Testing Professional: Creative, Collaborative, Courteous Critique, Adding Value with Far Fewer Flaws
Deutsche Post / GFT: Environment and Roles for Andrea Altenkirch
MISSION: I was contracted by GFT Technologies on a confidential project as part of the test team in the implementation of far reaching changes, which affected all 150 product lines (thousands of products) available on the Windows based Point-of-Sales terminals used at all postal outlets, installation numbering in the hundred thousands, throughout Germany. A wide array of products and services organized for business and individual customers extended beyond traditional postal products to include banking and financial services, expedition, telephone cards, to name a few.
The balancing of many different variables concurrently was essential to the assignment due to the complexity of the system, the large size of the team and the distriution of it over several sites, the lack of domain knowledge in the newly formed development team, and the intense pressure the team was under.
Development was distributed over a number of sites, requiring the balance of managing communication with up to 20 developers and 15 testers on the development team, as well as the numerous contacts on the customer user acceptance test team, end-to-end test team, and technical staff from integrated systems. The number of product lines and products, required the attainment of a vast amount of domain knowledge in a short time frame.
ROLES: The work I did in the Agile project included reviewing for correctness the existing testware (test design, test cases, test scripts) taken over from the previously contracted company and the test basis (requirements, technical design) for the new development, In addition to the static analysis, I did test design assisted by ARIS (CASE tool), traceability matrices, test case and test procedure (automated and manual) development, test data development, test execution both automated and manual, output (XML) and results checking, confirmation testing, exploratory testing, recovery testing, regression testing and consultation to management on risk and approach.
ENVIRONMENT: Structured coverage methodologies were used and assisted by CASE tools. The environment was highly automated with approximately 95% of test cases being executed in an automated system. Automated test scripts for new development were written upfront and used after manual and exploratory testing deemed the modified components stable and accurate enough to run automatically.
TOOLS: Some of the tools used were: HP/Mercury Test Director for defect tracking, communication, and test case documentation in a large and distributed team which included test teams from many integrated systems at the Deutsche Post,
INTEGRATION: Integration of hardware (PIN pads, barcode scanner, card readers, various printers, currency dispensing machines), and integration with other front and back end systems in the Deutsche Post were also part of the test processes.
INTENSITY: I came in as one of the first contract members of the test team and left as one of the last as GFT turned the project over to its internal employees after the contract with Deutsche Post was secured. I worked under great pressure under mandated deadlines, performance pressure during a probationary period with a long term contract between GFT/Deutsche Post being contingent on our performance while under hard scrutiny from Deutsche Post and in competition with the previously contracted software development, who were transitioning the project to GFT and contracted until Deutsche Post made a final decision regarding the contract award.
Höll Computer & Software GMbH—Software Provider to the German State Central Bank for Sachsen: Environment and Roles for Andrea Altenkirch
MISSION: I was brought in during a staffing up phase as the software provider to a German State Central Bank was developing as a separate enterprise in partnership with the Central Bank, a Web Based Online Brokerage, Banking, and Asset Management Application. The application basis was used productively at the Central Bank, while new components were being developed as Web Application and Services to support trading of financial instruments (equities, bonds, funds, FOREX), on worldwide exchanges, financial consultation services, and transaction banking in multiple currencies for existing and new customers. I was given the instruction to identify the role that I thought I would add the best value to the team. I identified the need in testing for structure and a unified, coherent approach. I took on the role internally as Test Manager while filling QA Analyst and Tester roles, as well as managing a collaborative role with the users during user acceptance testing.
ROLES: As Test Manager I developed a company test policy, test plans for each release, structures for doing test design and defining test cases, defined the test and release process, created reports for test transmittal, planning, monitoring, results, developed the system that generated the aforementioned reports as well as generating performance metrics, conducted testing reviews, designed and executed a study to examine development and test teams performance over a one year period. As Test Analyst and Tester, I specified test design, and implemented the designs by writing test cases, creating test data, and executing tests/logging results. Much of the testing done was intuitive testing, such as exploratory testing. In addition to testing new functionality, the complete web application, and modifications to the production system, I also tested interfaces to external financial systems. I was the first tester worldwide outside of the UBS Swiss Bank to test the UBS real time order processing system to exchanges worldwide.Most of the testing was done manually. My recommendation was to move toward automation to do the massive amount of regression testing required to thoroughly test such a large and complex system consistently for each release. I used Borland (Seague) Silk Test and HP Quick Test Pro (Mercury WinRunner) in our environment for evaluation on both Powerbuilder and Web front ends for our applications. I also worked on the development of an independent database to store test data to use with automated tests.
ENVIRONMENT: Agile environment. The Web/Web Services application was being developed in Java and HTML, XML, SOAP with Apache Web Server and ORACLE database. The productive application was Windows based with a Powerbuilder front end, COBOL and Java code, Oracle Database, and COGNOS reporting system. Developments on UNIX systems managed interfaces to external financial systems, providing brokerage support and data feeds.
TOOLS: Some of the tools used were: Borland SilkTest, HP Quality Center- Quick Test Pro, WinRunner, Oracle, MS Access, SQL, Toad, Powerbuilder, Erwin, Visio, Apache, Custom Defect Tracking and Reporting System, UNIX, Windows, UBS, FIX, Reuters, Java, XETRA, EUREX, Doc-to-Help, VPN, UML, RSA,
INTENSITY: The nature of the industry required very high standards of quality in the software. There is no tolerance of incorrect results in financial applications.
EDS: Environment and Roles for Andrea Altenkirch
In the 7 years at EDS I worked in many roles and phases of software development and with many technologies and applications. The applications have mainly been in Content Management Systems and Publication and Illustration Systems that support Engineering.
I have done requirements analysis, business design, technical design, coding, training, proposal writint, standards committee work, in addition to testing. Testing was not my primary focuas, as it has been on my last 2 projects, but the work that was done when a piece of development work was completed, when a new release was being prepared, or when there was an upgrade of database, operating system, network, or 3rd party software.
So that from EDS I have gained the insight into testing that a development background brings, as well as the skills involved in unit testing and system testing.
Some of the tools that I have used are: C, C++, Object Oriented LISP (CLOS), SGML- XML, Shell scripts, Motif, Xt, SQL, ORACLE, JCL, UNIX, Windows, HP-UX, SUN OS, Solaris, VMS, Novell, Apollo Domain, DOS, OSF/Motif, VM5, MVS, MAC-OS, MS Access, Ingres, DB2, JDBC, TCP/IP, DSL, ISDN, , DECNET, Novell, Documentum, ArborText, Interleaf, Frame Maker, Front Page, Excel, Powerpoint, Word, PVCS, SVN, SCCS, SLDC
Documents Providing More Information About My Past Projects and Experience, for Download
Quality Performance Study: excerpt for a study fully developed and executed by me, using self developed metric tools. Measured quality of software development and quality of software testing.
Trading Systems Summary
Sample Work Excerpts for Download
The following documents may be made available to view upon request:
Automated Test Tool Evaluation
Quality Performance Model
Test Policy (high level Test Plan, set standards for organization testing scope, processes; definitions)
Test Case Templates, Test Matrix
Testing is a paradigm, an attitude, and an approach to various facets of life that go beyond software development
Quality Performance Study:
Microsoft Word document [712.0 KB]