Welcome to DevelopSense's testing resources page!

The books, papers, and resources that I discuss in my software testing courses can be found on this page or on the linked pages. Keep checking back; more is being added all the time.

Documents and Examples

From here, you can jump to...
Books, Resources, and Tools
Test Matrices
Pairwise Testing and Orthogonal Arrays
Sample Test Plan Template
Visual SourceSafe Defects

My Essays

They're right here:
Effective Beta Testing
A Review of Error Messages
Installation Programs
Starting a Career in Software Testing
Zero Balance, Zero Responsiblity

Links to Books, Resources, and Tools

I recommend a large number of books, resources, and tools; a fairly complete list is here.

Visual SourceSafe Defects

While developing a utility to migrate files from Visual SourceSafe (VSS) to another version control package, I created some tests that exercised Visual SourceSafe itself. These tests demonstrated to me that VSS's file and database management is so defect-ridden as to present a danger to customers using the product in reasonable scenarios and cirucmstances. You mileage may vary, but these are my findings.

Articles on the Web

Cem Kaner

I have been most strongly influenced in my philosophies about testing and quality by three people. Cem Kaner, started it all, through his Black Box Testing seminar, his books, and his wise and generous counsel. All of Cem's articles are valuable, but there are a few standouts. Negotiating Testing Resources: A Collaborative Approach is an outstanding essay that will help you and the rest of the development team to set goals and priorities for your testing project. You will also find a number of articles on legal considerations associated with software on Cem's Web site.

Cem also wrote an excellent article for Software Development, called Recruiting Software Testers. The first part of that article is here, and the second part is here.

James Bach

James is, with Cem Kaner, one of the founders of the context-driven school of testing, and the principal behind Satisfice. Cem Kaner coined the term "exploratory testing", but James has probably been its most enthusiastic and articulate exponent--and practitioner. Exploratory testing, as James describes it, brings structure and skill to what might otherwise thoughtless or undirected testing. You can read James' essay on Exploratory Software Testing, which is on the Satisfice Web Site, by going here.

As I am, James is a test automation skeptic. He makes the case for such skepticism elegantly and accurately in his essay Test Automation Snake Oil.

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for The New Yorker. In 2000 he released a best-selling book called "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference". As a tester, I like his articles because of the way that they frequently change my perceptions on the way that things—especially things related to numbers—work. His New Yorker articles are archived here.

One of the first articles he wrote for The New Yorker should be of interest to everyone in the testing and quality community. The subject is risk theory, and how it relates to the Challenger (and, now sadly, the Columbia) crashes. The article is called Blowup, and it's here.

The Tipping Point, the article that made me a Gladwell fan, is here. Other goodies include The Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg, which is about links between people, and in particular the strength of weak links. In the post-Enron world, it's fun to read The Talent Myth: Are Smart People Overrated?

Is there something you'd like to discuss? Information you'd like to see on this site? Questions about consulting services or courses in quality assurance and software testing? Please send me mail! If you'd like to be notified when I've posted more material that you might enjoy, please click here to be put on my mailing list. If your reply-to address isn't altered to prevent spam, you don't have to put anything in the body of the message.

You are welcome to reprint articles on this site for your own use or for your company's use, as long as you follow the instructions here (http://www.developsense.com/reprints.html).

Best of all, if you (or your company, or your manager, or your employee) need consulting, mentoring, or instruction in this area, I can help with engaging and informative courses on quality assurance and software testing in plain English that can save your company lots of time and money. Contact me for details. Thanks!

All material on this site is copyrighted © 2003 Michael Bolton.

Last revised: 17-Feb-2003
File name: testing/index.html