Friday, 20 July 2012

Testing: Editing Tests In-running with Microsoft Test Manager

A couple of weeks ago one of my colleagues here asked if it possible to edit test scripts while you are running them in Microsoft Test Manager. I didn't know, and a quick bit of google-foo resulted in nothing conclusive. So, I reached out to the testing community through the fairly new and excellent SQA Stack Exchange.

Here is my original question:

Although the answer given didn't didn't deal with my issue on MTM 2010, it did set me on the right path.

So, can you edit a test case while running it? The answer is, sort of.
You can't add a step into the test you are currently running, but you can edit the original test case so future runs are correct. Below is an explanation on how to do this.

I tried to find out if MTM 2012 was going to have such a useful feature, but I have not been able to find a definitive answer. Most of my searching seems to lead back to Microsoft telling us how good MTM 2012 will be for exploratory testing.
Unless they have done a complete ground-up redesign of the interface, I do not think Microsoft Test Manager 2012 will be the right tool for that job.

I will cover that in another post. 

Monday, 9 July 2012

Testing: Some Thoughts on Microsoft Test Manager

It was about two years ago when I was first introduced to Microsoft Test Manager *(MTM). It worked quite well for us; we were a completely .net environment so the running tests and pushing bugs through to the developer through TFS workflow was fairly smooth. I remember thinking at the time that once the software was out in the wild for a year or so Microsoft should send out a service pack to fix the obvious bugs, correct the UI issues, and hopefully add reporting tools as standard.

Fast forward to now. I am again in a .net environment. I am again using MTM as the tool for running tests and reporting bugs.During the interim I have been exposed to many different tools, most of which, in their way, out class MTM:
For record and playback of test steps I use Selenium IDE, or iMacros
For progress reporting I can format them natively in the application or export a CSV from just about any test tool (Testlink, Testrail, Jira, Bugzilla) and manipulate in Excel.
And for reporting of bugs, there are multiple pieces of software, Bugzilla, Jira, TFS to name a few.

You can imagine my disappointment to see that MTM had not moved an inch from where I last left it. The software is still buggy, chews up resources, crashes at the slightest misuse, and has a UI that was designed by a, well, by something that has never used software before. It is so frustrating as to almost make you weep. I have tried to fathom Microsoft's strategy with MTM. It isn't cheap, so companies invest a lot to get it set up and integrated. It seems like Microsoft are willing to let the tool mothball whilst still receiving license money from the few companies unfortunate enough to have this as their main testing, bug reporting, and progress reporting tool. Yet it fulfills none of those functions to a satisfactory level!
I can only hope that with the new generation of software versions coming out (Windows 8, Office 2012, etc.) there is a major upgrade to MTM that makes it usable.

* I started inserting links after I wrote the article. Attempting to find MTM 2010 on the Microsoft site is almost impossible. Perhaps they realised what a dog it was and hid it in the cupboard under the stairs.

[End Note] At the beginning of 2012 I was going to start up (yet) another blog about my life as a tester. I haven't done that yet, so I will be posting here for a while until I get off my lazy arse and actually set up the bloody thing!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Welcome Visitors from

With my renewed attempt to blog often has come the inevitable use to the statistics part of the blogger dashboard to see if you, dear reader, are taking a look at these ramblings I put out.

The statistics for this site aren't mind blowing, but I do find it fun seeing where people come from, and what they searched for to get here. It was while looking at these stats I noticed that a large number of referrals are coming from

I have gone to the site, and searched for this blog, my name, and anything else I can think of which would tie my blog to the site. I have come up with nothing! So, if you have come here from Estherderby, please drop me a note and say hi. Also, please let me know what is bringing you here, even if it is an instruction to look at this site as an example of how not to do something. My curiosity is certainly piqued!

In the meantime, welcome my friends. Come in, and have a look around!

Magnifying Glass | Michael Connors

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Recipe: Guerilla Pizza

This isn't really a recipe as a money saving technique. Pizzas delivered from the local takeaway take around 20 minutes and cost between £10 and £15 depending on how crazy you go on size, toppings, and extras.
To save a bit of money, we have stopped getting takeaway pizzas, and have started "topping" our own. It takes just as long as waiting for the delivery person, even less on a Friday or Saturday night!


You can put just about anything on your Guerilla Pizza (although, perhaps steer clear from actual Guerillas). Below is a set of ingredients we use as standard with a variation of the odd ingredient depending on what is in the fridge.

1 Frozen pizza
1/4 Medium onion very finely chopped
1-2 Garlic cloves very finely chopped
A handful of grated cheese (because store-bought pizzas never have enough!)


It is important to allow for the extra ingredients when considering the cooking time and temperature, especially if you are cooking from frozen. The solution we use is to lower the temperature by 15-ish degrees celcius and cook for the allotted time on the back of the box (add 5 or so minutes to this if you don't have a fan assisted oven).
Check about 3/4 of the way through cooking, and then as the time is up.

There you have it. For about 1/3 the cost of a [Insert Pizza Company] delivered pizza you get to choose your own ingredients and have a bit left over for some extra beer!


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Recipe: Guerilla Risotto

I have not ever posted a recipe on this blog. Mainly for the fact that I have no real idea how to write one. It's not a great excuse, I know. So, I am sending out my opening gambit - Guerilla Risotto.

