Archive for September, 2009

Software Testing Hall of Shame – Survey reveals hidden price of software failures

Apologies for the lengthy gap between posts - I’ve had to hold off from blogging while our new look website and blog were launched. We’re really happy with the look and feel of the new site and would welcome any feedback from our visitors. Please get in touch and share any thoughts with us.


This week’s Hall of Shame entry isn’t an actual company for once, but rather lots of them! A new survey uncovers the hidden cost of software failures and the importance of testing.


The survey, announced this week, reveals that a quarter of projects overrun or are delayed due to technology failures, adding on average 90 percent to the original budget and seven months of extra work.


The importance of testing was highlighted as a critical but underestimated element of good project practice.


“We found that people that suffer long delays, often have small, or no annual budget for testing,” said Professor Pentel, founder and chairman of the research group, Customer Experience Foundation (CEF). “Testing is an afterthought service rather than actual key element.”


 You can read the full story courtesy of Techworld here –


Software Testing Hall of Shame: Sears grilled over web blunder

We have a new entry to our Software Testing Hall of Shame this week , this time courtesy of Justin Dessonville. If you don’t already follow his iamdez blog check it out, it is a good read.

He reports “It’s a well-known problem with websites that if you trust user-submitted data that you will get burned.”

Sears literally did get burned by their own incompetence when their website started promoting ‘Grills to cook babies and more’.

“The problem wasn’t a huge lack judgment by the Sears product team, but rather a lack of understanding about displaying variable names and values in the URL. A lot of sites do this by default, but the Sears site took it one step further. If a specific page became popular, the results were cached and displayed to users.” he says.

To get the full story, there is a good explanation on comments

Representatives from Sears said they were victimized by “someone visiting” the company’s Web site. But it seems that the unusual listing was due to technical flaws in the mechanics of the company’s own website and not a ‘defacement’ at all. As one of the commentators on Reddit puts it – “it was pure incompetence on the part of Sears, and not a malicious hack.”


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