How I test software

TechOnline India - August 11, 2010

Expert Jack Crenshaw writes on how he tests software and the problems he comes across when doing so.

In my last column, I talked about the way I write software. I began by saying, "I've always known that the way I write software is different from virtually everyone else on the planet."

Boy, was I wrong. Many of you readers sent me e-mails saying, in effect, "Me too."

In retrospect, I was arrogant to suppose that I'm "unique on the planet," except in the sense that each of us is. It's nice to know I have some kindred spirits. (Not everyone shared my views. See the very thoughtful letter from Jim Berry in this month's Parity Bit section.) Yet, if I have so many kindred spirits, how come I never noticed?

Here's what I think. Faced with a certain development environment, complete with management directives and guidelines, and impossible schedules, different people respond differently. Some folks salute smartly, say "Yes, sir," and make do. I, on the other hand--the model of soft-spoken tact--give my opinions, which range from "That's unacceptable," to the ever popular, "That's the dumbest idea I ever heard!" Such comments have justly earned me, over the years, the title Jack "not-a-team-player" Crenshaw.

Having blurted out my opinion on a given environment, I try to change it to one where I can be productive.

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