How We Really Need to Stop ISO 29119

After some real consideration, I have decided to sign the Stop 29119 petition, and along the way also signed the Professional Tester’s Manifesto.stop-29119

The main reason that really resonates with me is that companies, who would normally not use the standard, would be compelled to comply with it just to win business. If there are even a few companies that conform to the standard which are successful, and it doesn’t have to be because they comply with the standard, others will try to follow their path.

At some point, almost every company complies with the standard, and no one knows the reason, only just that the paperwork is unbearable, there isn’t any room for actual testing, and they are afraid to step out of this vicious circle. I do not wish for the testing field to go through this, and that is why I have signed the petition.

But here is where it gets tricky: I think the people who started this opposition to stop the ISO should have thought more about their actions before jumping the gun. One of the few problems I have with this course of opposition is that it gives too much power to the body behind the standard. After some time, all this opposition will turn into just information. People searching for testing-related information may come across all these countless blogs against 29119, and the only thing they will do is research the standard and tell themselves that so many people wrote about it, they should try it, and maybe convince their companies to comply with it.

Even negative advertising is still advertising — it is always of some value to the product being advertised — and gives it some kind of power in the form of public awareness. The proof can be, for example, the ISTQB. As a new tester few years ago, I wanted to get certified (I didn’t) because everybody was talking about it. It was not in a good light, but I still thought it would help me land a good job. There weren’t any other options, so what should a new tester do in this case?

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Top Tweets from Let’s Test Oz 2014

The popular Let’s Test Oz conference just wrapped up in Sydney, Australia. It ran from September 15-17 and featured three full days of tutorials, keynotes, and sessions from noted industry experts like James Bach.

We didn’t get down to Oz to attend the event, but we were able to follow along with the event on Twitter. Here are some top tweets from the show. And, if you want to see more, check out tweets that are tagged with #LetsTestOz on Twitter.

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Vote for the Ideal Tool Contest Finalists

We asked the uTest community to design their ideal testing tool, and the community has spoken! Today, we are happy to announce the Top Ten Finalists for the Ideal Tool contest. Each entry is in the running for the $1,000 Grand Prize, determined by YOUR votes. The voting period starts today and will run until Tuesday, September 30th.

You can find more information about each entry below, as well as the poll to cast your vote at the end of this post. Happy voting and good luck to the finalists! prize

Meet the Finalists

The 30-second Recorder

A testing tool helping the tester to reproduce recent defect found by recording his activities in the last 30 seconds, and producing his activities in an activity log as well. This tool will save all of the user’s activities (clicks on screen, typing, etc.) in a log file and will record the screen itself and the user’s activities for the last 30 seconds (always keeps 30 secs of recording), helping the tester to provide clear steps to reproduce the defect for the developer.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Bug Recommender and Custom Template Tool

Single desktop app with support by mobile and web add-ons – all completely synchronized with one another. The Bug Recommender System automatically scans for each basic function of the product (e.g. find broken links, broken image, unplayable video, basic issue for form validation, etc.). For each issue found, the system directly captures a screenshot with annotation where is the location of issue and converts it to a custom template report that ready to submit alongside with all the attachments.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Complete Mobile Bug Report

A complete mobile bug report (GUI, functional, or technical) for both environments (iOS and Android) that contains screenshots (preferably with markups), videos, logs, and crash reports. In order to get all these info currently you need several separate apps for each environment and, of course before that, the installation of the testing app is needed. This ideal testing tool would combine all these features into one.

Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Multi-Template Manager

Testers often work with templates. Keeping templates up-to-date takes time and it’s easy to make a mistake (copy old information). This tool helps to manage multiple templates, provide correct information, and allows saving them and accessing them easily in any text form on any website. The basic idea is to create a set of notes and have the option to paste it from a context menu on any website.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Repro Matrix

An issue reproduction tracking tool intended to be used in conjunction with the issue tracking solution you already have in place. It’s goal is to simplify the way you define, collect, and consume information related to pervasiveness of issues. You can group a collection of related issues, define the environments those issues need to be checked against, and it provides a quick way to enter and use the reproduction information you just gathered.
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Get $300 Off Your STPCon Registration with uTest Discount Code

The Fall edition of Software Test Professionals Conference & Expo (STPCon) is coming up in November and we are so excited to offer uTesters a special discount to the show. STPCON-APPLAUSE-AD

STPCon is the leading conference on software testing and covers test leadership, management and strategy. Attendees can hear industry experts like Mark Tomlinson, Alessandra Moreira, and Mile Lyles share their knowledge and experience. Featured sessions include “In the Cloud and On the Ground: Real-World Performance Testing Stories” and “Tips for Painless API Testing.” 

