Q: What is a good code?
A: A good code is code that works, is free of bugs and is readable and maintainable. Organizations usually have coding standards all developers should adhere to, but every programmer and software engineer has different ideas about what is best and what are too many or too few rules. We need to keep in mind that excessive use of rules can stifle both productivity and creativity. Peer reviews and code analysis tools can be used to check for problems and enforce standards.
Q: What is a good design?
A: Design could mean to many things, but often refers to functional design or internal design. Good functional design is indicated by software functionality can be traced back to customer and end-user requirements. Good internal design is indicated by software code whose overall structure is clear, understandable, easily modifiable and maintainable; is robust with sufficient error handling and status logging capability; and works correctly when implemented.
Q: What is software life cycle?
A: Software life cycle begins when a software product is first conceived and ends when it is no longer in use. It includes phases like initial concept, requirements analysis, functional design, internal design, documentation planning, test planning, coding, document preparation, integration, testing, maintenance, updates, re-testing and phase-out
Q: Why are there so many software bugs?
A: Generally speaking, there are bugs in software because of unclear requirements, software complexity, programming errors, changes in requirements, errors made in bug tracking, time pressure, poorly documented code and/or bugs in tools used in software development.
There are unclear software requirements because there is miscommunication as to what the software should or shouldn’t do.
Software complexity. All of the followings contribute to the exponential growth in software and system complexity: Windows interfaces, client-server and distributed applications, data communications, enormous relational databases and the sheer size of applications.
Programming errors occur because programmers and software engineers, like everyone else, can make mistakes.
As to changing requirements, in some fast-changing business environments, continuously modified requirements are a fact of life. Sometimes customers do not understand the effects of changes, or understand them but request them anyway. And the changes require redesign of the software, rescheduling of resources and some of the work already completed have to be redone or discarded and hardware requirements can be effected, too.
Bug tracking can result in errors because the complexity of keeping track of changes can result in errors, too.
Time pressures can cause problems, because scheduling of software projects is not easy and it often requires a lot of guesswork and when deadlines loom and the crunch comes, mistakes will be made.
Code documentation is tough to maintain and it is also tough to modify code that is poorly documented. The result is bugs. Sometimes there is no incentive for programmers and software engineers to document their code and write clearly documented, understandable code. Sometimes developers get kudos for quickly turning out code, or programmers and software engineers feel they have job security if everyone can understand the code they write, or they believe if the code was hard to write, it should be hard to read.
Software development tools , including visual tools, class libraries, compilers, scripting tools, can introduce their own bugs. Other times the tools are poorly documented, which can create additional bugs
Q: How do You Introduce a New Software QA Process?
A: It depends on the size of the organization and the risks involved. For large organizations with high-risk projects, a serious management buy-in is required and a formalized QA process is necessary. For medium size organizations with lower risk projects, management and organizational buy-in and a slower, step-by-step process is required. Generally speaking, QA processes should be balanced with productivity, in order to keep any bureaucracy from getting out of hand. For smaller groups or projects, an ad-hoc process is more appropriate. A lot depends on team leads and managers, feedback to developers and good communication is essential among customers, managers, developers, test engineers and testers. Regardless the size of the company, the greatest value for effort is in managing requirement processes, where the goal is requirements that are clear, complete and testable.
Q: Give me five common problems that occur during software development .
A: Poorly written requirements, unrealistic schedules, inadequate testing, adding new features after development is underway and poor communication. 1. Requirements are
poorly written when requirements are unclear, incomplete, too general, or not testable; therefore there will be problems. 2. The
schedule is unrealistic if too much work is crammed in too little time. 3. Software
testing is inadequate if none knows whether or not the software is any good until customers complain or the system crashes. 4. It’s extremely common that
new features are added after development is underway. 5. Miscommunication either means the developers don’t know what is needed, or customers have unrealistic expectations and therefore problems are guaranteed.
Q: Give me five solutions to problems that occur during software development .
