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Validating HTML – W3C Markup Validation Service October 30, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in Uncategorized.

W3CMarkupI’ve never done much Web development. I know some HTML, of course, but whenever I’ve built a Website, I’ve used an IDE and standard templates and voila! My Website was done. There never seemed much point in learning the rest. My inner geek is embarrassed to admit this, but remember, I’ve been a manager for 10 years and haven’t been playing in code.   So now, I’m taking the opportunity to catch up to the rest of the world and try and learn everything. It’s fun! My find of the day has been W3Schools along with the W3C Markup Validation Service Tool.

When I’m learning something  I like to Start at the Very Beginning. A Very Good Place to Start. (I’m tempted to break into the rest of Do-Re-Mi here, but I’ll resist.)   W3Schools has been a great resource for pulling together for me all the technologies and how they fit together.  And the fact that I’ve been exposed to a lot of this and dabbled here and there has made it very easy for me to whiz through a lot of this, knowing where I can now find a reference.  I highly recommend this site for anyone new to Web Development. Or even if you know some of it and just want a refresher, take a look.  Sometimes it’s good to just go back to the Do-Re-Mi basics, even if you’re a Rock Star.

For example, I never really knew how XHTML differed from HTML.  So, I read up about the additional rigidity in syntax checking and also learned about the different Doctypes and versions of HTML.  One of the tools that was available off of the W3Schools site was a W3C Markup Validation Service Tool.  I would venture to guess that the first thing you might want to do when testing a Website would be to validate the HTML and this tool is very handy for doing just that! If the HTML has errors it is apt to create some flaky behavior down the line, so probably the first order of business would be to run the URL through the tool. I tried this with a few different sites and got some interesting results.  Many commercial Websites had quite a few errors. I’m happy to report however, that https://yvettefrancino.wordpress.com was successfully checked as XHTML 1.0 Transitional!

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional


Flattery Spam October 29, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in Uncategorized.


Update: Dec.7th…  For some reason this post has been getting an unprecedented amount of attention in the past week and I’m trying to understand why.  If you’re reading this, could you please comment or send an email to yvette dot francino at gmail dot com and let me know what brought you here?  On to the original post….

I’m interested in blogging , but I haven’t quite gotten used to WordPress.  I’d been happy with Blogger for my other blogs, but figured I’d give WordPress a try.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed there were a whole bunch of comments that had been marked as spam.  I checked them out and most of them seemed fine.  I wondered if the spam checker might have a bug. I’m always happy to get any comments and I certainly didn’t want to ignore readers!

One of the comments that had been marked as spam said:

“I dont know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. :) I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

Here was this fabulous comment that I’d been ignoring!  How could the spam checker think this wonderful comment was spam? There was no mention of viagra or ufyufusfsu. This was like the opposite of spam!  I had a whole day of patting myself on the back for what an insightful blogger I was until a few days later when I checked my spam comments and found another complimentary reader who thought I had a Great site!  At first I just thought I was really on a roll, but when I went back and checked the wording, I noticed that it was almost exactly the same as the other one. That’s right. I’d been a victim of Flattery Spam!

I was curious how many other blogs had gotten the “I don’t know if I said it already but… ” comment so I googled the phrase.  The first post that came up was

12 Vital Tips and Tools to Combat Comment Spam in WordPress

This turned out to be a very informative post about tools and plug-ins that are used to prevent spam.  I read through the whole post, however, and couldn’t find anything to tell me how WordPress was able to detect FlatterySpam. Why had google sent me to this post when it didn’t even seem to contain the flattering/offending phrase?  Then I found it.  The post about how to prevent spam actually had been spammed itself with the “I don’t know if I said it already but… Great site!” comment.  How ironic!

This is kind of like the QA sites that have spelling errors that I read about this morning on Joe Strazzere’s Bugs in the Wild post.  But I’ve been teased myself about spelling errors in a blog where I’m writing about quality, so I won’t throw stones.

I may have spelling errors or other bugs, but it’s OK. My readers love me. I don’t know if you’ve heard it already, but …  I have a Great site! :)

Selenium – An Open Source Automation Test Tool October 28, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in Uncategorized.
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As I wrote yesterday, there are so many open source tools and resources for testers, that it’s hard to know where to begin. I decided that this week I was going to focus on learning Selenium – a tool for automated testing of Web applications using record and playback.

It was incredibly easy to get started with this tool.  I was extremely impressed with the documentation! It was very well organized, easy to understand, and best of all, completely up-to-date! It had last been modified on October 26, 2009… you can’t get much more recent than that.  The installation of the IDE, a Firefox add-on, took less than a minute, and soon I was recording and playing back my first script.

