Richard Ede on Software Testing

Mistakes to Avoid in the Fundamental Test Processes

Richard Ede

Richard Ede has a winning combination of years and years of software testing experience and training delivery. He is an ISTQB® (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) certified training instructor and he started his own training company, SQA Skills, a number of years ago.

His initial foray into the world of software quality assurance and testing came about with his role as Director of Operations for the UK Division of a South American company called ISOSystems. This company specialised in building Quality Management applications for companies all over the world. He was 27 at the time.

Moving on to Sogeti (which is a division of CapGemini), he led the UK training division where he specialised in providing software testing training courses and independent consultancy.

Through the years, he has spoken at a number of seminars and conferences on software testing and of course, he delivers the ISTQB® certification courses around the world. In Hong Kong, where he has been based for the last few years, he is proud of the fact that he has achieved a 100% pass rate for Hong Kong candidates for the ISTQB® Foundation course.


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Introduction to the podcast

We covered a lot in this 70-minute show including :

  • how long Richard has been in this industry and what aspects of software testing he has been focusing his efforts on to date;
  • some of the biggest hurdles he has faced as a tester;
  • a deep dive into the Fundamental Test Processes involved in software testing, namely :-
    • Test Process #1 – Planning and Control;
    • Test Process #2 – Analysis and Design;
    • Test Process #3 – Implementation and Execution;
    • Test Process #4 – Evaluation of Exit Criteria and Reporting; and
    • Test Process #5 – Test Closure activities.
  • In each of these processes, we then cover :
    • a description of what the process is and what is typically involved;
    • how the particular process ranks against other four processes in terms of time and priority;
    • 1 – 2 typical mistakes testers may make during this process;
    • what you can do to avoid these very mistakes.
  • whether any of these processes can be repeated, when you should consider it repeated and whether you need to go through all the steps (or just pick a few) when doing so;
  • tools Richard uses to manage his work day;
  • the one book he recommends listeners get into;
  • how he defines success; and
  • what he would tell his 20-year old self if he could go back in time.

If a deadline is set with thought behind it, then you will have enough time – Richard Ede

Don’t miss this part!

If you only have 5 minutes, listen to Richard discuss the most typical mistakes testers make during the Planning and Control process [19:28]


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Show Notes

  • Aspects of software testing Richard has been focusing his efforts on [3.52]
  • How being a developer is completely different to being a software tester and the challenges with that [4.50]
  • What does the role of a software tester begin with? [5:52]
  • The biggest hurdle Richard faced as a tester [6:39]
  • Introduction to what will be covered in the podcast Fundamental Test Processes  [7:15]
  • Is testing a process or an activity? [8:09]
  • Where do the Fundamental Test Processes start and end? Are they easily identifiable? [9:00]
  • Could any of these processes be repeated? When should it be done? And if you did repeat it, would you need to go through all the steps (or just pick a few) when doing so? [12:08]
  • Process #1 : Planning and Control [14:35]
  • Process #1 : What should be in a test plan? [17:12]
  • Process #1 : Design techniques to focus your testing data to where you want to test [18:02]
  • Process #1 : Is this part more time consuming than the other processes? [18:42]
  • Process #1 : The 1 – 2 typical mistakes testers may make during this process [19:28]
  • Process #1 : How can you address this? [22:59]
  • Process #2 : Analysis and Design – what is this about ? [25:04]
  • Process #2 : Producing the Test Conditions and understanding expected outcomes [26:22]
  • Process #2 : The 1 – 2 typical mistakes testers may make during this process [28:14]
  • Process #3 : Implementation and Execution explained [30:40]
  • Process #3 : What is Confirmation Testing and Regressing Testing? [34:45]
  • Process #3 : Did you know defects tend to cluster together? [35:26]
  • Process #3 : The 1 – 2 typical mistakes testers may make during this process and how to improve things [38:30]
  • Process #4 : Evaluation of Exit Criteria and Reporting – what is this process about? [41:30]
  • Process #4 : Deciding when to stop because you’ve arrived at a minimum level of viability [42:45]
  • Process #4 : A question of confidence, not so much one of quality [43:35]
  • Process #4 : An agile approach for software testing and testing safety-critical systems [45:55]
  • Process #4 : One company’s mistake that ran into tens of thousands of US dollars  – why didn’t they follow the exit criteria? [49:50]
  • Process #4 : “If a deadline is set with thought behind it, then you will have enough time” [53:36]
  • Process #5 : Test Closure activities – Is this quicker to get through compared to the other processes? Being transparent in how the data is compiled as a piece of legacy. Providing a set of lessons learnt to inform the work you do moving forward [54:05]
  • Process #5 : One particular mistake – not capturing data well [58:12]
  • Tools Richard uses – be honest about the maturity state in your company [59:35]
  • How Richard defines success [1:04]
  • If he could go back in time and give his 20-year old self some advice [1:05]
  • Good pointers for up and coming software testers [1:06]



Tools :

  • Hewlett Packard’s Application Lifecycle Management tool;
  • Quick Test Professional;
  • Hewlett Packard’s Quality Centre;
  • Loadrunner.


Software Testing ISTQB-ISEB Foundation Guide Book

Software Testing : ISTQB-ISEB Foundation Guide (2nd Edition)
by Brian Hambling, Peter Morgan, Angelina Samaroo, Geoff Thomps published by the British Computer Society (paperback) (2010)
Available on Amazon







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