How Sesame Street Can Help You Become a Better Software Tester

indexAll I really need to know, I learned in Kindergarten.

STARWEST presenter Robert Sabourin – a 30+ year veteran and well-respected member of the software development community – took that nugget of conventional wisdom and put his own unique tech spin on it in his course on Testing Lessons Learned from Sesame Street.

While the topic was fun and lighthearted, Rob took his subject matter seriously and impressed on attendees just how important it is to learn and master the basics. But what are “the basics”?

Let’s take a closer look at what you really need to know to build a solid software testing foundation.

Rob’s presentation focused on two main areas of professional – and personal! – development: cognitive skills and social skills. Developing your cognitive skills allows you to think more analytically, to develop efficient models and lay out precise explanations for your processes and reasoning. Strong social skills elevate your ability to collaborate to a whole new level of effectiveness and can help grow your reputation as a thought-leader.

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uTest Announces New Software Testing Career Mentoring Program

mentoringACEing your work as a software tester just got a little easier.

uTest is proud to introduce the beta version of A.C.E. (Assisted Continuing Education), a new software testing career mentoring initiative beginning November 1. The program will be available to all members of the uTest Community.

The mentoring program is designed to help software testers build a solid foundation of testing education. By honing these essential skills, participants will be well-equipped to grow their testing careers and strive for professional success on many levels. This will be achieved through participation in various course modules, each geared to the software testing professional at various stages of his or her career.

At the November 1 beta launch of the program, A.C.E. will offer the first two modules of the program, How to find valuable bugs and How to write great bug reports. Testers will have the option of signing up for one (or both) of the course modules.

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STARWEST 2014 Interview: Qualities Test Managers Seek in Software Testers

Recently at STARWEST, I caught up with professional software testing team lead Richard DeBarba.

Rich gave some great insight into what qualities he looks for in a team member and how attending STARWEST helps him focus on the most optimal training materials and direction for his team. By attending conferences like STARWEST, Rich is able to keep up with recent trends in software testing and learn about progressive new tools or practices.

So what types of testers do team managers like Rich look for? Check out the video below to see what he had to say!

Preparing for a Load Test With JMeter: The Vital Point You Might Be Overlooking

This piece was originally published by our good friends at BlazeMeter – the Load Testing Cloud. Don’t forget to also check out all of the lbz_bl_0001.24.13f_1oad testing tool options out there — and other testing tools — along with user-submitted reviews at our Tool Reviews section of the site.

If you often run load tests, you probably have a mental checklist of questions that run through your mind, including:

  • How many threads per JMeter engine should I use?
  • Can my engine handle 10% more threads?
  • Should I start with the maximum number of threads, or add as I go?

All of these questions are important and should be carefully considered – but what about the load test itself? Have you considered how the actual procedure will be managed?

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Testing the Limits With Testing ‘Rock Star’ Michael Larsen — Part II

In Part II of our latest Testing the Limits interview with Michael Larsen, Michael talks why test team leads should take a “hands-off” approach, and why testers should be taken oumichaellt of their comfort zones.

Get to know Michael on his blog at TESTHEAD and on Twitter at @mkltesthead. Also check out Part I of our interview, if you already haven’t.

uTest: In a recent post from your blog, you talked about the concept of how silence can be powerful, especially when leading teams. Do you think this there isn’t enough of this on testing teams?

Michael Larsen: I think that we often strive to be efficient in our work, and in our efforts. That often causes us to encourage other testers to do things “our way.” As a senior software tester, I can often convince people to do what I suggest, but that presupposes that I actually know the best way to do something. In truth, I may not.

Also, by handing other testers the procedures they need to do, I may unintentionally be encouraging them to disengage, which is the last thing I want them to do. As a Boy Scout leader, I frequently have to go through this process week after week. I finally realized that I was providing too much information, and what I should be doing is stepping back and letting them try to figure out what they should do.

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New Testing Tool Tutorials at uTest University

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing your suite of testing tools. Some tools may excel at one specific task, while others perform at an average level for more than one testing task.

