QA Graphic

QA Image Library

Check out the growing QA Image Library. This is my personal colleciton of Slack Images for that perfect QA Moment.

September 9, 2019

Couple of Console Tricks

Here are a couple of little known Google Console tools that might assist with testing websites. These are in the Rendering section of the Google DevTools section.

What's weird is that Google doesn't provide much information about these tools. In 2016, Rendering was hidden from general Developer view.


Highlight Ad Frames

This should be enabled so that you can see what areas of the page that have the potential to being blocked by AdWare tools. While it won't catch 100% of the instance that a piece of content may get blocked, it's good to have as a "hey check this out."

Emulate CSS Media

With this enabled, you can save some steps and see what the page looks like when printed.

In addition, this makes it so much easier to debug a problematic page. For example, if a test position, you can list the exact issue in the bug report - saving time for everyone.

September 2, 2019

Letter to the QA Manager

A letter to the QA Manager. This seems appropriate on this Labor Day:

Dear QA Manager,

I love my job and I think you are a good quality assurance manager, but there are some things I would like to hear from you and some things I would like you to do.

I want you to give me praise. I want to know when I have done a good job. Don't let the only time you have a serious conversation with me be when I have done something wrong. Let me know when I have helped make the release a success.

Tell me what my job is, how to do it and what QA rules I need to follow. I want to clearly understand what my job is, how you want me to do it and what policies I need to follow. Be specific and give me clear instructions.

I want to be excited by my work. I don't want a dull, boring job where I never know what is going on. Get me excited about what my role is, what our project is, about our department and our company. Show me how I fit into the plan.

Challenge me. I don't want to keep doing the same job each day. Give me something new to do. Challenge my skills and my mind. I can contribute more than you think.

Give me opportunities to improve myself. I am a good worker, but I want to be a better one. Train me in something new, send me to a class, let me learn a new skill from a coworker. Help me develop my career. Help me to be better able to help you.

Delegate to me. When you need something done, let me do it. Let me prove that I am capable of doing more. Trust me to get the job done right and on time. It will build my confidence and respect that you can trust me with a task.

Deal with my coworker. You explained the policies I must follow, but you need to back it up by enforcing those policies. Be fair and treat everyone equally. It kills my morale when a coworker is not disciplined for consistently breaking the rules.

Inspire me. Show me you are passionate about your work, about our team, about our project. Share your vision for our department and our team. Tell me what our mission statement is and why it is important.

Ask for my opinions and ideas. I have worked here for a long time and I know what works and what doesn't. Ask me how things can be improved and what we can do to make our team and our department more productive and successful.

Improve my work environment. My desk and chair are good. My computer is old and slow. I need a new one with a monitor that does not hurt my eyes. You need to remodel our break area. I will be happier and be more productive in an improved work environment.

August 26, 2019

Fake Referer for Testing

This is a sample QA task that I had many years ago:

A customer website wanted to acknowledge a particular set of users that found the website via a link on a partner site. They wanted me to test that users from one website saw one version of the site and everyone else got the typical content.

To perform this task, I used the Unix curl tool to get the job done.


This "hack" is useful when you want to fake a referer from a particular website, you can "dump" the results as an HTML file to verify the results was a success. It also helps if you have access to the apache logs to verify the referer was pass through.

CURL Config File


curl --config test.txt


In the config file:

# --- Example file ---
url = ""
output = "cia.html"
referer = "" -
user-agent = "superagent/1.0"
# and fetch another URL too
url ="
output = "yahoo.html"
referer = ""
# and fetch another URL too
url = ""
output = "bing.html"
referer = ""

Sample Output

This is what you see when you run the command:

curl --config sample.txt
% Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 10813    0 10813    0     0  35677      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 35686
100   315  100   315    0     0   3924      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--  3924
100   311  100   311    0     0   3905      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--  3905

Learn More

You can learn more cool tricks with CURL on the "man" page: curl - How To Use

August 19, 2019

Location Guard

Testing software may involve testing certain locations. Chrome uses various means to track your location and pass that information to websites. Some of the data is based on Wifi and browser settings.

Location Guard allows you to fake your location. This makes it easy to test the functionality of the site against various locales around the world. For example, Canada has rules about requesting email on websites.

