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Category Archives: Cover Story

THE A&C OF SMAC: ANALYTICS AND CLOUD

infographicBy Michael Hackett

In the last issue on testing the SMAC stack we talked about the social and mobile aspects of testing.  We will be referring to them in this article. In this issue part 2, we focus on the Analytics and Cloud aspect. The goal of this article is to understand a simple landscape of analytics and cloud.

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WHAT DOES SMAC MEAN FOR SOFTWARE TESTING?

By Michael Hackett

Much has been written over the past few years about SMAC—Social, Mobile, Analytics and the Cloud—as the new platform with exponential growth.  In this article we will answer the question: what is this and what does it mean to software testing?

What is SMAC?

smac-infographic-05

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Making the Case for Better Test Design

The No-Nonsense Guide for How to Write Smarter and Low Maintenance Test Cases

By Michael Hacket

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Test design is a phrase that is often used when planning testing and test efforts, but I do not believe it is well understood. Also, opinions vary widely about the importance of test design ranging from irrelevant to the crucial ingredient for success.

Recently, I was at a company where they are throwing out their entire test automation suite and starting over. The regression suite they had been building for a few years was bloated and verbose. To make matters worse, the pass-rate (percentage of automated tests passing each run) kept dropping, and the team had long ago lost confidence that the regression suite even gave much assurance.

Their idea two years ago was to invest a bunch of money in a new tool and hire more technical staff. Next, take the manual test cases and automate them since they seem to work, and automating is better than manual. Good idea? Eighteen months later they had a large number of automated scripts, but the tests were poorly designed in the first place.

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Testing Agility in the Cloud: The 4Cs Framework

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By Sumit Mehrotra, Skytap

Application development and delivery teams are under constant pressure to release quality features as quickly as possible. CIOs rate delivering applications faster, with higher quality and with strong control on application development as their key priorities. What’s more, supporting this type of agile environment is particularly complex to IT teams that are also tasked with supporting multiple, older versions of applications.

Moving faster, with higher quality and stronger control on costs is a common mantra in enterprise application development and delivery (AD&D) teams today. However, these requirements often pull teams in different directions. To release things faster, teams often skip various pieces of testing to compress the timelines that result in costly customer issues later. And conversely, to achieve required quality, teams often have to sacrifice features, thereby impacting business deliverables. Lastly, in order to achieve business deliverables with the desired quality, teams tend to be forced to spend a lot, both in resources and people.

To avoid being forced to sacrifice quality for speed, and vice versa, I recommend a 4Cs framework. This framework eliminates common constraints faced by AD&D teams looking to adopt DevOps practices like continuous integration and continuous delivery, and helps deliver agility in the cloud. Many enterprises today are adopting this framework to help them evaluate the variety of tools and resources in the ecosystem to help them deliver business value faster, with higher quality and lower costs.

In this article, we introduce the 4Cs framework, and use it in the context of four transformations — each addressing a given set of problems, with an appropriate array of tools for a desired end result — that teams are trying to achieve in their software delivery pipelines.

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Solutions for Testing Web Services

4An overview of web service testing solutions for traditional or non-technical testers.

 By Michael Hackett

Much has been written on the technical execution of API tests, yet there are gaps in the details of what tests to design and how to design them. The articles tend to either get too technical too fast, or are too vague and not much help. This article is written for the consumers of web services and addresses issues of what to test, test design, and solutions for traditional testers. The test strategy used by testers will be quite different than test strategy for developers or producers of web services. Also, it’s important to understand that when I use the phrase traditional tester, I mean someone who is more of a subject matter/domain expert than a technical expert, but who is well skilled in testing and QA.

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BDD and ABT: Game Changing Test Methods

Two powerful test methoVideo Gameds for fast-paced development organizations

By Michael Hackett

As development teams have been pushed faster and into tighter scrum sprints, testing has burst through old development paradigms. Developers are being pressed to do more unit testing. Automated smoke tests are essential parts of CI (continuous integration) and full, automated regression suites are being run across platforms, devices, virtual machines. With all the complexity, many teams have finally come to the conclusion that having a more methodological approach and strategy for test design, execution and maintenance is essential to keep up with the speed demands.

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Letter from the Editor – December 2014

Michael HackettEvery organization goes through times when the internal, or home team, cannot execute the testing project easily or quickly enough. The reasons are many, from the lack of an effective test strategy to low automation engineering skill, to staff positions going unfilled due to a great job market. With everyone working and very few people to fill positions, development teams are searching for more and more ways to be leaner and meaner, outsourcing more of their work.

I have worked in many outsourced capacities and engaged with many organizations, individuals and teams as an outsourced consultant. Today, about half my work comes from strategy and test process consulting for other organizations. I am also involved with a professional services team whose work is completely outsourced. LogiGear itself does the majority of its work as an offshore outsourced service organization

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The Internet of Things: Software Testing’s New Frontier – Part 2

4 -Sep-2014-01This the second part of a two part article that analyzes the impact of product development for the internet of things (IoT) on software testing.  

By Michael Hackett, LogiGear Corporation

Part one of this article (LogiGear Magazine, Sept 2014) gave a wide view on the IoT, embedded systems, and the device development aspects of testing on these projects. This article continues with the focus on connectivity, data and mobile pieces including security, performance and remote device control, commonly from a smartphone.

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The Internet of Things: Software Testing’s New Frontier – Part 1

 Picture4What you need to know for testing in the new paradigm

By Michael Hackett

This two part article analyzes the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) product development on traditional testing.

Part one of this series starts with a wide view on the IoT, embedded systems and device development aspects of testing. Part two, to be published in the September issue, will focus on mobile: connectivity, data, security, performance and remote control—commonly from a smart phone.

Embedded systems have been around a long time, and consumers have had internet connectivity for over to two decades, however the explosive growth of internet enabled devices is just in its infancy. Ubiquitous computing is happening now on a large scale. 

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Action-Based Testing, A New Perspective

The best part of Action-Basted Testing is that it is for thinking people. It is intelligent and creative. It is a much saner way to evolve a testing project.

By Michael Hackett, LogiGear

All testers and quality engineers hear about Action-based testing (ABT) or keyword-driven testing somewhere. There are automation tools focused on keywords and actions. Maybe people have read an article about it. But do you actually do ABT as a test method? Probably not. What’s the big deal with ABT? Why don’t more teams do it?

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