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Are you offering a career in testing or just a job?

Rob Lambert's Blog - Thu, 28/08/2014 - 12:26
Many companies are offering a job in testing. Many companies are offering a career in testing. A career is a series of experiences. These experiences may come from many  jobs at many companies. Or they may come from a single place of work with a varied set of experiences. A job is what some companies […]
Categories: Software Testing

Last few days to register for DVClub Bangalore on 2 September ‘Maximizing Benefits of UVM’

TVS Blog - Thu, 28/08/2014 - 11:47

Join us on Tuesday, 2 September 2014 for the DVClub Conference, where Dr.Mike Bartley, CEO and Founder of TVS presenting on ‘Primer on UVM 1.2’. This will be followed by Rambabu Maddali, Engineering Manager at Audience, who will present on ‘Challenges and Traps in UVM adoption’. Malathi Chikkanna, Member Technical Staff at AMD presenting on ‘Best practices in UVM’ to develop a re-usable and scalable verification environment. You can attend the FREE event in person or access it remotely. Why not come along and experience excellent informative UVM presentations and networking opportunity https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dvclub-bangalore-2-september-2014-tickets-12457048367

Categories: Software Testing

Last few days to register for DVClub Bangalore on 2 September ‘Maximizing Benefits of UVM’

Test And Verification Services Blog - Thu, 28/08/2014 - 11:47

Join us on Tuesday, 2 September 2014 for the DVClub Conference, where Dr.Mike Bartley, CEO and Founder of TVS presenting on ‘Primer on UVM 1.2’. This will be followed by Rambabu Maddali, Engineering Manager at Audience, who will present on ‘Challenges and Traps in UVM adoption’. Malathi Chikkanna, Member Technical Staff at AMD presenting on ‘Best practices in UVM’ to develop a re-usable and scalable verification environment. You can attend the FREE event in person or access it remotely. Why not come along and experience excellent informative UVM presentations and networking opportunity https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dvclub-bangalore-2-september-2014-tickets-12457048367

Categories: Software Testing

Through continued growth TVS now ranks as largest SETsquared member company

TVS Blog - Wed, 27/08/2014 - 14:05

SETsquare

PRESS RELEASE

TVS, a leader in software test and hardware verification solutions, continues to expand since becoming a member of the SETsquared Alumni group in 2013. Alumni membership has enabled TVS to retain access to expert strategic, commercial and legal support that have been crucial to supporting another successful year of growth for the company. TVS now employs over 120 people worldwide, making TVS the largest of SETsquared’s current members.

TVS joined the award-winning SETsquared business incubator in March 2008 with just the founder, Dr. Mike Bartley, and his aspiration to create a global business providing specialist software test and hardware verification services and products. SETsquared has provided continued business advice and support to help TVS realise that vision.

Dr. Mike Bartley Founder and CEO of TVS said, “SETsquared has given TVS great advice and help since we joined in 2008. As a technical specialist I needed guidance on how to grow a business and SETsquared effectively provided this. TVS is very pleased with its on-going relationship with SETsquared.”

During the past year TVS has expanded its operations with the opening of an office in Singapore, and it has started providing services into China and South Korea. TVS plans to continue its geographic expansion with offices in China and the USA during the second half of 2014. In addition, TVS has recently further expanded its services into security testing via a niche service in supporting compliance to safety standards, which it expects should also bring significant growth.

The Bristol SETsquared Centre now has 65 businesses that it is supporting including members within the elite “Alumni” group. In addition to TVS, other SETsquared supported businesses that have existed at the Centre and continue on exciting growth paths include XMOS, DigitalTV Labs, Apitope, DocCom, Brightpearl, Blue Speck Media and Imetrum.

Nick Sturge, Centre Director of the SETsquared Centre in Bristol said, “It has been a real pleasure working with Mike and the team at TVS over the last five years and supporting them in this aggressive global growth. We are delighted to welcome the business into our elite Alumni group and honour it as Bristol SETsquared’s largest member company.”

Find out more about TVS products and services here:  www.testandverification.com

About The Bristol SETsquared Centre:

www.setsquared.co.uk
Twitter: @SETsquared_Br

The SETsquared Partnership (http://www.setsquared.co.uk) is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 8,500 academic staff; earn £450m of the UK’s higher education research budget; and produce 11% of all UK university patents.

The partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its innovation centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 90% of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.

The Bristol SETsquared Centre, now located within the Engine Shed in the heart of Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, supports over 60 members who between them employ over 650 people and have raised over £80m in the last 6 years.
A full list of the businesses currently supported by the Bristol SETsquared Centre can be found at www.setsquared.co.uk/companies/bristol-centre-members

Contact information:

Nick Sturge, The Bristol SETsquared Centre
Nick.sturge@setsquared.co.uk

TVS Media Contact

Oliver Davies – Publitek Technology PR
+44 1224 470000
oliver.davies@publitek.com

Categories: Software Testing

Through continued growth TVS now ranks as largest SETsquared member company

Test And Verification Services Blog - Wed, 27/08/2014 - 14:05

SETsquare

PRESS RELEASE

TVS, a leader in software test and hardware verification solutions, continues to expand since becoming a member of the SETsquared Alumni group in 2013. Alumni membership has enabled TVS to retain access to expert strategic, commercial and legal support that have been crucial to supporting another successful year of growth for the company. TVS now employs over 120 people worldwide, making TVS the largest of SETsquared’s current members.

TVS joined the award-winning SETsquared business incubator in March 2008 with just the founder, Dr. Mike Bartley, and his aspiration to create a global business providing specialist software test and hardware verification services and products. SETsquared has provided continued business advice and support to help TVS realise that vision.

Dr. Mike Bartley Founder and CEO of TVS said, “SETsquared has given TVS great advice and help since we joined in 2008. As a technical specialist I needed guidance on how to grow a business and SETsquared effectively provided this. TVS is very pleased with its on-going relationship with SETsquared.”

