About Manual Testing
I started off in a manual testing role at DresserWayne working mainly on a point-of-sale system that also drove equpment that communicated and controlled fueling dispensers ( both the electromechincal and card processing functions). With the product recently becoming 'rock-solid', the feature requests on the point-of-sale exploded and test plans consisted of hundreds of cases.
As DresserWayne manufactured many of their own devices, hardware and firmware testing played a significant part of any test effort. Adding to the burden was the requirement to communicate to many 3rd party devices such as lottery machines, scanners, Back Office Management systems, PIN pads, tank gauges, security cameras, and more. Many protocols were employed including: RS232, RS485, TCP/IP, UDP, and XML. Data capture devices were used on the hardware communicate lines and digital sniffer such as CommView and MicroTap were used for monitoring and reviewing data internal to the computers. Specifications were numerous and often consisted of several hundreds of pages. With card processing there is zero tolerance on errors so attention to detail was paramount.
The Nucleus point of sale represented the bulk of the test requirements in this role. Being a GUI application at heart, the test effort needed human interaction to simulate real-world scenarious and the erratic stimuli a convenience store environment provides. Here, the IBM SP743 terminal/server model is shown. This was a commercial grade platform complete with onboard diagnostic capabilties for remote management via the RMS application made available to enterprise customers.
As prices of VGA displays plummeted, they made their way into the customer experience by way of a 14" monitor and softkey buttons on the sides. Here a card reader, keypad, and printer sit under the display. All these devices required data taps and captures during testing to ensure communication to the various peripherals was follow specifications for the varying protocols used.