Spring things

Work has me doing a lot of stuff with REST services developed using the Spring framework. We’re using REST Assured to do the testing of the services even before we get a UI layered on top so I’ve been learning quite a bit.

I’ve heard that some of the best advice others have received for learning to code has been to find a problem and work out how to solve it with the code you’re learning. I have a specific problem I want to solve and my initial thought was to do so using Javascript (hence earlier posts on the subject). This however promised to be far more complex than needed. That’s where REST services come in.

Spring provide a handy set of guides and seems to be a nice, out of the box solution to all your RESTful needs. Granted, I don’t know if it’s the best solution to my problem., but it’s something I work with day to day and I’m familiar with it. I’ll use Gradle to build the project (because omfg it’s so much better than maven) and then layer on a front end once I can get the service playing back and storing data.


James Hill – 6 Random Questions

6 Random Questions is a new feature here at Breaking-Software. It is an opportunity to ask whatever questions we like to get a brief glimpse into what makes people tick, what ticks people off and some other stuff. So we’ll kick this feature off with our very own James Hill. Just a word of caution, James likes very much to use colourful language so if you’re easily offended, you might wish to actually go and do some work…

Hi James. Welcome to 6 of the best by Breaking-Software. This is where I ask you 6 questions and you give us your answers in your own inimitable way. ‘Why 6 questions?’ I hear you ask. Well, I couldn’t think of any more.



Learning Ruby

I decided to try and teach myself Ruby. Problem is that I’m a lousy student and even worse teacher. But I’m muddling through.

Given that it’s a new language (everything’s an object – how hard can it be, right?) I’ve decided to go back to basics and have looked around for good beginner guides. I’d prefer to avoid paying for something at this stage, figuring that for every person who wants to make a buck from selling a book there’ll be ten who think that the information should be readily available. … 


Web Testing Checklist and Useful Tools

When testing a web application, there are a number of things which you should normally check for. This checklist, although not comprehensive by any means, gives a good idea of what to look for and how to mitigate the risk of common functionality failing after your deployment. We have practical experience with the tools suggested, so there’s less chance that you’ll dislike them!



A Quality Center Rant

I hate Quality Center. It’s a simple fact. There’s no version of it that I’ve ever liked. In fact, sometimes, I’d prefer to just use Excel for Test Conditions, Test Cases, Defects and Reporting. In the past I’ve used many tools, but none are as frustrating (or expensive!) as our beloved Quality Center. I ask myself “If this were my company, would I invest in QC?” Here’s my long answer, but if you wish to see my short answer, please scroll to the bottom of the page **.
I haven’t had the ‘pleasure’ of using version 11 / ALM yet, so everything I refer to below is regarding v10 or below.

QC was originally built to satisfy a basic need to store test scripts but of course, as newer requirements surfaced, the product grew to cater for them. The main problem I have with QC is that the product didn’t organically grow. It grew alright, but only in terms of warts, lesions and puss-filled zits. If you haven’t seen the database structure / architecture, I encourage you to seek it out. It honestly looks like someone has drawn a few boxes; hit copy and paste a few thousand times, printed it out then run it through an old shredder with rusty blades.

The reason for this is that as new requirements grew and new functions were added, the development team simply bolted-on new functions, instead of re-writing the older inefficient code. So now, we have 3 reporting modules within the product – none of which are actually that useful. It appears that you must be able to fluently converse in ancient Hebrew SQL in order to get anything you need out of it. Now, I enjoy learning a new language, don’t get me wrong, but do I want to learn it in order to get a simple report from a tool which already has the info? (See **).
Now, you might think I am being harsh or lazy but frankly I am just frustrated with the lack of enthusiasm that the QC dev’s and designers clearly have. I’d love to sit down with them and actually show them what a test team does and the information they are looking to report back. Some out-of-the-box thinking is required.

So, enough of my whining, what are the good things which QC gives us? I thought about this and couldn’t think of any, so please drop a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

Rant over!

PS. ** = No.


Of testing and insanity

I have no words.

Amazing dedication and a great site to check out if you’re in the market for new audio hardware. HeadFi has detailed reviews (as you can see) on all manner of headphones, from the budget conscious models to ones that will cost you a fair chunk of a new car (depending on your tastes in motor vehicles of course).



iMacros – Don’t bother with Selenium IDE!

Just tried a free tool, called iMacros, for record and playback – for test automation purposes. Its wicked! It is available as an add in for Firefox, Chrome and IE and tests can be shared across the browsers, regardless of which browser you recorded the test in. This is massively useful when you have to prove your functions across different browser types and versions. Give it a go – it can be downloaded from the iOpus website (www.iOpus.com) and of course they have other editions which have to be paid for.

No more Selenium IDE for me…!!!


Bits and pieces

First off, iPad things. Well okay, iPad things only I guess. Ran out of time on the train.

This piece of hardware continues to impress me. Added Epic Castle to the app list today. Really shows off the future direction of gaming for the device. You know you’re on a winner when the makers of the Unreal Engine are making gear for the platform.

I continue to marvel at the app store integration. I go from “Ooh, shiny” to playing with an app in seconds. Even on 3G the experience is smooth.

Oh, reminds me. I’ve bagged the bejesus out of them before but Telstra 3G rocks fucking socks. So fast it’s just silly. …