A: Solid requirements, realistic schedules, adequate testing, firm
requirements and good communication. 1. Ensure the requirements are solid, clear, complete, detailed,
cohesive, attainable and testable. All players should agree to requirements. Use prototypes to help nail down requirements. 2. Have schedules that are realistic. Allow
adequate time for planning, design, testing, bug fixing, re-testing, changes and documentation. Personnel should be able to complete the project without burning out. 3. Do testing that
is adequate. Start testing early on, re-test after fixes or changes, and plan for sufficient time for both testing and bug fixing. 4. Avoid new
features. Stick to initial requirements as much as possible. Be prepared to defend design against changes and additions, once development has begun and be prepared to explain consequences. If changes are necessary, ensure they’re adequately reflected in related schedule changes. Use prototypes early on so customers’ expectations are clarified and customers can see what to expect; this will minimize changes later on. 5. Communicate. Require walk-throughs and inspections when appropriate; make extensive use of e-mail, networked bug-tracking tools, tools of change management. Ensure documentation is available and up-to-date. Use documentation that is electronic, not paper. Promote teamwork and cooperation.
Q: Do automated testing tools make testing easier?
A: Yes and no. For larger
projects, or ongoing long-term projects, they can be valuable. But for small projects, the time needed to learn and implement them is usually not worthwhile. A common type of automated tool is the record/playback type. For example, a test engineer clicks through all combinations of menu choices, dialog box choices, buttons, etc. in a GUI and has an automated testing tool record and log the results. The recording is typically in the form of text, based on a scripting language that the testing tool can interpret. If a change is made (e.g. new buttons are added, or some underlying code in the application is changed), the application is then re-tested by just playing back the recorded actions and compared to the logged results in order to check effects of the change. One problem with such tools is that if there are continual changes to the product being tested, the recordings have to be changed so often that it becomes a very time-consuming task to continuously update the scripts. Another problem with such tools is the interpretation of the results (screens, data, logs, etc.) that can be a time-consuming task.
Q: What makes a good test engineer?
A: Rob Davis is a good test engineer because he · Has a “test to break” attitude, · Takes the point of view of the customer, · Has a strong desire for quality, · Has an attention to detail, He’s also · Tactful and diplomatic and · Has good a communication skill, both oral and written. And he · Has previous software development experience, too. Good test engineers have a “test to break” attitude, they take the point of view of the customer, have a strong desire for quality and an attention to detail. Tact and diplomacy are useful in maintaining a cooperative relationship with developers and an ability to communicate with both technical and non-technical people. Previous software development experience is also helpful as it provides a deeper understanding of the software development process, gives the test engineer an appreciation for the developers’ point of view and reduces the learning curve in automated test tool programming.
Q: What makes a good QA engineer?
A: The same qualities a good test engineer has are useful for a QA engineer. Additionally, Rob Davis understands the entire software development process and how it fits into the business approach and the goals of the organization. Rob Davis’ communication skills and the ability to understand various sides of issues are important. Good QA engineers understand the entire software development process and how it fits into the business approach and the goals of the organization. Communication skills and the ability to understand various sides of issues are important.
Q: What makes a good resume?
A: On the subject of resumes, there seems to be an unending discussion of whether you should or shouldn’t have a one-page resume. The followings are some of the comments I have personally heard: “Well, Joe Blow (car salesman) said I should have a one-page resume.” “Well, I read a book and it said you should have a one page resume.” “I can’t really go into what I really did because if I did, it’d take more than one page on my resume.” “Gosh, I wish I could put my job at IBM on my resume but if I did it’d make my resume more than one page, and I was told to never make the resume more than one page long.” “I’m confused, should my resume be more than one page? I feel like it should, but I don’t want to break the rules.” Or, here’s another comment, “People just don’t read resumes that are longer than one page.” I have heard some more, but we can start with these. So what’s the answer? There is no scientific answer about whether a one-page resume is right or wrong. It all depends on who you are and how much experience you have. The first thing to look at here is the purpose of a resume. The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview. If the resume is getting you interviews, then it is considered to be a good resume. If the resume isn’t getting you interviews, then you should change it. The biggest mistake you can make on your resume is to make it hard to read. Why? Because, for one, scanners don’t like odd resumes. Small fonts can make your resume harder to read. Some candidates use a 7-point font so they can get the resume onto one page. Big mistake. Two, resume readers do not like eye strain either. If the resume is mechanically challenging, they just throw it aside for one that is
easier on the eyes. Three, there are lots of resumes out there these days, and that is also part of the problem. Four, in light of the current scanning scenario, more than one page is not a deterrent because many will scan your resume into their database. Once the resume is in there and searchable, you have accomplished one of the goals of resume distribution. Five, resume readers don’t like to guess and most won’t call you to clarify what is on your resume. Generally speaking, your resume should tell your story. If you’re a college graduate looking for your first job, a one-page resume is just fine. If you have a longer story, the resume needs to be longer. Please put your experience on the resume so resume readers can tell when and for whom you did what. Short resumes — for people long on experience — are not appropriate. The real audience for these short resumes is people with short attention spans and low IQs. I assure you that when your resume gets
into the right hands, it will be read thoroughly.
