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Top Stories

Consider the following scenario-typical in many application development organizations. A major new release of an application has just gone into production. Although the development and QA teams endured many late nights of coding and testing, and consumed large quantities of delivered pizza, the project missed its ship date. Still, customers are happy with the product and are giving positive feedback. By many definitions, the team has produced a quality product. Then, a new, large business opportunity requires the rapid implementation of a significant new feature in the product. The tired and over-worked development team struggles with how, or even if, it can meet the new requirement. They are concerned that the new feature will break the existing product and predict a lengthy development cycle. Schedule overruns, tired staff, and difficulty in changing or adding f... (more)

Software Should Be Creative

We spend a lot of time talking to business managers about how their operations run. The perspective that we commonly face is one of "this is how we do it; we are looking for software to do it better." But from a business perspective, that is the wrong approach. First, the pain of software adoption is significant, and relatively insensitive to scope of change involved. Whether your software project is small or extensive, employees are going to be unhappy about it for anywhere between a couple of weeks and several months. But with all change, people eventually adjust and move on, and pretty soon what was so traumatic becomes the new standard. Second, the opportunity to get creative and completely re-engineer how your business works is priceless and rare. Software projects are exactly that opportunity. The business value to be gained from rebuilding your processes from... (more)

Metasploit Helpful Tips

Introduction The Metasploit Framework is a penetration testing toolkit, exploit development platform, and research tool. The framework includes hundreds of working remote exploits for a variety of platforms. Payloads, encoders, and nop slide generators can be mixed and matched with exploit modules to solve almost any exploit-related task. This tutorial will walk you through how to use the latest version of Nessus pre-built plugin filter ‘Metasploit Framework' in your pentest assignments. It will also cover some useful metasploit tips to achieve privilege escalation. Wouldn't it be great to have a shell on another box just in case you lose your meterpreter shell? This tutorial covers this and other metasploit tips. Integrating Nessus 5 with Metasploit With the release of Nessus 5 by Tenable Network Security users now have better filtering in policy creation, analysis,... (more)

GUI Versus Script: Is This Old Load Testing Debate Now Over?

The first step in performance or load testing a web application is to create a realistic test script. This script, representing a specific type of end user, contains steps that are fully automated transactions flows. Often, complex behaviors need to be emulated as part of these flows. To incorporate the needed behavior or to handle complex scenarios, testers need to customize these load scripts. The question is whether you utilize a tool that takes a GUI driven approach for script customization/manipulation, or whether you choose a tool which requires the use of a programming language. As Performance testers, we typically evaluate several load testing tools before diving into a project. Some of us prefer the GUI driven approach to creating load scripts because, being results driven, we want to get the test up and running as quickly as possible. The GUI approach saves... (more)

Bare Metal Blog: Test for Reality

Test results provided by vendors and “independent testing labs” often test for things that just don’t matter in the datacenter. Know what you’re getting. When working in medicine, you don’t glance over a patient, then ask them “so how do you feel when you’re at your best?” You ask them what is wrong, then run a ton of tests – even if the patient thinks they know what is wrong – then let the evidence determine the best course of treatment. Sadly, when determining the best tools for your IT staff to use, we rarely follow the same course. We invite a salesperson in, ask them “so, what do you do?”, and let them tell us with their snippets of reality or almost-reality why their product rocks the known world. Depending upon the salesperson and the company, their personal moral code or corporate standards could limit them to not bringing up the weak points of their product... (more)

Best Practices for Load Testing Mobile Applications | Part I

Mobile applications and mobile websites have become a major channel for conducting business, improving employee efficiency, communicating, and reaching consumers. In the past, mobile played a smaller role in business applications, so performance issues and outages were less of a concern. This is no longer the case. Today, performance problems with mobile applications lead directly to revenue loss, brand damage, and diminished employee productivity. Part I of this article discusses the differences between testing traditional web and mobile applications, specific challenges associated with mobile load testing, mobile testing basics and best practices for recording mobile load test scenarios. In Part II, we will look at how to conduct realistic tests and how to best analyze the results. Application developers have long understood the need for load testing conventional... (more)

Open Source Cloud Computing Testing Tools

Testing tools and frameworks are infinitely useful when planning cloud architecture for many reasons. “The confidence of a well-tested codebase brings the ability to deploy quickly, and often. Testing infrastructure assures that incremental changes to the codebase do not affect the overall application performance,” said Omid Rahmat, president, Burnside Digital. One of the Rahmat’s favorite testing tools is rspec, used for ruby applications. Rahmat said it takes a "behavior-driven" approach to testing. “We follow the best practices of writing tests that explain what our code should do before writing it. This gives us a clear path to follow to implement solutions with great confidence and far fewer defects. Having that test and seeing it pass lets us know that we have written features to specification.” Other popular testing tools include: SoapUI. According to Soap... (more)

Product Review: qTest by QASymphony

QASymphony is the company behind qTest, a new test management tool that's aiming to empower test teams. As software development has increasingly moved towards Agile methodology, with its focus on fast delivery, thorough documentation has fallen by the wayside and test cycles have shortened. Test teams have less time to identify and document defects, but expectations for bug-free software remain high. The flexibility to adopt feedback and accelerated build cycles offer real benefits for software development, but they require careful thinking from QA departments. These are the challenges that qTest is trying to address by equipping testers with a fast, intuitive tool capable of handling complex projects. It's designed to be easy-to-use, it's fully customizable, it can plug into existing bug tracking software, and it creates a chain of transparency that lays bare the ... (more)

Case Study: Too Fast for the User

I just heard an interesting story from Runtastic, who is one of our Mobile Real User Monitoring customers. Runtastic's main mobile app allows their users to track their sport activities such as running, biking, hiking or skiing. They had a user complaining about too high speed. He didn't actually complain about the performance of the app but instead complained about his average speed during his workout as calculated by the app. After his one hour biking session, the app showed the he covered a distance of 490 km - that would probably be a world record and give him the yellow shirt in a small French bicycling event. What went wrong on the mobile device? After a short brainstorming session, the developers came up with the following three potential root causes for this bug: Bad GPS coordinates Problems with the calculation of the distance in the app code In correct v... (more)

DevOps Role in Troubleshooting JVM Issues | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

The JVM issues vary from Java OutOfMemory Error to JVM Crash. Application developers might be not completely equipped to determine the root cause of the issue, hence DevOps can play a vital role in narrowing down the issue and connecting the right people/team to rectify the problem. Application developers can deploy their applications with success in a staging or QA environment and broadcast that the application is working fine. However, the staging or QA environment is not completely identical with production at - least with respect to load. Due to huge load, the application can behave differently. In order to prevent an occurrence of these kinds of scenarios, it is a good practice to engage a DevOps team [with right JVM skills] to proactively analyze the running application. Proactive engagement of a DevOps team will be beneficial for the organization and for the... (more)

Emerging Trends and Software Quality Assurance

The future challenges for Software Quality assurance (SQA) follow a few software trends, including: Complex and large software packages Integration with external components and interfaces The need to deliver quickly The need to deliver bug free software The standard software quality activities defined by IEEE, such as verification and validation, are integrated into the software development cycle. We see dedicated SQA roles and resources in major organizations. Also, many multi-national companies are pushing to have a central team drive and manage the quality processes, methodologies, and tools across all their sites and teams. The center of excellence is an example of such a central team, which are focused on defining and driving SQA activities, process, methods, and tools within the organization. They introduce specific software metrics to measure their key proces... (more)