Software risks: testing might help (or not)

It’s good to test your software. That’s pretty much a given, as far as I’m concerned. If you don’t test it, you can’t tell whether it will work. It seems pretty obvious. It also seems pretty obvious that a) you shouldn’t use test data in a live system, b) in order to test whether it’s […]

Fiddling the figures: Benford reveals all

Well, some of it, anyway. There’s been quite a lot of coverage in on the web recently about Benford’s law and the Greek debt crisis. As I’m sure you remember, Benford’s law says that in lists of numbers from many real life sources of data, the leading digit isn’t uniformly distributed. In fact, around 30% […]

Software causes tube problems

Widespread delays to the London Underground this week were caused by one of the Tube’s infrastructure operators installing new software. The new software was loaded over the weekend, presumably to minimise any disruption. There’s no indication of what actually went wrong, or whether it could have been prevented by better (or more, or any) testing.

Will your website work tomorrow?

A recent survey suggests that many websites won’t work well with IE7. Normally, it wouldn’t matter much if sites don’t work with a new browser, as take-up is typically pretty slow. However, many people will be upgraded to IE7 automatically. I have to admit that I haven’t tested my site with IE7. I’m hoping that […]

Don’t worry if it doesn’t work

I think this article is reporting the government as saying the following about ID cards: It won’t be possible to test everything in advance They’ll use off-the-shelf technology for some parts; this will have been adequately tested elsewhere Trials will have to be limited in order to stay within budget Instead of trials, they’ll use […]

Testing is a function

When you draw up a specification for a software application that you are developing, are you sure it’s complete? OK, let’s start again. You should always provide a specification for a software application before you develop it. This applies to everything, even a little one-off spreadsheet. Obviously in the latter case it needn’t be particularly […]