F12 – 305: The Trouble with Troubleshooting

Track: Hands-On Practicals

One of the most valuable skill sets a software tester can possess is the ability to quickly track down the root cause of a bug. A tester may describe what the bug appears to be doing, but far too often it is not enough information for developers, causing a repetitive code/build/test/re-code/re-build/re-test cycle to ensue. In this interactive session, you will rotate between learning investigative techniques and applying them to actual examples. You will practice reproducing the bug, isolating it, and reporting it in a concise, clear manner. Brian introduces specific skills and methods to track down the source of bugs, and testers can then use this information to build an analytical framework and mindset around root cause analysis.

During this session, Brian will discuss several investigative methods and show how they can be used as a means of information gathering in determining the root cause of bugs. Common tests that are designed to eliminate false leads as well as tests that can be used to focus in on the suspect code will be shown and discussed in interactive examples.

At the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  • Build a framework around their software to ease finding root causes of software issues.
  • Quickly identify where the most likely cause of the errors are.
  • Use a new, empirical investigative method for software testing
  • Deliver more concise, relevant information to developers and project managers when describing and detailing issues in the software, becoming more valuable in making fix/ship decisions.

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Session Speaker:

Brian GerhardtBrian Gerhardt – Operations and Quality Lead, Liquidnet
A Software Tester for the past 15 years, Brian Gerhardt started off in production support where his troubleshooting skills and relentless search for answers lead to a career in Quality Assurance. Working primarily in the Financial Services industry, he has worked on various platforms and systems; testing their limitations and teaching others how to test, break and fix them. Brian currently works as Quality and Operations Lead for Liquidnet , the global institutional trading network where he leads a team of dedicated and accomplished testers. Based in New York City, Brian is also the author of the blog Test All The Things (http://testallthethings.blogspot.com)