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QA Music: All The Doctor Who Themes

QA Hates You - 4 hours 54 min ago

You’re going to listen to or watch all twelve minutes.

It has been said that your first Doctor is your favorite. This is not true in my case; my first Doctor was Tom Baker, but my favorite is Colin Baker. And no, I haven’t seen the new ones with Tobey Maguire and Ed Norton as the Doctor.

Categories: Software Testing

Web Performance News of the Week

LoadStorm - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 14:07

It’s a great week on the internet! This week in web performance the preservation of net neutrality and new announcements from Google and Apple make headlines.

FCC votes to preserve net neutrality, classifying broadband as a utility

Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to approve the proposed net neutrality rules for both wireless and fixed broadband. The proposed rules will disallow paid prioritization, as well as the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. After overwhelming public outcry, this win for advocates of net neutrality is being called “the free speech victory of our times” and “an even bigger win than SOPA”. But the debate looks to be far from over.

Response from Verizon came in both morse code and typewriter font saying the rules were “written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph. In addition, a group of 21 republicans sent a response to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler threatening legislation that would “ensure the antitrust laws are the preferred enforcement method against anticompetitive conduct on the Internet” and that “may include a restriction on the FCC’s ability to regulate the Internet.”

Apple to spend $1.9 Billion on European data centers powered by renewable energy

In what will be Apple’s biggest investment in Europe to date, Apple announced plans to build and operate two new data centers in Denmark and Ireland. Running entirely on renewable energy, the data centers will power several of Apple’s online services for European customers, including the iTunes Store®, App Store℠, iMessage®, Maps and Siri®. The operations are expected to launch in 2017 and will include initiatives to restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest, provide an outdoor education space for local schools, and create a walking trail for the community. “We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives.

Apple releases new Playgrounds

The new Xcode 6.3 beta 2 now contains improvements to Swift playgrounds, with inline results, stylized text, and a resources folder. The new playgrounds were made to be useful for authors and educators.

Google introduces a new open source HTTP/2 RPC Framework

Google has introduced a new open source (BSD-licensed) cross-platform library for making remote procedure calls. Built on the recently finalized HTTP/2 specification, gRPC will allow for bidirectional streaming, flow control, header compression, multiplexing requests over a single TCP connection and more. In addition to gRPC, Google has released a new version of Protocol Buffers, an open source binary serialization protocol intended to allow easy definition of services and automatic generation of client libraries. The project has support for several different programming languages (C, C++, Java, Go, Node.js, Python, and Ruby) with libraries for several others (Objective-C, PHP and C#) in development. Google indicated that they have begun to use gRPC internally in order to begin transitioning to HTTP/2.

A look ahead: Barcelona will host Mobile World Congress

The first week of March brings along the exciting 2015 Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain. The four day event is like the Ted Talks of mobile tech, with thought-leadership keynotes from Mark Zuckerberg and Tom Wheeler, numerous panel discussions, and 1900 technology and product exhibitors. The event will feature the Global Mobile Awards, and App Planet, an opportunity for the mobile app community to come together to learn and network. In addition, all attendees will gain access to 4 Years From Now, a 3 day event focused on startups and corporations, led by globally recognized entrepreneurship and innovation experts.

Other headlines this week:

The post Web Performance News of the Week appeared first on LoadStorm.

Use Load Testing to Validate Budget Requests

LoadImpact - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:19

Nearly every IT professional and manager is faced with justifying budget requests depending on their role within an organization. Unfortunately, while IT staff is good at determining where to spend their resources, selling it to upper management is not always easy.  What many of them overlook is that they can increase proposal success rates today by ... Read more

The post Use Load Testing to Validate Budget Requests appeared first on Load Impact Blog.

Categories: Load & Perf Testing

Big Sale on e-Learning Courses in Software Testing!

Randy Rice's Software Testing & Quality - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 14:34
For a limited time, I am offering discounted pricing on ALL my e-learning courses, including ISTQB Foundation Level and Advanced Level certification courses!

Just go to http://www.mysoftwaretesting.com to see the savings on each course.

