11 into a date field and 11:11:11 into a time field?  I know I have.

So it was kind of fun to see 11/11/11 approaching.

At my company, we have a lot of meetings pretty much every day, and of course on Friday, November 11, 2011 we had an 11:00 meeting.  We thought it might be fun to take a brief pause at the appropriate time to watch the clock count down to 11:11:11.  And so we did. copyrightjoestrazzere

So now I can always remember exactly where I was, and exactly what I was doing on 11/11/11 at 11:11:11.  
  • Working for a company I'll call B..
  • In the North Conference Room
  • At a weekly project meeting 
  • For a product I'll call V...
  • With Gail, Mark, Phil, Bob, Kesav, Cathy, and Dan (on the phone)
  • Laughing


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

November 10, 2011

I Like Big Bugs!


Sir Test-A-Lot



I like big bugs, and I can not lie
You other testers can't deny
That when the code's checked in with a frantic pace
And a bug's right in your face copyrightjoestrazzere
You get happy
Wanna pull up tough
Cuz you notice that bug was stuffed
Deep in the code you're checking
You're hooked and you can't stop testing
Oh, big bug I wanna get with ya
And take your picture
My test team tried to warn me
But that bug I found
Make me so happy


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

November 3, 2011

Different Views On (All Things) Quality


It's Dynamic!

Recently, Google introduced a new feature to their blogger platform - Dynamic Views.  As described in Blogger Buzz: copyrightjoestrazzere
Dynamic Views: seven new ways to share your blog with the world
  • Classic: A modern twist on a traditional template, with infinite scrolling and images that load as you go
  • Flipcard: Your photos are tiled across the page and flip to reveal the post title
  • Magazine: A clean, elegant editorial style layout 
  • Mosaic: A mosaic mix of different sized images and text
  • Sidebar: An email inbox-like view with a reading page for quick scrolling and browsing
  • Snapshot: An interactive pinboard of your posts 
  • Timeslide: A horizontal view of your posts by time period

I've chosen to leave the lovingly hand crafted, tastefully styled and obviously elegant user interface for All Things Quality as it is for now.

But, if you want to explore or bookmark other views, try these:

And if you particularly like one of these new views, please let me know!


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

November 2, 2011

All Things Quality in Hebrew!

An article about All Things Quality - in Hebrew!

In August of 2010, I was asked by Joel Montvelisky of PractiTest, if he could write about All Things Quality in a new magazine - ThinkTesting.

He explained that ThinkTesting was going to be published in Israel, would be in Hebrew, and was intended for local testers.  In each edition, Joel wanted to write a column recommending a blog, and he wanted my blog to be the first.  Of course I was honored, and quickly agreed. copyrightjoestrazzere

I hadn't heard back from Joel since then, so I figured it was just one of those many plans that seem like a good idea, but never get off the ground.

Recently, I was reviewing the analytics from my blog (something I do periodically) and saw a few visits from a referring site I hadn't seen before. It was from thinktesting.co.il, and when I followed the referral, I saw All Things Quality mentioned.  It took me a while to realize that this was the magazine that Joel had mentioned.

When I contacted Joel by email, he told me that the initial edition of the magazine had indeed been published in October 2010, had included this article, and that they were working on the 5th edition now.

Joel translated the relevant portion for me:   

The World is full of blogs, each of them with its own type of content and interest.  Today we want to start by pointing to a blog I've been following for a number of years, Joe Strazzere's blog (written ג’ו סטרזרה ), All Things Quality, located on http://strazzere.blogspot.com 
I got to learn about Joe's teaching from QAForums, where he is one of the forum's moderators, and also one of the people answering the largest number of questions.  One of his main traits is his ability to take complex questions and answer them in simple and very specific answers, providing some refreshing insights and solutions even to complex issues. 
In his blog, Joe provides some professional answers and examples for issues around the world of testing. 
I choose 3 examples out of his blog that show the simple way with which he can review complex professional topics...

Nice!  I can't wait to see the print version that Joel is sending me, so that I can show it off to my Jewish friends.

You can see the magazine issue yourself at: http://thinktesting.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/cover1.pdf

And you can visit the web site at: http://www.thinktesting.co.il/


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

October 26, 2011

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Jaguar

Meow?


Jaguar is recalling certain X-Type cars, due to a software glitch affecting the cruise control system.
  • 17,678 cars recalled due to a software glitch
  • affects cars made between 2006 and 2010
  • error with certain interfacing systems copyrightjoestrazzere
  • cruise control cannot be disengaged in a normal manner
  • must turn off the ignition to disengage the cruise control function

What's that up there?  Is that a police car?  Yup, better disengage the cruise control and slow down a bit. Doesn't seem to be working!  Hmm...

Perhaps they should have tested more.

See also:

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

October 24, 2011

Newest People In Testing - Jeff Nyman

Jeff Nyman is a People in Testing

I'm happy to include Jeff Nyman on my People in Testing page, and to include his "Stories from a Software Tester" blog as part of my What People Are Writing aggregation.

