Use Case best practice: Test your Use Cases with real data alvin November 12, 2009 - 9:20am

Quite often when I’m asked to review a UML “Use Case” that someone else has written, I ask “Have you tested your Use Case with real data?” Sadly, the answer is usually “no.”

I don’t know why people don’t do this, but they don’t, and it seems like a very logical thing — essentially a unit test for Use Cases.

Seven benefits of automated GUI testing

Introduction: I first wrote this article about automated GUI testing many years ago, but I find that it still holds today.

I just wrote most of the following note on the Apple Mac Java-dev mailing list, and I'd like to share it here as well, because I think it captures my thoughts on the benefits of automated GUI testing and GUI testing software.

One thing a business analyst should ask about any requirement alvin October 22, 2016 - 10:49am

As a business analyst (or any person interested in writing software requirements and quality), there is one thing you should always ask yourself whenever you write a business requirement:

Is this software requirement testable?

I’ve seen some business analysts write some crazy things and call them requirements, but IMHO, if you can’t test it, it’s not a requirement.

A few meditation notes (calming, quality)

When I first sit down to meditate, my mind is often too busy to get into it well, so one thing I’ve learned to do is to try to meditate for about eight minutes, then get up, stretch a little bit (a few yoga stretches), then sit back down to meditate normally. My second attempt is usually significantly better than my first attempt. There are other things you can do to calm the mind, but this works well for me.

Another thing I was reminded of again today is that the quality of meditation often changes over time. Today there was something new, and I thought, “Cool ... this is different,” before getting back to the meditation at hand. For me that happens a lot, so I assume it happens for other people as well.

Amazon MP3 quality

A long time ago I wrote about how to improve your iTunes song quality, but that article was about how to make the songs you already have in iTunes sound their best through a couple of tweaks.

This morning I was again listening to a song on YouTube, and then I checked it against the same song I have in iTunes, and the YouTube song quality sounded better than my song, which I purchased through Amazon.com. In short, that led me to find this amazon page where they discuss the (poor) quality of their MP3s, part of which is shown in this image. IMHO, I don’t think people are that concerned about 5 MB file sizes and 56k dialup connections in most places. (They could make this an option.)

Balancing development desire with product goals alvin July 17, 2016 - 8:22am

This oreilly.com article about balancing quality and product features (from the perspective of a CTO/CIO) is a good read. The editor’s note states, “This is part of a series exploring the trials and tribulations of first-time managers. Camille Fournier, former CTO at Rent the Runway, is often asked for advice on how to make the transition from an individual contributor to a manager.”

Software bugs help doom Japanese black hole satellite

In another example of a high-profile software quality problem, Gizmodo reports that a Japanese satellite that was meant to observe black holes was doomed by poor software quality:

“It was only up there a month when something went wrong. A series of unfortunate events caused by both human errors and software flaws sent the satellite spinning out of control.”

fMRI software bugs upend years of research

I’ve seen several articles about major software bugs (and a lack of testing) recently, and one of them is related to MRI/fMRI image processing. From this article at theregister.co.uk:

When you see a claim that “scientists know when you're about to move an arm: these images prove it”, they're interpreting what they're told by the statistical software.

A whole pile of “this is how your brain looks like” fMRI-based science has been potentially invalidated because someone finally got around to checking the data.

2015 Subaru Outback: Poor software quality

I have a 2015 Subaru Outback, and while the basic “car” is good, the software in the car is often comical, as in comically-bad, including bugs and poor design decisions. This image shows that my car has gotten 76.2 MPG over its lifetime, which is off by about 50 MPG.

It may be that this piece of data is trying to convey something else, so in that case it would just be poor design and not wrong data, I don’t know. But I shouldn’t have to dig through the car’s manual while driving 75 MPH on I-70 to figure out what this is trying to show. (And this is just one example of the Outback’s poor software quality.)