Re: Advice on software testing?

Subject: Re: Advice on software testing?
From: "Dana Worley (MVP/JB)" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 09:48:46 -0600

To add what has been said:

When you get a new build with bug fixes or changes, sit down and talk with the developer on the areas of risk (what changed? where in the code? what other areas in the software could be potentially affected by this change). This will help you focus your testing.

When documenting bugs, make sure to provide complete steps on how to reproduce the problem. Saying, "It's broke" is not helpful :) Detail the behavior, write down or get screen shots of complete error messages. If its a bug that is related to usability, provide information on what you expected to happen, and how the software's operation differed from your expectations.

Working from test cases is great -- in a perfect world. However, if you are being asked to step in and do testing, it may be that there ARE no formal test cases or a QA department to turn to. "Demanding" that you have test cases before you start may be unrealistic. FWIW, I have been with the same company for 14 years, working as part tech writer, part tester, part customer support... It has only been since I began managing the group that we set up more formal test procedures.

If you have the opportunity, get training. I found training from SQA quite valuable (we actually brought it in-house for my group and our s/w developers).

Defend your position on a bug, but also know when to back off (especially when you get near release). Don't be offended if your bugs are "next versioned". Think about risk -- how likely is a customer to run into this issue? What are the ramifications? Is there a work around? Is it catastrophic? At some point, the software needs to be locked down (or it will never ship) and all bugs except those that are absolutely show stoppers will need to be moved to a future release. Understand this and don't take it personally.

Dana W.

On 12:59 PM, Cardimon, Craig wrote:

My manager told me I'm going to be adding software testing to my repertoire. Any suggestions for a newbie software tester?

Campbell Scientific, Inc.
Marketing Software Product Manager
Microsoft Help MVP 2002-2011
Jester's Baubles Fused Glass Designs


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Advice on software testing?: From: Cardimon, Craig

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