Product Description

Location Guard is a browser extension that allows to protect your location while using location-aware websites, by adding controlled noise to it.

Latest updates to Chrome might have made this extension non-working. According to many reviews, the extensions are not working 100% of the time.

I'll test it against Google Maps and other sites to see if it still not working.

August 12, 2019

QA is not Medical Science

In a job interview that I had many years ago at a popular software company, my future boss told me this:

"If bugs happen that's ok, this isn't Medical Science. No one will die because a bug made it into Production. "

Whoa. What?

I was surprised by her comment and took it as the wrong attitude towards excellence in testing. Isn't your goal to make sure bugs don't make it into production?

Medical Science

QA Realistic Goals

However, over the years I have learned she was right. In a fast pace environment, QA can't always deliver 100% bug-free releases. When bugs do make it to production - it's important to avoid the blame game.

QA should focus on how to respond to fixing bugs in production. Once the issue is fixed, QA then needs to find out how it missed the bug - so that it doesn't happen again.

Bugs will happen, but it how you respond to getting the bug fix determines how good of a QA you are.

August 5, 2019

False Positive

In testing, a False positive happens when a particular test passed when in fact that it should have failed. This usually happens when tests are not clearly written to catch errors.

Having a lot of failures missed by automation will certainly question the overall value automation brings to the team.

While most people think of False Positive in software automation or medical tests. Here's a unique perspective to False Positive.

Haunted Mansion Rides

Haunted Mansion Ride Example

At Disneyland Haunted Mansion, Disney has a lot of sensors all over the ride. They are set up to make sure foreign objects are not thrown from the doom buggy. When an object is detected the ride stops to alert security.

Every once in a while, someone manages to throw something into the graveyard without the sensors going off.

The false positive in this situation is that the motion sensors indicate everything is fine and the ride should continue.

The situation is usually fixed within 24-hours but the person responsible got away with it.

Audit Tests that pass

If tests are consistently passing you may want to audit them. Perhaps the test is too specific and may need some additional validation statements to help make the test more efficient.

July 29, 2019

QA Memes

On vacation this week, so I thought I would keep things simple by posting some recent QA memes.

Bart Simpson Q A
I will let QA know before pushing to Production

Trust QA

Next Week we'll return with some more quality QA postings.

July 22, 2019

Test Strategy

A Test Strategy document conversion the overall test approach and goals to a project. A test plan covers how specific features/functionality will be tested.

A test strategy is useful reference project document to highlight the testing coverage of a major new feature. A test strategy should be done with every major project. Small projects and bug fixes are not something that needs a test strategy document.

Test Strategy

Test Strategy Topics

Here are the main categories of a Test Strategy Document:

  • Goal - What is the goal of the particular test strategy
  • Sign-Off - Have some sign-off by the QA Lead, Dev Lead, Business Owner and Project Architect
  • Scope - Identify the product features and risk areas. Include important milestones.
  • Test schedule - Know when the project is going live and any rollout plan.
  • Release Testing - Cover testing that will be performed at each release deployment. Good to keep a history for tracking purposes.
  • Schedule Risks - What are areas of the project that could impact the release of the feature. Example might be third party support, special configurations, account settings.
  • QA Resources - Who should people contact if there are issues?
  • Timeline - Similar to the Test Schedule, but more focus on the project, what's QA involvement in the release of the feature.
  • Jira Tickets - List of the story tickets for this project.
  • Project Library - Links to the important documents to this project.
  • Competition - List of similar features that are done in other companies. This is useful to understand how consumers may view this product.

Three Tips on Test Strategy Document

This is a live document and the QA Lead should be updating the document - at least once per week. Timelines and releases are areas that get the most updates.

Once the Test Strategy document structure is in place, the document should be shared with the project stakeholders Once it's been signed-off then the document should be shared with other QA Members.

Once the project is completed - usually when the project maintenance has been completed, the document should conclude with a "Transition Plan." This is when the test cases become part of the general release testing. Usually the QA Lead would go through the test cases to tag items that should be automated for regular regression.

July 15, 2019

Test Plan Guidlines

A test plan provides a detailed outline of testing for a particular project in a particular release.

