December 24, 2013

For those who celebrate - Merry Christmas!

my beautiful granddaughter


For those who celebrate - Merry Christmas!

May your days and nights be full of all things quality.


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 6, 2013

What's the State of Testing? Take this Survey.

What is the State of Testing?


My friend Joel Montvelisky has asked me to pass the word about a survey he is running in association with the magazine Tea Time with Testers. They are trying to discover the state of testing in the world today.

As Joel says:
Some weeks ago I was looking for information to write a post about the advances in the testing world in the last 5-10 years and I realized that there is no centralized set of information that provides visibility into what is happening and what are the trends in the world of testing today.  In principle I was looking for something similar to the State of Agile survey that I review each year when it goes out, and I was not able to find something that provided this information. 
So I contacted some friends at TeaTime with Testers and we decided to make this into a project.  To release a State of Testing Survey that will provide a snapshot of our testing reality and help us to capture some of the trends as they shift year by year.

Joel knows a lot about testing, is a terrific writer, and an all-around nice guy.

I'm going to be taking this survey, and I'm very interested to see the results.

Can you help out, too?

Go to http://qablog.practitest.com/state-of-testing/


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 2, 2013

It's Casual December



We are gradually becoming all top-center folks
except when someone important shows up
then we revert to being bottom-lefters


The year is flying by, and yet another Dress Code shift at my company was announced recently. copyrightjoestrazzere

Every week we have Casual Fridays
Occasionally we have had Dress Down for Charity Weeks
During the past few summers, we had Casual Summers
Now we have Casual December

If I fork over 10 bucks for local charities, H.R. tells me that I'll be permitted to wear sneakers and jeans for the month of December. (Unless someone "important" makes an appearance in the office, in which case I'll need to revert to Smart temporarily.)

We are gradually approaching the day where, for $10 per month, every day will be casual, except for the two days per year when the top brass visit.

What's taking so long? And what can we do about those two days?


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 6, 2013

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Honda

Perhaps Honda Should Have Tested More

We continue to see a never-ending stream of software problems turning up in automobiles.

This time, Honda is recalling over 344,000 minivans to correct a problem with the software controlling the vehicle's stability control system.
  • Honda Motor Co. is recalling over 344,000 Odyssey minivans
  • Corrects a problem in the stability control software
  • The vehicle may suddenly and unexpectedly brake hard
  • Worse - the brake lights won't go on when this happens
  • Honda cannot replace the software
  • The fix itself won't actually be available until Spring of 2014
  • Requires a new part to fix the software problem
copyrightjoestrazzere
Good news! There is a workaround:
  • After starting, don't move the car for a while
  • Before shifting out of park, make sure the wheels point straight ahead
  • Keep the wheels straight for the first few feet as you move
  • If you must start your car with the wheels turned, drive slowly to a place where you can stop the car and start it with the wheels straight
It's nice to have a workaround when the bug can't be fixed for many months. The workaround seems rather convoluted in some cases though. Do I need to rub my stomach while patting my head, too?

Perhaps they should have tested more.

Also see:



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/.

October 23, 2013

The Testers Of The Bugs

Sung to the children's tune of "The Wheels on the Bus"


The testers of the bugs go
found one more
found one more
found one more
the testers of the bugs go
found one more
all through the code.
copyrightjoestrazzere
The counts of the bugs go 
up, up, up
up, up, up
up, up, up
the counts of the bugs go
up, up, up
all through the code.

The developers of the bugs go 
works for me
works for me
works for me
the developers of the bugs go 
works for me
all through the code.

The verifiers of the bugs go
that's not fixed
that's not fixed
that's not fixed
the verifiers of the bugs go
that's not fixed
all through the code.

The managers of the bugs go
let's just ship
let's just ship
let's just ship
the managers of the bugs go
let's just ship
all through the code.


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/.

September 24, 2013

Want to be a part of All Things Quality?

To Do: Connect with Joe at All Things Quality



Here at All Things Quality, I have two places where I list blogs I like.


The People in Testing tab above lists people by name, along with links to their blogs/websites.

