Robert V. Binder

Archive for Process

Can defective software be safe or secure?

May 24, 2014  |  Process, Software Testing  |  No Comments

Let’s distinguish between systems where the hazards of failure are material (critical) and those that are not. If it bugs don’t matter, they don’t matter. As the question (posed in a LinkedIn forum) asks about safety and security, we’re talking about critical systems.

There is a long standing debate in reliability engineering…

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How to Ice the Testing BackBlob

How Agile development is being eaten by the Testing BackBlob and what to do about it

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Another Day, Another $440 Million

We don’t need a miracle cure for rogue algorithms. More regulation will not prevent them. Proven software engineering and testing will.

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A Systematic Methodology for Testing Mobile Apps

June 25, 2012  |  Blog, Mobile Apps, Process, Software Testing  |  No Comments

I’ve developed a systematic methodology to design a mobile app test suite and offer an online course that teaches this methodology. http://www.udemy.com/how-to-test-mobile-apps/ The course assumes manual testing, but is completely applicable to testing with any automated tool.  Click here to view the course notes, which incude a list of specific…

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Panel Discussion on Open Source Testing Tools

A few days ago, I participated in a panel discussion on open source tools for testing at the QUEST conference with the two founders of Selenium: Jason Huggins of Sauce Labs and Simon Stewart of Google.
Before the panel started we chatted a bit with the moderator. We couldn’t come up with…

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Technical Equity or Technical Debt: Stay Fit or Get Flabby

April 20, 2012  |  Blog, Process, Software Products, Technology  |  No Comments
T Rex chasing person

Technical debt refers to aspects of a codebase are incomplete, deficient, obsolete, or buggy. This can occur for many reasons: insufficient time, uncertainty, omissions, poor workmanship, or poor management. This is termed “debt” because it will take additional time and money to correct, update, or revise.
Technical equity refers to aspects of a…

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Technical Equity

March 27, 2012  |  Blog, Business, Process, Software Products  |  No Comments

Technical Equity is the value that accrues when a software system is well-formed.  Instead of burdening you with unnecessary excess cost, your codebase works for you. Technical equity pays dividends: you avoid wasted effort and the consequences of buggy releases, and gain the advantage of releasing sooner and/or with more features,…

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How Technical Debt turns into Technical Bankruptcy

March 27, 2012  |  Blog, Business, Process, Software Products  |  No Comments
Cosmic matter spiraling into a black hole

Technical Bankruptcy occurs when technical debt overwhelms the maintainers of a software system. I’ve previously blogged about a case study:  how the accumulation of poor development practices resulted in the business failure of highly successful Enterprise IT software company.
The technical debt metaphor provides a nice handle for a software development …

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What I Learned Building a Software Product with Tcl

February 25, 2012  |  Blog, Business, Networking, Process, Software Products  |  4 Comments

Through Google Circles, I happened to see David Welton’s very interesting reflection on the Tcl programming language (posted in 2010):
http://journal.dedasys.com/2010/03/30/where-tcl-and-tk-went-wrong/
About ten years ago, I chose to develop a commercial automated software testing tool with Tcl and Tk. This post explains that decision and its consequences.
Despite testing tools that tout “visual programming”…

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Supporting Software Inspections and Reviews

December 3, 2011  |  Blog, Process, Software Products  |  6 Comments
Machinist's Gauges

In every software project where I’ve used some form of review process (formal inspections, walkthroughs, or reviews — for this post I refer to all as “reviews”), the gain has always justified the pain. Invariably, some developers really dislike this process, leading to tantrums reminiscent of Orange Country Choppers.
But I’ve regretted every time…

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