Helpful QA Resources


I was recently asked about some resources to help figure out a good QA strategy, and after digging through all of my links and resources, realized it made a lot more sense to compile it all into a blog post that I can just point people towards. I will add additional content as I come across it, or I think it is relevant.

So without further ado, here are the links!

Discussions/Presentations/Blog Posts

Agile Testing: A Lesson in Diversity

Test Specialists Are Essential Members of Software Teams | A1Q1 Blog

The QA Mindset | Rands In Repose

How to Break the Software Rewrite Cycle

The Forgotten Layer of the Test Automation Pyramid

Guidelines for Automated Testing

Avoiding the most common pitfall of large-scale agile

Shields Down

Continuous Integration & Delivery – Illustrated

Five Ways to Make Test Automation Fail

Why Didn’t You Find That Bug?

Michael Larsen on Testing Career Paths

 

Technical Approaches/Implementations

Distributed JMeter testing using Docker

 

Communities

http://www.ministryoftesting.com

http://www.stickyminds.com

http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/

List of QA Twitter accounts ADDED 2/24/16

Slack – TestersIO – Request Access UPDATED 10/15/16

Slack – #testing – Request access UPDATED 10/15/16

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10 thoughts on “Helpful QA Resources

  1. Pietros

    From the quick look, it seems that you are not talking about QA but testing (QC). QA is aimed at processes and has little to do with testing (see CMM, ISO 9000 etc.).

    1. I’m not sure that I would agree with that assessment at all. QA in an agile world is far different from the environments of old where process ruled. QA today has more to do with handling the rapid changing development landscape, and reacting appropriately. I can see where that argument would hold weight in a Waterfall shop, but for anyone doing agile, QA & testing go hand in hand.

  2. Pietros

    Jon R. I understand that if you are a tester, you might not know much about process management and that is perfectly fine. However, calling testing QA shows a lack of quality management understanding.
    This is not about SDLC model, at all. QA is a preventive, process management approach, no matter what environment you are in. The goal of QA is to make sure (assure) that the development processes will produce the right output. The goal of QC is to verify the output.
    In agile, the QA part is the continous improvement of dev process.

    From CMMI (SQA), also used by NASA:
    Software Quality Assurance
    The function of software quality that assures that the standards, processes, and procedures are appropriate for the project and are correctly implemented.

    Software Quality Control
    The function of software quality that checks that the project follows its standards, processes, and procedures, and that the project produces the required internal and external (deliverable) products.

    A famous article that might help you:
    http://www.projectconnections.com/articles/080306-koch.html

  3. I’m sorry, I’ve never heard of Alan S. Koch, and definitely had never read his article, but I stand by my assessment previously. To me, testing is merely a component of the over-arching QA process. To say that those are two different disciplines in most organizations is nuts. I’ve worked in a variety of industries, for clients ranging from large to small to startups, and I’ve never encountered a place where those were treated separately. The only time where I ever encountered those as different things are when we interacted with consultants who were trying to sell us their services (and I used to work for one of those firms). I’m sure that in very large orgs (your example, NASA, is 18000+), you have the ability to further define roles and responsibilities, but in most software dev shops, that is simply not the case. In addition, this article (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120013429.pdf) indicates that Agile is not very widespread at NASA, and in the project where it is, they do QA much more similar to what I am describing, even if they may call it something else.

    I’m not trying to cause a huge argument, but I feel like your initial comment made the entirety of the initial post seem irrelevant to QA, and that is something that I fundamentally disagree with, and I am not sure what the point of it was.

    In terms of my credentials, I’ve been a tester, both as an FTE and as a consultant, but have been in a leadership role for the past few years, and am currently serving as the Director of QA for HomeAdvisor.com. I’ve seen lots of processes and methodologies over the years, and some of them stand up, and others are just fancy terms on old ideas. What I have found over the years is that having a bunch of letters behind your name is great, but don’t do you any good if it causes you to lock into a single belief, unwilling to see new things as they come up. It’s why I focus more on an individual’s ability to think critically, rather than on what certifications he has. Thus far, that approach has worked out very well for me and the organizations I have been a part of, as well as those that I have studied.

  4. Pietros

    Do not get me wrong, I did not mean your post is irrelevant to QA. I only meant that confusing QA for testing is against the right terminology and concepts and even though many authors cleared this misconception, it is not correct to go on and consider those synonyms.

    Do you audit, review, improve development processes? If so, you are doing QA – you assure the product will be likely quality but you manage processes.

    Do you check the products? Be it by testing, static analysis etc. – you are doing QC, not QA.

    This is not my distinction, CMMI and ISO standards are widely adopted and this concept is very an old one. But this misconception is quite known,

    If you merely test, you do not assure quality, you control it reactively. QA is all about proactive approach, using process improvements.

    My point is – if you call QA guys testers, then you do not have true QA – who is then managing processes across SDLC, improves them based on process metrics, achieves maturity levels etc. etc.

  5. Pietros

    Just to add – quite a nice definition can be found in Practical Guide to Software Quality Management:
    Quality Assurance – .. activities to detect, document, analyze and change process defects and to manage process changes.
    Quality Control – activities to detect, document, analyze and change product defects and to manage product changes.

    Process and product are the key differences.

    True story – a company was showing us their “QA”, which was nothing than a department full of skilled testers. They perfectly tested the product that was still of a bad quality, because the development processes were not efficient, effective and there was nobody taking care of that. After establishing the basic quality management system, the situation got better.

    All I am trying to say is – QA and QC are different and it does not help quality professionals to confuse those. Google books provide a lot of valuable help on this topic.

    Keep up good work here!

    Petr

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