During the past year TVS has expanded its operations with the opening of an office in Singapore, and it has started providing services into China and South Korea. TVS plans to continue its geographic expansion with offices in China and the USA during the second half of 2014. In addition, TVS has recently further expanded its services into security testing via a niche service in supporting compliance to safety standards, which it expects should also bring significant growth.

The Bristol SETsquared Centre now has 65 businesses that it is supporting including members within the elite “Alumni” group. In addition to TVS, other SETsquared supported businesses that have existed at the Centre and continue on exciting growth paths include XMOS, DigitalTV Labs, Apitope, DocCom, Brightpearl, Blue Speck Media and Imetrum.

Nick Sturge, Centre Director of the SETsquared Centre in Bristol said, “It has been a real pleasure working with Mike and the team at TVS over the last five years and supporting them in this aggressive global growth. We are delighted to welcome the business into our elite Alumni group and honour it as Bristol SETsquared’s largest member company.”

Find out more about TVS products and services here:  www.testandverification.com

About The Bristol SETsquared Centre:

www.setsquared.co.uk
Twitter: @SETsquared_Br

The SETsquared Partnership (http://www.setsquared.co.uk) is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 8,500 academic staff; earn £450m of the UK’s higher education research budget; and produce 11% of all UK university patents.

The partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its innovation centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 90% of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.

The Bristol SETsquared Centre, now located within the Engine Shed in the heart of Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, supports over 60 members who between them employ over 650 people and have raised over £80m in the last 6 years.
A full list of the businesses currently supported by the Bristol SETsquared Centre can be found at www.setsquared.co.uk/companies/bristol-centre-members

Contact information:

Nick Sturge, The Bristol SETsquared Centre
Nick.sturge@setsquared.co.uk

TVS Media Contact

Oliver Davies – Publitek Technology PR
+44 1224 470000
oliver.davies@publitek.com

Categories: Software Testing

DVClub Europe – Performance Verification

TVS Blog - Tue, 26/08/2014 - 13:54

The next European DVClub takes place 8 September (11.30 BST) and will focus on performance verification.  With software development dominating modern SoC development schedule and cost, validating software in hardware context has become a centrepiece of SoC Design and Verification flow.

Virtual prototyping solutions are revolutionising embedded platform-based designs by offering a tightly coupled HW/SW debug, functional verification and performance analysis capabilities.  Mark Carey of Mentor Graphics will illustrate the level of control, visibility and analysis capabilities available on a “pure” and “hybrid” virtual prototypes to meet the SoC functionality and performance goals.

Join us in person at various European locations or globally via remote access!  Additional information and registration can be found here!

Categories: Software Testing

DVClub Europe – Performance Verification

Test And Verification Services Blog - Tue, 26/08/2014 - 13:54

The next European DVClub takes place 8 September (11.30 BST) and will focus on performance verification.  With software development dominating modern SoC development schedule and cost, validating software in hardware context has become a centrepiece of SoC Design and Verification flow.

Virtual prototyping solutions are revolutionising embedded platform-based designs by offering a tightly coupled HW/SW debug, functional verification and performance analysis capabilities.  Mark Carey of Mentor Graphics will illustrate the level of control, visibility and analysis capabilities available on a “pure” and “hybrid” virtual prototypes to meet the SoC functionality and performance goals.

Join us in person at various European locations or globally via remote access!  Additional information and registration can be found here!

Categories: Software Testing

Blog - Blogspy Vol 59: The latest round-up Blogspy Vol 59: The latest round-up of software testing blog posts from around the blogosphere

EuroSTAR Conference - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 16:12

Welcome to the latest edition of Eurostar's Blog Spy, a round up of some of the latest blog posts from the Software Testing Industry that have caught our eye in the last week:

 

An open letter to the blog publisher of professionaltester.com - Ben Kelly

An open reply by Ben Kelly to the publishers of the Professional Testers magazine on the article reporting on the upcoming publication of the ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119 software testing standards. Ben is unhappy by the term "book burners" amonsgt other things to descroe those who signed a petition to suspend the publication of the standards.

Read More here

 

An Open Letter to Professional Tester Magazine - John Stevenson

A second open letter by John Stevenson. It offers a bit more context on the reasons for the strong opposition to the article.

Read More here

 

Following the news: Code inspection is 80 percent faster than testing - Jean-Paul Varwijk

"During the CAST 2014 conference in New York I participated in a workshop by Laurent Bossavit and Michael Bolton called "Thinking critically about numbers - Defense against the dark arts". Inspired by this workshop I took a look at one of the Dutch sites addressing news about software testing www. testnieuws.nl. This is the second post to come out my curiosity."

Read More here

 

Stop 29119 - Iain McCowatt

More strong opinions on opposition to the ISO standards, this time from blogger Ian McCowatt.

Read More here

 

August, 1914 and Confirmation Bias - Pete Walen

Pete Walen discusses the lessons that can be learned for testers from the first month of the Great War which occured 100 years ago this year.

Read More here

 

If testing was taught more like a driver's licence - Maaret Pyhäjärvi

"I hope certificate would be like a driver's licence. I also hope that courses leading up to certification (if such are even necessary for testing) would be taught more like driver's courses. When I teach exploratory testing, I often talk about experiences I had with driving school as analogy . It's been ages since I did my own and I still remember the nervousness that blocked me from focusing on all the aspects and how they were delivered, but I've had the fortune of following my younger siblings go through the process."

Read More here

 

My Thoughts on Testing Certifications - Karen Johnson

After working on developing the Testers Manifesto, Karen Johnson offers her thoughts on testing certification and what she has taken from the event.