I’m using the uTest site as my playground as I’m learning Selenium, since as a new uTest tester, we get the opportunity to test new releases. I had a little trouble with the click command recognizing the Submit button on the uTest Login Screen.  After experimenting with this for quite some time, I was finally able to get it to work by using a different syntax.  This was a work-around that got me by, but I was curious about what I’d encountered and whether it could be a bug with Selenium.  I registered for OpenQA, joined the Selenium Forum and asked a question about what I’d encountered.  No response yet, but, again, since I’ve found a work-around, I’m in no rush.

Even though I only spent a couple of hours with Selenium, I feel like I got a great start on learning this cool automation tool. I can’t wait to learn more!

Open Source Testing Tools – OpenSourceTesting.org October 27, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in QA.
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bart_simpson_open_sourceI am a huge fan of Open Source software — I’ve always loved free stuff…even back in the days when I made a good salary.  Now that I’m unemployed, I LOVE free stuff! I could spend all day just reading about, learning and playing with the abundance of free stuff and never get bored. The other thing that’s cool about Open Source is the collaborative feeling that comes from forums as everyone helps one another.   Of course…there is the down side.  Open source code can have the reputation of  less than perfect quality, no documentation, and no formal support. But, it’s free!  And that’s when we get the chance to help each other and have all those virtual Kumbaya moments. And those of us that like software can dig in and figure out what’s wrong and be heroes! The only downside for me is there is just SO MUCH that’s available that it’s hard to know where to start. Every time I start to learn something new, I find some other new cool site or tool and get distracted.

In any case, thanks to a forum post by Amit on uTest about free test tools, I was pointed to yet another great resource for Software Testers: OpenSourceTesting.org.  There’s so much to explore here. I’ve heard some good things about SeleniumHQ, so that’s where I’m going to start.

uTest Introduction October 26, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in QA.
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My job-search strategy for a new QA Management position has included self-study, writing about what I’m learning, and finding opportunities for applying my skills.  I’ve been very intrigued with uTest — a crowdsourcing model for testing.  In taking a look at my blog stats, I’ve found that my post about uTest and Crowdsourcing has gotten more traffic than any other, so this is apparently a popular topic in cyberspace, too.

The other day I attended a webinar for new testers and found it very informative.  The community manager, Peter Shih, does a great job of introducing the system, the forums, and how to get started on testing your first release.

I’ve been browsing the forums, and once again, have found a lot of useful information, including a lot of information on open source automation tools that are available. I don’t have time at the moment to research these and give you an informed post, but… stay tuned!

In the mean time, I’d encourage you to check out uTest yourself!

QA Reference Site: SoftwareTestingGenius October 25, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in QA.

In my quest to research QA certifications I stumbled across another great QA resource: SoftwareTestingGenius.  This site has a recent article about various QA certifications… just what I was looking for!  Not only that, on the right hand side of the site were plenty of links to presentations, tutorials, articles, study guides for the various certifications, interview questions, etc…  yet another goldmine of information about software quality assurance!

Given all that’s available, I’ve decided I’m going the self-study route, at least when it comes to certification education.

I’m starting with a little preview (with no studying, mind you!) by taking the QTP Basic Level Quiz – Part 1. Let’s see how difficult this is.

Oh…  I see I have a 40 minute time limit.  Well, if I’m getting timed, I suppose I can’t be interactively blogging while I’m taking the Quiz.  I’ll just have to brog (that’s my new word that combines brag and blog) about my success tomorrow.

In the mean time, I encourage you to check out SoftwareTestingGenius.  It seems to be quite comprehensive!

The World’s Best Boss Needs Advice on Education October 24, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in QA.
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worlds-best-boss-bahai-insittutionsIf you watch The Office, you know that goofy Michael Scott, king of the faux pas, has a mug proclaiming himself the “Worlds Best Boss.”

I have been jokingly claiming that I am, indeed, the real World’s Best Boss in my video resume that I put on my Website. I don’t actively send this video to recruiters because I was really just experimenting with the video resume thing. Not only is it not professionally done, but I’m clearly not much of a comedienne.  On top of that, not everyone watches The Office so they might not even get the joke!

But still, I AM looking for a management job. Unfortunately, when I put “World’s Best Boss” in the search strings at the job sites, not a single job pops up.  Management jobs typically require you have recent hand’s on experience with whatever management job you’re seeking. They want the boss to be able to step in and do the work.  Honestly, I did my best management work when I was in QA… an area that I had no prior hand’s on experience.  I think part of what made me a strong manager was that I didn’t get in and try to do the work of the staff. I know when my boss tries to do my work  it make me feel like they don’t think I can do it. But I understand. Employers want to be sure the managers have the knowledge to be able to understand and help with the issues their staff may encounter.

