I had an awesome time last Saturday at CITCON in Boston. Not only were the views amazing but the conversations were thought provoking. The conference follows open-space technology which means that all the topics are meaningful to the participants (we get to vote!) and there is lots of interaction in every session.
I continue to be thinking about the issues related to test data in the continuous delivery pipeline that was a CITCON topic. It’s typical to create test automation expecting certain sets of data to be... [More]
You were hired to test software or at least that is what you thought! Why is it that so many of the activities you are being asked to seem to have little to do with actually checking code quality or measuring a products conformance to a set of approved requirements. If you think about where your time goes, you are probably creating reports, setting up or recycling test environments, performing or participating in bug triage, etc.... The list of things you probably do is long. Then and only when you find that sliver of time to test, are you... [More]
A colleague shared this article with me and much of the thinking aligns with where I’ve been landing on the topic of continuous testing. Of course, when reading the article, one thing jumps right out …. When the author, Marnie Hutcheson, expressed concerns about being able to complete the testing in the time frame specified (30 hours of testing, twice, over a weekend), she was, um, fired.
Felt to me as abrupt as hearing “you’re fired” on a certain television show. And the most... [More]
Passing time between flights from one city to the next I'll often head over to 'The Daily WTF' for some light reading and entertainment. Recently a post caught my eye because it illustrates how businesses are missing a trick when it comes to delivering software on time and to quality.
It is easy for most of us IT practitioners to relate in one way or another to John's story and the frustrations at the eventual outcome. If we... [More]
Many large financial institutions rely heavily on back-end mainframe systems for completion of regression testing of distributed systems. Challenges arise from several aspects of testing. The mainframe needs to be available during the testing phase which can be a challenge, but also as critical is the fact that the data that is contained in the mainframe needs to remain in sync with the data that was used to create the regression tests. This is a challenge for several reasons.
Typically developers and testers... [More]
Within the context of a complex middleware development project, attempting to work on “next release” deliverables prior to gaining formal acceptance of the current release and reaching a “baselined” status can be a frustrating (and risky) exercise.
By their very nature, large development environments tend to be a little thin on the ground due to their associated licensing, hardware and maintenance costs -often projects will run only one “DEV” environment. As a customer goes... [More]
IBM has been working with several companies for many years, and helped them be more efficient and reduce costs with a broad portfolio of products.
Service Testing and Virtualization is another opportunity for IBM to add value to customers operation. The solution is not just about a software tool. IBM proposes a comprehensive plan of software tools, implementation services, staff training, ongoing education and regular scheduled health checks to ensure the software solution is being... [More]
First things first, as this is my inaugural blog post here on DeveloperWorks it is only fair I give a little background about myself ( http://tinyurl.com/pj5fqpp ) and why you should care about what I post (spoiler: you probably shouldn't).
I've been in IT since graduating in 2000 (just missing the Y2K gold rush!), working a range of roles from developer, through to consultant and now IBM Client Technical Professional with specialism in Integration technology and Service Virtualisation - I'm British so the 's' stays.
If you are looking at continuous testing, do you have a plan for efficiently setting up your test environment? For complex applications, there are many components to stand up, including ones which you are not responsible for testing. Once you are done with your build and are ready to deploy, how do you focus on only deploying and configuring the pieces that are necessary? This is where service virtualization can help. Suppose your application needs an external credit card processing web service. Every time you... [More]
Have you ever wondered how and why certain individuals get promoted as featured speakers at conferences and events? Is this the type of attention you would like for yourself? If you haven’t already figured it out, it is because they work very hard at promoting themselves. Their reward; credibility in the industry. They probably have a large number of social followers or their blogs are regularly read by thousands of people - people like you and me. Our reward in listening to them; we might just learn something new and innovative.