Q A Test Plan2019
Having a carefully well written test plan can help ensure a feature gets well tested at every release cycle.

There are several key parts of the Test Plan:

Testing Considerations

This is where the QA Lead identifies various conditions which makes it possible to test the functionality.


This is where you list the conditions that can't be known a for sure ahead of time, which you have to make assumptions. These need to be stated so that QA can evaluate whether they are reasonable.

Example Assumptions

  • Database contains the correct data.
  • SQL Integration Service validates the data being inserted into the database.
  • Users can only setup one category for the Employee Update page.


Dependencies that this test plan has on external conditions.

Example Dependencies

  • Nightly backup of external HTML XML Feed data
  • Intranet User Authentication

Risks & Issues

Conditions that add risk to the quality of the functionality or that may impact the accuracy of the test plan.

Example Risk Points

  • SQL Server Integration Service is unable to read the XML Feed
  • Poorly written specs
  • The business owner is not clearly defined for this project.
  • The current database schema is not available.
  • QA isn't aware of the technology being use to display the data on the page.

Feature Description

In several paragraphs explain in detail the feature that is being tested. Links to external spec documents and technical documents should be referenced here.

A list of project/developers should be listed here. These are the people that should get tickets of any bugs found when testing this product.

Testing Outline and Summaries

This section should list all the test cases title summary. It would be good to sort the test cases by some sort of topic.

Example Test Case Summaries

Data Validation
  • Validate that the XML passes the XML validator test '
  • Validate that the intranet page is loading after the nightly XML update '
  • Validate that the intranet page loads if there are no new hires '
  • Validate that the intranet page loads if there are no upcoming anniversary dates '
  • Validate that if a user hasn't set a configuration, the page still loads '
July 8, 2019

False Negative

According to the National Institute of Health:

A false negative is a test result that indicates a person does not have a disease or condition when the person actually does have it.

In Quality Assurance Automation testing, the National Institute of Health example could be rewritten as:

False Negative happens when a test is run and returns a success when the actual test should have failed.

False Negative

Why Good Test Produce False Negatives

This can happen because of various reasons:

Hard Coded Information

Sometimes an automation test case may be written to use a specific datasets and/or urls. This type of test case doesn't take into account of actual path that users may use. Taking shortcuts may seem like a good idea, but are risky since they don't take into account the true paths users may take.

Real Life Example

If someone changes a button link url reference, and automation just goes to the URL, without clicking on the button, it will miss that change. The test will pass, but it should have failed.

Not Checking for Errors

In some instances, an error might be thrown to the user - or the browser console during an automation run. Since this isn't directly impacting the flow of the test case, it's considered a "pass."

Real Life Example

A login page test is run. however, a necessary JavaScript file is not found by the browser, and throws 404 console error. Some parts of the page - not directly related to the test - looks weird. This particular automation test case doesn't see it because it's not part of the test.

Not a Challenging Test Case

I have seen some test cases take the soft route of testing. The test case doesn't check for data validation. Some test cases assume too much and don't intentionally thrown an error - such as entering too much data in a text field.

Real Life Example

A simple test case runs the critical path of a registration process. However, the test case doesn't check to see if the email address field validation is working. Thus when someone made a global JavaScript file change it didn't catch the field validation stopped working.

Ways to Avoid False Negatives

Four ideas to help reduce the chances of test cases returning False Negatives:

  • As a clean up step in automation, check the console logs for errors.
  • If using Ghost Inspector, watch the video in some of the critical path testing to see if there's anything out of the ordinary.
  • Code review automation test cases.
  • In one of my previous jobs, if an Automation test passes for 3-consecutive releases, it's a candidate for an audit. The audit should be done by someone who didn't write the initial case. The audit should think about ways the test could be more productive.

Automation Encountered a New Feature
Ideally the Automation team should get a "heads up" on a new feature being shipped in the current release and areas of impact. Every once in a while, the automation team will be left off the code review or show-me meetings.

Poorly Written Test
The automation steps didn't take into accounts of other situations that may happen when the test are run.

Infrastructure Issues
Something happen that cause the server to behave weird - such as a slow network or disk space full. These types of issues are unavoidable.