Load Testing Not Performed in Most Organizations: Should it be an Optional Affair?

We’ve all seen the disastrous results of not properly load testing and sites not being able to shoulder the traffic — the healthcare.gov site crashing in the United States is one load-testingexample where people’s livelihoods were actually put at risk (e.g. this wasn’t someone being inconvenienced today while pre-ordering the iPhone 6).

So you’d think that more organizations would be taking load testing seriously as part of the software development process, given the bottom-line risks to the business. However, according to a Software Testing Magazine report citing a survey from the Methods & Tools software development magazine, only 24% of organizations load test all of their projects, and even as high as 34% don’t perform any load or performance testing.

I’d be interested to dig deeper into this report, because it isn’t clear if this is a widespread issue in software development, or just in certain sectors. For example, organizations that make up this survey respondent pool may want to re-think their load testing strategies if they’re in industries with a low tolerance for crashes or slow site performance — i.e. retail. Nonetheless, this is still a surprising number.

Is load testing just an optional step for software development organizations? Or have they still not learned with the number of high-profile site crashes as of late? We’d be interested to hear from you in the comments below.

There’s an App U for That: uTest in New England Journal of Higher Education

If you haven’t noticed, apps are kind of a big deal right now.little-u How big? To the tune of about 466,000 jobs from 2007 to 2012 being created by the apps economy, according to a TechNet survey.

It is also anticipated that employer demand will create 3.7 million new IT jobs by 2016. So it’s only natural, going hand-in-hand with this explosive job growth, that there is a need for workers with skill sets that will allow them to run the tech necessary to power this new app economy.

According to Applause/uTest Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Matt Johnston, who sat down for an interview with the New England Journal of Higher Education, it’s also an “alternative” path that testers are taking to learn these in-demand skill sets:

“With a recent surge in employment thanks to the proliferation of IT jobs, many adults who are seeking to turn their careers around and want to participate in the apps economy are turning to alternative education paths—because going back to college will take too long for them to obtain a degree.”

uTest has been proud to have been a part of this alternative path with the launch of uTest University almost a year ago, designed to be a single source for testers of all experience levels to access free training courses. You can check out the full article right here with Matt’s interview, which gets into how testers and other IT workers are taking education into their own hands in this new economy, and how programs like uTest University and other massive open online courses (MOOCs) are leading the charge.

And you can also start your education right away — no expensive textbooks needed — over at uTest University, totally free to members of the uTest Community.

Latest Testing in the Pub Podcast: Views on Testing Communities

Testing in the PubThe latest Testing in the Pub podcast takes advantage of summer — really, the waning days of summer at this point — by having a pint in the beer garden and discussing testing with community leader and organizer of London Tester Gatherings Tony Bruce.

uTester and podcast host Steve Janaway sits down with Tony to discuss, amongst other things, an especially pertinent topic for anyone reading this blog right now as a uTester — the need for testing communities in software development and testing. We agree, Tony!

Be sure to check out the full podcast right here.

Happy Testers Day: How Will You Celebrate?

A sharp-eyed tester in our community has reminded me that it’s Testers Day. No, we didn’t make that up.ladybug-clipart-celebrate

Developers get a lot of the limelight, but it’s about time that testers get their day in the sun, and what better day than September 9 to celebrate that fact!

Wait, so what significance does September 9 have to testers, you say? Well, let’s say we just wouldn’t be using the term “bug” or “debugging” without this date or the influential woman associated with this date.

According to the Computer History Museum, on September 9, 1947, American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear admiral Grace Murray Hopper recorded the first computer bug in history while working on the Harvard Mark II computer. The problem was traced to a moth stuck between a relay in the machine, which Hopper logged in Mark II’s log book with the explanation: “First actual case of bug being found.”

So there you have it, folks. A momentous event deserves celebration and commemoration. How will you celebrate Testers Day? With a cake? By finding a bug in Grace Hopper’s honor? Be sure to let us know in the Comments below. In the meantime, be sure to give your colleague a high-five and wish them a Happy Testers Day.