For several weeks now, I'm working on a ever evolving RPE template using CLM data. You might say, weeks!?! Does it take that long. Yes and no. First the no, the technique is easy if you have some tips and tricks. Within minutes you have a basic template which you can run and use in production. But than it strikes you. What do I want to report? How do you want to do this? What a good way of representing. That's exploration, making improvements based on what you have. While I was doing this I learned a lot of RPE, RQM, traceablity and... [More]
You stay in this business long enough and you get to a point where everything old is new again. Seriously, it’s like the fashion industry. I always chuckle remembering my daughter’s shock that I, um, had also worn bell bottoms.
And this is exactly what I think about when I hear all the chatter about the fragmentation of testing for mobile applications. There are a billion device combinations. Yup. Hasn’t there always been? About 10 years ago, to help choose how to test and to make a point, I did a spreadsheet... [More]
I seem to be talking and thinking about continuous testing, um, continuously lately. I had a little epiphany last week when I concluded that most of the pipeline is for testing. The pipeline starts with a continuous integration build where unit testing happens and a package, installable entity is produced. The pipeline ends when that packaged entity is deployed into production. Every step in between is for testing. Different kinds of testing, but they are all testing. So at a minimum, when there’s only one test stage, 30% of the pipeline... [More]
There is a big focus on DevOps today. IBM Rational has welcomed Urbancode. It is a major addition to our portfolio. But we had already some great products! Let me share an example.
A prospect asked, based on his experience with other test-management (…) tools, if we can generate documents and reports. Our standard answer would be yes, with Rational Publishing Engine we can. I can say that with some confidence because I demonstrated it in the ‘old days’ of RQM2.0. So it was time to re-discover this integration.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Agile Alliance conference, for the third straight year, which was held in Nashville from August 5th to 9th. And while it is always a fabulous and worthwhile event, this year the conference just seemed to be a little different to me. Perhaps it was just my perception but last year after talking to many attendees about service virtualization and continuous testing, I left several conversations with the feeling that I missed sharing something in my message. While the person may have gained a new... [More]
Earlier this year, IBM commissioned Forrester Research to examine the total economic impact and potential return on investment (ROI) of the IBM Rational solution for Test Automation (Rational Test Workbench and Rational Test Virtualization Server) investigating the results of a customer opportunity. The efforts of the study clearly suggests that companies who invest in service virtualization do increase their productivity and will realize a positive ROI. A positive ROI in a very short amount of time.
The customer opportunity... [More]
At an irregular basis I’m invited by System Integrators or consulting firms to give an update on Rational. The audience expects an update on the testing products, while they invite a Rational Testing expert.
Common questions are “What are the new cool features of Robot?” or “Where is Test Manager?”. Really!! Respected firms and respected people. They are buried in their day-to-day job that little to no time is spend to educate them on what’s happening in the market! Their organization should spend... [More]
We have all heard that to be successful businesses need to drive down costs, reduce software project risk and increase the speed at which software is delivered to the market. Right now you are probably thinking... "Great, tell me something I don't know!" The reality is that many companies are trying to continuously integrate, test and release their software but few are effective in doing so. Those who have figured out the "secret" are winning - beating their competition, increasing their market share, and... [More]
While discussing the benefits of using Rational testing tools in their software delivery the customer popped the question: “Maybe a bit off-line, but what kind of tester do we need?”
I want to share the answer I gave to him.
Formerly “the test expert” was a employee who could talk to the customer, analyze the inputs, define approaches, document the test. This last one was probably done in a tool like Excel. Maybe he was also responsible for executing and reporting on it.
Things have changed. Agile is... [More]
Perhaps at some conferences the last day of sessions may be the "What do we do with this one?" type of session scheduling, but not in the Quality Management and Testing track at Innovate 2013. Thursday promises a level of quality sessions equal to those already delivered across the week.
The 4th day starts off with two sessions on Service Virtualization. The Service Virtualization for Dummies® session will net out the content from our new book . Definitely a must attend for all service... [More]
Wow time certainly does fly - 10 days until approx. 4000 people will arrive in Orlando for a week of enablement, fellowship and fun at Innovate 2013.
