Sunday, July 26, 2009

NI Week...Woohoo

NI Week is almost upon us, it's the time of year to look forward to the new NI products and to network with all the NI people. I'm looking forward to the NI Week. I would be looking forward to all the seminar's and learning opportunities except that this year, some people at the place I work sees no immediate, short term benefit to conferences like this and AutoTestCon. Even in the long term it is hard to show measurable benefit. Since it's mostly secondary benefits, long term learning and networking, that is hard to measure, some groups will be poorly represented.

I am, however, going to to NI Week on an EXPO pass. I am excited about going and I am planning on making the most of my learning opportunities that I will have on my EXPO pass. I want to find out what various vendor's believe is the future of testing. I want to learn about the various products available to help us do our testing, I want to learn all I matter what others think of conferences. I know there are learning opportunities, I know I am going to learn, I know I'm going to learn all I can, and I know it will help me in the future.

Overall, I'm excited about NI Week and all of it's opportunities.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Is Software Engineering relavent to Test Engineering

I've been trying to get a hold of Teradyne's TestStudio in order to compare it to TestStand. It's been about a month and a half since I've been trying to get a copy. Good news...sort of. I'm told my constant requests may have finially paid off. I'm told, Teradyne finally relented and is going to send us a preliminary copy of TestStudio. It may be in the building, it may be in the mail, so I haven't actually seen it. So, hopefully soon, I can do a comparison.

On to other things...

I've been thinking a lot about where Software Engineering fits into Test Engineering. While I understand the fact that it is an integral part of testing, I've noticed a prevailing thought, at least where I work, that software is secondary and trivial piece of the overall testing practice, "You can get anyone off the street to do the software." (qoute from a manager at work)

This thought was brought about when it seemed like I was the only one trying to get a preliminary copy of TestStudio. The tech lead dealing with getting TestStudio seemed unconcerned on getting the software tools while spending endless hours on getting exactly the right hardware. TestStudio was even picked as a software tool with almost zero input from people who deal mainly with software.

Due to the shrinking of many UUTs, a lot of tests are moving to software. Either the UUT is loaded with an Operational Test Program (OTP) or the UUT only has communications port, test software is becoming more and more important. People need more software expertise rather than less software software expertise.

I'm just frustrated knowing that most of the software decisions are being made by the software inept and I may not have a path up the technical ladder because of my leanings toward software.

If you're reading this, thanks for reading my vent.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Peer Review Tool

Last year I wrote a blog about Peer Reviews where I noted all the good peer reviews can long as you do them. I believe that, when done properly, they can catch a lot of problems due to a "second pair of eyes" looking at the code. It also gets others at least sort of familiar with your code. That way, if you get hit by a beer truck, it's easier for someone else to pick up the code.

A peer review tool is an essential part of a groups set of tools. While you can keep track of defects on a piece of paper or in a document file, a peer review tool tends to work much better. On that note, SmartBear software has a peer review tool called CodeReviewer.

CodeReviewer - a simpler CodeCollaborator

SmartBear has a code reviewer sale going on, 5 seats of CodeReviewer for $5, follow the link to read more about it.

Yeah, this is sort of an ad, but lines up with my thoughts and beliefs on code reviews, so I'm putting it out there.

May your defects be trivial and you code be solid!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Little about TestStudio

I had hoped to start comparing TestStudio to TestStand but with all our efforts to actually get a copy of TestStudio or much information about it have been thwarted by the people we're trying to buy it from. All the T's and C's haven't been finished up so we can't get an advanced copy. And, as I've said before, NI and their 30 day trial period pretty much set's the standard.

I could compare the Tech Support...but wait, I'm running into the same problem. We can't get into the e-knowledge until we actually purchaced there product. While I'm not saying the makers of TestStudio has anything to hide, what are they hiding? Again, NI sets the standard of customer support.

While I do understand their need for money, I just don't understand the business model that operates in a way contrary to helping the customer.

I'm just venting my frustration, after all the years of dealing with NI, their support, their mature products, it's frustrating to run into roadblocks like these TestStudio roadblocks.