Read More here

 

How to Test A Tester (Part Deux)- Colin Cherry

The second part of Cloin Cherry's series that we featured last week on Blogspy.

Read More here

 

 

Don't forget to email or tweet us your blog posts to be featured in next weeks Blog Spy round up!

 

Read Last Week's Blogspy here

 

Categories: Conference News

Blog - Grood Testing Volume 7 - The Power of Not Knowing

EuroSTAR Conference - Fri, 22/08/2014 - 16:51

A colleague told me that he regularly asks his employees to share the three things are they struggling with the most. His experience: the problem of one colleague is often easy solved by another team member. Personal experience, different thinking patterns and different level of involvement makes that one team member often can ask the right questions or propose a out-of-box solution. A helping question or remark can lead to idea that solves the problem. But, helping each other starts with sharing our problems and uncertainties. Unfortunately this is not possible in every team or organization. A lot has been written about successful teams. You'll probably know Meredith Belbin's definition of team roles and Edward the Bono's six hats. These models provide insight into the team composition. However, they do not say anything about the culture within organizations or teams. Unfortunately, since culture in large extent determines how team members fill their role.

 

The book "Getting naked" by Patrick Lenconi shows how his lead character gains effectiveness by being vulnerable. This fits nicely with a trend I see: we can be more ourselves during our office hours. It's okay to have weak spots and it is okay if you do not have all answers. More and more we realize, that it is not about being perfect, it's about performing as a team. And you do that by using each other's strengths, utilize diversity and compensate for each other's weaknesses. Within Agile and SCRUM we often find ourselves in situations where the team is responsible. The hero is not the one who gives the impression to know everything, but the one who dares to stand up and openly admits that he does not know. He enables others to offer help.

 

During my studies I was once automating a research environment. In a meeting the teacher asked "You do refer to the red machine, don't you?" My research partner and I doubted, but afraid to strike a goof nodded yes. One hour after the meeting the teacher stood in our office. He had walked over to the other side of the complex and had determined that the machine was if fact... blue. "If you do not know it, admit it." He advised us stern.

 

If you do not know it, admit it

 

The one who dares to request for help contributes to the team's success. Experience shows that a question of a team often triggers the others to think and potential problems can be discovered and resolved in an earlier stage. Sometimes problems might seem personal because only one person comes up with it. Many problems however, have their origin in the organization. They will then be put forward by one team member, but during discussion it becomes clear that others are also affected by the problem. So that makes it worth to solve them.

 

When I look at the problems I often encounter, these are often related to the organization. Tasks that you carry out independently and on your own are rarely blocked by large difficulties. You might to overcome some problems, puzzle about the best option. But usually you'll come with a solution. The challenge is bigger if you have to motivate people in the organization to do something for you, if people need to change their behavior or method or if they need to be convinced. Many books have been written these topics. Useful as they may be, the best-fit solution, you will get by exchanging ideas with your team. Before you can do that, however you have to get the problems on the table. And that requires people to stand up and admit that they have a problem, or do not know how to approach it. Only than we can start resolving them. So next week I will go and make a round along my team member. Not to ask fort their problems, but to share the tasks that I am struggling with, - bearing in mind ' he who does good, is met well'.

 

This column was previously published on Derk-Jans own blog.

 

Biography:

Derk-Jan de GroodDerk-Jan de Grood works for Valori as senior test manager and product manager. His drive is to improve the visibility of testing in both agile and traditional organizations, by sharing his knowledge and experience by means of training, presentations, workshops and publications. He is a regular speaker at conferences like EuroSTAR, wrote several successful books on software testing and publishes articles for the major testing magazines.

 

Categories: Conference News

Registration open for Multicore Challenge conference 23 September in Bristol UK and via remote access

TVS Blog - Fri, 22/08/2014 - 14:30
Cray to Speak at the Multicore Challenge Conference in Bristol

Cray recently announced an expansion in their Research and Development in Europe through the acquisition of start-up Gnodal in Bristol. Cray were attracted by the cluster of multicore expertise in the region which is highlighted through the Multicore Challenge Conference.

Tom Edwards of Cray will be speaking at the Multicore, Tom is an Application Analyst working for the Cray Centre of Excellence for ARCHER, the UK’s largest Academic Supercomputer and specialises in Massively Parallel High Performance Computing. Tom will focus his talk on exploiting multi-core through shared memory OpenMP directives; integrating profile data with application source code and automated dependency analysis and scoping of OpenMP for loops.

Now in its fifth year, the multicore challenge in Bristol is built on the region’s international reputation as a hub for multicore research and development. This year will be the biggest yet with 300 free delegate spaces available. But don’t hesitate to register as nearly half of places are already allocated. Registration is free and easy.

1   Other Updates

The following companies have joined the Tool Demonstration sessions:

  • Tool demo by ARM
  • Tool demo by Cray UK Ltd
  • Tool demo by Codeplay Software Ltd
  • Tool demo by QNX

2   Additional Information
For a full listing of all the sessions and to register, please visit the Multicore Challenge 2014 website.

I look forward to seeing you at the event.
Mike Bartley
Conference Chairman, Founder and CEO of  TVS

GNODAL LINK: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=98390&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1871206

REGISTRATION LINK: http://www.testandverification.com/conferences/multicore-challenge/multicore-challenge-2014/

Categories: Software Testing

Registration open for Multicore Challenge conference 23 September in Bristol UK and via remote access

Test And Verification Services Blog - Fri, 22/08/2014 - 14:30
Cray to Speak at the Multicore Challenge Conference in Bristol

Cray recently announced an expansion in their Research and Development in Europe through the acquisition of start-up Gnodal in Bristol. Cray were attracted by the cluster of multicore expertise in the region which is highlighted through the Multicore Challenge Conference.

