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Damn it all, its just not cricket..or is it?

After fifteen years of living in Australia, some things have rubbed off on me. One of the them is cricket.  I have to confess I have spent many a sun drenched day watching the cricket whilst imbibing the odd beverage here and there.
Cricket Image

One thing that I have noticed in the game, is the impact of the new ‘unknown’ player. It suprises me the impact the unknown can have on the game. Michael Clark (or Clarkey to his mates) on his debut in Bangalore went out and scored 151 runs (thats a lot btw).

Here comes the testing bit…

Fergal O’Riordan,  pointed out a similar result in his software testing teams.

When testing is all but hung up and dry, he enlists a new tester.  This tester must be new to the team, and never worked on the application before.  He finds that doing this dramatically increases the number of bugs found in that day.

He breaks the bugs down as follows:

  • The majority are known issues, but previously where not considered to be bugs. The new tester didn’t know that and raised them. Changed circumstances and attitudes now regard these bugs as valid.
  • Most of the other bugs were also known issues, but were either seen as not relevant to the stakeholders or were being dealt with in future releases
  • a small number were new and relevant bugs that required fixing.

So why is it that a new tester is able to have such an impact? He puts it down to the following reasons:

1) These bugs have been seen before but previous experience led testers to believe they were of no relevance to the stakeholders

2) A new set of eyes brings a fresh perspective and outlook to the testing

Doing something different, unpredictable can bring benefits to your team, no matter what the ‘sport’ is.

So there you go, who would have thought that the world of testing and cricket had something in common?

Tea break!

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A CIO’s pain….a software tester’s gain?

“In April, the CBA announced it would replace the traditional measurement of IT performance – the service level agreement – with customer feedback reports which impact employee remuneration directly.” so the IT news reports.
As a result, CIO Michael Harte accepted a reduced paypacket following a June outage.

The full article can be read here Commbank CIO takes pay cut over Netbank outage

My first initial thought was “great, maybe more testers will be hired to make sure crappy software isn’t released” followed swiftly by “I wonder if any software testers had their wage packages affected because they didn’t find the June bug?”

I’d be interested to see what the Commbank test team makes of this!

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YouTrack, a new issue tracking tool

I noticed that there is a new bug tracking application on the scene. It’s called YouTrack and describes it self as:
“web-based, keyboard-centric issue tracker” and

“The Fastest Bug and Issue Tracker”
“Wow”! Sounds like just the tool for a Maverick Tester!  I’ve been on the hunt for a decent bug tracker for my website, so I thought I would try this one out.

The download and install was true to its word, it was fast and immediately a login page appeared in my browser. Fantastic! I had spent many hours installing  TRAC and in comparison this was a cinch!

YouTrackLogin

I’m now the proud owner of YouTrack on my laptop.

There’s a few things seem nice, one is the use of tags and the ability to create users under projects only, which will be handy for me as I don’t want my clients to be able to see other project content.

I did have a grin at the roles though, there was admin, developer (of course), observer (??) and reporter (?!). I think that we testers will fall under the “reporter” role.

This application is under Beta, and JetBrains are asking for people to raise bugs as they see it. Hopefully, the beta testing is a bit more successful than Joe Stump, of blundermove.com (see Elizabeth’s Hendricksons great  post on this).  Or  they have performed some solid system testing (by their “reporter” )prior to this beta release.

I’m going to try and install it on my web server in the next two days, and I intend to use it for a current client I have.

The major downside I see to YouTrack is the fact that it’s only a temporary license. I don’t want to invest large amounts of energy into a product that turns out to be excessively expensive. For startup’s TRAC or Bugzilla which is opensource may still be more worthwhile.

Anyone else used YouTrack?