Our customer is a savvy one. They have a full time team that conducts acceptance tests of our software. This team keeps on top of new requirements and the overall business. They make sure they are in the loop at all times during the decision making process. In the end, this team makes the final call on whether our software is ready for prime time.
Here is something new I have read that might help our customer's acceptance test team. That is automated acceptance tests. No that will not put them out of a job. It may make their lives easier. You write up your test cases in some English like language. Most of the time you focus on positive testing. That is, you test the normal case. The benefit it that you can run the tests against every new release.
Currently my customer does acceptance tests manually. That requires them to load up on resources during the software delivery period. It also means that the testers are forever generating huge volumes of interesting test data. That is a good step. However the tedious manual execution of the tests makes me dread the job. I must confess that they are successful in finding where our software breaks down or does not meet the business need. Automated acceptance testing might take their game to the next level. Do I hear a promotion in some acceptance tester's future?
A Little Bit of Crypto - I have been trying to figure out to "collision resistant" some of these standard hash functions are. It is a tough concept to get my head around. I figure...