Tom Edwards of Cray will be speaking at the Multicore, Tom is an Application Analyst working for the Cray Centre of Excellence for ARCHER, the UK’s largest Academic Supercomputer and specialises in Massively Parallel High Performance Computing. Tom will focus his talk on exploiting multi-core through shared memory OpenMP directives; integrating profile data with application source code and automated dependency analysis and scoping of OpenMP for loops.

Now in its fifth year, the multicore challenge in Bristol is built on the region’s international reputation as a hub for multicore research and development. This year will be the biggest yet with 300 free delegate spaces available. But don’t hesitate to register as nearly half of places are already allocated. Registration is free and easy.

1   Other Updates

The following companies have joined the Tool Demonstration sessions:

  • Tool demo by ARM
  • Tool demo by Cray UK Ltd
  • Tool demo by Codeplay Software Ltd
  • Tool demo by QNX

2   Additional Information
For a full listing of all the sessions and to register, please visit the Multicore Challenge 2014 website.

I look forward to seeing you at the event.
Mike Bartley
Conference Chairman, Founder and CEO of  TVS

GNODAL LINK: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=98390&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1871206

REGISTRATION LINK: http://www.testandverification.com/conferences/multicore-challenge/multicore-challenge-2014/

Categories: Software Testing

What Children’s Minds Tell us About Software Testing: Part 2 – Mental Worlds

The Testing Planet - Thu, 21/08/2014 - 23:14
Training TestersA detailed overview [1] of Chapter 2 of Alison Gopnik’s book, ‘The Philosophical Baby’

In Part 1 of this series [2], I provided an overview of how children learn about the physical world.  Just as children create causal maps of the physical world, they also create causal maps of the psychological world, and the resulting counterfactuals.

For a social species like ours, understanding what people can do, and acting to change what they do, is even more important than understanding and changing the physical world.

Psychological counterfactuals are reflected in children’s creation of imaginary companions.

Why do children create imaginary companions?

Children of various cultures and backgrounds create imaginary companions.  Imaginary companions may be of a variety of personalities and dispositions.  More commonly children may pretend to be another person, maybe a character from a book or movie, or an animal/creature, maybe a lion.  They may also create imaginary companions in role-playing games, pretending to be mom or dad or a doctor.

‘Imaginary companions are a great example of psychological counterfactuals.’  ‘From two to six, children discover fundamental facts about how their own minds and the minds of others work.’  Just as they understand the causal connections between physical objects, they start to understand the connections between ‘desires and beliefs, emotions and actions.  They start to understand that people have ‘different beliefs, perceptions, emotions and desires’ and different minds ‘may lead to different actions.’

In an experiment with 18-month olds, when the experimenter pretends to like broccoli, the children offer her broccoli instead of crackers (younger fourteen month olds offered her crackers).  As with physical objects, once you know how people work, ‘you can do something to make them happy.’

Two year olds can ‘understand the complex causal interactions among desire, perception, and emotion.’  In an experiment, two-year olds were told about a person’s reactions when she peeked at a box containing broccoli or Cheerios.  Two and three-year olds were confident about the person’s reactions and about ‘possible futures and the past.’  ‘If Anne saw the broccoli, she would be sadder than if she saw the Cheerios.  If Anne looked in the box and then said, “Oh boy,” she must have seen the Cheerios but if she said, “Oh no” she must have seen the broccoli.  But if Anne wanted broccoli, then she’d have been happy if broccoli was in the box. And if she hadn’t looked in the box at all, she wouldn’t have been especially happy or especially sad.’

Four year olds start exploring ‘false thoughts and beliefs’, ‘The people thought the hunchback was mean, but he was really nice.’  Younger children believe that there is ‘a direct link between our thoughts and the world… older children appreciate that the link is more tangled and indirect.’  When shown a box of candy is full of pencils, three-year olds were surprised, but when asked what someone else will think is in there they predict pencils.

‘Just as children construct a causal map of biology that relates growth and illness, life and death, they also construct a map that connects mental states to one another and to the world outside them.  And with that map in hand they can explore all the possible combinations and permutations of human behavior, and imagine all the strange things that people might think feel and do.’

Software Testing and mental worlds

Suppose you are testing a photo organising application and you see an older user, a retiree, try to email some photos.  The photos just stay in the out tray.  The user has no way to diagnose or otherwise resolve the situation.  Of course, this is confusing and frustrating.

It’s likely that when a device attached to some software stops responding, the user may have a similar reaction.  As a tester you could increase the priority of testing the compatibility with a wide range of devices or you could make sure when there is no response or the software is repeatedly stuck, you look at the various options provided to the user to diagnose the problem or get more help, such as a technical article or a link to an online forum.

You could also think about how users may be more receptive to the software.  Instead of generic messages such as, ‘Please wait, your files are being uploaded’, Flickr.com gives a variety of engaging messages such as, ‘Hold on, tiger’, or ‘Yee Haw’.  You may not be the one designing these messages, but you do want to think about how users perceive them.  Users may be more engaged with messages in everyday language, but what happens when you see the same message multiple times.  How would a user react after seeing, ‘Hold on tiger’ fifteen times?  Would it be better to fall back to dry informative messages than try to be engaging or cute and fail?

In both cases you are building psychological causal maps and generating counterfactuals (what if…).  (Note that in the case of physical maps you are creating links between physical actions, e.g., you can’t turn the bolt because the nut is of the wrong size.  You lost your browser state because the browser only saves the active window.)

Do you like Cheerios or broccoli?

When using software one of the more common emotions is confusion, which in turn can lead to other negative emotions [3].  Software testers have to balance their confusion with wondering what level of knowledge is expected from a user of the software.  Once you have a basic understanding of the software, confusion should be used as an indicator that something might need to be changed in the design of the software.  Regardless of your level of understanding, confusion (or other negative emotions) should be used as an indicator of a possible problem.  You can then decide if in fact it is a problem or not.  You need to know if you like broccoli or Cheerios.  If the user needs to swipe down (on a mobile app) to get updates, maybe the software should give you an explicit message (or tooltip) which automatically fades away.

