We’re back for another day of close-to-live coverage of STPCon 2012 down here in Miami, Florida. Like yesterday, I’ll be posting highlights of the various keynotes, sessions and other events. Let’s get started:
8:30: Talking mobile metrics as part of our Sponsor Showcase. The conversation varied, but mainly focused on the role of simulators and emulators. Thanks to everyone who stopped by.
9:05: Gave away a Kindle Fire to a lucky winner (not me).
10:15: Getting laughs at 9:00 in the morning isn’t easy, but author/comedian Jeff Havens made it happen with his hilarious “motivational” speech on How to Uncrapify Your Life. Funny takeaways:
- Make yourself feel better by putting others down
- Make fun of people to their face, not behind their back
- Outsource blame wherever possible
- Never, ever use the word ‘moist’ again. Ever. It’s gross.
The serious things he actually covered:
- How to avoid negative and unproductive conversations
- The power of sincere, straightforward communication
- The importance of small things when it comes to delivering outstanding customer service
- How to approach change in order to achieve seamless integration
10:25: Off to the first QA session of the day: How to Prevent Defects with Dwight Lamppert.
10:34: Myth: The job of tests is to find defects.
10:35: The job of tests is to prevent defects. Quality should be built into the code from the start (paraphrasing).
10:38: Almost half of defects are introduced in the spec phase. Interesting.
10:41: The older the bug, the more it costs to fix.
10:49: Dwight talking about the cost (time and money) of re-work.
11:00: Process Improvements Steps from Dwight’s case study:
- AD appointed lead developer
- AD improved their internal code review
- More emphasis on and participation during reviews, walk-throughs – Static Testing
- More collaboration between developers and test teams
- Increased emphasis on unit testing
- Risk-based testing approach
- Improved regression work
11:11: Dwight: It’s important to track when defects are introduced: requirements, design, coding, system testing etc.
11:13: The people (developers) who participate in inspections stop making bugs in many areas.
11:16: Please don’t worry, we’re professionals here…
— Matt Johnston (@matjohnston) October 17, 2012
11:21: Quoting Casper Jones: “Good quality has one of the highest ROI’s of anything you can possibly do.”
11:23: James Sivak asking a question about how defect finding could slow down an agile testing team.
12:09: Listening to Doug Hoffman talk about non-regression test automation.
12:11: It’s important to recognize that evaluations are heuristic – reported “passes” and “fails” are only guesses.
12:22: Doug: “There are three types of peoplein the world. Those who can count and those who can’t.”
12:27: Talking about how random key-banging once crashed an early version of Microsoft Word. Neat story.
12:44: A little context for you:
Automated software testing has historically meant having the computer run individually crafted test cases that perform the same exercises as manual tests, only run by a machine. The principle advantages for these automated tests are repeatability and speed. The principle disadvantages are that they are relatively more expensive to create than manual tests, require more maintenance than manual tests, and are more limited in the specificity of things they can compare compared with manual tests.
Part 1 of this presentation describes another way to approach test automation: to test things that cannot be tested manually. Extending the scope of testing in this way allows checking for errors that might not be found otherwise or even conceived of. These tests enable us to focus on learning about the software, can go behind the UI to extend our reach, are not limited to doing the same thing each time (although even random sequences can be repeated), and can perform huge numbers of iterations and combinations unthinkable using manual testing or automated regression tests. These tests are usually high-volume, quick-hit, or abstracted one or two levels from the user interface, which substantially reduces maintenance costs. This approach also encourages checking broader classes of test outcomes, thus improving the types of errors that can be discovered.
Part 2 describes oracle mechanisms that enable testers to take advantage of non-regression automation. The oracles determine whether the software’s behavior appears to be normal or erroneous. The oracles allow non-regression tests to vary their behavior and still have predictable, checkable outcomes. This session presents over a dozen different types of oracle mechanisms.
1:02: Off to lunch. Stay tuned for updates on Matt Johnston’s keynote on mobile metrics.
2:01: Matt Johnston takes the stage. Not his first rodeo, but the first time I’ve seen him present in person in a very long time.
2:03: Mobile data is hard to come by and it changes too fast to calculate.
2:05: Lee Henson correctly identifies the Gartner Hype Cycle image. Good call!
2:07: Most attendees feel that mobile is on the upswing in their companies.
2:15: B2B, B2C…no one is exempt from mobile. No, not even you.
2:16: Didn’t realize Samsung was so dominate in the mobile market. Good stats from IDC, Forrester and Gartner.
2:18: Always nice to see/hear Windows Phone in the mobile discussion.
2:22: Growth is mobile is picking up steam and will be HUGE…just not in the US. The real growth will be in China and South America.
2:23: Almost all (88%) of apps are free.
2:25: Matt talking about the correlation between device and app satisfaction. Also the relationship between reviews and downloads.
— Seth Eliot (@setheliot) October 17, 2012
—JeanAnn Harrison (@JA_Harrison) October 17, 2012
2:36: The trend is not mobile. That’s the form factor. The trend is apps on hundreds of different devices.
2:37: Myth: HTML5 will kill native apps.
2:39: Myth: Companies need to sell apps to be successful in mobile.
2:40: Myth: Mobile is just like any other software app.
2:41: “Anytime you can put Biggie Smalls in a presentation, you should do it.”
— Joseph Ours (@justjoehere) October 17, 2012
2:50: Great round of applause for MJ. Off to the afternoon sessions….
3:22: Taking part in a testing competition. Already two bugs filed.
4:00: Having a blast being a tester. Thinking about a career change.
4:45: Tester fatigue sinking in. Running out of ideas. Maybe I shouldn’t quit my day job after all. #NotCutOutForQA
5:00: The clock is ticking on the testing competition. About to write my first testing report. Wish me luck.
5:17: Just submitted my first testing report. Wish me luck!
6:00: That’s a wrap for day 2. Thanks for following along!