Author Archives: joshuafife

Boundary Software Testing

https://www.testbytes.net/blog/boundary-value-analysis

This past week we began understanding and practicing boundary value testing using simple programs and, of course, simple tests. This blog post discusses that same topic, and gives multiple real life-scenarios and dives deep into the subject. Although it is not a super difficult subject to grasp (in my opinion), I feel this is a good way to reinforce those ideas we learned in class.

This blog by testbytes gives all the information one would need to give them a solid starting ground for boundary value testing. It first explains the concept of the testing model and why it would be done, such as explaining how testers hope to identify errors more proficiently. An example is given, using discount percentages that apply ONLY when purchase totals reach a certain threshold. The lower boundary of the first discount is given, testing if the total is less than $10 (which should mean a 0% discount). Then, the upper boundary of the first discount is checked, with a $10 order receiving an expected 5% discount, so on and so forth. 

Later the blog discusses the different types of boundary value testing as well as their distinctions and the disadvantages and advantages of this type of testing. 

I selected this resource because it gives a quick definition of boundary value testing but then goes into further detail on the subject with good examples and explanations. It is a well thought out post that gave me a more concrete understanding of boundary value testing and edge cases. 

Testbytes on its own is a reliable source for this specific information since it is an entire company dedicated to software testing and quality assurance. Through checking out their other posts, I see they have a variety of testing area blogs including mobile apps, web apps, games, automation, security, and more. 

Overall, this resource is great to refer back to due to its consistent information and easy to understand descriptions. 

As previously mentioned, the content in this blog post by Testbytes is a really solid basis for a good understanding of boundary value testing. I can’t say that it is the highest quality and in-depth education on the subject one can receive, but it’s useful for someone like me who is just getting started. 

Personally, I really enjoyed the material, especially the example given at the start. Although I wasn’t struggling with what we were learning in class, there were times where I had a moment of confusion. This is a quick bit of information that instilled some more confidence in me about this topic. One main thing I learned through this blog is a big disadvantage of BVA is truly how many test cases it may require to check all boundaries/edges, which can lead to a lot of effort on the system and more power/time consumption. I expect to use such advantages and disadvantages when creating test cases for my future individual and work projects.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Josh's Coding Journey by joshuafife and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Software Testing Terms – Can you list them all?

link to blog at the end:

Have you ever heard a word or phrase that you feel like you should understand but you just don’t? It’s happened to many people, and I’m sure it is not uncommon in the software industry. Certain software terms are either confusing or unknown, which is perfectly understandable!

Chris Kenst’s blog post relates to what we studied in class this past week, as it correlates with and even mentions some of the terms we learned, such as black box testing. It will hopefully help the definitions we previously learned stick in my head as the weeks go by.

This blog post is all about lingo. It aims to better prepare students and software-testing newbies for the confusing jargon coming out of their coworkers’ mouths. It is in a simple glossary format, which is easy to understand and refer back to from time to time. There are 50 terms listed as well, so there may be some left out, but the ones listed are what you are most likely to hear in the workplace or in communication. Kenst also mentions at the end of the post that an increased mutual understanding of such terms can lead to increased productivity and collaboration.

I chose to cover this blog post because it is easy to get lost in all the mumbo jumbo tech buzzwords flying around the internet. It is like being a parent and learning what your kids’ slang means; except the kids are your coworkers and the slang is important keywords for your profession. I would not want to be the one guy at a meeting who does not understand “black-box testing” or what “domain testing” is. Jokes aside, this is a great resource for my fellow students to refer back to, especially as we are just beginning our software testing journey. These terms are important to know, because otherwise you might fall behind as new terms and testing variations are created. 

I personally believe this is a great starting point for those new to software testing (like me) and those who might need a refresher every now and then whenever their coworker says something unfamiliar. I learned how “high volume automated testing” involves auto generation, execution, and evaluation of multiple tests that may be weaker and not as thorough on their own, but together expose bugs and weaknesses. I will continue to learn more testing variations and other terms from this list to strengthen my confidence as a software tester and engineer. I hope to apply this knowledge in the future whether it be at a job interview or in a working environment, proving to my coworkers that I understand the language they are speaking and can keep up with their discussions.

Blog: 50 Software Testing Terms Defined – Chris Kenst

From the blog CS@Worcester – Josh's Coding Journey by joshuafife and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Another Introduction!

Hi everyone!

My name is Josh and the use of this blog going forward will be to discuss topics we are covering in my Software Quality Assurance & Testing class. I hope to discover and learn new things and share them with you here. Have a great day!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Josh's Coding Journey by joshuafife and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

The Importance of Clean Code

Ever struggle to read another developer’s code? Code should be easy to follow along with, especially for a reader entirely new to the codebase. However, sometimes developers write “spaghetti code”, with random variables or methods mixed together in a non-understandable manner. 

Gary Espinosa of Reflectoring.io believes that clean code is the best code, and it’s super important for companies and coworkers. He lists suggestions such as variable names being descriptive, methods shortened, code broken up, etc. Let’s dive into what he suggests.