Q: What makes a good QA/Test Manager?
A: QA/Test Managers are familiar with the software development process; able
to maintain enthusiasm of their team and promote a positive atmosphere; able to
promote teamwork to increase productivity; able to promote cooperation between
Software and Test/QA Engineers, have the people skills needed to promote
improvements in QA processes, have the ability to withstand pressures and say
*no* to other managers when quality is insufficient or QA processes are not being
adhered to; able to communicate with technical and non-technical people; as well
as able to run meetings and keep them focused.
Q: What is the role of documentation in QA?
A: Documentation plays a critical role in QA. QA practices should be
documented, so that they are repeatable. Specifications, designs, business rules,
inspection reports, configurations, code changes, test plans, test cases, bug
reports, user manuals should all be documented. Ideally, there should be a
system for easily finding and obtaining of documents and determining what
document will have a particular piece of information. Use documentation change
management, if possible. Q: What about requirements? A: Requirement specifications are important and one of the most reliable
methods of insuring problems in a complex software project is to have poorly
documented requirement specifications. Requirements are the details describing
an application’s externally perceived functionality and properties. Requirements
should be clear, complete, reasonably detailed, cohesive, attainable and
testable. A non-testable requirement would be, for example, “user-friendly”,
which is too subjective. A testable requirement would be something such as, “the
product shall allow the user to enter their previously-assigned password to
access the application”. Care should be taken to involve all of a project’s
significant customers in the requirements process. Customers could be in-house
or external and could include end-users, customer acceptance test engineers,
testers, customer contract officers, customer management, future software
maintenance engineers, salespeople and anyone who could later derail the
project. If his/her expectations aren’t met, they should be included as a customer,
if possible. In some organizations, requirements may end up in high-level project
plans, functional specification documents, design documents, or other
documents at various levels of detail. No matter what they are called, some type
of documentation with detailed requirements will be needed by test engineers in
order to properly plan and execute tests. Without such documentation there will
be no clear-cut way to determine if a software application is performing correctly. Q: What is a test plan? A: A software project test plan is a document that describes the objectives,
scope, approach and focus of a software testing effort. The process of preparing
a test plan is a useful way to think through the efforts needed to validate the
acceptability of a software product. The completed document will help people
outside the test group understand the why and how of product validation. It
should be thorough enough to be useful, but not so thorough that none outside
the test group will be able to read it.
Q: What is a test case?
A: A test case is a document that describes an input, action, or event and its
expected result, in order to determine if a feature of an application is working
correctly. A test case should contain particulars such as a… · Test case identifier; · Test case name; · Objective; · Test conditions/setup; · Input data requirements/steps, and · Expected results. Please note, the process of developing test cases can help find problems in the
requirements or design of an application, since it requires you to completely think
through the operation of the application. For this reason, it is useful to prepare
test cases early in the development cycle, if possible.
Q: What should be done after a bug is found?
A: When a bug is found, it needs to be communicated and assigned to
developers that can fix it. After the problem is resolved, fixes should be re-tested.
Additionally, determinations should be made regarding requirements, software,
hardware, safety impact, etc., for regression testing to check the fixes didn’t
create other problems elsewhere. If a problem-tracking system is in place, it
should encapsulate these determinations. A variety of commercial, problem-
tracking/management software tools are available. These tools, with the detailed
input of software test engineers, will give the team complete information so
developers can understand the bug, get an idea of its severity, reproduce it and
Q: What is configuration management?
A: Configuration management (CM) covers the tools and processes used to
control, coordinate and track code, requirements, documentation, problems,
change requests, designs, tools, compilers, libraries, patches, changes made to
them and who makes the changes. Rob Davis has had experience with a full
range of CM tools and concepts. Rob Davis can easily adapt to your software
tool and process needs.