I've limited this particular list to blogs that: copyrightjoestrazzere
  • Are exclusively, or at least mostly, about QA or Testing, or have significant QA/Testing content
  • Have had some activity recently
  • Aren't just commercial sites
  • Contain articles I find of interest


The What People Are Writing tab above dynamically displays a small excerpt from the most-recent article in blogs related to QA/Testing that I read fairly regularly. And it provides a link to the full article.

This list has a limit on the number of items it supports, so I tend to weed out blogs that haven't had any updates in a while, and I usually don't include a blog until it has a history of good articles.


If you'd like to be on one or both of these lists, and you think your blog would be of interest to others in the Testing/QA field, send me a note and I'll take a look at it.

And if you would like to return the favor, please consider adding a link to All Things Quality on your blog as 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/.

September 23, 2013

Requirements That Miss The Mark

 
Should we aim for the center of the target? Or something else?


For your reading pleasure today, here is a short rant quiz.

Question: Which of these are a good foundation upon which to craft the Requirements for a new software product/release? copyrightjoestrazzere
  1. What will allow us to use the latest and greatest technology?
  2. What we can draw a pretty UI for?
  3. What will be the most fun?
  4. What we already happen to have data for?
  5. What we think the customer needs?
  6. What the customer thinks he needs?
  7. What we can build, as long as we don't ever need to actually complete it?
  8. What we can accomplish with the current staff?
  9. What we can get accomplish in a short period of time?
  10. What the customer/market is actually willing to pay for?
Answer: In almost all cases, the only correct answer is "10. What the customer/market is actually willing to pay for".

In a for-profit company, you need to figure out what can make money. Pretty much everything else is missing the point, don't you think?

Any other "off-target" themes you have seen in Requirements recently?



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/.

September 20, 2013

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Apple iOS 7

Hmm, was that Down, Down, Left, A, Up, Right? Or Left, Left, Down, B, Right, Up?

A new method for bypassing the passcode on an iOS7 lock screen has been discovered. This allows an unauthorized intruder access to all photos, and the ability to post them to channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, or even to email them. copyrightjoestrazzere

  • The iOS 7 lock screen can be bypassed with a series of gesture techniques
  • Up - Hold - Cancel - Doubleclick - Hold
  • Affects iPhones, iPod Touch, and iPads
  • Grants unintended access to Mail, Photos, Twitter and more
  • Found by Canary Islands-based soldier Jose Rodriguez
  • Rodriguez also found lock screen flaws in earlier versions of iOS

It's probably not a big deal. After all, I'm sure nobody ever has photos on their i-Devices that they wouldn't want everyone in the world to see, right?

Still, this isn't the first time that someone has found low-tech ways to bypass the lock screen.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times - perhaps they should have tested more.

Also see:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/09/19/ios-7-bug-lets-anyone-bypass-iphones-lockscreen-to-hijack-photos-email-or-twitter/
http://www.zdnet.com/how-to-fix-the-ios-7-lock-screen-bypass-flaw-7000020913/
http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/09/19/apples-control-center-used-to-bypass-ios-7-passcode-lock
http://lifehacker.com/ios-7-bug-allows-thieves-to-bypass-your-lock-screen-1350894097
http://allthingsd.com/20130919/yes-apple-is-working-on-a-fix-for-the-ios-7-lock-screen-hack/
http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/19/ios-7-lock-screen-vulnerability-discovered-gives-access-to-photos-and-social-sharing/
http://www.macrumors.com/2013/09/19/ios-7-lock-screen-vulnerability-gives-access-to-photos-email/


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/.

September 12, 2013

Book: Explore It! Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing

Explore It!: Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing
Elisabeth Hendrickson


I've been a fan of Elizabeth Hendrickson for a long time - from her Quality Tree Software days, to her Test Obsessed blog. I've had a copy of her famous "Test Heuristic Cheat Sheet" (included in the book) pretty much forever. And on my bookshelf, I even have a copy of her Bug Hunter's Journal that she sent me many years ago.

So I was thrilled when Elizabeth asked me to review a pre-publication version of her upcoming book on Exploratory Testing titled "Explore It!" I had read other books on the subject, and was less than thrilled with what I had read, so I was eager to see Elizabeth's treatment of the subject.

