Letter from the Editor – July 2011

How do you test software? How do you validate it? How do you find bugs? These are all good questions anyone on your project team or anyone responsible for customers may ask you. Can you articulate your test strategy─not your test process, but explain your approach to testing? I find that this can be a great challenge for test teams.

This month’s theme naturally follows the Test Process Improvement Issue as it is common to identify a gap in testing skills, test methods or strategies during process improvement. This issue provides you a refreshing look at various traditional test methods.

Many test teams test out of old habits. However, today’s fast-moving and high-stakes software development world demands teams do more with less, reduce risks and be more agile─and do all this faster! These pressures require the ability to effectively communicate your strategy and risks.

This month’s issue addresses something helpful to me: I can fall into a rut and need to re-examine how I test. I’d like to find out how other people are practicing. Hearing how others handle testing challenges improves my own testing. Executing the same tactics will not address new issues─I need new ideas!

Our issue provides interesting vantage points and new concepts with progressive authors discussing current topics. Lindiwe Vinson reports on Organic Inc’s strategy in mobile testing, an area of tremendous growth in development and testing today. Nadine Shaeffer evaluates the basics of writing good user scenarios and distinguishing between user story, user scenario, and use case. Janet Gregory, co-author of Testing in Agile answers test practitioners’ questions on test methods and strategy for Spotlight Interview; and Blogger of the Month features Jason Barile pointing out key features in a test plan. Also included in this issue is also the latest installment of the 2010 Global Test Survey, presenting results in the areas of test methods, tools and metrics.

With a mixture of both new and traditional testing tactics, we’ve selected a line-up of articles that will address testing methods and strategies of today.

Our next issue will focus on outsourced and/or offshored testing projects. Stay tuned!

Michael Hackett

Senior Vice President

Editor in Chief

Michael Hackett
Michael is a co-founder of LogiGear Corporation, and has over two decades of experience in software engineering in banking, securities, healthcare and consumer electronics. Michael is a Certified Scrum Master and has co-authored two books on software testing. Testing Applications on the Web: Test Planning for Mobile and Internet-Based Systems (Wiley, 2nd ed. 2003), and Global Software Test Automation (Happy About Publishing, 2006). He is a founding member of the Board of Advisors at the University of California Berkeley Extension and has taught for the Certificate in Software Quality Engineering and Management at the University of California Santa Cruz Extension. As a member of IEEE, his training courses have brought Silicon Valley testing expertise to over 16 countries. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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One thought on “Letter from the Editor – July 2011

  1. Good questions and an imnpotart topic, Raj!My two cents:- Good agile managers are experienced in using agile methods, passionate about it, and yet realistic enough to realise that the people are the most imnpotart factor for successful new product development.- When talking about what a person is most proud of having accomplished previously in their careers, I expect to hear a good agile manager talking substantially about others not just themselves. They would ideally be proud of their ability to teach and lead via example, to coach, rather than to direct.- I think we agree and at least I have found that good agile managers disturb the status quo, look for how to improve continuously, are full of energy, have some humility about what they don’t know, love communication and technology, and are proud of team success.- I’ve seen different hiring styles in the several agile companies I have worked in, but all require a substantial investment in time by other experienced agilists, including ideally managers and non-managers the line between the two in the agile world is much less distinct and the opinion of those to be managed counts more than ever.Thanks for this blog posting!

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