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The Rest of the Testing Foundation

by Joy Grieg

In the last blog we talked about timing as foundational—the secret—to sound testing.  We also mentioned organization, logic, thoroughness, attention to detail, and clear communication.  They all play their part in putting the quality in quality assurance.


Organization and Logic

Have you ever known someone who seems to flit from thought to thought or activity to activity with no real plan in mind…just going with the stream of consciousness or “shiny object, shiny object” approach?  Sometimes it’s fun to watch, and through that sporadic creativity there may be some successes here and there, but there’s no march toward solid accomplishment.

So it is with testing.  Successful testing requires orderliness—sound logic and organization of one’s thoughts toward the final goal of helping ensure a quality product is released.  From the macro view, you’re asking questions like:

  •  “What is this software we’re testing trying to accomplish overall?”
  •  “What skills in planning the testing, analyzing the software under test and developing test cases do we need?”
  •  “How do I go about developing my tests in the most efficient andeffective way to achieve maximum test coverage?”And to be able to answer these key questions, logical, organized thought is key.

Leadership is responsible for answering the first two questions and planning the overall approach, from unit testing through system and user acceptance testing.  Developers and test engineers then must clearly and successfully answer the first and third questions to achieve the quality testing workout of the software.

Once the big plan is in place, it becomes the responsibility of the individual testers to think clearly through the approach to the test cases and how best to write and group them for efficiency and effectiveness.  Testers must ask themselves questions like:

  • How does this software work overall?
  • What are key behaviors of the software?
  • What test tools can I apply?
  • Particularly in black box testing, how might a user think, use the software—or accidentally use the software?

The answers to these questions provide the basis for thorough test cases with logical and comprehensive test steps. Continue reading

Morgan McCollough Bridge360


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Is Silverlight Right for Your Development Team?

by Morgan McCullough

Before making the choice to use Silverlight or any other development tool, it is always important to examine the requirements and trade-offs.

Because Silverlight is a Web technology that allows the creation of rich Internet applications, it is positioned to offer many of the same benefits as a traditional Web application. The application can be centrally located and managed, and because it is accessible over the Web, can be used through corporate firewalls and does not require installation on client machines. Also, there is less need to move data around between disparate systems and a single interface can greatly simplify data access and security management. In general, Web applications are more manageable, highly deployable, easier to secure, and very often less expensive overall.

In light of all this, the question becomes what Silverlight offers above and beyond a traditional Web application that uses a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create the client experience. In a business environment where Web applications have become commonplace, the capabilities of Silverlight must be compelling enough to make it worth the cost of time and resources. As with any new technology, the reality is that working with it effectively takes an investment for the development team to become familiar with its capabilities and pitfalls. An existing development team may be able to produce a traditional Web application with many of the same features as a Silverlight application in a shorter amount of time if you factor in time lost to research and study. Continue reading

Morgan McCollough Bridge360


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What is Silverlight?

by Morgan McCollough

Silverlight is a relatively new technology from Microsoft that offers some of the same features as Adobe Flash, including multimedia, graphics, and interactivity in a Web context. It is distributed as a browser plug-in that provides a single run-time environment that can be used across multiple browsers in much the same way that Flash can be.

Some might question why Microsoft would go to the trouble of writing its own version of a tool that has become nearly ubiquitous across the Web. The obvious answer is that Microsoft is once again attempting to use its monopolistic power to gain control over yet another sector of the market–which would make sense, given Microsoft’s latest attempts to increase its footprint in various sectors of the Internet market. However, there is another, less obvious answer.

Recent developments seem to suggest that Microsoft is not really pushing Silverlight as a complete replacement for Adobe Flash. While it is true that Silverlight can serve the same purpose in terms of supporting multimedia-intensive websites, e.g. Netflix, it seems that Microsoft is putting more focus on the technology as a Web application development platform. Continue reading