Archives / 2018
  • Make your automation sit up and pay attention

    One of the problems with the phrase “test automation” is that it implies that what a manual tester can do can also be automated, and even that it is automated when someone automates a manual test … more

  • The limits of AI testing

    Artificial intelligence (AI, or more accurately called machine learning) is all over public discussions about software testing. It seems like the next big thing! Many imply that it will take over the … more

  • The end of test cases

    Test cases have served teams well as a tool to enable measures of quality over time, over many runs of those test cases, so the team knows (or should) roughly whether quality is getting better, worse, … more

  • Example: Fixing the Shopping Cart False Positive

    Last month I posted here about the false positive problem.

    Here is a specific example that I learned from a friend at Microsoft, where the false positive caused a defect escape:

    Imagine a shopping … more

  • The differences: Manual Test vs. quality automation

    In my last post I describe out the two kinds of automation that fit in the quality automation space.

    People who do quality automation (at least, the part of quality automation that drives and … more

  • The two halves of quality automation

    Quality automation is the domain (or problem space) of driving the SUT, measuring and recording data on SUT behavior and communicating that data to the business. I also use “quality automation” to … more

  • Fixing the false negative problem

    False negatives happen when these three things happen in order:

    Operations (ops) promotes the software to the next level, or ships it to end-users

    Someone (or, some automated process) discovers a … more

  • Fixing the false positive problem

    With all the quality automation that is your responsibility, a run of a check failed. It is your job to check it out.

    After 30 minutes or so of investigation, you find that the failure happened … more

  • To find a better solution, look to the bigger picture

    Last week I contributed at the annual global patterns conference, aka Pattern Languages of Problems or PLoP.

    The site is here

    We met this year in Portland Oregon. … more

  • No respect for QA … how to fix that!

    Three years ago, I overhead this in the hallway at a STARWEST conference:

    “I want to know why the QA team wasn’t represented in the go-no-go meeting this morning!”

    I was disappointed, but not … more

  • Don’t pick up Maslow’s Hammer

    There are some interesting memes bouncing around the software quality space.

    For example, the idea that analytics obviates verification; some people think that with good analytics, there’s no need … more

  • Automation to test IoT systems across tiers

    This page estimates the number of internet-connected devices worldwide from 2015 to 2025.

    Suppose you’re working … more

  • Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet

    Thanks to the late Stephen Hawking for that wonderful quote (the title for this post).

    For software quality with automation, I take his quote to prompt the big-picture questions:

    How does this work? … more

  • BDD is limited in what it can do for the team

    Behavioral-Driven Development (BDD) requires the team to

    develop a “ubiquitous language” that describes the SUT in terms that anybody in the business can understand

    Create a custom language (e.g. … more

  • The “Four-Phase Test” Pattern is obsolete

    In 2007, Gerard Meszaros published his tome “xUnit Test Patterns.” It is an impressive, well-done, scholarly work of cartography. Gerard delivered to the software quality community a definitive work … more

  • Log Statements in Automated Checks are Not Optimal

    Near the historical origins of the hardware-software interface, and early in the history of software services, logs were born: discrete packets of information with time stamps and some quanta of … more

  • Collect and present ALL the functional quality data

    The basis for the MetaAutomation pattern language, and the reason for it, is at the core quite simple.

    Everybody on the team (or, almost everybody) does manual or exploratory testing with the SUT. … more

  • The Axes of Test Types – Has This Been Done Before?

    Experienced practitioners of software quality might notice similarities between my testing types diagram in this post and Brian Marick’s Agile Testing Matrix, linked here … more

  • Welcome to the MetaAutomation Blog

    What is MetaAutomation all about?

    It’s about replacing the term “test automation” with something much more descriptive, proper, generative, and less misleading: quality automation. Quality … more

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