Category: training

Total 7 Posts

12 Point Style Guide for Quality (Technical) Professionals

In the October 2010 Quality Progress, there is an article by Burjor Mehta entitled "Word Power". In this article, Mehta gives 12 points for quality professionals to improve their communications in writing. I think these points are applicable for most technical people. For the details, please see the article. For convenience, the 12 points are:

  1. Use words with positive connotations
  2. Always look on the bright side
  3. Say what you want, not what you don’t
  4. Be brief and to the point
  5. Use consistent terms
  6. Use consistent formats
  7. Use white space
  8. Be specific
  9. Underpromise and overdeliver
  10. Don’t use jargon or clichés
  11. Use complete words and sentences
  12. Use "I" to ask and "you" to give


Great Resource for Testing Podcasts

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Between my bus commute, errands and going to the gym, I have lots of time I can spend listening. I recently came across the site The site is an aggregation of various podcasts that deal with software testing. Sometimes they are podcasts I already subscribe to. Others are podcasts I would not want to listen to every episode but a particular episode might be interesting. They are all here.

I was a little puzzled finding the RSS link – it actually was in a logical place, I was just missing it. The RSS feed link is


Check Lists vs Scripted Testing

I have written before about lessons software development professionals can learn from Atul Gawande.

Cem Kaner read an article about how doctors can use checklists to radically improve patient care and reflected on his own background in both law and testing. The result is the presentation The Value of Checklists and the Danger of Scripts: What Legal Training Suggests for Testers. I found the second half of the presentation most fascinating with the many examples of how lawyers use checklists and how this can apply to testers.

Kaner’s point about learning – scripted testing does not make the person running the test a better tester. Checklists encourages the tester to think. I couldn’t agree more.


GTAC 2008 – Taming the Beast – How to Test an AJAX Application

I am in the process of watching the videos from the GTAC (Google Test Automation Conference) held in Seattle in October 2003. This post contains my notes for the presentation Taming the Beast – How to Test an AJAX Application (1 hour 1 minute) by Markus Clermont & John Thomas held on October 23, 2008.

I am not recommending spending time watching this video. The presentation is not bad. However, it does not translate well to video. There is a lot of interaction with the audience – which is great when you are present at the presentation. However, in the video the audience cannot be heard and the presenters do not repeat many of the questions / responses. In addition, the talk is misnamed. While an AJAX application is used as the example throughout the application, most of the talk is not about how to test an AJAX application. The talk is a good discussion of how to tame automation – automation of any application.

Here are the slide titles:

  • AJAX: A Different Beast
  • An Example GWT Application – (GWT = Taming the Beast – How to Test an AJAX Application)
  • Some Statistics – (At this point there are questions to the audience regarding their automated testing experience.)
  • System Architecture
  • Small Medium Large – (Essentially how much of the application is under test)
  • Testing Layer Pairs
  • Are we done?
  • Comparison
  • Conclusion



MSDN Tester Center

I came across a reference to a new online testing resource – MSDN Tester Center located at The site is fairly new but I think it shows promise, especially for people new to the software testing field.

In his introduction to the site, James Whittaker says that one of the purposes of the site is to spread the testing knowledge used internally at Microsoft – especially from those people who do not necessarily speak at conferences or write papers. Having met many talented testers from Microsoft, I think this is a great idea.

As far as content, it is still pretty light – about 4 papers, a dozen videos (each about 5 minutes long) and links to a couple of blogs. But it is new and I like the intent. I will definitely be keeping an eye on it.


Review of ACM Online Perl Course

One of the benefits of being a member of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is a variety of professional development resources online. I have taken advantage of the online book programs but not the online training. While starting a new job, I decided to refresh my perl knowledge by taking the online course “Fundamentals of Perl Programming” which is offered by SkillSoft.

As a refresher course, it was adequate. I learned perl years ago. My new company uses perl extensively, so I thought a refresher would be useful. The course pointed out some areas in which I am weak. However, the course did not provide enough depth (nor pointers to additional resources) to improve my skills in those areas.

If I were new to perl, I doubt the usefulness of the course. The course is structured such that snippets of perl syntax and converntions are presented. But there is very little overview and structure to provide guidance and tie it all together. If I did not know perl beforehand, I would not be able to write a perl program after completing the course.

There is a follow up perl course in the catalog. I am goint to take it and see if it exhibits the same issues as this first course.