I wasn't surprised with the results. In her usual informal writing style, Hendrickson has packed the book with real-world, easy to understand examples sprinkled in. I found it both interesting and fun.  copyrightjoestrazzere

The chapter titles will give you an idea of the topics covered in Explore It!:
  1. On Testing and Exploration
  2. Charter Your Explorations
  3. Observe the Details
  4. Find Interesting Variations
  5. Evaluate Results
  6. Vary Sequences and Interactions
  7. Explore Entities and Their Relationships
  8. Discover States and Transitions
  9. Explore the Ecosystem
  10. Explore When There Is No User Interface
  11. Explore an Existing System
  12. Explore Requirements
  13. Integrate Exploration Throughout
  14. Interviewing for Exploratory Testing Skills
  15. Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet
In each chapter, Ms. Hendrickson encourages you to think, to experiment, and to explore the various aspects of your system-under-test. Then, she provides real-world, practical ideas for how to do just that.

Unless you are the kind of unfortunate tester forced to do nothing but follow a pre-written script, you already perform some exploratory testing. 

In "Explore It!", Elisabeth Hendrickson teaches you how to think about Exploratory Testing, and how to make it a regular, planned, and effective part of your testing practice.

This is the kind of book I purchase for everyone on my Test Team. Maybe you should get it for your team, too?


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/.

September 11, 2013

Remembering September 11, 2001

Anna Williams Allison

Twelve years later, I remember September 11, 2001.

I remember being in a morning meeting and one of the staff members was late. When he came in, he asked if we had heard the news about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. We hadn't. We finished our meeting, then went upstairs to the lunch room (with its huge projection television) and saw that the news channels still weren't sure if this was an accident or some sort of attack.

Shortly after that, we watched in horror as another plan crashed into the second tower. Then it was clear that this was no accident.

A very sad, unsettling day.
copyrightjoestrazzere
The next day, I got a phone call from a friend. He told me some more sad news. A former co-worker was on American Airlines flight #11 - the first plane to crash into a tower.

Anna Williams Allison was a colleague at Bachman Information Systems. She and I both worked in the Quality Assurance department.  She was very smart, very energetic, and a terrific QAer.  I learned a lot from her, and I like to think she learned something from me.

When we both left Bachman, we remained friends, and occasionally spoke, emailed, shared ideas about QA and work, and had lunch. She eventually formed her own company - doing QA training and presentations. She was very good for the QA field.

Anna was on flight 11, on her way to a customer engagement.

I miss her, both professionally, and as a friend. Each September 11th, as the country shares remembrances of a sad day in our history, I think of her again. We in the QA community are poorer without her.


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/.

September 6, 2013

Estimating the NFL 2013 Season

Are you ready for some football? The spirits say "Yes"!

Predicting the NFL Season outcomes is like estimating a software test project - not enough information, too many variables, too much that could happen to radically change the outcome.

But here are some "estimates" anyway. This is a predication of the 12 teams who will make the playoffs. I've even included my guesstimates, along with those of the professionals. 

We'll circle back after the season and see how everyone did.