Video Roundup: The Best of the Selenium Conference

The 2014 edition of the Selenium Conference in Bangalore, India, just wrapped up this weekend, bringing automation fans from around the world together for three days of workshops and networking.

While there’s sure to be some video rounded up soon for Selenium developers and automation enthusiasts who couldn’t make it this weekend (which we’ll share with our automation community), we’ve rounded up some of the great presentations from the 2013 edition of the show.

According to the Selenium Conference, the show is a volunteer-run, non-profit event presented by members of the Selenium Community. The goal of the conference is to bring together Selenium developers & enthusiasts from around the world to share ideas, socialize, and work together on advancing the present and future success of the project.

Beyond just automation, be sure to also check out uTest’s entire Events Calendar, your one stop for all events — virtual and live — covering the testing spectrum.

Simon Stewart, Selenium State of the Union

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Meet the uTesters: Steve Greenhill

524118_499758870038725_1059980591_nSteve Greenhill is a Gold-rated tester and Test Team Lead (TTL) on Paid Projects at uTest, hailing from England. Steve has over ten years of experience in software testing, including as a team lead, and has worked on both manual- and automation-driven projects. He has worked in a wide range of sectors from banking to education and TV broadcasting.

Be sure to also follow Steve’s profile on uTest as well so you can stay up to date with his activity in the community!

uTest: Android or iOS?

Steve: Most definitely, Android. I have always liked the flexibility along with the ease of capturing logs and other debugging information from a test perspective. I certainly think iOS set the bar initially, but it has been interesting seeing the progression Android has made. Admittedly, imitation at the start was the best form of flattery to Apple. Now, I do think Android is pushing technology a little better. It is not to say I don’t have a few Apple devices, though.

uTest: What drew you into testing initially? What’s kept you at it?

Steve: I studied Computer Science at the degree level, and at first, I thought I wanted to be a programmer. I have always enjoyed a social life, and while on University placement as a developer, I spent more time with the “cool guys” in QA. Which kind of made me think that I wanted their lifestyle a little more. That seems funny now, but I am glad I followed the testing approach. I love being challenged to find issues, to pursue a never-ending task of ensuring metrics are more effectively presented, and I love the daily “bridge-building” between developers and testers.

uTest: What’s your favorite part of being in the uTest community?

Steve: The favorite part is just that – being in a community. Throughout my years of “uTesting,” I have built a good relationship with Project Managers (PMs), TTLs and testers. This relationship is not only work-related, but has good social aspects, too. In terms of work, I literally have access to a wealth of knowledge. For example, I was struggling with a Japanese-focused issue, and I contacted one of my “uTest friends” based in that region for a translation of a field which just didn’t make sense in Google Translate.

On a social level, I work with some of the most amusing TTLs, so every day is quite funny! One thing I do say to people who are new to uTest is: Keep working hard — not everything happens right away. However, with the right focus and eagerness to succeed, you will soon be embraced by the Community.

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ISO 29119 Draws the Ire of Testers in uTest Community

Earlier in the week, you may remember that 30-year IT vet James Christie posted his thoughts on why the ISO-Logonew testing standard released by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is bad for the testing profession.

The post kind of blew up on Twitter, with testers from within uTest and the greater testing community immersed in a flurry of tweets and retweets to their followers. Michael Bolton even called it a “must-read.”

So why are so many people up in arms about this standard and tagging their Twitter posts with the harsh #Stop2919 hashtag? Well, you can be the judge and read the initial post from James to decide, but some of our testers took to the uTest Forums after the blog post went live to explain what ticked them off about it:

“Too bad we can’t impeach ISO 9000 [another standard from ISO]. I will not work for a company that requires ISO. I’m a process guy that loves to have a defined process that works for everything I’m doing. I don’t like process for the sake of process and that is what ISO feels like when implemented.”

“I left my last company because the industry they worked in was so heavily regulated — all we did was process, process, process. We never did any real work.”

“To say that you MUST test a certain way, no matter whether it is a tiny phone app or a massive mainframe control suite, is, well, really nothing short of insane.”