Remember, as always, you get:
  • LIFETIME access to the training
  • In-depth course notes
  • Exams included on the certification courses
  • Direct access to me, Randy Rice, to ask any questions during the course
Hurry! This sale ends at Midnight CDT on Friday, March 20th, 2015.
Questions? Contact me by e-mail or call 405-691-8075.
Categories: Software Testing

Omni-Channel Monitoring in Real Life

In September, Macy’s announced that they will invest 1 Billion $ into their omni-channel strategy. When spending so much money the question that immediately comes up is how to measure the success? Key questions as “Are conversion rates increasing as planned?”, “How good is the User Experience for each channel?” need answers. Since my first […]

The post Omni-Channel Monitoring in Real Life appeared first on Dynatrace APM Blog.

Categories: Load & Perf Testing

Google’s experimental new “slow” label could revolutionize how we tackle web performance

Web Performance Today - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 12:11

Earlier today, Search Engine Land posted about a new label that Google appears to be testing in its search results pages. The red “slow” label, pictured here, warns people that your site is unacceptably slow.

Screen capture via K Neeraj Kayastha

There’s little explanation from Google on how this label is being tested and what the plans for full rollout might be. Based on the small amount of current information, all we know is that it appears to be visible to some, but not all, mobile Android users. It may also only currently be applied to Google properties.

Given the fact that mobile performance is a huge priority for Google, this label isn’t a trivial feature. If you care about performance, user experience, and SEO, then you should care about this potential game-changer.

Who defines “slow”?

If you’re like me, the first question you asked when you heard about this label is “How does Google define ‘slow’?” To me, that’s the most critical missing piece of information. We know that Google uses the Google toolbar to crowdsource performance data from real users, so my assumption is that this crowdsourced information is what determines whether or not a site earns a “slow” label.

But the actual metrics are a mystery. Is a “slow” page any page that takes more than 4 seconds to load? Or is it ranked according to its speed relative to competing sites? No one knows but Google.

Everyone hates slow pages.

“Slow” is a powerfully repellant word. People hate to wait. We’ll visit a site less often if it’s slower than a competitor by just 250 milliseconds. This behaviour is hardwired, and it’s unlikely to change. And as one survey from Tealeaf/Harris Interactive shows, when pages are slow, especially on mobile, we don’t react well.

Convincing site owners to care about performance is an uphill struggle.

“But my site isn’t slow.”

This is one of the most frequent things I hear when I talk to site owners. And from their perspective, they’re right. That’s because most people’s experience of using their own site happens close to the source, inside a speedy corporate LAN. It’s also because they may be misinterpreting the performance data they’re receiving from their measurement vendors. (This is incredibly common.) For many site owners who do see the light about their site’s real-world performance, this painful — and often embarrassing — revelation happens when they’re on the road and try to demo something outside of their site’s speedy comfort zone.

Convincing site owners to care about mobile performance is an even steeper uphill struggle.

Everything I said above, times ten. When it comes to visibility about mobile performance, there are a lot of heads stuck in the sand. My sense is that this is because measurement has, historically, been tricky for mobile. I think it’s also because tackling mobile performance is a huge scary beast that a lot of people are, understandably, afraid to look at head on.

Making speed a priority for SEO reasons has been only somewhat successful in the past.

This isn’t the first time Google has waded into the topic of making speed an SEO issue. But while this has attracted a fair bit of tech media attention and discussion in the past, I’ve never met a site owner who suddenly decided to prioritize performance because of it. This could be due to the fact that the details have always been murky, with most people agreeing that speed is probably just one relatively minor part of Google’s search ranking algorithm.

The “slow” tag, however, is too in-your-face to dismiss.

It signals that Google is taking performance — and particularly mobile performance — very seriously. Site owners would be wise to do the same now, before this tag is fully rolled out.

Next steps: You can’t fix what you can’t measure. First, get real visibility into how actual users see your pages. Identify your performance problem areas. Then fix them.

The post Google’s experimental new “slow” label could revolutionize how we tackle web performance appeared first on Web Performance Today.