East North South West Wildcard Wildcard
All Things Quality
Joe Strazzere Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Bengals Colts
Giants Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Boston Herald
http://bostonherald.com/sports/patriots_nfl/new_england_patriots/2013/09/herald_staff_predictions
Jeff Howe Patriots Bengals Colts Broncos Ravens Texans
Redskins Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Karen Guregian Patriots Ravens Colts Broncos Bengals Texans
Giants Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Ron Borges Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Colts
Redskins Packers Saints 49ers Seahawks Falcons
Steve Buckley Patriots Bengals Colts Broncos Ravens Texans
Giants Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Mark Daniels Patriots Bengals Colts Broncos Steelers Texans
Redskins Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
ESPN.com
http://espn.go.com/nfl/preview13/story/_/id/9605608/experts-nfl-predictions-2013
Bill Barnwell Patriots Steelers Texans Chiefs Broncos Bengals
Giants Packers Bucs Seahawks 49ers Lions
Jeff Chadiha Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Chiefs
Redskins Packers Falcons 49ers Seahawks Bears
John Clayton Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Chiefs
Redskins Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
David Fleming Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Colts Chiefs
Redskins Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Eagles
Ashley Fox Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Colts Chiefs
Redskins Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
KC Joyner Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Dolphins
Cowboys Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Redskins
Rick Reilly Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Colts
Giants Packers Falcons 49ers Seahawks Redskins
Mike Sando Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Steelers Bengals
Giants Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Bears
Adam Shefter Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Colts Steelers
Cowboys Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Kevin Seifert Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Bengals Colts
Giants Packers Falcons 49ers Seahawks Saints
Seth Wickersham Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Bengals Colts
Giants Packers Falcons 49ers Seahawks Saints
Matt Williamson Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Bengals Steelers
Redskins Packers Saints Seahawks 49ers Bears
Sports Illustrated
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130904/nfl-season-predictions-2013-super-bowl-xlviii/?sct=nfl_t1t_a4
Don Banks Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Chiefs
Cowboys Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Chris Burke Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Steelers Bengals
Giants Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Cowboys
Ben Eagle Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Chiefs
Cowboys Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Bears
Doug Farrar Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Colts
Redskins Packers Saints Seahawks 49ers Falcons
Tom Mantzouranis Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Chiefs
Cowboys Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Austin Murphy Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Steelers Chiefs
Cowboys Bears Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Jim Trotter Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Steelers Colts
Redskins Packers Bucs Seahawks 49ers Falcons
MMQB
http://mmqb.si.com/2013/09/03/the-mmqbs-2013-predictions-and-preview-spectacular/
Peter King Patriots Bengals Colts Broncos Ravens Texans
Giants Packers Falcons 49ers Seahawks Saints
Greg Bedard Patriots Steelers Texans Chiefs Broncos Ravens
Giants Packers Bucs Seahawks 49ers Falcons
Jenny Vrentas Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Chiefs Steelers
Giants Packers Saints 49ers Seahawks Falcons
Robert Klemko Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Bengals Colts
Giants Lions Falcons Seahawks 49ers Redskins
Pro Football Talk
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/09/04/pfts-2013-season-predictions/
Josh Alper Patriots Ravens Colts Broncos Bengals Chiefs
Cowboys Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Curtis Crabtree Patriots Bengals Texans Brocos Ravens Chiefs
Redskins Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Rams
Darin Gantt Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Bengals Colts
Giants Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Redskins
Mike Wilkening Patriots Ravens Colts Broncos Texans Steelers
Eagles Packers Falcons 49ers Seahawks Saints
Michael David Smith Patriots Steelers Texans Broncos Bengals Ravens
Giants Packers Saints 49ers Seahawks Falcons
Mike Florio Patriots Ravens Colts Broncos Texans Bengals
Redskins Packers Falcons 49ers Seahawks Lions
Yahoo
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/nfl-preview-week-shutdown-corner-2013-nfl-predictions-131141669--nfl.html
Frank Schwab Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Chiefs
Giants Bears Panthers Seahawks 49ers Packers
Jay Busbee Patriots Bengals Colts Broncos Texans Steelers
Redskins Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Giants
Eric Edholm Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Steelers Colts
Cowboys Packers Falcons 49ers Seahawks Lions
Anwar Richardson Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Bengals Chiefs
Cowboys Packers Saints 49ers Seahawks Falcons
USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2013/09/04/2013-staff-picks-season-predictions/2768317/
Jarrett Bell Patriots Ravens Colts Broncos Texans Steelers
Cowboys Lions Falcons 49ers Seahawks Saints
Jim Corbett Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Ravens Colts
Redskins Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Nate Davis Patriots Bengals Texans Broncos Steelers Chiefs
Giants Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Saints
Lindsay H. Jones Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Bengals Chiefs
Giants Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Redskins
Pete O'Brien Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Dolphins Chiefs
Cowboys Packers Bucs 49ers Seahawks Falcons
Tom Pelissero Patriots Bengals Colts Broncos Texans Chiefs
Cowboys Packers Falcons 49ers Seahawks Rams
CSNNE
http://www.csnne.com/blog/standing-room-only/levines-nfl-preview-part-1
Rich Levine Patriots Ravens Texans Broncos Bengals Steelers
Cowboys Packers Falcons Seahawks 49ers Bears


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/.

