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Showing posts from March, 2011

If it's not good testing, it's not good regression testing either.

Pick a coin from your pocket, and hold it at arms length. Take a good look. Now take another one, of the same denomination and hold it out at arms length as before. Based on your observations alone - can you say they are the identical?

Lets go a step further. If someone had given you one coin to look at, then exchanged it for another, could you have determined whether they are the same or different coins? Maybe, yes? If the differences had been large enough e.g. one coin was heavily tarnished or scratched, then the different coins would be identifiable. Or if you'd been given the opportunity to examine the coin using magnifying equipment, you probably could of found differences.

But lets assume our only test was a standard set of checks i.e.: viewing at arms length and comparing what we see with our notes/records. It's better than nothing, I would see some differences, some might be important ones. For example if my next coin was blank: I might have suspected an issue with my …

The Mythical Standard Build

Do your hear phrases like "All our users use [insert some technology]" spoken in your office? or possibly "We have a 'corporate standard' desktop". I have a lot. I have since my first job, back in the '90s. It's a commonly held belief in most of the client companies I've worked with. Programmers, testers, project managers and product owners frequently hold faith in the standard build.

It -is- a matter of faith. Often based on little more than wishful thinking or at best very loose 'standards'. The problem isn't purely one of client machines or end-users. I've often seen servers defined as 'clones' that in fact have quite different properties. e.g. different versions of java or application servers or even different time. The blind faith on these standard systems has caught myself and colleagues out so many times that I now find myself instantly questioning the assumption, and encouraging others to do the same. Even in this…