Software Quality Insights

September 22, 2013  8:44 PM

How to look at mobile app performance depends the app’s audience

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

Last week the Boston Web Performance Meetup Group joined forces with Boston’s Mobile Experience Optimization Group to discuss issues around Web-based mobile app performance. The discussion was led by Ariel Weil, a representative from Yottaa’s adaptive Web performance team, and Ilya Grigorik just happened to be a part of the audience. The discussion centered more around user experience than I expected, but they definitely raised some good points. Continued »

September 13, 2013  11:42 PM

Let’s shed some light on the far reaches of application security

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

I think it’s sort of human nature to be uncomfortable with the unknown and with the things that aren’t under our control. That might be one of the reasons so many software quality professionals try to skate around doing security testing. Obviously there are other factors – getting caught up in pressing functionality or usability issues for one – but I think security is secretly scary for some of us. That fear is probably tied mostly to the number of aspects of application security that are out of our own reach.

Continued »

September 5, 2013  6:31 PM

New journeys in mobile application development start with a single step

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

A week ago today, I sat in on a really interesting informational workshop. I learned all the basic pieces of building an incredibly simple mobile application. I write a good deal about mobile application development, but as yet, I hadn’t actually done any coding for a mobile app. I still don’t think I’ll stop writing about it and start doing it any time soon, but I do now have a much better appreciation and understanding of the practice of building mobile applications. The demonstration application we built was a simple HTML 5 app designed to run on multiple platforms – iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, for the most part. Continued »

August 23, 2013  11:46 PM

Automation woes, Agile successes, and DHS funding for app sec research

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

This week it’s a quick wrap-up of recent content on before I head out for the weekend. Jenn Lent shows us the places where automation falls short of the hype. Jan Stafford shows us a couple of Agile success stories. But first, let’s look at some of the things application security expert Dan Cornell has been up to. Continued »

August 16, 2013  8:07 PM

One more post about Agile 2013

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

This week I’m going to bring up a few things I got to see at Agile 2013 in Nashville last week that I should have written up while I was at the conference. These are the extra blog posts I planned last week but didn’t have time for, all rolled into one. I’ll write about Legos, asking questions, and bluegrass music. They all relate to Agile in one way or another.

Continued »

August 6, 2013  12:17 AM

It’s TaaS – but it’s not really ‘Testing as a Service,’ or is it?

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

Automated integration testing sort of presents us with a paradox. The problem is that automated testing makes the most sense for large organizations where there’s a lot of testing to be done; however, these big enterprises tend to have large, complicated development environments where it tends to be hard to build automated tests for integration. So, it’s not quite a catch 22, but it is rather inconvenient that the more an organization needs their integration testing automated, the harder it’s going to be automate it. A growing open source project might have found the trick to cutting the knot – if its name doesn’t get in the way too much. Continued »

August 2, 2013  9:41 PM

Agile2013 conference still closing in; plus new news on the security front

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

It’s been a busy week and I’m itching to start the weekend, so this week’s post is going to be short, but I’ll make up for that with extra blog posts next week. I take off for Nashville in about forty-eight hours.  This conference is going to be a real challenge to cover on my own, but it should be a really fun challenge. Plus, I’m looking forward to announcing some news from one of our application security experts. Continued »

July 27, 2013  2:39 AM

Agile 2013 – Or – How I’ll spend my summer vacation

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

My head is spinning this week. The summer seems to be rushing by in a blur. I’m gearing up for Agile2013 in Nashville Tennessee (August 5-9) and I’m torn between wishing I was leaving tonight and wishing I had an extra week to prepare. There’s so much excitement packed into one little week, I don’t know how I’ll keep up with it all. Continued »

July 19, 2013  4:00 PM

The basic pieces of Agile

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

I don’t think I’m the only one that gets a little bit turned around sometimes when I’m talking about Agile. It’s tough to quickly state what Agile is and how it affects software development teams on a day-to-day basis. Some teams focus on these aspects, concepts and practices, while others focus on those. Ideally, Agile should be a holistic effort, but I think in real life most companies that are trying an Agile approach are still focused on specific processes and might not see how those processes fit into the big picture.

I mean, I know the Agile manifesto: “People and communication over process and tools; working software over heavy documentation; customers over contracts; and responding to change over sticking to the plan.” Those are all set in my mind and so are the twelve guiding principles in the Agile manifesto. I won’t list all twelve, but I think “break down work into smaller components that can be completed quickly,” and “provide motivated individuals the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done,” are two good ones.

But – even with a solid picture of what software development teams should be doing, I still get a little confused about how an Agile development team does those things. Continued »

July 12, 2013  2:14 PM

The Software Quality Insights blog is back and it’s better than ever.

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

I’ll be updating the blog at least once a week from here on in. You can expect a healthy dose advice and commentary each week as I relate news and tidbits that either didn’t make the cut at or else just haven’t posted to the site yet. I’ll also keep you up to date on what’s happening here at from week to week.

The big news right now is that there’s a new site editor in town, namely me –James Denman. Jenn Lent did a great job in her time at the helm and she left us on very good terms. In fact, she’s still writing a regular Quality Time column for us as well as occasional tips and news stories. While we’re sad that we’ll no longer work together every day, we’re still glad to have her as a regular contributor.

Lent’s last column was a real treat. She gave us a solid look at application portfolio management and how to get enterprise applications front and center for business as well as IT. She said too many organizations are lacking a clear view of what applications they have and what they do with them. If you look at building and facilities management, on the other hand, most businesses know exactly how many buildings they own and operate and have a pretty accurate estimate of the buildings’ market value. So the first step in APM, according to Lent and her sources, is to get a handle on what you’re working with, which is just exactly what the APM project management lead at the Port of San Diego recently experienced firsthand.

In other news – or I guess I should say tips – three other great ladies have graced the (web)pages of with great stories lately. Yvette Francino (another former site editor here) gave us four tips on cloud testing tools focusing on risks and challenges, selecting the right services, choosing public or private clouds, and taking control of the service level agreement (SLA). Project and program management expert and author Johanna Rothman was good enough to lay out ways to stop multitasking and get projects to done. She outlined alternate project management styles including committing to one iteration at a time, committing to one feature at a time, or scheduling time specifically for dealing with interruptions and secondary projects. Last but not least, intrepid journalist Crystal Bedell brought us some easy ways to improve mobile application performance from sources like PerfTestPlus President and CTO Scott Barber.

That’s all I’ve got for this week, but rest assured there is much, much more to come. Until next time, keep leaving things better than you found them.

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