I love leftovers. I usually have them for lunch the next day, but have been known to have leftovers for breakfast, and even dinner. One of may favourite left over ingredients is rice. Leftover rice for me is a comfort food. Whatever I add to the rice it becomes a yummy unctuous mess that warms me through.

Before I begin, I must put forth a disclaimer. It is important to note that it is not recommended to re-heat rice the next day. So, follow this recipe at your own risk. For my part, I always make sure I heat the rice until it is boiling hot, and then I keep it there for as long as possible.

150-200g Leftover cooked rice
Whatever other leftovers are with the rice ideally including some vegetables
50g grated cheese
20-30ml cold water
Oil for us in frying (sunflower/olive/groundnut)

1. Place the rice into a bowl and sprinkle over the water
2. With a fork or spoon separate the rice grains a bit to allow the water to work its way around the rest of the rice
3. Pour some oil into the frying pan and place on a medium heat
4. Add the leftovers (without rice)to the frying pan and fry until hot throughout
5. Add the rice and stir-fry until the rice is very hot
6. Empty the contents of the frying pan onto a plate.
 7. Season, and stir 1/2 the cheese into the mixture.
8. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese onto the top of the 'risotto'

So there you have it. The Guerilla Risotto may not look much, but it should be hot, a bit sticky, and hit the spot. Particularly on a winter's day.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Chesham Dads and Family Stay & Play a Success

Today saw the return of the Saturday dad's session at the Waterside Sure Start Centre in Chesham.

Late last year, many fathers in the area were saddened to lose their monthly "Dadtastic" get together. The leader of the session, Lee, recently qualified as a teacher and did not have the time to continue with them.

A few weeks back I bumped into David Rogers who mentioned that the sessions were beginning again on January 14th, and they were every week from then on. I have to say, I was a bit surprised that there was a switch to a weekly meeting. This is because Dadtastic wan't really growing, and the attendance was quite sporadic by all except a core few dads (I was a sporadic one).

Today I went to the first session of what has been billed as Dads Stay and Play, and was pleasantly surprised to see 30+ people at the centre. I think this is the most people I have ever seen there! It was fantastic! And all that despite there being very little advertising of Stay and Play outside of the regular weekday activities.

Hopefully this can be built on by the attendees today telling their friends about it, I know a couple of people I will mentioning this to. It is also worth noting that this is not just for Dads. It's for anyone. Dads are targeted as quite often they miss out on the activities due to working during the week. Having said that, in a modern society, it isn't necessarily the dad who misses out; it could be the mum, or even both.

I also hope that Sure Start and Family Lives (who were also there today) will be able to get Bucks CC to mention the session on their activities calendar.

Long may Stay and Play continue!

Further Reading

To find out more about Sure Start centres there is information on the Direct Gov site.
Click the links to find out more about the Sure Start Centres at Waterside and Newtown. This includes their timetables.
See also the Buckinghamshire Family Information Services website.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Chesham Twitterati

As you can see from the widget at the side of the page, I am on Twitter. My handle is @SheyMouse.

One of the things I have been doing this week is adding more people from Chesham (and to a lesser extent, Amersham) who are on twitter. My reason? I want to get to know the community a bit more, as well as see what's going on in my area.

Here is my list:!/SheyMouse/cheshamtweeps

At the time of writing, it contains 23 people. I'm sure there are more people out there from the area who are on Twitter, but this is the list so far.

If you are from Chesham and want to hook up, just tweet me on @SheyMouse,or just follow me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Frugal Cook: The Return of Beyond Baked Beans!

So, a few days after Fiona Beckett mentioned on her Frugal Cook blog that was gone, I am happy to announce that Beyond Baked Beans is back up and running. It is now at a slightly different domain:

Fiona has put an explanation, and a plea for back links here:

Hopefully, this BBB incarnation can regain its google ranking and therefore can be found by all the hungry students, and frugal cooks out there!

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Frugal Cook: What's happened to Beyond Baked Beans?

I have been a fan of The Frugal Cook, and Beyond Baked Beans for a couple of years. The latter site was an excellent resource and social hub for people students looking to get their cooking skills up Beyond Baked Beans. Unfortunately, as Fiona outlines on her Frugal Cook blog, BBB is no more, for the foreseeable future:

The Frugal Cook: What's happened to Beyond Baked Beans?

I am no expert on domains, but following the links from BBB to the coupons site, it looks like BBB's domain was automatically taken over by a GoDaddy company called domainsbyproxy. They have then put a redirect to the coupon site on BBB. Effectively, GoDaddy are squatting on a domain they own (whois domainsbyproxy). A little underhanded if you ask me. Most domain companies will redirect to their commercial site asking if you want to own the domain. 
In the Frugal Cool article, Fiona indicates that GoDaddy have asked for a commission to "negotiate" the transfer of the domain back to her. If domainsbyproxy is a company already part of the GoDaddy stable then there shouldn't be much negotiation. A bit of a rip off really.

If I am wrong in the above, I am happy to be corrected. Otherwise, this has put me off hosting any site I have through GoDaddy. They already weren't top of my list, but they have moved further down the charts now.

I hope Fiona manages to come to a satisfactory conclusion with the BBB issue, be it only having the facebook page - Beyond Baked Beans - or something else.