Espinosa discusses the huge importance of clean code, and how it can make or break a codebase. Not only is code the flesh and blood of a program, but it is also a form of communication between collaborating developers. It helps enable easy understanding of code and editability without errors. Companies who need to ensure their code is clean often spend time and resources just making it easy to comprehend.

Clean code should be readable; this involves grouping similar functions and classes together, similar variables, etc. The document should flow like an “engaging narrative from top to bottom” (Espinosa). If possible, one idea per line and one action per statement is key.

You should also be able to keep your code consistent. There must be a standard for writing code, variables, and methods. Examples of this would be using camelCase for all your variable and method names, using specific indentation rules, and more. A unifying language reduces differences.

One should strive for simplicity, but with descriptive language as well. Variables, methods, and classes should have meaningful names that describe the point of themselves easily. For example, you shouldn’t use a name like “x1” or “yY” as they don’t provide the reader any insight as to what they’re for.  

I selected this resource because it lines up with what we’re currently learning, and it is a key importance to being a software developer in the industry. If you want to have your pull requests approved, write clean, understandable code. This topic intrigued me because it’s quite simple but I wasn’t sure if there were any specific industry standards for clean code. There are definitely certain uniforms industry-wide, but I’m sure that it depends from company to company.

Espinosa’s article was informative, and explained what’s important and why about clean code. It’s useful to those new to programming, or those who are experienced in coding but just entering the professional industry.

I learned how important clean code actually is, not only to the programmer but to their coworkers and the company as a whole. Alongside this, the article taught me how to effectively organize and write code in a clean and understandable manner. This led to an increase in my confidence in my ability to clean up my code. I want to apply this knowledge to my future jobs and perhaps go back and clean up my old projects to make them easier to comprehend.

Article: https://reflectoring.io/clean-code/

From the blog CS@Worcester – Josh's Coding Journey by joshuafife and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Managing Software Licenses

Introduction

I found an article by Ibrahim Ogunbiyi called Seven Best Practices for Managing Software Licenses. Just based on the title, it seemed to be what I was looking for. It starts off with the basics; what is software license management? According to Ogunbiyi, it’s simply “a document that provides guidelines for the use and distribution of software” (Ogunbiyi). It assists with the controlling, auditing, tracking, and management of a software in an organization and ensures that users comply with the regulations set in place.

Importance

The article discusses the importance of licenses. The reasons include but aren’t limited to:

  • Legal compliance with regulations set by organizations/manufacturers
  • Keeps track of software due dates; leads to productivity
  • Helps manage/reduce costs through enhanced planning
  • Optimizes software usage through usage and license tracking data
  • Ensures only the use of authorized and secure software, avoiding malware or malicious attacks/breaches

At this point, I think many of those new to software licensing have already taken a huge step forward in their knowledge of the subject. It’s easy to dismiss licensing as something that only grand organizations deal with, but it can be necessary for any small business or individual who wants to protect their work. 

Best Practices

Finally, we reach the best practices as given by Ogunbiyi. In no particular order, these practices are: 

  1. Documenting the process of obtaining the software
    1. Who, where, when, how it was purchased
    2. When it is due for renewal
    3. Keep documentation up to date and to certain standards
  2. Centralize your list of software licenses
    1. This practice is good for organizations with multiple departments that each have separate licenses
  3. Understand the agreements for your software license(s)
    1. Read terms and conditions
  4. Use a software license management tool
    1. Assists in tracking, optimizing, and managing software licenses
  5. Track license usage regularly
    1. Ensures compliance with rules and regulations
  6. Make sure your software license(s) are up to date
    1. Keeps them tracked
    2. Prevents them from expiring
  7. Teach employees about managing software licenses
    1. Ensures correct usage of software
    2. Keeps them knowledgeable about the license process and its guidelines

Why This Topic?

I chose this topic because it’s very underappreciated and not mentioned enough in the software development community (from my experience). This could also be useful for an organization or small team that is new to software development.

Conclusion

For me, this article was quite beneficial to my learning. Personally, I previously didn’t know anything about software licensing and the entire process about it. I won’t claim to be an expert on it now, but this article has helped me become a novice in understanding the subject. Although this article didn’t recommend specific licenses, it did teach me the process I should go about when acquiring or dealing with a license. In the future, when I am working on a project either individually or with a team, I’ll be more familiar with the guidelines and process around licensing, and can help my colleagues if they are unfamiliar.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Josh's Coding Journey by joshuafife and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

What Daily Scrum Meetings SHOULD be Like

article link at the end

Overview

This week we began learning about different types of software methodologies, mainly focusing on SCRUM. Scrum, being one of the most popular software development organizational processes, has many factors to consider and to improve on. One of these pieces is the Scrum Meeting, a 15 minute or so meeting with your co-workers and “boss(es)” discussing the day’s work. However, such meetings can easily devolve or change into different forms; certain groups function differently. For example, one team of developers may find it beneficial to have shorter 5-10 minute meetings where there is less communication from each member. Another team may prefer longer meetings with each developer participating in a detailed discussion. But what should it really be about? How should people really be involved? This is where Mike Cohn’s article Daily Scrums: Synchronization Meetings, Not Status Meetings comes in.

