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Thread: Test Resource

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    Test Resource

    Hello,

    I am a Test Manager and have about 4 medium sized projects (60 - 90 mandays testing required per project)that require testing in the next 3 - 6 months. As usual, timescales cannot slip (one of the projects relates to a governing/regulatory body). The QA Dept is relatively new and as such there isn't an actual test team as yet. I have been advised I will need to use the Business Analyst/Developers from each project in order to test the projects. This equates to 1-2 staff per project acting as testers. I envisaged the BA's will possibly be able to commit 50%/75% of their time to testing, but they're not testers (same goes for the developers). We do have the Mecury test suite to assist in test planning/execution but this is a recent implementation with little in-house expertise. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can achieve this task?
    TC

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    Re: Test Resource

    First of all, I cringe whenever I hear "Man-days" or "Man-months". What is a man-day? Is it 8 hours, 6.5 hours, or 10 hours.
    What does a Test Manager do when there are no testers. What does he manage??
    That being said, I would suggest you forget about the Mercury products helping you out here, unless you have funds to bring in a contractor to assist. Actually, maybe you should push for a specialist in either automation or testing. This would help you greatly if you find the right person.
    You did say you had a QA, which means the test cases should have started being created as soon as the requirements were finalized. Do you even have requirements?
    Do you have a suite of test cases? If not I would suggest you spend you precious time insuring that the people who will be testing understand the applications completely, and writing a test plan. So that the testers(??) can use exploratory testing techniques to evaluate and validate the software to be delivered.
    Hopefully there are others out here who have had a similar experience and can offer useful suggestions .

    I wish you luck.

    Rich
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    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
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    ...Rich Wagner

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    Re: Test Resource

    Taking off from the post to your other thread...Beware of developers being testers and the magic they think thay can create using the same environment to test and develop. Changes to a few variables here and a few DSNs there and some more config changes here and there to 'make' things work. The end result can be terrible if you dont have control of the technical details of the projects.

    Test Director is a great place to start designing your test cases.

    I would also suggest getting a printout of "Testers and Developers Think Differently" by Bret Pettichord (from stickyminds.com) and distribute copies to management to CYA.

    And I also wonder what the governing/regulatory body thinks about your current software/hardware environment and using developers as testers to save money.

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    Re: Test Resource

    Rich, not to sound ungrateful but if you could accept a bit of poetic licence in what I have said...whether man-days is 6.5hrs or 10hrs it is still an unacceptable approach/strategy to testing. (just to reiterate, I'm not trying to sound unappreciative of your comments!).

    gasleuth - thanks, I use stickyminds a lot so will take a look on there for that info.

    Thanks again chaps.
    TC

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    Re: Test Resource

    TC, Sorry, I did not mean to sound critical. And the actual time, in this case is not a major issue, although it could be for you, since your the one under the gun. It's just my character to work with finites I guess. I'm too much of a perfectionist in a non-perfect world. Please accept my apologies.

    But I still like the idea of exploratory testing as a possible alternative.
    Personal Comment

    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
    ~ Winston Churchill ~


    ...Rich Wagner

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    Re: Test Resource

    Nothing wrong with finites Rich, helps to make you a more rounded tester! Exploratory testing is moving closer to the top of my list. One thing I didn't explain that I should have (as it will help in understanding my issues).
    I would describe myself as a good experienced test manager (I am known for my modesty...) but I'm relatively new to the company so system knowledge is a little thin on the ground, the BA is even newer than me...and the existing documentation, well that's still in someone's head who has worked here a lifetime but hasn't had 'time' to work on documentation. I am probably going to go down the route of buddy testing with a developer/BA pairing early on and will get involved myself to try and sponge up as much knowledge as possible. I guess we all agree buddy testing is not dissimilar to exploratory testing. I Will then test to requirements, if there is time. Exploratory testing has a slight lack of structure for me and that's one of the main things I want to get into this company...maybe I'm trying to do too much too soon.

    Thanks to those who provided suggestions, certainly giving me something to think about.
    TC

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    Re: Test Resource

    Check out the article on stickyminds called "All Hands on Deck." The author faced a similar setup where non-testers did most of the testing. Of course, I can't say that this is the best way to do things, but I guess you do what you have to.

    Good luck.

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    Re: Test Resource

    In your spare time, Ha!, you might want to take a look at "Test Explorer". It's a new exploratory testing tool which looks to be a very useful tool in uncharted waters. It's currently in Beta, or was to be out of it today but has been extended for a few weeks due to the prolific hurricanes down this way.

    Here the site: http://www.sirius-sqa.com/ Take a look sometime.

    Rich
    Personal Comment

    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
    ~ Winston Churchill ~


    ...Rich Wagner

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    Re: Test Resource

    TC
    - along with the exploratory techniques, as others here have suggested, which to me seem one of the best routes in your current situation - i do this using sessions as defined by James Lyndsay at www.workroom-productions.com at various conferences and Jon Bach.
    Another option is to adopt some of the techniques used in Agile Development. James Bach has a talk from the UK sigist on his site www.satisifice.com that he did in the UK earlier this year.
    I recommend using buddying and with the BAs to share domain knowledge and using the develpers to assist in the creation of automated tests for regression, as designed by the testers.
    Also stick in part with the Test Director repository for test tracking, I have used Exploratory tests in the last couple of years to also assist in building the scripted tests from and helping assess risk areas and priorities.

    The company I work at www.bjss.co.uk have a couple of talks on using agile and xp methods in testing coming up later this year they should be posted on our site soon, they may be of interest.
    ------
    Regards,
    Neill McCarthy
    Agile Testers of the World UNIT!

    For more contextual Musings visit http://www.testingreflections.com/ and now at http://www.sqablogs.com/neillmccarthy/
    ---

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    Re: Test Resource

    Originally posted by Rich W.:
    "Test Explorer".

    Here the site: http://www.sirius-sqa.com/ Take a look sometime.

    Rich
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">This tool does indeed look cool - i am looking to register for Beta when i get back in the office monday and then start pestering about demos pricing and release dates. Another tool that may be useful is compendium-ta which is a modelling tool that can assist with producing paths for testing.
    http://www.compendiumdev.co.uk/default.php has a free trail down load, and there are a number of papers on its use. I have been using it since beta and find it extremely useful. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    ------
    Regards,
    Neill McCarthy
    Agile Testers of the World UNIT!

    For more contextual Musings visit http://www.testingreflections.com/ and now at http://www.sqablogs.com/neillmccarthy/
    ---

 

 
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