As a special offer to our testing community, you can use our special discount code to receive $300 off your registration for the show, including early bird pricing! Book before early bird pricing ends September 19, and the price for the main conference drops to $995, the conference plus workshop to $1295 and the conference plus two-day certification class to $2095 with our code.

In addition to STPCon, we have other special uTester discounts to upcoming shows:

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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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Top Tweets from SeConf 2014

The 4th Annual Selenium Conference kicked off yesterday in Bangalore, India. The goal of this conference is to bring together Selenium developers and enthusiasts from around the world. We didn’t have room in our travel budget this year to send our team, so instead we’re bringing you the top 5 tweets from the first day:

To see what other events are upcoming in the software testing world, make sure to check out our revamped Events Calendar. And if you’re curious about learning Selenium in general, be sure to check out our Selenium Basics course track at uTest University.

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.

ISO 29119: Why it is Dangerous to the Software Testing Community

stop-29119Two weeks ago, I gave a talk at CAST 2014 (the conference of the Association for Software Testing) in New York, titled “Standards: Promoting quality or restricting competition?”

It was mainly about the new ISO 29119 software testing standard (according to ISO, “an internationally agreed set of standards for software testing that can be used within any software development life cycle or organization”), though I also wove in arguments about ISTQB certification.

My argument was based on an economic analysis of how ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) has gone about developing and promoting the standard. ISO’s behavior is consistent with the economic concept of rent seeking. This is where factions use power and influence to acquire wealth by taking it from others — rigging the market — rather than by creating new wealth.

I argued that ISO has not achieved consensus, or has even attempted to gain consensus, from the whole testing profession. Those who disagree with the need for ISO 29119 and its underlying approach have been ignored. The opponents have been defined as irrelevant.

If ISO 29119 were expanding the market, and if it merely provided another alternative — a fresh option for testers, their employers and the buyers of testing services — then there could be little objection to it. However, it is being pushed as the responsible, professional way to test — it is an ISO standard, and therefore, by implication, the only responsible and professional way.

What is Wrong With ISO 29119?

Well, it embodies a dated, flawed and discredited approach to testing. It requires a commitment to heavy, advanced documentation. In practice, this documentation effort is largely wasted and serves as a distraction from useful preparation for testing.

Such an approach blithely ignores developments in both testing and management thinking over the last couple of decades. ISO 29119 attempts to update a mid-20th century worldview by smothering it in a veneer of 21st century terminology. It pays lip service to iteration, context and Agile, but the beast beneath is unchanged.

The danger is that buyers and lawyers will insist on compliance as a contractual requirement. Companies that would otherwise have ignored the standard will feel compelled to comply in order to win business. If the contract requires compliance, then the whole development process could be shaped by a damaging testing standard. ISO 29119 could affect anyone involved in software development, and not just testers.

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Highlights From the CAST 2014 Testing Conference in NYC

Co-Chair Keith Klain of Doran Jones, a software testing consulting company, kicked things off in rousing fashion this past Tuesday, announcing that the 9th Annual eIMG_3763dition of the CAST conference was sold out. From there? The festivities officially started with a lively keynote from James Bach (are they ever not lively with him?).

CAST 2014 was held at the Kimmel Center at New York University (NYU), just outside the confines of beautiful Washington Square Park in lower Manhattan. What separates CAST from other testing conferences are the lively discussions and the varying viewpoints. With other testing shows, you may hear a speaker give a one-sided discussion with an agenda to promote his or her product — at CAST, you’re getting varied viewpoints that can actively be challenged and refuted by the audience.

The star of CAST is the ‘Open Season’ at the end of each speaker’s session — testers can hold up various color-coded cards which signal either a ‘new’ thread for discussion points, or replies to some of the threads that were already started. Questions were fielded both from the in-person audience and online viewers throughout the course of the conference.

The ‘Hits’ From CAST

A couple of the biggest hits from CAST came from Day 1. James Bach’s keynote led off Tuesday’s slate with a lively discussion that preIMG_3784ached the quintessential underlying theme of the show — that testers have to have that ‘thinking’ part — otherwise, they are nothing but bodies checking off boxes, running test cases. And that ain’t testing.

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