It is just HTTPS now

The Blog is HTTPS onlyThe recent events of security problems with WordPress motivated us to speed up the effort to move our blog into the HTTPS only mode. This does not fix WordPress security problems, but makes it easier to spot possible problems later and might protect us against the negative outcome from time to time.

So we set the Strict-Transport-Security header to tell the browser that HTTP is off-limits for this site once and for all. We also turned all links to our blog from our website and internally in the blog including resources into HTTPS links.

Also we set .htaccess redirect rules to force all users to use HTTPS and only hit the domain that has the proper certificate.

The only thing open is to get our hoster convinced to properly support TLS 1.2.

Our New Website is Live!

New Xceptance WebsiteWe proudly announce that Xceptance has a new website. Our 10th anniversary made us look back on where we are coming from, what we have been doing and what experiences we gained throughout the past ten years. It was time to have a new web presence reflect all that!

We took advantage of Bootstrap, Less, Jekyll, Git, Font Awesome, and Jenkins to create a website that primarily wants to help our visitors quickly learn about Xceptance, our services and our product. We wanted it to be modern but plain so that we can communicate what we do in the most comprehensive and user-friendly way possible. No boasting, no bragging, and just a little bit about ourselves. To have it all look nice and work smoothly for the mobile users as well, we used Bootstrap.

Since we’re always looking for new people that want to join us, we added a comprehensive jobs page which lists current open positions in both our offices, Cambridge, MA, USA and Jena, Germany.

Go check it out for yourselves! As always, we appreciate any kind of feedback!

We’ve Adopted the Word “Testen”!

WortpatenschaftThere certainly are things out there that money can’t buy, just like the Beatles once sang. However, you might agree with us that money can do good (things), if managed appropriately.

With the company anniversary in mind we at Xceptance sought to combine both the good deeds and a great company gift. That’s how we found out about the idea of a ‘Wortpatenschaft‘ (engl.: “word sponsorship”), a campaign dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the German language (in cooperation with the German nonprofit association Deutsche Sprache e.V., Dortmund).

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10 Years of Xceptance – The Story

Ten years and 230 projects later it’s time to look back at the beginnings of Xceptance. Let us take you on a quick trip down memory lane!

The Story

In the beginning there was a small group of four colleagues who decided to take a chance and try something new. They pooled their resources, knowledge and QA experience and struck out on their own. The beginnings of Xceptance are thus all about passion and commitment and the belief in making software better.
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SQE training week in Boston

SQE Training TableAt Xceptance we think that “you live and you learn”, so we were eager to read about an upcoming training week by SQE in Boston (March 24-28). The various tracks had promising headlines like ‘How to Break Software: Robustness Testing Unleashed’ or “Testing Under Pressure” but we decided to pick our favorites and chose “Exploring Usability Testing” and “Mobile Application Testing”.

The usability training was scheduled for just one day, the mobile training for two. We knew that it would be tricky to fit an overview of usability testing in just one day of training, and it turned out the instructor was well aware of these concerns.
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Xceptance it is!

Acceptance, huh? Be honest, you almost thought we were being serious about this whole name change! But, as convincing as it might have sounded, we’re not going to abandon our fancy company name, ever!

Despite the uncommon spelling we like our quirky label and the way it usually triggers follow-up questions. It is recognizable and fun and, once you got the hang of it, it sticks. We also trust in SEO and the sanity of our customers so that we don’t feel like there’s a reason to worry much about it. Of course there’ll always be the issue with auto-correction, but we think we can handle that. Having said this: Xceptance it is!

Xceptance becomes Acceptance

New Logo AcceptanceJust in time for our 10th anniversary, we are pleased to announce that the company is going to change its name from Xceptance to something more tangible and easier to pronounce: Acceptance.

With that, we are reacting to the release of a search engine list containing the different versions of the search term users entered to find Xceptance online. Terms reached from “Xcaptence” to “Ecceptance” and even “Axceptacne”. To us, this list was some kind of a wake-up call because we no longer want to take the risk of losing clients just because of a fancy company name. That’s why we decided to settle for this easier to google, user-friendly name because, after all, a company name should represent the company it stands for. An additional benefit of the new name: the auto-correction of mail and office software will never put a red mark on the company’s name again.

Within the coming week we’ll update the website and all other company-related content with the new name and logo. For our current clients and affiliates there won’t be any changes.

Use XLT with Sauce Labs and BrowserStack

Sauce Labs and BrowserStack – What Are They and Why Use Them?

This approach still work fine, but we came up with a much better one. Head over to GitHub and see our Multi-Browser-TestSuite for XLT. It will make multi browser testing a breeze. By the way, all the code is licensed under the MIT license, so absolute flexibility for you.

Sauce Labs and BrowserStack allow you to run automated test cases on different browsers and operating systems. Both provide more than 200 mobile and desktop browsers on different operating systems. The benefit? You can focus on coding instead of having to maintain different devices. You can easily run your test cases written on iOS on an Internet Explorer without actually buying a Windows device; and last not least, you don’t need to worry about drivers or maintenance.

By the way, Internet Explorer even seems to run faster at Sauce Labs than on a desktop machine. Also note that Sauce Labs supports Maven builds.
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Why do women make good software testers?

The answer to this question is fairly simple: women make good software testers if they’re good at testing. And so do men. There would be no reason to go into this any further if it weren’t for the occasional blog posts that pop out here and there, carrying headlines like ‘Are women better testers than men?’ or ‘Is software testing women’s work?’ (if you don’t believe that, go ahead and ask Google!). We are aware that this is a tricky topic, and bringing it up usually seems to imply that sexism and discrimination are just around the corner. But instead of jumping right at it and listing possible skills that may or may not make women better testers (who hasn’t heard of ‘multi-tasking’, ‘emotional intelligence’ or ‘an eye for detail’?), we’d rather tell you about our own experiences.

At Xceptance we just think our team is great the way it is. There are women and there are men, and everyone contributes to the company’s success in their own way. Our employees do a great job listening to customer requests, they passionately discuss appropriate testing strategies and they sometimes make phone calls while simultaneously updating browser versions on testing devices and formatting the latest bug report. Some of our employees love snowboarding in their free time while others like cooking and crafts, and we can assure you that there is nothing gender-related about all that. So if there are more women than men in software testing, that’s great! But it doesn’t mean anything besides those bare statistics.

Image by kevinshine under CC-BY-2.0Of course now you could ask: if gender doesn’t matter, why make a blog post of it? Admittedly, that is a good question. But with all those articles out there about women in software testing and the accompanying stereotypes we just felt like we’d have to take a stand and outline our own opinion. We’re not big fans of the ‘you say it best when you say nothing at all’ attitude, so we figured we could as well go for it. And with all of the above being said, there’s just one thing we have to confess: every year on March 8th all of our female employees receive a chocolate treat in honor of International Women’s Day.

Photo by kevinshine under CC-BY-2.0.