QW2000 Paper 6M1

Ms. Lisa Crispin

Guerilla Tool Selection


Key Points

Presentation Abstract

It's a jungle out there. So many potential problems. So many tools to help avert them. So little time. There are many tool evaluation methodologies around, but who has the time to go through them? Here are some tips to help you slash through the tangle of sales pitches to select tools that work for you. This paper reflects not only my own experience but also that of our development team in selecting and implementing a variety of state-of-the-art tools. This presentation is geared toward organizations building Web and e-commerce applications.

About the Author

I have 18 years experience in the industry with the last 9 in Testing and Quality Assurance. I began my career as a programmer with the University of Texas Data Processing Division, where I helped develop the Online Catalog and circulation systems. My QA experience before my current job was with database, 4GL and client/server software on UNIX, NT and Windows at medium to large software companies Software AG (now SAGA), Unidata (now Ardent Software).

I started my current job at TRIP.com in March of 1998 with little knowledge of the Web and no experience working in a startup environment. I was the first test engineer no testing had been done previously even though the site had been online more than a year. The challenge of building quality into Web applications while meeting extremely tight development cycles has taught me much. We have grown from a test department of one (me) to seven test engineers, and I have been promoted to 'Quality Boss.' We test state-of-the-art, first-of-their-kind applications such as our intelliTRIP product which uses software from BEA Weblogic, StoryServer, and On Display to query partner airline Web sites for best fares. In addition, we play a key role in finding ways to build quality into applications and prevent errors before coding. To this end, I have been instrumental in implementing a configuration management tool as well as unit testing and memory/performance analysis tools. I work closely with Marketing and Product Management on process definition, formatting of specification documents, and planning.

Our latest testing challenge has been to move our Web sites to a new hardware and software configuration with two mirrored data centers running load-balanced clustered UNIX servers. TRIP.com has shown its commitment to quality by providing us with a test environment that exactly matches that of production: the same hardware, the same database, and a separate but equal network, so that we can effectively load test.

I have given successful presentations at both local and international user conferences to audiences of up to 60 people. I have many years experience training both technical and end users.