Friday, 30 January 2009

"Don't call me a QA!"

I dislike the term QA when applied to testers in general. I dislike it more when applied to my team. I dislike it even more when applied to me. If you read this, and you use the term QA - stop it. 

Bad Trend towards QA

Unfortunately if I graphed the trend for verbal usage of this term I would see draw a line heading upwards.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

FireShot - a great web testing 'screen' capture tool

A few testers have recently mentioned the tool FireShot to me. Note they only 'mentioned' it to me - they should have raved about it and shouted out its name, and in between the effusive praising performed a little happy dance. This plugin works in both IE and Firefox and allows you to capture the whole browser page as an image and send it to the clipboard.
When you upgrade to the 'pro' version you get editing capabilities, but the free version will speed up your web testing defect reporting no end.
Related links:

Saturday, 24 January 2009

How I learned to love Selenium's fireEvent

"I clicked on that, why didn't the click work!"
I recently faced the challenge of using Selenium to automate a web application that stubbornly resisted my attempts to automate it - until I found the fireEvent!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Get rid of those pesky IE dialogs with AutoIt

Over the years I have used and reused a variant of a single AutoIt script. The script basically polls windows for a dialog that matches a certain pattern and then performs some action.
I most recently used this to get rid of the IE dialog that pops up using Selenium with IEHTA asking if you want the web page to close the window.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Locky - the file locking test tool

When I test applications that read files I like to test how they handle locked files.
And yes, I once had a situation where I needed to lock lots of files, and then lock some more and then lock even more. So I wrote Locky to help me. [Download]

Friday, 16 January 2009

Notes on the evolution of my exploratory testing documentation style

Looking back at ETA I can see that my current approach to documenting exploratory testing has changed since I last worked on ETA.
Back then I remember my style as:
  • what did I just do?
  • what did I just observe?
  • scribbled thoughts on paper
I kind of scribbled future thoughts on bits of paper off to the side as they occurred to me. Since various people have derogatively described my handwriting as "a scrawl", "unreadable" and "teeny tiny random lines" on a page. And since my handwriting seems to self destruct and become unreadable, even to me, after a day or two - keeping too much in handwriting on paper forced an evolution.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Exploratory Test Assistant - a tool for recording your exploratorytesting notes

A long time ago I started writing a tool to help me with my exploratory testing [on GitHub].
I wanted a tool that would sit out of the way unnoticed until I needed it (at the call of a hot key), then I could type in a little note, save it and forget about it. And in the background the tool would go away and format the notes as I wanted them so at the end of a testing session I would have a report.
I didn't actually get to use the tool a lot because I started doing a lot more management work. But now I've done a bit more hands on testing recently I dug it out of my hard drive to see where I got to.
Since this comes in the category of "development project" I have placed it on Compendium Developments and at some point I'll create a proper project page for it, should demand warrant that effort.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Re-released Microsoft Compatibility Testing Virtual PC Images

The Microsoft compatibility Virtual PC images have had a re-release.  These time out on April 2009 (even when they time out you still get a grace 1 hour usage as I found out this morning).

How not to behave as a test contractor

Sometime back, Linda Wilkinson had a good post on Test Contractor behaviour I shall add a few more 'things not to do' to the list based on some recent (and slightly less recent) experiences with contract testing staff.