I recently re-discovered Jeff's new site.  Jeff was a terrific contributor over at SQAForums.com a long time ago, and seeing his site made me remember how much I enjoyed his writing. He's clearly a smart guy, knows testing really well, and seems to have a lot of teacher/mentor in him. copyrightjoestrazzere

Reading "Stories from a Software Tester" is like reading pages from a well-written book on testing.  Perhaps that's what he has in mind?

Check it out for yourself and let me know if you agree.

And if you know any other people who have a blog and should be included here, send me a note!


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

October 21, 2011

I'm Bill Belichick?

I prioritize substance and preparation over style and glibness.  Plus, I like wearing hoodies.


Since it's the bye week for the New England Patriots, local writers are scrambling for material to fill the sports pages. The Boston Globe's Boston.com website posted a little quiz today (http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/extras/which_patriot_are_you/).

You answer 10 multiple-choice questions like "What's your favorite way to express yourself? a. Facebook b. Twitter c. Dress/Physical appearance d. I let my actions speak for themselves". copyrightjoestrazzere

Then the answers are tallied, and the "member of the New England Patriots you are on the same wavelength with" is revealed.

Apparently, I'm most similar to Bill Belichick. Go figure! Now, where is my whistle, anyway?


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

October 17, 2011

Are You A Lark?



A lark. (Not actually me)


I am a morning person. I like getting up reasonably early, and find that I am most productive before noon. According to "Brain Rules" by John Medina, this apparently makes me a "lark".
In general larks report being most alert around noon and feel most productive at work a few hours before they eat lunch.  They don't need an alarm clock, because they invariably get up before the alarm rings - often before 6 a.m. Larks cheerfully report their favorite mealtime as breakfast and generally consume less coffee than non-larks. Getting increasingly drowsy in the early evening, most larks go to bed (or want to go to bed) around 9 p.m.
In recent years, my morning tasks look pretty much the same during the work week. I find that I can get a lot done before the flood of meetings and other tasks begin each day.

My morning workday routine looks like this:
  • Wake by about 5 a.m. without the benefit of an alarm clock
  • Shower, shave, and get dressed
  • Make coffee for myself and my wife
  • Make my lunch
  • Have breakfast (sometimes) and drink coffee while watching the local television news
  • Leave for work around 6 a.m.
  • Drive to work copyrightjoestrazzere
  • Turn on the lights, since I'm usually the first one in
  • Arrive at my desk about 6:30 a.m.
  • Read and respond to overnight emails, cleaning out my inbox
  • Read bug reports that have been filed or updated since the previous day
  • Check on the status of monitors and logs for some key Production and QA systems
  • Check the results of any overnight test automation
  • A quick chat with the India QA team as needed
  • Review the schedule of meetings planned for the remainder of the day
  • Plan the day and reserve blocks of time in my Outlook calendar as needed
  • Address anything that needs my immediate attention
  • Have another cup of coffee around 9 a.m.
  • Deal with any corporate administrivia needing my attention
  • Get on with the rest of the day

This works out really well for me. It makes me feel good to get these things out of the way early, and have a good, quick start to my lark day.

How about you - are you a lark, too? What does your morning routine look like?


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

October 12, 2011

Vegetable Garden Results 2011

Cucumbers - yum!

Over the (unseasonably warm) weekend, I harvested the last of my cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and herbs from my vegetable garden, and cleaned up the beds.

This year I had narrowed down the varieties of plantings, and was a bit more careful with their location. I was striving to produce veggies that really made a big difference when grow fresh, rather than those that were almost as good when purchased in a supermarket.

Just like last year, some of the plantings worked out really well - others, not so well. But the specifics were almost completely different from last year. Once again, all of the herbs flourished. But this year, the cucumbers were the big winner - both regular and pickling varieties were bountiful and delicious. And this year, in spite of my high hopes, the peppers yielded almost exactly nothing. A huge disappointment - I was really looking forward to a nice selection of hot peppers. copyrightjoestrazzere

Still, the garden was fun again and looked nice in the back yard.

That's it for this fall - we'll try again next Spring!

Successes
  • Cucumbers
  • Pickling Cucumbers
  • Curled Parsley
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Cherry Tomatoes
Mixed Results
  • Zucchini
  • Big Boy Tomatoes
Utter, Pathetic, Dismal Failures
  • Several varieties of hot peppers



This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality

My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.

October 11, 2011

Business Casual Confusion


That's me on the bottom-left, but not on Fridays.


Ok, I get that companies like to have dress codes. My company has a "business casual" dress code. Except...

  • We have "Casual Fridays" where folks can wear sneakers and jeans. copyrightjoestrazzere
  • For one week per year we have "Dress Down for Charity" where you can buy the privilege of wearing sneakers and jeans in return for a donation to charity.

So it's important to have this dress code, but it's not important on Friday, nor when you cough up a few bucks?

Sometimes I just don't understand the thinking behind these things.


This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.