August 26, 2013

Free Trial Versions of Commercial Test Automation Tools

Trial Versions of Test Automation Tools


Many vendors of commercial test automation tools offer trial versions. In many cases, you are free to download them, and try to them out for a short period of time to learn if they meet your needs before purchasing. In other cases, you can contact the company, speak to a sales person, and get a free trial.

Here are links to some trials. If you know of others, send me a note and I'll add them:

Automated Test and ReTest (ATRT) Test Manager (TM)
http://idtus.com/contact/

Automation Anywhere

Badboy

EggPlant
HP Unified Functional Testing (formerly QuickTest Pro)

JTest

Oracle Application Testing Suite

PesterCat


QFS Test

Ranorex

Rational Functional Tester

Rational Robot

RoutineBot
SilkTest

SmarteScript

SpiraTest

Squish
TestComplete

Testomato
http://www.testomato.com/

TestPartner

Test Studio

Tricentis Testsuite

Verifaya

Visual Studio Test Professional

vTask Studio

vTest

WebTest

WinTask


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/.

August 20, 2013

Could Your Business Benefit From Beta Testing?

Can your company benefit from some Beta Testing by professional testers?


I'd like to try a little experiment, and you can help.

For the past few years, I've posted information about Beta Testing opportunities I have found while searching the internet: copyrightjoestrazzere

I think Beta Testing can offer testers a great way to improve their skills, while at the same time offering a nice service to companies in need of some professional testing. I'd like to see if I can help facilitate this process.

Can your company benefit from having some Beta Testing performed by knowledgeable, professional testers?

If so, let me know. Send me a note describing:
  • What needs to be tested? (A website? A downloadable tool? Something else?)
  • What kind of feedback you are looking for? (Just bugs? Usability? Performance?)
  • How potential Beta Testers should contact you?
  • Any other specifics you feel are applicable.

I'll post your information here, and see if I can get you some help. If time allows, I'll also participate in the Beta Test myself (I enjoy this sort of thing).

I don't want any money for this. All I'll ask in return is a recap that I can post here once the Beta is complete. I'll want to know how well it worked for your company, if you got helpful feedback during the Beta period, if any particular Beta testers' feedback was particularly helpful, and what you would do differently if you were to run a public Beta again.


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/.

August 12, 2013

Bing Says...

Bing Says...

Previously, I've used Google to tell me about some testing-related words. Google knows everything! So now, I thought it might be interesting to see what Bing says about some of these same words.

According to Bing (and Bing knows a thing or two about a thing or two): copyrightjoestrazzere

  • Mistakes are proof that you are trying
  • Mistakes are great teachers
  • Mistakes are okay
  • Mistakes are the portals of discovery
  • Mistakes are good
  • Mistakes are inevitable
  • Mistakes are made

  • Quality is free
  • Quality is not an act it is a habit
  • Quality is job one

  • Errors are also called residuals
  • Errors are detected by a compiler

  • Testing is easy
  • Testing is not teaching
  • Testing is the future
  • Testing is dead

  • Requirements are net
  • Requirements are clear
  • Requirements are not fulfilled

  • Metrics are not available
  • Metrics are the justification
  • Metrics are fun
  • Metrics are based on
  • Metrics are used in marketing
  • Metrics are quantities assigned to attributes

  • Failure is not an option
  • Failure is not fatal
  • Failure is the mother of success

  • Test Automation is an investment

  • Agile is dead
  • Agile is crap
  • Agile is micromanagement
  • Agile is a form of roundworm
  • Agile is a scam
  • Agile is not scrum
  • Agile is not about the process

Agile is a form of roundworm? Uhm, okay. Maybe I'll stick with Waterfall.


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/.

August 8, 2013

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Lixil's Satis Toilet


Not actually the Satis toilet
(But probably not subject to being hacked, either)

Retailing for over $4,000, the Satis toilet manufactured by Japanese firm Lixil is state-of-the-art in every way. Features include: copyrightjoestrazzere
  • automatic flushing
  • music
  • deodorizing fragrance release
  • a heated seat
  • a massage feature (hmm, I'm not sure I want to know more about this)
  • soft lighting
  • a bidet function
  • the ability to be hacked from any android phone with bluetooth capability

Call me a Luddite, but to me, controlling my toilet via an Android app doesn't seem like the smartest idea anyway. Do people really want to track their poop? Then, to use a hard-coded Bluetooth PIN of "0000" means that clearly someone wasn't thinking this one through to its logical conclusion.