Do they like Cheerios or broccoli?

In recent years software developers have been encouraged to get users involved in evaluating software.  A common idea in software development is that different users may have different preferences.  What seems of no use to one user might be valued by another.  As a software tester it is important, not only to recognise these differences, but to understand why users have those preferences.

In the last few years the major activities which are focused on understanding user preferences are A/B testing and lean startup validation.  As a software tester when you do get feedback on user preferences for a particular design it is important to understand why they have a certain preference.  You can either work with a product designer or with the others in the team to understand the user’s preference.  What you are doing in this case is building a (psychological) causal map, which can then lead to generating counterfactuals.

Play

Although this article, the second in this series, focuses on mental/psychological worlds, the concept of play in this section applies to both physical and mental worlds.

For adults ‘play’ is a luxury, reserved for the time after accomplishing (serious) work, or if ‘work’ is discretionary.  For children the world of play is all important, even more important than ‘work’.  Scientists in the past used to think that most children can’t distinguish between play and ‘work’.  It’s not that children can’t distinguish between the two, for them ‘they don’t see any particular reason to prefer to live in the real (world).’

Since children are protected from everyday chores and the tasks associated with earning a livelihood and supporting a family, ‘everything they do looks like play.’

‘This apparently useless behavior may be very functional from a broader evolutionary perspective… Because as children, we don’t have to restrict our imaginings to the immediately useful, we can freely construct causal maps and exercise our ability to create counterfactuals.  We can compute a wide range of possibilities, not just the two or three that are most likely to pay off.  We can consider different ways the world might be, not just the ways the world actually is.  As adults our causal maps of the physical and psychological world, and our ability to consider other ways the world might be, will let us conquer the stern and earnest universe of future possibilities.’

Most of us are amused by children’s pretend play.  If we view this as how it will allow us to ‘get along’ in this world or to get ahead, it’s a distraction or even a problem.  ‘But if your agenda is simply to explore the actual world and all the possible worlds, this apparent defect may be a great asset.’

Uninhibited exploration

‘Pretend play is notably uninhibited; young children just can’t help themselves from following up any random imaginative thought… They don’t choose to explore only the possibilities that might be useful – they explore all the possibilities.’

‘The evolutionary outcome of this uninhibited exploration is that children can learn more than adults can.  But children aren’t wild pretenders because they are consciously trying to learn about the world or other people.  They are wild pretenders because they are children and that’s what children do.  It’s only from the broader evolutionary perspective that their uninhibited useless pretense turns out to be among the most deeply functional human activities.’

Note about the following sections

The creation of psychological causal maps is much more powerful in everyday life than the creation of physical maps.  It is much more important and impactful for us to get along with others, form alliances, or influence others and be influenced by them.

In the case of software testing, while social skills are important, they are not as important as in life outside work [4].  Although the following sections may not directly apply to software testing, they help us better understand what mental worlds mean to us.

Influencing Minds

Causal maps of the mind also let you change the minds of others.  ‘Children who can explain actions in terms of a theory of mind also seem to be more adept, for good or ill, at altering other people’s minds.’  Understanding how minds work can help you be more sympathetic, but can also make you an effective manipulator.

‘Lying is a particularly vivid example of the use of counterfactuals, and of the advantages of understanding how minds work.’  Young children are not very good at lying.  ‘When they play hide and seek very young children will notoriously put their heads under a table with their behinds sticking very visibly into view.’

Understanding minds also lets us intervene in our own minds.  In a classic experiment, preschoolers were made to sit in front of two big cookies.  They were told that they could eat one cookie now or could eat both if they waited for the experimenter to return.

The striking lesson is that it wasn’t will power which made children successful, but it was their ability to manipulate their own minds by using techniques such as distraction.  These abilities also predicted future success.

Differences in mental worlds

There are striking differences between the mental and physical worlds.

Much easier to intervene

The impact in the psychological world is almost ‘supernatural’.  A word spoken across a room, or an email invitation which gets people across the world on a phone call, does not have a parallel in the physical world.  In the physical world it can take years to dam a stream.

No ‘natural’ world

In the natural world there are places which are untouched by humans.  In the mental world there are no such wildernesses.  We are influenced by others, society and it’s conventions.

Range of possibilities

The mental world has unlimited imaginative possibilities.  There are some ‘psychological universals’.  However, humans invent ‘brand new psychological attitudes… such as celibacy… which may seem highly irrational from an evolutionary point of view’.

Maps and blueprints in the mental world

‘…it is often very difficult to tell whether children are learning about the causal structure of other people’s minds or changing their own minds.  Does a Japanese child simply discover that the people around her value individuality more than cooperation?  Or does that discovery make her become somebody who values individuality more than cooperation herself?’  ‘For all these reasons, in the psychological case it is hard to separate the maps and the blueprints.’

Despite the differences, ‘the same distinctive human reasoning is involved in both cases.  The causal maps in our minds allow us both to understand the existing physical and psychological worlds and to invent and realize new physical and psychological worlds.

They simultaneously let us make predictions, imagine alternative possibilities, and create fictions.’

Soul Engineers

You can use counterfactuals to create maps about facts as well as fictions.  Books like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ create elaborate fictional maps of physical places.  Fictional counterfactuals are much more profound in the psychological world.  ‘A great work of fiction presents us with a blueprint of the many ways we and others could choose to be (or not to be), and a kind of outline of the causal consequences of those choices.’  Good literature and fiction in general tell us about heroism, love, jealousy and a number of human emotions.  Works of fiction allow us to discover life in eleventh century Japan or nineteenth century France.

