Monthly Testing Newsletter -- November 1999

Software Development Process (requirements, project management, methodology, etc.)

Editorial: How do you decide when to call it a requirement? (See also list of related editorials:

Article: Combining Software Requirements Specifications with Use-Case Modeling

Editorial: Secrets of Successful Project Management (See also the Software Development Magazine Project Management resource site:

Articles: Data Warehousing

Includes information on implementing data warehouse and data marts and some tools.

Article: Decoding Business Needs

Facilitated workshops reduce the risk of scope creep from 80% to 10%, accelerate the delivery of early lifecycle phases by 30% to 40%, and provide a 5% to 15% overall savings in time and effort throughout the entire lifecycle.

Article: Customer Rights and Responsibilities

A shared understanding of the requirements approval process should alleviate the friction that can arise as the project progresses and oversights are revealed, or as marketplace and business demands evolve.

Vendor Whitepaper: Applying Requirements Management with Use Cases

If you are new to or somewhat familiar with requirements management and are interested in requirements process improvement, this paper offers a framework with which to develop your own approach.


Software Testing & Quality

Editorial: The New Software Quality

Usability as a measure of the quality of an application.

Article: Testing: The Neglected Child of Our Industry

Oriented toward outsourcing of testing, but it has some interesting ideas.

Article: Bomb Squad

Story of how software testing is done and the issues surrounding "bad" software.

Article: Measures of Goodness (Grady Booch)

One of the signs of a mature software development organization is its use of certain reasonable and quantifiable measures of product and process. Such measures, if properly applied, can give management important insights into the health of a project. The most mature organizations are able to use these measures to make mid-course corrections in individual projects and in the company's software development activity as a whole.



Tutorial: Introduction to Structured Query Language


Useful Utilities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Remember that sentence from typing class? Well, even if you don't, it's true! These won't really enlighten you, but they may make your work a bit easier.

GuruNet (free!)

This nifty little program runs in the background and allows you to click on a word (in any application) while holding down the <Alt> key (you can choose any hot-key) and GuruNet pops up a little window with information. The information is context-sensitive: in some cases, you'll get a dictionary definition and other times you'll get company information, etc.

FileBox eXtender (beta version free; released version will likely be shareware)

Adds a "Favorites" list to File Open and File Save dialogs and (optionally) to Windows Explorer. A little button is displayed on the window title bar so you can quickly navigate to any of your personal "Favorites" directories quickly. Great for the those visits to the bowels of the shared network drives!

Tray Command Line (free!)

Replacement for the standard Windows Run dialog. Includes a history list and supports definition of aliases so that you don't have to type the entire path to an application every time you want to run it. Application runs in the system tray and uses <Pause> as hot-key.

Start or Switch Menu (free!)

Shell extension utility that pops up the Start menu and a list of currently open windows anytime you right-click with mouse (it's configurable to pop up only on the title bar, if you desire). It doesn't interfere with the regular context menus, but it does take a little getting used to.

Productivity Tips

Make Word work the way you want.

Sometimes the default settings in Word are not the most comfortable for you. If you find that there is some setting that you change frequently, you can usually change it permanently by applying the change to the normal document template (Normal.DOT). Here are a couple of examples:

Now, when you create a new document in Word it will have the 1" left and right margins. You can make other changes in a similar fashion.

Your new selection will be the default setting for all new documents.

What's that Windows key on the keyboard good for?

Glad that you asked! The Windows key (WK) can be used in combination with other keys for a shortcut to a number useful utilities.

Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

While we're on the topic of shortcuts, these keyboard shortcuts for IE may help speed your browsing.

Alt+D Jumps to the Address Bar.
Alt+Left Back.
Alt+Right Forward.
Backspace Back, or up one level when using folders.
Ctrl+D Add the current page to your favorites.
Ctrl+F Brings up the "Find on this page" dialogue box.
Ctrl+N Open a new window.
Ctrl+O Bring up the "Open" dialogue box.
Ctrl+P Bring up the "Print" dialogue box.
Ctrl+R Refreshes current page.
Ctrl+S Save the current page.
Ctrl+Shift+Tab Move backwards among frames.
Ctrl+Tab Move forwards among frames.
F4 Displays the Address Bar history.
F5 Refreshes current page.
F6 Jumps to the Address Bar.
F11 Toggles Full Screen mode.
Page Down Scrolls down current page, one screen at a time.
Page Up Scrolls up current page, one screen at a time.
Space Scrolls down current page, one screen at a time.

Tim Jones