A few months ago, we launched the Tool Reviews section of our site to let members of the uTest community rate and review the best testing tools. The community has responded by easily singling out the most popular and highest rated testing tools. logos

Over at uTest University, we’ve recently published new tutorials for some of the most requested tools in order to help testers set up these tools to use for testing. These tutorials are designed to be quick, easy to follow, and to get you up-and-running in no time.

Check My Links is a browser extension developed primarily for web designers, developers and content editors. The extension quickly finds all the links on a web page, and checks each one for you. It highlights which ones are valid and which ones are broken. You can learn how to set up and use Check My Links for testing using this new tutorial.

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Four Reasons Software Testing Will Move Even Further Into the Wild by 2017

apple0132Ever since our inception, uTest and our colleagues within Applause have always been a huge proponent of what we like to call ‘In-the-Wild’ Testing.

Our community is made up of 150,000+ testers in 200 countries around the world, the largest of its kind, and our testers have already stretched the definition of what testing ‘in the wild’ can be, by testing countless customers’ apps on their own devices where they live, work and play.

That ‘play’ part of In-the-Wild testing is primed to take up a much larger slice of testers’ time. While we have already seen a taste of it with emerging technologies gradually being introduced into the mobile app mix, there are four major players primed to go mainstream in just a couple of short years. That means you can expect testers to be spending less time pushing buttons testing on mobile apps in their homes and offices…and more time ‘testing’ by jogging and buying socks. Here’s why.

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Authors in Testing Q&A: Dorothy Graham Talks ‘Experiences of Test Automation’

Dorothy (Dot) Graham has been in software testing for 40 years, and is co-author of four books, including two on test automation (with Mark DG-photoFewster).

She was programme chair for EuroSTAR twice and is a popular speaker at international conferences. Dot has been on the boards of publications, conferences and qualifications in software testing. She was awarded the European Excellence Award in Software Testing in 1999 and the first ISTQB Excellence Award in 2012. You can visit her at her website.

In this Q&A, uTest spoke with Dot about her experiences in automation, its misconceptions, and some of her favorite stories from her most recent book which she co-authored, ‘Experiences of Test Automation: Case Studies of Software Test Automation.’ Stay tuned at the end of the interview for chapter excerpt previews of the book, along with an exclusive discount code to purchase.

uTest: Could you tell us a little more about the path that brought you to automation?

Dorothy Graham: That’s easy – by accident! My first job was at Bell Labs and I was hired as a programmer (my degrees were in Maths, there weren’t many computer courses back in the 1970s). I was put into a testing team for a system that processed signals from hydrophones, and my job was to write test execution and comparison utilities (as they were called then, not tools).

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Latest Testing in the Pub Podcast: Part II of Software Testing Hiring and Careers

Testing in the PubThe latest Testing in the Pub podcast continues the discussion on what test managers need to look out for when recruiting testers, and what testers need to do when seeking out a new role in the testing industry.

There’s a lot of practical advice in this edition served over pints at the pub — from the perfect resume/CV length (one page is too short!) to a very candid discussion on questions that are pointless when gauging whether someone is the right fit for your testing team.

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Open Source Load Testing Tools Comparison: Which One Should You Use?

This piece was originally published by our good friends at BlazeMeter – the Load Testing Cloud. Don’t forget to also check out all of the load testing tool options out there — and other testing tools — along with user-submitted reviews at our Tool Reviews section of the site.

Is your application, server or service is fast enough? How do you know? Can you be 100% sure that your latest feature hasn’t triggered a performance degradation or memory JMeter-Response-Times-vs-Threadsleak?

The only way to be sure is by regularly checking the performance of your web or app. But which tool should you use for this?

In this article, I’m going to review the pros and cons of the most popular open source solutions for load and performance testing.

Chances are that most of you have already seen this page. It’s a great list of 53 of the most commonly used open source performance testing tools.  However, some of these tools are limited to only HTTP protocol, some haven’t been updated for years and most aren’t flexible enough to provide parametrization, correlation, assertions and distributed testing capabilities.

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