Gopnik tells the story of her niece Olivia and her imaginary companion.  Three year old Olivia lives in New York and has a imaginary companion, Charlie Ravioli, who was too busy to play with her.  ‘She (Olivia) would report  sadly that she had bumped into Charlie at the coffee shop but he had to run, and she would leave messages on an imaginary answering machine: “Ravioli this is Olivia, please get back to me.” ‘  Olivia’s story about Charlie showed her understanding of New Yorkers and life in New York.

Seen from the outside our lives may seem like an inconsequential sequence of events.  ‘…all lives viewed from the inside are a matter of choices, selecting a path among many counterfactual possibilities, making one’s way through many possible worlds.’  Fictional counterfactuals…help provide maps and guides for that sort of journey.

When children engage in pretend play, and build psychological causal maps and the resulting counterfactuals, they use the same cognitive abilities as writers and poets, ‘..the most sophisticated and philosophically profound capacities of human nature.’

About Alison Gopnik

Alison Gopnik has her own website.  You can follow her on Twitter.  She has spoken on TED. The book discussed in this article is ‘The Philosophical Baby’.

References

[1] This overview has been written in Gopnik’s voice – this is a condensed version of her text.  The book ‘focused on children under five’. ’Babies’ refers to children under three.

[2] What Children’s Minds Tell us About Software Testing – Part 1: Physical Worlds

[3] Michael Bolton has written signature articles on the role of emotions in software testing.  Look at Emotions and Oracles, Michael Bolton, Starwest 2007

[4] There have been many articles written about relations between developers and testers.  While I am not trying to diminish the importance of those interactions, my focus on this article is on the interaction with the software.  Although social skills are very important and can impact your career, they may not directly affect your survival.

About the Author

Nilanjan Bhattacharya manages a test team in the R&D lab of IBM Security Systems in Singapore. He has 18 years experience working with software development and testing teams across U.S., India and Singapore, working on both consumer and enterprise products. His experience includes CAD/3D graphics, enterprise security software and text analytics software. He strongly believes in the principles of context-driven testing. He has an MBA from National University of Singapore.

Nilanjan’s detailed profile is available at sg.linkedin.com/in/nilanjanswmanager/. His twitter handle is @nilanjanb and he blogs at swtestmanager.wordpress.com and www.revelutions.com

The post What Children’s Minds Tell us About Software Testing: Part 2 – Mental Worlds appeared first on Ministry of Testing.

Case Study: TVS helps Pactron verify complex FPGA design

TVS Blog - Thu, 21/08/2014 - 12:31

pactronPactron HJPC is a leading provider of board level solutions to the semiconductor industry. Based on a qualification of TVS’ well-proven verification capabilities, Pactron chose TVS as the partner for the verification of a complex FPGA design for a financial application.

TVS created a detailed verification plan listing out the strategy for feature list extraction, test bench specification, verification plan development and functional and code coverage. Once the plan was ratified by the customer, TVS developed a System Verilog based Bus Functional Model (BFM). In addition, the verification environment was designed to support Interrupt generator BFM with constrained enumeration support for interrupt selection.

TVS set up a team of 5 people within a week of RFP and was able to achieve the target of 100% functional coverage within just 2 months. TVS’ verification strategy helped Pactron achieve cost savings of nearly 40% on functional verification.

Ram Chandrashekar, Technical Manager at Pactron, commented, “TVS was able to put together a team of qualified verification engineers in short time frame and reused a lot of its existing verification collaterals to cut the overall development time by 30%.”

Ghuru Kumaravelu, Engineering Manager at Pactron, concluded, “We are very pleased with TVS’ services and wouldn’t think twice about recommending TVS to any of our customers.”

www.pactroninc.com

Categories: Software Testing

Case Study: TVS helps Pactron verify complex FPGA design

Test And Verification Services Blog - Thu, 21/08/2014 - 12:31

pactronPactron HJPC is a leading provider of board level solutions to the semiconductor industry. Based on a qualification of TVS’ well-proven verification capabilities, Pactron chose TVS as the partner for the verification of a complex FPGA design for a financial application.

TVS created a detailed verification plan listing out the strategy for feature list extraction, test bench specification, verification plan development and functional and code coverage. Once the plan was ratified by the customer, TVS developed a System Verilog based Bus Functional Model (BFM). In addition, the verification environment was designed to support Interrupt generator BFM with constrained enumeration support for interrupt selection.

TVS set up a team of 5 people within a week of RFP and was able to achieve the target of 100% functional coverage within just 2 months. TVS’ verification strategy helped Pactron achieve cost savings of nearly 40% on functional verification.

Ram Chandrashekar, Technical Manager at Pactron, commented, “TVS was able to put together a team of qualified verification engineers in short time frame and reused a lot of its existing verification collaterals to cut the overall development time by 30%.”

Ghuru Kumaravelu, Engineering Manager at Pactron, concluded, “We are very pleased with TVS’ services and wouldn’t think twice about recommending TVS to any of our customers.”

www.pactroninc.com

Categories: Software Testing

Standard. Or Not.

Rob Lambert's Blog - Wed, 20/08/2014 - 13:04
The international standard for Software Testing, ISO 29119, is soon to be upon us. There are people writing it and expanding it and creating it right now. I’ve signed the petition against it because I don’t agree with some of it and it’s supposed to represent the industry I work in and I had no […]
Categories: Software Testing

TVS extends formal verification training to China

TVS Blog - Wed, 20/08/2014 - 11:37
PRESS RELEASE

Bristol, UK, 20 August 2014 –TVS, a leader in software test and hardware verification solutions, today announced that following the successful delivery of a debut course, ‘Formal Verification* Bootcamp’, in conjunction with its local partner TopBrain Design Systems to hardware verification engineers in Shanghai, it has launched an on-demand formal verification training service in China. This adds China to the countries already serviced including those in Europe, Asia and North America.