How to get the most out of Given-When-Then

The Quest for Software++ - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 09:36

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Fifty Quick Ideas To Improve Your Tests

Behaviour-driven development is becoming increasingly popular over the last few years, and with it the Given-When-Then format for examples. In many ways, Given-When-Then seems as the de-facto standard for expressing functional checks using examples. Introduced by JBehave in 2003, this structure was intended to support conversations between teams and business stakeholders, but also lead those discussions towards a conclusion that would be easy to automate as a test.

Given-When-Then statements are great because they are easy to capture on whiteboards and flipcharts, but also easy to transfer to electronic documents, including plain text files and wiki pages. In addition, there are automation tools for all popular application platforms today that support tests specified as Given-When-Then.

On the other hand, Given-When-Then is a very sharp tool and unless handled properly, it can hurt badly. Without understanding the true purpose of that way of capturing expectations, many teams out there just create tests that are too long, too difficult to maintain, and almost impossible to understand. Here is a typical example:

Scenario: Payroll salary calculations Given the admin page is open When the user types John into the 'employee name' and the user types 30000 into the 'salary' and the user clicks 'Add' Then the page reloads And the user types Mike into the 'employee name' and the user types 40000 into the 'salary' and the user clicks 'Add' When the user selects 'Payslips' And the user selects employee number 1 Then the user clicks on 'View' When the user selects 'Info' Then the 'salary' shows 29000 Then the user clicks 'Edit' and the user types 40000 into the 'salary' When the user clicks on 'View' And the 'salary' shows 31000

This example might have been clear to the person who first wrote it, but it’s purpose is unclear – what is it really testing? Is the salary a parameter of the test, or is it an expected outcome? If one of the bottom steps of this scenario fails, it will be very difficult to understand the exact cause of the problem.

Spoken language is ambiguous, and it’s perfectly OK to say ‘Given an employee has a salary …, When the tax deduction is…, then the employee gets a payslip and the payslip shows …’. It’s also OK to say ‘When an employee has a salary …, Given the tax deduction is …’ or ‘Given an employee … and the tax deduction … then the payslip …’. All those combinations mean the same thing, and they will be easily understood within the wider context.

But there is only one right way to describe those conditions with Given-When-Then if you want to get the most out of it from the perspective of long-term test maintenance.

The sequence is important. ‘Given’ comes before ‘When’, and ‘When’ comes before ‘Then’. Those clauses should not be mixed. All parameters should be specified with ‘Given’ clauses, the action under test should be specified with the ‘When’ clause, and all expected outcomes should be listed with ‘Then’ clauses. Each scenario should ideally have only one When clause, that clearly points to the purpose of the test.

Given-When-Then is not just an automation-friendly way of describing expectations, it’s a structural pattern for designing clear specifications. It’s been around for quite a while under different names. When use cases were popular, it was known as Preconditions-Trigger-Postconditions. In unit testing, it’s known as Arrange-Act-Assert.

Key benefits

Using Given-When-Then in sequence is a great reminder for several great test design ideas. It suggests that pre-conditions and post-conditions need to be identified and separated. It suggests that the purpose of the test should be clearly communicated, and that each scenario should check one and only one thing. When there is only one action under test, people are forced to look beyond the mechanics of test execution and really identify a clear purpose.

When used correctly, Given-When-Then helps teams design specifications and checks that are easy to understand and maintain. As tests will be focused on one particular action, they will be less brittle and easier to diagnose and troubleshoot. When the parameters and expectations are clearly separated, it’s easier to evaluate if we need to add more examples, and discover missing cases.

How to make it work

A good trick, that prevents most of accidental misuse of Given-When-Then, is to use past tense for ‘Given’ clauses, present tense for ‘When’ and future tense for ‘Then’. This makes it clear that ‘Given’ statements are preconditions and parameters, and that ‘Then’ statements are postconditions and expectations.

Make ‘Given’ and ‘Then’ passive – they should describe values rather than actions. Make sure ‘When’ is active – it should describe the action under test.

Try having only one ‘When’ statement for each scenario.