Testers in the outside world, we want to know: Is ISO 29119 a danger to the testing profession as a whole? What would be your reaction to someone that wants you to sign the petition to #STOP29119? Are standards (and certifications from organizations such as ISTQB) bad for testing in general, anyways?

If you’ve got strong feelings against (or for) 29119, we want to hear from you in the comments below.

uTest Platform Update of the Week: September 4th Edition

Accept-or-DeclineOur testers on paid projects here at uTest are busy people – many of them have day jobs as testers. Thus, they pull off an evening Clark Kent transition into Superman to get even more work done in their spare time.

Aware of this, our Platform Team continually pushes to make the uTest experience more intuitive and time-saving for our busy testers. As part of this push, we’ll be updating you each week on the latest and greatest additions to the uTest Platform.

Here are the notable features launching today as part of the uTest Platform release for Sept. 4:

  • Intuitive bug list sorting: TTLs will be able to see bugs in order of report date, and testers will be able to see the most recently submitted bugs first
  • NDA improvements on test cycles: Testers won’t have to fill out NDAs to decline test cycles, and NDAs will have pre-filled fields for easier completion
  • Easier identification of tester roles on test cycles: When in a uTest cycle’s chat, a user’s name will be paired with a textual annotation and color scheme that matches their role (e.g. TTL/PM/CM/TM)
  • Updates to how you report and view new issues: When you begin a new bug report form, the subject line input will autofocus so you can start typing right away, and, after submitting a new bug, the bug you just submitted is highlighted in the bug list the same way that the last bug you had open is (different background color)
  • Quick navigation to test cycles via Chat sidebar: You will now be able to right-click on a chat room (test cycle) name in the chat sidebar on right-hand side of the tester interface to navigate directly to that test cycle

While we’ve highlighted these updates effective today in the Tester Platform, be sure to check out the complete announcement in the Forums on what these changes mean for you, and to ask any questions you may have about platform features – current or on the horizon!

Tour de uTest: Community Member Tours Famous Cycling Stages

IMG_1291While it’s sometimes a challenge for me to even get up the stairs of our uTest/Applause headquarters each morning, some of our global community of testers are climbing mountains or cycling around Europe.

Put uTester Silvano Parodi into that latter category as an avid cyclist who managed to tour two stages of the Tour de France this Summer. Silvano hails from Genova, Italy and is a Silver-rated tester on paid projects here at uTest, and a 10-year development vet in his day job.

Beyond uTest, cycling is one other area that Silvano has always taken to in his spare time, riding since the age of 13, when his dream was to win the Tour de France. Silvano may have not realized that part of his dream, but this summer, he certainly was a little bit closer to the stage that he idolized as a kid.

Silvano and his wife put their bikes, a tent, and their uTest shirts on the car, and made the long trek of about 400 km (about 248 miles) to check out two alpine stages of the Tour de France.

They arrived a day early before the first stage they wanted to see,  and at the summit of the final climb, placed their tent that was brought along for the trip. According to Silvano, crowds gather from all over Europe, and even from as far as the United States and Australia, with their campers, caravans, and tents placed along the climb, each with a flag of the attendees’ home country. Silvano, as you’ll notice in the pictures here, served as a sort of flag/banner himself sporting the spiffy uTest attire. Lookin’ good, sir!

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Load Testing Tool LoadStorm Introduces LITE Version

Untitled5Creator of cloud testing tool LoadStorm, CustomerCentrix, today announced that it has released a LITE version of its cloud load testing tool.

This version is designed to be a cost-effective, easy-to-use complement to its enterprise level tool, LoadStorm PRO. According to the company, LoadStorm allows users to set up tests in the web application and run them from the cloud with no hardware to purchase and no software to install. Users will be able to try LITE for free from their site.

Don’t forget to leave a review of LoadStorm if you’ve used the cloud load testing tool in the past, and be sure to check out the complete library of testing Tool Reviews to check out comparable load testing tools and see which is best for your testing team’s needs.