Formal verification is becoming more mainstream in hardware verification as the tools become more powerful and much more automated. TVS’ training is aimed at getting engineers ready for ‘formal’ by explaining the fundamentals of the discipline. Engineers are then able to expand their understanding of formal through worked examples in class, before proving properties on their own designs.

The improved automation in formal is embodied in apps that are aimed at solving specific verification challenges such as superlinting, clock domain crossing and connectivity. Taking connectivity as an example, the user describes the signal connectivity between blocks at a subsystem or SOC level, and the tool performs the necessary connectivity checks automatically. These automated checks are able to reduce the need for large numbers of integration tests that are costly to write and simulate.

As a leader in software test and hardware verification solutions, TVS’ Formal Verification Bootcamp course focuses on both the formal apps and the general-purpose verification capability. TVS works closely with EDA vendors to deliver the course on whatever tool the course delegates have access to. This ensures that delegates are able to apply the techniques directly on projects after the course. The final session of the course is usually spent writing properties and constraints (using System Verilog) on a real design.
This avoids the ‘blank paper syndrome’ that delegates often face when returning from courses to learn new languages and techniques.

Mike Bartley, CEO and founder of TVS, commented, “Formal Verification has now come of age, and in some way it can be applied on most designs. It offers a real solution to the limitations of simulation-based verification. Our present course is designed, packaged and deployed to get engineers out of the starting blocks. The successful execution of the course in China underpins and is a measure of how serious the company is in expanding its global operations.”

For information on TopBrain’s support and services for TVS in China visit:
www.topbrainds.com

Further information on TVS’ products and services is available at
www.testandverification.com.

Editors Note:
* In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.

About TopBrain:
TopBrain Design Systems is an advanced verification solutions provider for complex electronics design organisations. The company helps customers to get advanced verification capability in a short time. TopBrain’s products and services include advanced hardware verification methodology service, tools, VIP, training courses, onsite/offshore supports to the local customers. TopBrain is the solution partner of TVS in China.

About TVS
TVS (Test and Verification Solutions Ltd) provides services and products to organisations developing complex products in the microelectronics and embedded systems industries. Such organisations use TVS to verify their hardware and software products, employ industry best practice and manage peaks in development and testing programmes. TVS embedded software testing services includes onsite/offshore testing support including assistance with safety certification. TVS hardware verification services include onsite/offshore verification support and training in advanced verification methodologies. TVS also offers Verification IPs and its own Verification (EDA) signoff tool (asureSIGN™).

TVS Company Contact
Dr. Mike Bartley – TVS
+44 7796 307958
mike@testandverification.com

Media Contact
Oliver Davies – Publitek Technology PR
+44 1224 470000
oliver.davies@publitek.com

Categories: Software Testing

TVS extends formal verification training to China

Test And Verification Services Blog - Wed, 20/08/2014 - 11:37
PRESS RELEASE

Bristol, UK, 20 August 2014 –TVS, a leader in software test and hardware verification solutions, today announced that following the successful delivery of a debut course, ‘Formal Verification* Bootcamp’, in conjunction with its local partner TopBrain Design Systems to hardware verification engineers in Shanghai, it has launched an on-demand formal verification training service in China. This adds China to the countries already serviced including those in Europe, Asia and North America.

Formal verification is becoming more mainstream in hardware verification as the tools become more powerful and much more automated. TVS’ training is aimed at getting engineers ready for ‘formal’ by explaining the fundamentals of the discipline. Engineers are then able to expand their understanding of formal through worked examples in class, before proving properties on their own designs.

The improved automation in formal is embodied in apps that are aimed at solving specific verification challenges such as superlinting, clock domain crossing and connectivity. Taking connectivity as an example, the user describes the signal connectivity between blocks at a subsystem or SOC level, and the tool performs the necessary connectivity checks automatically. These automated checks are able to reduce the need for large numbers of integration tests that are costly to write and simulate.

As a leader in software test and hardware verification solutions, TVS’ Formal Verification Bootcamp course focuses on both the formal apps and the general-purpose verification capability. TVS works closely with EDA vendors to deliver the course on whatever tool the course delegates have access to. This ensures that delegates are able to apply the techniques directly on projects after the course. The final session of the course is usually spent writing properties and constraints (using System Verilog) on a real design.
This avoids the ‘blank paper syndrome’ that delegates often face when returning from courses to learn new languages and techniques.

Mike Bartley, CEO and founder of TVS, commented, “Formal Verification has now come of age, and in some way it can be applied on most designs. It offers a real solution to the limitations of simulation-based verification. Our present course is designed, packaged and deployed to get engineers out of the starting blocks. The successful execution of the course in China underpins and is a measure of how serious the company is in expanding its global operations.”

For information on TopBrain’s support and services for TVS in China visit:
www.topbrainds.com

Further information on TVS’ products and services is available at
www.testandverification.com.

Editors Note:
* In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.

About TopBrain:
TopBrain Design Systems is an advanced verification solutions provider for complex electronics design organisations. The company helps customers to get advanced verification capability in a short time. TopBrain’s products and services include advanced hardware verification methodology service, tools, VIP, training courses, onsite/offshore supports to the local customers. TopBrain is the solution partner of TVS in China.

About TVS
TVS (Test and Verification Solutions Ltd) provides services and products to organisations developing complex products in the microelectronics and embedded systems industries. Such organisations use TVS to verify their hardware and software products, employ industry best practice and manage peaks in development and testing programmes. TVS embedded software testing services includes onsite/offshore testing support including assistance with safety certification. TVS hardware verification services include onsite/offshore verification support and training in advanced verification methodologies. TVS also offers Verification IPs and its own Verification (EDA) signoff tool (asureSIGN™).

