Kevin Tuck

Freelance Software Testing and Writing Services

Why did you miss this bug?
why_did_you_miss_this_bug
  • 13th December 2019

Software is kinda like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

Once it is complete and in the hands of the end-user. It is entirely possible that they will start running into issues. Maybe they cannot find a crucial piece that they need, find that there are pieces that do not fit together, or even discover that the picture on the back of the box does not match the one they are assembling.

We often relate testers roles to the quality of the product we end up delivering to our client’s and ensuring that the quality is the best it can be,

So one metric that we might use to measure quality could be the number of bugs present in a system. You shouldn’t solely use this metric in a real-world scenario. But we’ll use it for this example.

So in the jigsaw’s puzzle case, we could add a test to ensure that we have all the pieces of the puzzle. This could be achieved by doing a count of all the pieces before the puzzle is put together by the customer. That would ensure there are no issues.

But what if something goes wrong that we didn’t test for, is that the complete fault of the tester? And why was it missed?

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Not everyone can test, but nearly everyone can check
not_everyone_can_test_but_nearly_everyone_can_check
  • 9th December 2019

I remember hearing from a friend one day that they just ran a marathon. A monumental achievement for them considering that only a tiny fraction of people will ever run that distance in their lifetime.

But running a marathon isn’t just a quick decision that you can make on a whim one day, put on a pair of running shoes the next and then run the 26.2 miles.

I mean, I guess you could, but it probably won’t end well.

Having run two marathons myself. I know the months of preparation required to withstand the punishment that not only your body will go through but also the mindset required to not give up when everything hurts.

Not to mention thinking about all the potential variables that may go wrong in a race,

  • What if suffer from crump?
  • Can I get water on the course when I need it?
  • What if I lose a shoe?

Ok, the last one is unlikely, but I always have the fear that my shoe will come off during a race.

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How to decide which tests to automate
How_to_decide_which_tests_to_automate
  • 5th December 2019

I passed my driving test on the second attempt. My first attempt was a failure when I pulled out in front of a BMW. Which makes a change, I guess.

I remember the days following my success; I wanted to get a car of my own immediately and drive anywhere and everywhere in it. For too long, it restricted me to driving my instructor’s car around town centres like someone trying to locate a car parking space on a busy Saturday afternoon.

I wanted to use this new skill that I now had, and I wanted to apply it to everything.

But then I saw the cost of a car, insurance etc so I decided that I should just get a bike instead.

This urge to use a new skill can be like how we feel about test automation.

From unit tests, API calls to using a tool like Selenium and making it look like our application is being used by a ghost. Automation testing is not only cool, but having tests run by the computer can save us serious time and money.

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Don’t be the bearer of bad news
Don't_be_the_bearer_of_bad_news
  • 2nd December 2019

An inevitable action in our lives often requires us to give a piece of unwanted news to someone we don’t really want to give it to.

Whether it’s telling them they didn’t get a job, their car has a flat tyre, or they have a grubby mark on their face. No-one wants to give someone some news they’d rather not hear or be the person who is seen to be criticising the actions of someone else.

Software testing can be difficult sometimes for this reason. The bug reports we raise and the very nature of the job can often be seen as a negative activity to developers.

And I can understand why, if a developer writes a piece of software and they’re proud of what it does and how it was constructed. It can be quite deflating for them to see a tester to get a hold of it and raise six bug reports in quick succession.

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Teslas Cyber Truck unveil reminds us why we have QA
Teslas_Cyber_Truck_unveil_reminds_us_why_we_have_QA
  • 25th November 2019
  • 1 Comment

The golden rule is to test your features before you show them to your customers to prevent embarrassment. But I guess Elon didn’t get the message.

If you didn’t watch the reveal event for Teslas new electric-powered pickup truck on Friday. Let me just quickly recap the key moments of the event.

Elon comes onto the stage and talks about how pickup trucks haven’t really changed in recent memory, then Elon reveals something which kinda looks like a picture I drew back when me was 5 years old on the stage.

Elon then talks for a bit about the truck (I’m not a car guy, so didn’t pay much attention here). But then he talks proudly about the glass and how tough it is, along with the truck’s metal exoskeleton.

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Top five reasons why your software has bugs
Top five reasons why your software has bugs
  • 25th November 2019

Show me a piece of software, and I will show you the same number of issues with it.

Ok, that’s not an actual quote from someone, but the point that is conveyed is that all software has at least one bug present in its code waiting to be found.

But why is this?

With fancy developer environments and in-built error checking, don’t a lot of bugs get caught in the developer stage?

I can understand how puzzling of a question this can be, but the fact is that even with all the tools in a developers arsenal, buggy code is still and will forever be a thing.

But what is the source of these bugs? What factors contribute to their existence?

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Learning through exploration
Learning through exploration
  • 22nd November 2019

It seems common for many people wanting to learn a new skill to go through three main phases, deciding what to learn, going through a tutorial on the subject, then deciding it’s too hard and thinking the skill isn’t really the best one for them, and then either giving up, or moving onto a new skill that might be easier to learn.

When I first started programming back in the late 90s’, I too went through these phases, asking myself if I should spend my time learning this programming language or perhaps a different one. Is this really the best way to structure my code, or do I need to do more reading first?

This cycle of self-doubt can debilitate for a lot of newcomers and makes it seem impossible to get past those early stages and onto a level where you feel confident in your abilities with your new tool.

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Try not to assume so much
try_not_to_assume_so_much
  • 18th November 2019

Without us actively thinking about it. We all make assumptions about multiple situations, activities, and future events daily.

From the reason our friend isn’t answering the telephone, what that new restaurant down the street is like, and what we are doing next Friday evening are all assumptions, sometimes based on prior experience and knowledge, but always made with the understanding that you may not know the definitive answer. But the conclusion is your best guess.

Some assumptions are safe, like, for example, if I press this full stop on my keyboard, one should appear on my screen. I was correct.

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What is regression testing?
what_is_regression_testing
  • 13th November 2019

Let’s say you are the creator of a popular camera filter app for the Android platform. You introduce a new feature that you test thoroughly and are sure your current users will love. So you publish the change for everyone to download and wait for the feedback from your users.

The new version goes live and you see people are downloading the new version. Then the emails starting coming in.

‘My app doesn’t work.”

“I can’t access my photos. ”

Was this tested?

Uh-oh. 

The source code looks right, and it compiles without issue. What could be the problem?

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Characteristics of a great software tester
Characteristics_of_a_good_software_tester
  • 11th November 2019

It takes a special person to have held the position of window cleaner for the Empire State building back in the 1930s. Strapped to the side of the highest building in New York City, with their entire existence being held by a thin strip of leather (sweaty palm moment).

But the same is true of software testers.. just not that dangling off high-rise buildings bit. Someone might already be competent at their current role but may struggle with software testing.

Here are just a few of the qualities that you need to possess to be efficient and effective as a software tester.

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