And for those interested in what's happening in the Quality Management and Testing track, read on as I share a brief overview and "tips" for Day 3.
Starting things off with a "Shift Left" in Room 1, this session shares insight on how to begin performance testing earlier simulating "real world" scenarios to improve... [More]
Are you thinking about what to do about mobile testing? Everyone is talking about device fragmentation, but how do you manage to test and keep track of what’s different on each device type? We’re going to talk about ways to increase your reuse of manual or automated test scripts by leveraging a single multichannel approach to your automation on Tuesday, June 4 th at 1:45 PM in my Innovate 2013 called “Multichannel Testing - From Web to Mobile and Beyond.” If you haven’t signed up for Innovate,... [More]
I have always loved that subtitle on Dr. Strangelove – “ How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” I have recently been thinking that better, faster, cheaper with continuous delivery and continuous testing means we really have to stop worrying about every defect. Which led me to Dr. Strangelove . It’s equally mind bending in some ways … so many years of looking under every rock for those defects. The worst possible thing was an “escape” to production and its requisite... [More]
I’m putting the finishing touches on my presentation for Innovate 2013 called " What’s the Real Deal with Testing? " My session will be Wednesday, June 5 th at 11:15 am. We’re going to have 90 minutes to talk about the real problems facing testers. Like what is this “continuous testing” thing? How much time do you spend setting up test environments and what’s the hardest part? Are you doing unattended testing? Do you want to? Join me for these topics and much, much more! If you... [More]
First off and as I am Canadian eh, I have to apologize for my tardiness between posts. Don't really know why I am apologizing - it is just something we Canadians seem to do. However, I know many are probably wondering what is going on at Innovate so here is a little insight aboot day 2 in the Quality Management and Testing track.
First off, let's talk a little about Service Virtualization. For those who don't know what this means, "Service Virtualization is the ability to simulate the... [More]
I’m still thinking about what the right content should be for continuous testing. My previous blog was about thinking about what test content matters. But there’s also the consideration of how much content and considering avoiding waste of building too much automation. I’ve had the experience several times of too much success (amazing, right?) in building automation. In those days, it was actually great to have a robust test automation suite that took 12-18 hours to run. We actually measured our success at... [More]
The Agile Manifesto guiding principles says,
“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” (emphasis mine)
So as teams have adopted agile development practices, we have rapidly hit the delivery wall. The current conventional wisdom says to reduce risk, deliver more frequently and to make sure you’re not changing very much. I mean really, how much can you screw up in a day (or even a week)? So, if you can’t really screw much up AND... [More]
Hopefully you have already read the first TheRationalTester blog posting sharing what is going on in the quality management and testing (QM&T) track across the entire week at Innovate 2013. If you haven't, you can read about it here. This time let's dive a little deeper into Day 1.
Kicking things off is a pre-game or tailgate session. For the football fans in the US, I am sure you are very aware of what tailgating is all about. We occasionally do... [More]
Earlier this year, IBM hosted a webinar where we asked you, the customer, for feedback on Innovate. Well, the Quality Management and Testing Innovate team heard you loud and clear. For one, you said you wanted more sessions delivered by our customers and to hear the benefits they are realizing first hand. This year, we are offering more customer sessions than in years past. In fact two thirds of this year's agenda is being delivered by customers and our business partners. But we didn't stop there and believe we took this year's line... [More]
You may be hearing a lot about service virtualization lately and how it can help development organization overcome their testing challenges. Others may be wondering what the heck I am talking about when I when I use a phrase like service virtualization. In fact, during the recent IBM webcast Practical Tips to Successfully Test Complex Applications from the authors of "Service Virtualization For Dummies" , 65% of the attendees had no knowledge of service virtualization and another 18% had just begun the learning process by reading... [More]