SharePoint Lessons Learned from SPTechCon Austin

Yee-haw! Leading up to their first show in Texas, this was the message that adorned SPTechCon’s website in large letters made of rope. At first, this reference to a caricature of Texas culture made me cringe, being a native Texan and all. However, to SPTechCon’s credit, there is some significance to the phrase being used […]

The post SharePoint Lessons Learned from SPTechCon Austin appeared first on Dynatrace APM Blog.

Categories: Load & Perf Testing

Very Short Blog Posts (26): You Don’t Need Acceptance Criteria to Test

DevelopSense - Michael Bolton - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 13:08
You do not need acceptance criteria to test. Reporters do not need acceptance criteria to investigate and report stories; scientists do not need acceptance criteria to study and learn about things; and you do not need acceptance criteria to explore something, to experiment with it, to learn about it, or to provide a description of […]
Categories: Software Testing

How to Performance Monitor All Your Applications on a Single Dashboard

It’s become easy to monitor applications that are deployed on hundreds of servers – thanks to the advances in application performance management tools. But – the more data you collect the harder it is to visualize the health state in a way that a single dashboard tells you both overall status as well as the […]

The post How to Performance Monitor All Your Applications on a Single Dashboard appeared first on Dynatrace APM Blog.

Categories: Load & Perf Testing

Public Service Announcement

QA Hates You - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 02:25

I know it’s a year old, but the topic of this article will never get old: Ways to Say ‘No’ More Effectively:

When asked to help or to do a favor, whether it is to donate money to charity, fill out a questionnaire or let a stranger use a cellphone, research has shown many people will say “yes” simply because saying “no” would make them even more uncomfortable. This is especially true when people have to give their answer face to face, rather than by email.

And even when people do say “no,” they become more likely to say “yes” to subsequent requests. “They feel so guilty about saying ‘no,’ they feel they need to salvage the relationship,” says Vanessa Bohns, assistant professor of management sciences at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

The world could use more No.

Categories: Software Testing

QA Music: Thunderstruck

QA Hates You - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 02:57

“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC:

Yeah, I know. They’ve got a new album out. I’ve got it. But it doesn’t stick in my mind like some of the older stuff.

This song reminds me of a woman I coached in softball back when I was in college. She once put a woman in the hospital with an errant throw, so I nicknamed her Thunderball. Then she got shot down by muggers in front of her kids because she wouldn’t kneel for the muggers.

Doesn’t that brighten up your Monday?

Categories: Software Testing

WPM Home Maintenance

BrowserMob - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 11:44



We are performing emergency maintenance on https://home.wpm.neustar.biz/ at this time and will update this post once connectivity has been restored.


Please note, monitors jobs and alerting are not affected and will continue to run as normal.


We deeply apologize for any inconvenience.


Shane Barbetta

Neustar Customer Support

Categories: Load & Perf Testing

GTAC 2014 Coming to Seattle/Kirkland in October

Google Testing Blog - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 06:22
Posted by Anthony Vallone on behalf of the GTAC Committee

If you're looking for a place to discuss the latest innovations in test automation, then charge your tablets and pack your gumboots - the eighth GTAC (Google Test Automation Conference) will be held on October 28-29, 2014 at Google Kirkland! The Kirkland office is part of the Seattle/Kirkland campus in beautiful Washington state. This campus forms our third largest engineering office in the USA.

GTAC is a periodic conference hosted by Google, bringing together engineers from industry and academia to discuss advances in test automation and the test engineering computer science field. It’s a great opportunity to present, learn, and challenge modern testing technologies and strategies.

You can browse the presentation abstracts, slides, and videos from last year on the GTAC 2013 page.

Stay tuned to this blog and the GTAC website for application information and opportunities to present at GTAC. Subscribing to this blog is the best way to get notified. We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Categories: Software Testing

GTAC 2014: Call for Proposals & Attendance

Google Testing Blog - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 06:21
Posted by Anthony Vallone on behalf of the GTAC Committee

The application process is now open for presentation proposals and attendance for GTAC (Google Test Automation Conference) (see initial announcement) to be held at the Google Kirkland office (near Seattle, WA) on October 28 - 29th, 2014.