My history is this: I spent 17 years as a Software Developer followed by 10 years as a Manager of Software Development, QA, and Customer Operations.  I like development, but I love management. I got a Masters of Science in Management so I have plenty of education and experience with management.  Unfortunately, it’s been over 10 years since I’ve done hand’s on development or test.  I’ve gotten quite a few interviews, but I think the reason I don’t get the job is that my techie skills are obsolete.

I’m trying to fill out this WIA paperwork, which is a government program that will help fund up to $5K of training if I can show it will lead to a job. With the vast amount of technology out there, it’s hard to know where to focus. Here are the four options I’m considering and pros and cons of each.  If any of you have advice, please feel free to leave a comment.

QA Certification

Pro: If I’m going for a QA Mgr. job, this would show that I know the fundamentals, vocabulary, etc.

Con: I don’t think I’ll really learn any new skills from this and I haven’t seen any jobs that require a QA certification, though there have been some that list them as nice-to-have.

Agile / SCRUM Training

Pro: Agile Development is a big trend these days and many jobs require experience and in-depth knowledge of Agile.  SCRUM seems to be the subset of Agile that is listed most often. Having this training on my resume, may help with credibility in an interview.

Con: I’ve done plenty of reading about Agile Methodologies and understand the concepts well. In fact, I think many of the development projects I’ve worked on incorporated the concepts, even though we weren’t calling the methodology “Agile.”  I don’t think training is going to give me the “experience” called for on the job req.

Automation Training

Pro: Automation, specifically the HP Toolset (Quality Center, QTP, LoadRunner) are hot items these days.  A lot of the QA Management jobs require automation experience.  Once again, I’ve had exposure these tools, but I haven’t actually used them. These skills seem to be in high demand.

Con: This training is expensive. I actually did have introductory training on the tools when I was at Sun, so this would really just be a refresher.  I don’t think $5K would give me enough training to become proficient with the tools and they are too expensive for me to purchase and learn on my own.

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist

Pro: The development management jobs require recent development work. .NET/C# seem to be the most prevalent technologies. With my development background, I think I could easily learn these and it would refresh my development skills.

Con: The quickest I could complete this program is 9 weeks, and that would mean very agressive full-time study in a learning center, leaving less time to job-seek. If I go part time, it would take 4-6 months. It seems a long time to be focused on a skill that might not even be required, particularly if I’m going for a QA management job.

My paperwork for WIA is due Monday. Advice?

Can You Find the bug with this Tic Tac Toe Game? October 22, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in Uncategorized.
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tictactoe As a QA professional, do you find yourself always critiquing applications and websites? Well, I played this TicTacToe game the other day and found a bug with the audio.  See if you can find it!

High Severity Typos! October 21, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in Uncategorized.

LipoTypo Typos are often thought of as the least serious of bugs. It’s true that they are usually very easy to fix, but it’s amazing what a difference one letter can make.

I’m reminded of a time when I got a full technical document in which the word count was misspelled throughout the document.  It was written by someone who’s native language wasn’t English. He didn’t realize how important the letter ‘o’ was in that word!

Another time there was a major announcement meant to let everyone know that an important release was not available.  Instead it mistakenly said it was now available.

I ran across this post highlighting a funny typo, followed by lots of comments full of additional embarrassing typos.

Here are some of my favorites:

* “Dead Paul,…” (instead of Dear…)
Never received a reply…

*  I once typed ‘retarted’, instead of restarted.
It was the only word in my entire email response.

* I once sent an e-mail response to a Judge stating “I will F/U” (Follow Up). She responded “Does that mean what I think it does?’

* I received a client email that read, “Please help resolve the *incontinence* I’ve been experiencing.”  (Spell check correction of inconsistency.)

* The Biggest Legal Typo in History

All it takes is one wrong letter to make a bug difference!

Tweeting About Testing October 20, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in QA, Social Media.

Want to find the people that are Tweeting about Testing? Here are some easy ways:



LunchThere are other various search tools with twitter to find out who’s tweeting about software test, but this should give you a good start.

It’s nice to use a tool like TweetDeck to separate out the QA Test Tweeters from your other Twitter friends. Then you can  have a nice up-to-date little stream of what’s happening in the world of Software Test and Quality Assurance on Twitter:


Happy Tweeting!