According to Trustwave's Spiderlabs information security experts:
The "My Satis" Android application has a hard-coded Bluetooth PIN of "0000"
as can be seen in the following line of decompiled code from the
application: 
BluetoothDevice localBluetoothDevice =
BluetoothManager.getInstance().execPairing(paramString, "0000")
I can just see it now. Toilets gone wild! Unexpected bidet action... overpowering fragrance... constant flushing... overheating... overly aggressive massage (hmm)... poop counts through the roof... the mind boggles!

The message is clear folks: If you are going to open up your device to external control (via Bluetooth, or via the Internet, whatever), you need to take security seriously.

Before they get too flushed with success, piss away their profits, or start to see any corporate goodwill go down the drain, perhaps Lixil needs to invest in some Google-style "Testing on the toilet" here?

I shudder to think what the onrushing "internet of things" will bring!

See also:

July 7, 2013

Seven Years!


not actually my hand



Today marks my seventh-year anniversary at my current company. And on 7/7 too!

It's hard for me to believe that I've been here seven years already. Yet when I look back at all we've accomplished, it sometimes seems like far more:
  • When I started, there was no real Quality Assurance Team.  Whatever small bit of testing occurred was being performed by Product Management folks in their spare time.  Since then, we've created a terrific team in the US, augmented by some good contractors, and a small team in India as well.
  • Bugs were not being tracked in any central system.  There were a few emails floating around, and an occasional spreadsheet, but no place where people could go to find the status of bugs.  Now, we use Bugzilla, and people have grown tired of me asking "Do we have a bug report for that?"
  • Lots of people have come and gone over the past six years.  Initially, the biggest change was the prior CTO being replaced by my boss.  Since then, many other folks have left.copyrightjoestrazzere
  • We've changed a significant portion of the infrastructure behind most of our applications.  It's far more scalable and sustainable now, although we continue to make changes
  • We've formalized many of our development and testing processes, and created the necessary processes where none existed before.
  • We've gone from fighting fires every day, to a much more stable, dependable set of systems.  Where before many of our systems needed manual, hands-on attention every day, they now run in a much more automated fashion.
  • Our product lines have changed over time.  We have weeded out some products that were single-customer, poorly funded products.  We've created some new products, and retired others.
  • A few years ago, we were purchased by a much larger corporation. It hasn't been all bad, and it hasn't been all good.  The volume of big-company administrivia has increased, but not as much as I had feared. We recently completed a large project in coordination with another division - that was rather interesting! I'm sure we'll be doing more of the same.
  • We are in the middle of a massive project to move our production infrastructure into the corporate facility. We have purchased new hardware, new software, database upgrades, etc, etc. We have started to understand and embrace new processes for security, administration, installation, and support. And of course we are "improving the applications" as we migrate them. With almost all the variables being changed at the same time, this has been a big task for everyone involved, and a very big testing task. It has been "interesting".
  • We just completed one of our larger projects for a big new customer. This involved creating a new customized implementation for the customer, changes to many of our supporting systems, and coordination with outside vendors. Almost everyone on my QA Team contributed in one way or another, and we still had to augment the team with contractors. The project had several completion penalties associated with it, and pretty much all the prior stages slipped, so of course testing got crunched at the end. Still, it was completed on time, and we have a happy customer.
  • My QA Team has been re-orged! Earlier in the year, my boss got promoted to General Manager of our division and chose not to replace himself in his prior role. He decided that he wanted fewer direct reports, and he moved me. We now report to the Vice President of Engineering. Since she was previously my peer in the organization, we have always worked together closely anyway, so it's not such a huge change. Still, I get less direct access to the overall business information for our division, and no longer get to participate as a Senior Leader. And my team is just a bit less independent of the Development team than we were before. Even though we continue to add Developers, I have no reqs for new QAers - that's been difficult. The reorganization has been personally disappointing to me, but I'm trying to ensure there is no negative impact on my team.

Lots of work, lots of changes, lots more to come.  All in all, a good seven years.


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/.