Stress testing Guild Wars 2

Reading Time: 1 minute

Today I read this post on
Developers of Guild Wars 2 game are kindly asking players to use they game on next Wednesday, so they will monitor stress on game servers. As a software tester, I will state what are disadvantages of this approach.
Some of those disadvantages were stated in the blog comments by users.
“I will not participate in that stress test event, because you never know when game will crash”.
Players are human being, they have fillings and emotions are triggered while playing the game. Could you guess the player emotion when game is slow or when it crashes? 
They will not continue game play. That means that developers (and this is also wrong in this post, because developers never monitor servers, there is another role for that) have only one chance to record the stress on servers.
Here is how stress test should be done.
You have testers that know how to code. Testers will cooperate with developers to write virtual game client, that will generate game protocol from client to server. Project manager should agree with developers, testers and operation engineers what they want to find out with stress test. Those scenarios      should be run using the load test tool that was created by testers/developers. Stress test  should be minimally defined by following parameters:

  • number of concurrent users
  • which client scenario should be run.
And this is just the beginning of load test. Point of this post is that performance testing  is serious job. It has its cost. There are software testers that should do that job.

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Test like dr. House

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Lead by our goal to put software testers on Croatian software development map, Zeljko and I held a presentation named Test like dr. House, at the Webstrategija 14. Zeljko presented Watir and SauceLabs in action, and my goal was to present rapid software testing in 5 minute demonstration.

Dr. House gave me task to find one problem with page As on following day was workshop on web application security, my decision was to find one security problem in five minutes. In order to gave a presentation, all presenters had to register using registration form. Zeljko warned me that on the presentation day, link to that form from page webstartegija was removed. So using browser history we found original link. Link was to other company that provides registration services. The problem was that collected form data was not sent to the server in encrypted form. I confirmed that by looking at the protocol information (globe icon instead of lock icon in browser address bar) of the data form service provider, and by using Chrome web development tool inspect element on the button that sends form data to the server. Protocol in html form element was http.
Sending user data through the Internet in not encrypted form is not good. I informed the audience that their data (because every one in the audience used that registration form) could be easily tempered.
Zeljko and me got the lowest evaluation feedback for our presentation. But I think that this is good. When software tester asks questions that make somebody angry (the audience in this case), that means that this question reveals some product bug or issue (this is not my statement but from one great tester that said that at the Lets Test 2012 conference).
I think that not using https for user data collection is a product bug.
What do you think?

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Software tester formal education in Croatia

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I attended Viaqa 12, Croatian software testers conference. Conference topic was ‘Software testers education in Croatia’. As I have been a software tester for twelve years, conference organizers invited me to participate in round table discussion on that topic. Other participants were Zeljko Filipin, owner of the first Croatian software testing start up company and man that has a great experience with testing the web applications, Tomislav Buza via Skype, he writes on his popular blog about his usability testing of various web applications, and dr. Valentina Kirinic from Foi,  professor that teaches students about software testing.
When I finished my formal education in 1997, there was no any subject about software testing at my faculty Fer. Everything that I learned about testing was self learning, and I started to do that when I got a question from one of my colleges from work: ‘Have you ever read any book about software testing?’ So I started with following books:

  • How to Break Software: A Practical Guide to Testing, James Whittaker, 2002
  • Lessons learned in software testing: a context-driven approach, Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord, 2001

Those books were a mind twister for me! They were the root point for gaining the software testing knowledge,  because through the authors twitter connections, I found about other great testers. The important thing is that I practiced the knowledge in my daily work, and based on that I know that I am on a right path.
Thanks to Zeljko, Bret Pettichord attended Viaqa 2011 and I had a great pleasure to met him. After the confernce sessions, we talked over a beer at pub Medvedgrad, and Bret explained to us, actually presented his test report (orally), the great Northeast blackout of 2003. At that moment I comprehended what is software tester. James Bach is a software testing legend, and why is that you can check in his lecture on software testing. His video Steve McQueen Consulting Software Tester, just added more comprehension on what is software tester.   
I attended Rapid Software Testing course, held by Michael Bolton, choosing that course based exclusively on Michael’s writing at his blog. For me Michael’s blog is one of the best blogs, not just from the field of software testing. I don not know how much time does he spend on every blog post, but how he puts his thoughts into the words is just amazing. And those thoughts are the gold for every tester.  
So I was very interested to hear what do professors from Foi teach kids about software testing. I got a clue, based on the software testers education topic discussions form other great testers. So my fear was confirmed, a lot about standardization and maturity models. I asked do they teach them some  practical testing, and the answer was that there are 30 hours of testing practice. They give them assignement to test some web application, based on the some testing standard. No guidance at all. And this is bad. This is the reason why fresh students have fear of software testing.
The good thing is that Foi professors were part of the round table. They listened what others said. They staid to the end of the lighting talks.

We had following lighting talks:

At the end of lighting talk, one student, that is doing his final diploma work about testing education, approached to me and requested some materials. I gave him great presentation from testing conference Lets Test 2012 with title ‘So you think you can test’.

As a conclusion I will state my goal. To bring any of mentioned great testers to speak in front of Foi students about software testing. To show Foi students  how does practical testing looks like at their 30 practical hours of software testing course.   

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