I teach several courses at Florida Tech, and occasional testing courses at corporate sites. [Commercial teaching]

This is my laboratory’s intellectual property agreement.

University-level teaching and research

At Florida Tech, I teach courses in software testing, software metrics, computer law & ethics, empirical research methods, and a variety of special topics courses. For example, my students and I are studying high volume test automation in Spring 2013, and we are in early stages of designing a web usability testing course. At some point, I’ll probably teach courses in Perception (which I taught years ago at McMaster), Human Computer Interaction, and Probability/Statistics.

I supervise student research, including doctoral dissertations, master’s theses, and undergraduate work. My research funding varies. Currently (Spring 2013), all the money that have I available to support graduate students is committed. I have some funds available to support undergraduate research assistants. I have grant applications pending and so the graduate funding situation may change for Fall, 2013.

Many more students apply to work in my lab than I can possibly supervise. Here are a few notes for students who are considering doing research in my lab:

  • Testing research is multidisciplinary. We’re trying to figure out how to teach people to be effective technical investigators. I’m particularly interested in working with students who have a background in psychology, criminal investigation, education, economics, law, or any field that involves empirical research or thorough analysis of research literature. Of course, it is also essential that you are good at designing and coding software.
  • Metrics research is also multidisciplinary. Theory of measurement is well-developed in other fields, but still in its infancy in software engineering. How can we create valid measures? How can we demonstrate their validity? When we try to understand how well someone performs a task or how good a product will be for its human users, our work is intrinsically psychological. Students working in this area must also be, or must become, good at statistical modeling.
  • Research in my lab requires a lot of background reading. Lots of scientific work has been done on the questions we study. And many skilled software engineering craftspeople have described what they do, and why, in print. Most students who want to work in my lab will start with a literature review project. Students work together on the project, helping each other create strong individual and group papers and presentations. If you do this well, I’ll seriously consider your application to join the lab. If you can’t do this well, you won’t succeed in the lab. Undergraduates can do the literature review for credit, as an independent study.
  • Students with work experience as testers, programmers, police, teachers, psychologists, and lawyers, are particularly welcome in the lab.
  • I do not supervise remote students. If you want to do graduate research with me, you have to come to Florida Tech. I am open to the possibility of building a long-term relationship with researchers at another University and co-supervising students (who are in residence at their University or at Florida Tech) with them.

Commercial teaching

Before joining Florida Tech, I did a lot of commercial teaching at open-to-the-public sites (such as UC Berkeley Extension and UC Santa Cruz Extension) and onsite at corporations. I still teach one-day mini-classes at conferences (especially PNSQC, which is my favorite testing conference) and occasional courses at a corporate site.  See for my curent commercial coursework.

There are several other excellent commercial courses. If you’re interested in the work that I do, but I’m not available, I suggest that you contact one (or more) of the following teachers. I’ve co-taught with Elisabeth, Hung and Doug, and I know Bret’s and Ross’s work well.

  • Elisabeth Hendrickson. Elisabeth teaches a brilliant hands-on course on exploratory testing. Her course out of the box sparkles; she also customizes well.
  • Hung Quoc Nguyen. Hung and I wrote Testing Computer Software together. He has since written a fine book on web testing. Hung and I also wrote the initial version of my black box software testing course together, and we co-taught the course throughout its first four years.
  • Doug Hoffman. Doug and I co-developed a course on test automation architecture, which grew out of his considerable and varied test automation experience. We’ve also taught the black box testing course together and he’s now the primary teacher of both courses at UC Santa Cruz Extension.
  • Bret Pettichord. Bret, James Bach & I wrote Lessons Learned in Software Testing together. I’ve planned workshops with him and taken one of his excellent courses.
  • Ross Collard. Ross is a frequent and popular speaker and teacher. His teaching style is unique and his course notes are remarkable.

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