Monthly Archives: October 2011

6 years of blogging – time for a change!

Six years ago, I was still a student at the University of Geneva, I decided to host myself a blog in order to be able to share my ideas and views with other people. It was also a convenient way for me to be able to remember some random ideas I would have read or learnt.  

I quickly realized that nobody was reading my blog 🙂! So I changed the switched the main language to English instead of French, this helped quite a bit to increase the number of visitors. I remember that I was really proud when around 30 people per day would visit my blog.
With time my focus and the focus of this blog sharpened on web design and web development (mostly Macromedia/Adobe Flash). Being actively focused drive this blog high in page rank and I had a decent amount of daily visitors (for a personal blog, that said).

Since my professional focus shifted from web design and development to software engineering and testing, the focus on this blog has been lost. Frankly, I am writing about too much random stuff to be able to capture someone attention.

In computer science there is a known paradigm, called divide and conquer, that state that to fix a complex problem a solution is to divide it in simpler problems. Starting today I will apply this paradigm to my online presence.

I am a software tester by profession and I am passionate about software testing knowledge and theories. I have opened a blog dedicated to software testing: where I will be blogging about software testing whenever I have something to write. Join me there if you are interested by software testing :).

I work at Microsoft, on Lync server and I own the testing for Response Group Service and Call Park Service. I have opened a while ago a blog on MSDN dedicated to this topic. Join me there if you are interested by Lync server response group service and call park service :).

What about / blog? Well I am going to use this blog only for more personal related blogging, giving my point of view on technologies and sharing some information about my life in the US.

Thanks for reading!

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Two days at PNSQC – what I took away

A few weeks ago I had the chance to win at a tombola organized at SASQAG (Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group) an entry ticket for the PNSQC (Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference).

With this ticket in my pocket, we decided (with my wife and kids) to have a trip to Portland, OR. I haven’t had time to visit Portland too much but I understood from my wife that there is no state taxes in Oregon 🙂.

The conferences lasted two days (+ workshops that I did not attend) and was really interesting I must say.

Day 1:

The keynote was given by Julian Harty about the future of quality. The main idea is that software testing needs to focus much more on the users than on the functionality, testing needs to take into account more parameters than just a functionality.  

Following the keynote I went to a talk from Wayne Roseberry about software reliability. The reliability, he claims, can be achieved by good metrics and measure, development of tools to help improving the investigation in case of issue.  After this talk focused in process improvement I jumped to the testing track of the conference.

The test talk was an introduction to customer focused test design by Alan Page. The main takeaway of this talk, as already mentioned during the keynote, is that the focus in testing needs to shift to the customers. The testers should focus on the main scenarios from the customers and thus help increase the perception of quality. This could be done by increasing testers’ awareness on security, privacy, usability, reliability, performance, interoperability and globalization. Another tool to increase the coverage of customers’ scenarios is live testing or test in production.

This was actually the topic of the next talk I attended, presented by Keith Stobie. He went through a lot of technics to control and monitor test in production, from A/B testing to fault injection.

I then went to a talk by Jim Sartain about inspiring, enabling and driving quality improvement. As the title reveal, he focused on how to give the test teams the environment and the resources they need to make their job. Some technics he promoted were peer review, scrum and unit testing.

Finally, I went to a presentation about application security for QA – Pain or Gain, the emphasis was on modifying the perception about testing and giving some tips on how to make security testing.

Day 2:

Next morning was rainy and I was really tired because my 9 month old son teeth were piercing so I did not have much sleep. At least the first talk was really entertaining so all that did not really matter. The keynote topic was Value Sync, presented by Robert Sabourin. His presentation went through the logic of understanding and synchronizing the value between stakeholders and testers.

After the keynote, it was time for Michael Bolton talk. I was quite looking forward for this one actually. Topic was about standards and deviations. I felt a bit uncomfortable as the talk was really oriented against the drafts proposed for ISO 29119 (software testing). I mostly agree with his points but it did not deserve two hours of talk in my opinion.   

I then attended a presentation under the soft skills track: the ladder of unmanaged conflict by Jean Richardson. The presentation was about how to deal with conflict in your organization.

After that I went to a presentation about playback testing by Vijaya Upadya, a very interesting presentation about using application logs to reproduce bugs (in short the tests parameters are extracted from the logs and allows to reproduce issue found on customers side or during live production testing).

It was time for a talk by Marlena Compton about understanding the psyche of the software tester. I was a really entertaining talk but I did not really agree with the content. I think the presentation missed a very important point on the interaction between developers, testers and project managers. She analyzed the conflict from the tester point of view, without taking into accounts the context of these conflicts.

To finish the conference, I decided to listen to Bj Rollison about parameterized random test generation. This was an excellent talk, I really liked how he presented an intelligent framework to have a great test coverage with realistic random data.

Overall, these two days were really refreshing and introduced a lot of new ideas in my perception of software testing. It sounds like we are in the middle of a profound change in software testing and the great news is that the users trends to the top priority in the testers mind.

If you are interested about the topics presented at PNSQC, they share all the content of previous events. You can head to the past conferences part of their site and you should soon be able to read / watch the presentations yourself!

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