What Not To Do

Cohn, a specialist in agile processes and helping companies utilize teams effectively, believes that many companies do Scrum meetings incorrectly. Most current scrum meetings involve each developer giving a report to their scrum master, whilst the other developers sit and wait their turn. Instead, he states that “the daily scrum meeting is designed for team members to synchronize their effort” (Cohn). This opposes the idea of such meetings being used to simply share what one is working on, and move on for the day.

Cohn’s Beliefs

Cohn believes that daily scrum meetings should have members enthusiastic about the project they’re working on with their team along with the progress being made. Such developers should also be sharing their progress and thoughts not only with the scrum master, but with the rest of the team as well. This encourages a broader discussion with more voices and teamwork involved. 

Cohn encourages Scrum Masters to participate in daily meetings, as they can then hear about impediments while also showing support for their team. Lastly, Scrum meetings should have brief updates that focus on what has been accomplished rather than what one spent time on.

Thoughts

I chose this article because it gives a truer, more refined approach to Scrum compared to the ones mentioned. Since I am a beginner to the idea and process of Scrum, I did not know of some of the problems with current iterations of daily scrum meetings. 

This article has been very helpful to me as it introduces what daily scrum meetings should be like. In the past, I had a misunderstanding about how Scrum meetings went; which lined up with what Cohn advised not to do. Although I have not had any real-life experience with Scrum meetings, I feel better prepared as for what to expect in future jobs. I will most likely be using this newfound knowledge in future projects, whether internship or job, big or small. I understand now that it’s best to look forward to scrum meetings as a time to come together and share, and to leave with excitement about progress.

Article: Daily Scrums: Synchronization Meetings, Not Status Meetings

From the blog CS@Worcester – Josh's Coding Journey by joshuafife and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Differentiating between trunk-based and feature-based development

Image depicting trunk-based vs feature-based development. Source: https://ruby0x1.github.io/machinery_blog_archive/post/step-by-step-programming-incrementally/index.html

Jacob Schmitt’s “Trunk-based vs feature-based development”

Link to article at the end

For this week, I am focusing on Jacob Schmitt’s blog post “Trunk-based vs feature-based development”. This is a short yet efficient article in explaining the differences between the two types of software development processes. Schmitt discusses the alternate use cases of such processes, where and when they might be utilized, who is most likely to use them, and the advantages and disadvantages of them. I chose this blog because as I learn more about forks, feature branches, commits and pull requests, it is important to also understand the overall development processes of companies and why they might use them. The development processes mentioned by the blog intertwine perfectly with git commands and usage.

Trunk-Based Development

According to Schmitt, Trunk-based development allows for developers to push changes straight to the main branch. However, if the new feature will take longer than usual changes, then they can “check out a branch from main, move the changes into it, then merge it back in when the development is complete” (Schmitt). Then, there would be a code review held by other developers to ensure that the new changes do not break the main production branch. Although this development approach is quite popular, it is used more often in the realm of experienced developers rather than newcomers.

Feature-Based Development

As for feature-based development, many developers can work on many different changes or branches at the same time. This is done by each developer creating their own feature branch, and then eventually requesting to merge with the main branch. One of the most important differences between feature and trunk based development is that in feature-based, developers never push straight to the main branch. This approach is much friendlier to beginner developers like myself, as there would be no worry of breaking production with new code since changes are on a different branch.

Advantages & Disadvantages

An advantage that trunk has over feature is that the code changes are more likely to be merged faster. Feature-based development pull requests can add up fast over time, which leads to a longer time between requesting and merging. Despite this, feature-based is much safer for larger development projects and groups, when there are too many feature branches to keep track of at once. As of right now, I prefer feature-based development because I would not be very comfortable working directly with the main branch as a new developer.

Thoughts

Although it might be simple, I found this article to be quite helpful in preparing me for what a future job or internship workflow might look like. When one has little to no experience with development in a professional environment, articles such as this one are very beneficial to learning more about team-based development. It gives a bit more background as to why we do this type of development, rather than just stating that we do it. I hope to use this knowledge in future projects with internships or jobs.

Link to article: Trunk-based vs feature-based development | Jacob Schmitt

From the blog CS@Worcester – Josh's Coding Journey by joshuafife and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Welcome!

Hi, I’m Josh! I’m currently a 20 year old college student who’s studying Computer Science and this is the first blog I’ve ever had. I was never much into blogs, however I can see the benefits of consistently updating a log of your progress, thoughts, or ideas. Whether people read it or not, it’s a great way to express yourself!

With this blog, I hope to track my learning, personal projects, and the ever evolving world of technology we live in today. It’s easy to get lost in all the news and different technologies, so this might be my way of navigating through the ocean of programming/tech and keeping up.

That’s all I have for now. Have a great day!

From the blog CS@Worcester – Josh's Coding Journey by joshuafife and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.