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Archive for July, 2009

A Day of Filming at Original Software

Film crew setting up

Film crew setting up

Today Peter Hopely, our Head of UK Sales, and Scott Addington, Head of Marketing swapped laptops for the lights, camera, action of a film studio today as they both recorded a series of ‘video whitepaper’ snapshots that will appear very soon on the Original Software website.

‘I am very excited about these videos’ commented Scott, ‘the video medium is an ideal vehicle for us to communication our core messages and value propositions, and we have used these short videos as introductions to whitepapers and specific parts of our website, I am sure they will be very well recieved.’

We used a company called ModComms to do the filming and post editing – a very proffesional bunch of lads. ‘The day has been tiring but definitley worthwhile’ said Peter.

Keep an eye on YouTube and the Original Software website over the next week or so as we work on the editing and get these short video’s live!!


Software Testing Hall of Shame: Visa redfaced over the $23 quadrillion error and Mobile Phone Directory Website Stumbles At Launch

Two new entries for our Software Testing Hall of Shame this week, courtesy of utest and ITProPortal.

IT Pro Portal reported that the controversial mobile phone directory website, 118800.co.uk, has been hit by a serious glitch that has prevented the service from operating properly after its launch.


Original Software throws its hat into the SOA ring

cowboy-hat1Latest News:

Original Software, the Application Quality Management (AQM) vendor, is partnering with Green Hat, specialists in automated testing technology for integration and SOA, to deliver an end-to-end automated testing solution for multi-tiered applications that utilize SOA.

The combined strength and competencies of Original Software and Green Hat will enable customers to take advantage of a total Software Quality solution across the UI, web services and database layers, plus the SOA infrastructure, with all the ease of use and code free functionality that customers of both companies have come to rely on.

Gartner, Inc notes that through 2010, 60% of unplanned downtime for SOA-based, loosely-coupled applications will be the result of application failure, up from 40% for non-SOA-based applications…

To read the rest of this news release, please click this link to open the story in our Press Room!


Good reads that come in 7’s

James Whittaker has recently started a great series of blog posts on the Google Testing BlogThe 7 Plagues of Software Testing.

So far in James’ posts we have encountered The Plague of Aimlessness and The Plague of Repetitiveness.

In The Plague of Aimlessness he asks “Where are the testing spell books? Surely the perilously attained knowledge of our tester forebears is something that we can access in this age of readily available information?” The answer is not. There is a distinct lack of collective knowledge and information sharing within teams. Testers are walking in ever more aimless circles repeatedly suffering ‘the aimless thrashing that we suffered’ already. He urges testers to “Document your successes, scrutinize your failures and make sure you pass on what you learn from this introspection to your colleagues.”

The Plague of Repetitiveness, he argues is caused by just aimlessly ‘doing it’ some moreDevelopers test but then we retest. We can’t assume anything about what they did so we retest everything. As our product grows in features and bug fixes get applied, we continue our testing. It isn’t long until new tests become old tests and all of them eventually become stale.” He likens it to Boris Beizer’s pesticide paradox. “Pesticide will kill bugs, but spray the same field enough times with the same poison and the remaining bugs will grow immune.”

I’m looking forward to reading more as he posts them.

In a similar vein (we must have been drinking from the same creative juice carton) our very own article – The Seven Deadly Sins of Software Test Automation – is due to be published in the latest edition of T.E.S.T Magazine. In this article we take a light-hearted look at Dante’s Divine Comedy to uncover some home truths about software test automation. We explore each of the seven deadly sins as traps people can fall into because of their earthly vices. I hope you get a chance to read it and would welcome any feedback on it. If you haven’t come across T.E.S.T Magazine already, it is a great read and well worth subscribing.


Just Giving added to our Hall of Shame

Another week, another Software Quality Hall of Shame entry. This time it is the charity donantion website JustGiving.(www.justgiving.com)

They have recently under taken a complete web redesign. In my opinion the design is worse than the old one for numerous reasons, but that is not the point of this blog post. The point is that they didn’t test the website properly before it went live. As a result, the website was practically unavailable for a week in June whilst the problems were fixed retrospectively. This meant millions of people couldn’t donate money to their chosen charities.

In an act of desperate reconciliation, Zarine Kharas, the CEO of Just Giving has publically apologised for this complete disaster, admitting they ‘didnt test it (their website) extensively enough…’ She has compensated all charities the 5% commission her company takes for all donations given during the problems, which on paper is a nice gesture. However, judging by the 100+ comments to her blog post, the vast vast majority of people’s charity sites (including mine by the way – I had numerous people email me to say they had tried and failed to donate) were unable to accept donations so this gesture is practically worthless.

All in all this is a stark warning as to the perils of software quality. If you get it wrong you will have problems. In this case there is a huge financial loss for both Just Giving and the charities that trust them to collect on their behalf (my guess is they collect about £1m a week) but more than the money, there are thousands of angry people out there who have lost trust in this company, many are vowing never to use them again. You just have to read some of the comments on this blog post to get an idea of the feeling that is running high among its customer base. I am sure Just Giving’s competitors are rubbing their hands….

If you need any more convincing on why software quality is an absolute corporate pre-requisite, then why not read our new whitepaper: The Business Benefits of Software Test Automation.


Parcelforce deliver poor quality package and land themselves in our ‘Software Quality Hall of Shame’

This week’s Hall of Shame entry is courtesy of Computer Weekly – Better testing may have prevented Parcelforce data breach.

The data breach at Parcelforce that exposed customer records online was reportedly down to inadequate testing of its website site.

It was revealed last week that when customers entered their parcel tracking numbers online, they were able to gain access to other customers’ delivery details. The fault was thought to be caused by scripts used on the main landing pages of Parcelforce’s website, which appear to have been developed in-house.

Parcelforce claims to have fixed the problem, but UK privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is to investigate to find how the breach occurred to prevent it from happening again.

The QA team at Parcelforce needs to get better testing tools in place and sort out their software quality process – You don’t see things like this happening to DHL (who happen to be a customer of ours!)


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