GTAC will be streamed live on YouTube again this year, so even if you can’t attend, you’ll be able to watch the conference from your computer.

Presentations are targeted at student, academic, and experienced engineers working on test automation. Full presentations and lightning talks are 45 minutes and 15 minutes respectively. Speakers should be prepared for a question and answer session following their presentation.

For presentation proposals and/or attendance, complete this form. We will be selecting about 300 applicants for the event.

The due date for both presentation and attendance applications is July 28, 2014.

There are no registration fees, and we will send out detailed registration instructions to each invited applicant. Meals will be provided, but speakers and attendees must arrange and pay for their own travel and accommodations.

Update : Our contact email was bouncing - this is now fixed.

Categories: Software Testing

The Deadline to Sign up for GTAC 2014 is Jul 28

Google Testing Blog - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 06:21
Posted by Anthony Vallone on behalf of the GTAC Committee

The deadline to sign up for GTAC 2014 is next Monday, July 28th, 2014. There is a great deal of interest to both attend and speak, and we’ve received many outstanding proposals. However, it’s not too late to add yours for consideration. If you would like to speak or attend, be sure to complete the form by Monday.

We will be making regular updates to our site over the next several weeks, and you can find conference details there:

For those that have already signed up to attend or speak, we will contact you directly in mid August.

Categories: Software Testing

Announcing the GTAC 2014 Agenda

Google Testing Blog - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 06:20
by Anthony Vallone on behalf of the GTAC Committee

We have completed selection and confirmation of all speakers and attendees for GTAC 2014. You can find the detailed agenda at:

Thank you to all who submitted proposals! It was very hard to make selections from so many fantastic submissions.

There was a tremendous amount of interest in GTAC this year with over 1,500 applicants (up from 533 last year) and 194 of those for speaking (up from 88 last year). Unfortunately, our venue only seats 250. However, don’t despair if you did not receive an invitation. Just like last year, anyone can join us via YouTube live streaming. We’ll also be setting up Google Moderator, so remote attendees can get involved in Q&A after each talk. Information about live streaming, Moderator, and other details will be posted on the GTAC site soon and announced here.

Categories: Software Testing

GTAC 2014 is this Week!

Google Testing Blog - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 06:20
by Anthony Vallone on behalf of the GTAC Committee

The eighth GTAC commences on Tuesday at the Google Kirkland office. You can find the latest details on the conference at our site, including speaker profiles.

If you are watching remotely, we'll soon be updating the live stream page with the stream link and a Google Moderator link for remote Q&A.

If you have been selected to attend or speak, be sure to note the updated parking information. Google visitors will use off-site parking and shuttles.

We look forward to connecting with the greater testing community and sharing new advances and ideas.

Categories: Software Testing

The Art of DevOps: An Introduction to the Landscape

Welcome to my four part series on what I’m going to call the Art of DevOps.  We will embark on a mission to reveal the extremely valuable intelligence that’s been collected about a unique strategy to continuously deliver assets to the operational battleground safely, securely and quickly.  This strategy drives optimal monitoring of the frontlines […]

The post The Art of DevOps: An Introduction to the Landscape appeared first on Dynatrace APM Blog.

Categories: Load & Perf Testing

10 Rules for Safety-Critical Code

QA Hates You - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 03:00

NASA’s 10 rules for developing safety-critical code:

NASA’s been writing mission-critical software for space exploration for decades, and now the organization is turning those guidelines into a coding standard for the software development industry.

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Laboratory for Reliable Software recently published a set of code guidelines, “The Power of Ten—Rules for Developing Safety Critical Code.” The paper’s author, JPL lead scientist Gerard J. Holzmann, explained that the mass of existing coding guidelines is inconsistent and full of arbitrary rules, rarely allowing for now-essential tasks such as tool-based compliance checks. Existing guidelines, he said, inundate coders with vague rules, causing code quality of even the most critical applications to suffer.

It’s not The Programmer’s Book of Rules, but it’s worth reading and considering even if your software can’t kill people.

Categories: Software Testing