TVS Company Contact
Dr. Mike Bartley – TVS
+44 7796 307958
mike@testandverification.com

Media Contact
Oliver Davies – Publitek Technology PR
+44 1224 470000
oliver.davies@publitek.com

Categories: Software Testing

Using the Specman Denali Interface to Verify a DDR4 Controller

TVS Blog - Wed, 20/08/2014 - 06:04

cdnlive-munich-2014CDNLive EMEA 2014 brought together a record number of Cadence technology users, developers, and industry experts to network, share best practices on critical design & verification issues, and discover new techniques for realizing advanced silicon, SoCs, and systems.

On the Tuesday, Mike Bartley, CEO and Founder of TVS presented an informative session that explored the call-back feature of the Specman Denali Interface (SNDI) to build a data checking mechanism to help a customer verify their DDR4 memory controller.

The Challenge

The traditional approach to build a data checker for complex memory interfaces generally involves capturing data for all the features of the design as per the protocol. This typically results in a lot of conditional code. To develop code that can capture the data at the memory interface is a tedious job and is prone to human mistakes. It is also difficult to maintain such a lengthy code. The ultimate aim of this project was to reduce and simplify the tedious, and time consuming, process of capturing the data on the memory interface to be used later for data checking.

The presentation covered the following topics.

  • Challenges in building data checkers for complex memory interfaces
  • Overview of existing Verification environment –Verification Challenges
  • The alternative – SNDI Callback mechanism
  • How Callbacks work
  • New Verification environment – With Callbacks
  • Implementing Callbacks
  • Benefits

View the full set of Presentation Slides here.

View the Executive Summary Additional Presentation Resources

 

 

Categories: Software Testing

Using the Specman Denali Interface to Verify a DDR4 Controller

Test And Verification Services Blog - Wed, 20/08/2014 - 06:04

cdnlive-munich-2014CDNLive EMEA 2014 brought together a record number of Cadence technology users, developers, and industry experts to network, share best practices on critical design & verification issues, and discover new techniques for realizing advanced silicon, SoCs, and systems.

On the Tuesday, Mike Bartley, CEO and Founder of TVS presented an informative session that explored the call-back feature of the Specman Denali Interface (SNDI) to build a data checking mechanism to help a customer verify their DDR4 memory controller.

The Challenge

The traditional approach to build a data checker for complex memory interfaces generally involves capturing data for all the features of the design as per the protocol. This typically results in a lot of conditional code. To develop code that can capture the data at the memory interface is a tedious job and is prone to human mistakes. It is also difficult to maintain such a lengthy code. The ultimate aim of this project was to reduce and simplify the tedious, and time consuming, process of capturing the data on the memory interface to be used later for data checking.

The presentation covered the following topics.

  • Challenges in building data checkers for complex memory interfaces
  • Overview of existing Verification environment –Verification Challenges
  • The alternative – SNDI Callback mechanism
  • How Callbacks work
  • New Verification environment – With Callbacks
  • Implementing Callbacks
  • Benefits

View the full set of Presentation Slides here.

View the Executive Summary Additional Presentation Resources

 

 

Categories: Software Testing

Blog - Blogspy Vol 58: The latest round-up of software testing blog posts from around the blogosphere

EuroSTAR Conference - Tue, 19/08/2014 - 11:44

Welcome to the latest edition of Eurostar's Blog Spy, a round up of some of the latest blog posts from the Software Testing Industry that have caught our eye in the last week:

Test Coverage or Ass Coverage - Darren Hails

Darren Hails writes on the topic of the cautious tester and explores two popular excuses that are common in the testing industry.

Read More here

 

My role in the new world of testing - Marlana Compton

Marlana dsicusses her feelings on the image of testers in the wider context of the software industry and where testers work is shifting from its orginial role.

Read More here

 

Testers apart from testing, testing apart from testers - Dariusz Drezno

"If your company develops small mobile apps or games, then probably the most important thing for you is a working code and beautiful user interface. And that is perfectly correct. Unfortunately, it is pretty difficult to make a lot of money delivering relatively simple applications. The biggest software companies usually sell large and complex systems, and are moving forward to extend their offer to even bigger things - complete solutions built based on these complicated systems."

Read More here

 

Context Driven Change Leadership - Katrina Clokie

Katrina writes about a model that Selena Delesie introduced in a Context Driven Change Leadership tutorial as part of CAST2014. She discusses what she has taken from the tutoirial that she hopes to apply to her work.

Read More here

 

How to Test a Tester - Colin Cherry

"It is my belief that most organisations DON'T do a very good job of hiring Testers. Most organisations don't have a strategic approach to hiring Testers and don't know how to sort the wheat from the chaff. As I've said in previous Blog Posts, I hire based upon attitude and deal with aptitude later - if someone has a creative and inquisitive mind we can move mountains, but if someone is gifted but lazy you are throwing good money out of the window."

Read More here

 

Overlooked mobile application testing conditions - Chris Wright

"Testing iOS and Android software presents unique challenges. As easily portable devices, smartphones and tablets are used in a variety of settings, and wireless connectivity may widely fluctuate and acutely affect the performance of any applications in use. Unlike with PCs that have wired connections, dev/test teams cannot assume relatively stable network conditions when crafting a mobile game, messaging client or news reader."

Read More here

 

When to Delegate? Try the 70% Rule - Jim Schleckse

An interesting article for managers out there. Jim Schleckse offers insight on when it is best to delegate work and to whom.

Read More here

 

Sugar is the Main Fuel for the Brain for Peak Interview Performance - Janel P. Phillip

Staying on the theme of interviews and recruiting testers, this blog post suggests what you should be eating before any interview or big presentation.

Read More here

 

Don't forget to email or tweet us your blog posts to be featured in next weeks Blog Spy round up!

 

Read Last Week's Blogspy here

 

Categories: Conference News

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