software testing paul simonToday is the 67th birthday of a musician who has been relevant in the mainstream for longer than virtually anyone else in modern music. Paul Simon was big when I was a child and still has a strong following. I remember the tunes of Simon and Garfunkel playing in our house before I even knew any of the entertainers. “I am just a poor boy…” was more than just a song, it was my story. It wasn’t until I was out of college that I bought a S&G Greatest Hits tape (yeah, I’m old) and proceeded to wear out that tape while cruising with my girlfriend (now wife) Deb as we drove my Grand National all through the Colorado Mountains.

Graceland introduced me to the coolest African sounds of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes is one of my all-time favorite songs.

The birthday boy has a flair for the dramatic as his version of “The Boxer” after 9/11 on Saturday Night Live was one of the most poignant television moments of solidarity and defiance of the gritty New York heros. Happy birthday Paul.

Let’s get to the SOFTWARE TESTING news:

On Twitter this morning, a tweet about load testing caught my eye. It inquired concerning the cache used for performance improvement that is discussed in a video. So I explored some links and found 3 videos in a series called, “LoadTesting Troubleshooting” by Go2RIA, which is a small firm of performance engineers specializing in ColdFusion applications. In the videos, Mike Brunt describes some load testing and tuning involving caching. There is a low volume of users involved in the test(starts with 5), however the process Mike covers is interesting in context of bottlenecks, server side metrics, and application optimization. The videos are about 15 minutes total.

The videos are mostly Mike speaking to the camera, and some of the load testing tool screens are shown in close-up. I would have liked some better screen shots and graphs, but I applaud Mike’s willingness to share his thoughts with us.

Here’s the first load testing video:

Here is Part 2:

Here is Part 3:


Test Driven Development Improves Quality

This may not be breaking news, but I find it very interesting that test driven development (TDD) decreases defects more than it increases development time. Studies show a decrease in defects per thousand lines of code by 40%-90% relative to the projects that did not use TDD. While management estimated an increase of dev time by 15–35% when using TDD. The development teams believe the increase in dev time is offset by reduced maintenance costs.

Accessibility Testing

Lynne Pope on her a.k.a Elpie blog for web designers shares some of her favorite tools for making web sites accessibility compliant (Section 508): Top Web Development Accessibility Tools

Another good read on the subject is Jim Thatcher’s Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance. Mr. Thatcher gives some good examples, tools to use, and results with 40 test files.