Conference Papers Posted

Some time ago, I presented papers at three different conferences. These papers have been safely tucked away inside the conference proceedings never to be seen again. Until now… (That is not exactly true — I placed the papers on the home page provided by my home ISP but that page has never been indexed, no one has linked to it, etc. so it was not necessarily discoverable.) These papers are now part of the website I am putting together as a companion to this blog,

The first conference I presented at was ASQ’s Eighth International Conference on Software Quality held in conjunction with the 1998 Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference. (This was the second conference I had ever attended.) The paper, Hierarchical Organization of Test Cases, is the result of my experience at two different companies that had no rhyme or reason as to how they prioritized / selected test cases for execution.

As a result of working with a team of recent college graduate developers, my coworkers and I developed a review approach that worked very well within that team. We started by doing a peer review where the developer walked us through the non-error path of their design (the happy path). After teasing out the basic functional issues in the design, the developer started to step us through the design again. This time, the review team threw every obstacle they could think of into the flow of the design. We started to call the first iteration the walk through and the second iteration the stagger through. The result of this experience was Walk and Stagger Through Review Process which I presented at Quality Week 2001 in San Francisco.

My final presentation was the result of the work I had been doing in how best to capture test cases and test results. I had struggled using text documents, HTML, Excel, Word, etc. and was never satisfied. There always came a time when I needed to tweak the presentation for either a functional or political reason. Like all companies at the time, we were actively involved in XML development and I decided to put the raw data in an XML document and use XSLT to transform it into the presentation format I wanted. I presented this at the 2002 Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference as Using XML for Test Case Definition, Storage and Presentation.

I have not presented since but would like to start doing it again on a regular basis. Time will tell.

Why Another Blog?

The question anyone should ask when they start reading a blog is why. Why is this person writing this? (or perhaps the question is what — What is their intention? What do they get out of spending time writing these posts?) It may be that they are promoting their company or themselves. It may be they just want to share their perspective on the topic at hand. It may be that writing is their hobby.

My intent in writing this blog is primarily personal. Throughout the work day, I am researching topics or explaining items to the members of my teams. Likewise, my team members come across items or explain concepts to me. I think it will be useful if I captured some of these items in writing for my personal reference. Writing a post will help clarify my own thinking on a topic. By writing, I hope to improve my thinking on a variety of topics related to software testing, software quality and software development. The posts will primarily be on topics that I encounter at work. I find writing to often be a difficult exercise. My hope is that by writing on a consistent basis, my writing will improve and the ease of writing will improve. Finally, a presentation by James Bach spurred me to action. His video presentation at Google on “Becoming a Testing Expert” included a slide of advice which encouraged people to write.

I hope others will find value in what they read. If you find an item to be useful, than this exercise has been successful. Looking at my preliminary list of topics, I don’t think anything will be considered controversial. If something I write encourages people to discuss, then I have accomplished more than I hoped.

Working full time and being a Dad mean that this will not be updated daily. I am aiming for a weekly post. Whether that is realistic or not is yet to be seen.