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Managing Outsourced Testing (On time and On Budget)[article]

Outsource testing can be a great way to get testing tasks accomplished when short on staff or equipment. Outsourcing can also be a great way to complement an existing QA group. However, it can also be a very costly approach towards testing and may not always be the best solution for a project. This paper will address how to define needs, evaluate labs and ways to merge an outsource effort into an existing staff.

George Hamblen
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Test Automation[article]

The purpose of this paper is to provide some practical guidance for understanding and computing cost and benefits from test automation. It describes some financial, organizational, and test effectiveness impacts observed when software test automation is installed.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Is Software Testing Advancing or Stagnating?[article]

The quality movement started in 1924 when Walter Shewhart gave his boss at Bell Labs a memo suggesting the use of statistics to improve quality in telephones. Later came Juran and Deming, and the movement was well on its way. Not surprisingly, the software industry eventually took up the challenge of systematically improving quality. Let's look at how that began.

Steve Whitchurch
Use Case Derived Test Cases[article]

Use Cases are used to specify the required functionality of an Object-Oriented system. Test cases that are derived from use cases take advantage of the existing specification to ensure good functional test coverage of the system.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Test Automation for Multi-Platform Client-Server Software[article]

This paper is based on our testing experience of two major releases (version 6 and version 7) of the multi-platform client/server software, SAS/SHARE product which is the database management system for SAS users. It describes our test automation strategy for version 6 and identifies the achievements and weaknesses of our approach and explains how we improve our test process.

The test process improvement effort for version 7 includes reduction of test automation level, use of macros that facilitate reproduction of defects in an interactive manner and extensive use of mega tests for early detection of defects as well as cross host and cross version tests.

Heesun Park
Automated Test Generation[article]

The challenge for testers: reduce the testing interval without reducing quality. One answer: find a new way to approach test design and test generation. This paper will discuss an ongoing Lucent Technologies experiment in automated test generation from a behavioral model of the software product under test. Results indicate that our new approach can increase the effectiveness of our testing while reducing the cost of test design and generation.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Mutation Testing: A New Approach to Automatic Error-Detection[article]

Mutation Testing is a powerful method for finding errors in software programs. This paper will describe the process of mutation testing and how a new approach to this technology benefits the software industry.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
When Should a Test Be Automated?[article]

The question is how to make a rational decision about which tests to automate. When I take a job as a contract tester, I typically design a series of tests for some product feature. For each of them, I need to decide whether that particular test should be automated. This paper describes how I think about the tradeoffs.

Brian Marick
Teamwork Does Work: Testing and Quality in Large Development Projects[article]

In 1993, we at USA Group chartered a project to replace its 15-year old student loan guarantee system. The new system was named EAGLE II and recently entered production. USA Group is driven by its software systems. As a consequence, software development is strategic to the company's success. We've had significant experience in creating and maintaining large systems. However, our experience in creating those previous systems left us looking for a better way.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
T-shirts Are Not Enough[article]

Watching the recent Olympic teams in their matching uniforms reinforced the value of connecting with your team. What other gear might your team need? I'm not sure where we got the idea that T-shirts were enough. Are we too arrogant to admit that sometimes a bulletproof vest would be handy?

Eileen Strider
Who Needs Management?![article]

I have heard testers lament about being managed by non-technical people who cannot tell the difference between a PC and a microwave oven (they both have windows, don't they?)! Managers believe in management, and we technical people believe in subtler, sophisticated, deep technology. The concept is simple. Then I was subjected to a harsh reality!

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
How to Plan the Perfect 'T' Party[article]

Software professionals have long engaged in debate over software development processes. Much has been written about how to improve those processes-resulting in better-quality, faster-to-market products. Often neglected are the people who implement the processes. Developers and testers frequently seem to have adversarial relationships, although they share the same goal: high-quality software. No matter how good they are, the processes are unlikely to succeed if the participants fail to get along.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Implementing a Software Testing Methodology[article]

Many of us are taking part or will take part in the process of implementing a software testing methodology or process at our organization. The size of the organization notwithstanding, the success of this type of implementation depends largely on management and enterprise support. U.S. Bancorp, Minneapolis, MN, is currently involved in implementing a new software testing methodology throughout the enterprise. My role, as the methodology project lead, is to help existing testing groups conceptualize how the methodology should be applied to their existing work. This effort is accomplished through both training and hands-on mentoring. There are valuable lessons that I have learned about choosing a testing methodology and the training efforts that follow such an endeavor. I would like to share them with you.

Erin Pierce
Running Down Assumptions[article]

Do you think the assumptions you make about your software project are important? I do. One of the biggest sources of software project failure is hidden assumptions, especially about your requirements. These assumptions have a way of coming out of the woodwork–usually at the worst possible moment–to foil your projects. But there are ways to track down and expose assumptions.

Brian Lawrence
Shhhhhh! You Can't Say That![article]

Treating symptoms instead of the root cause of symptoms is a mistake that dates back millennia (just ask Socrates). The current-day workplace is no different. In Johanna Rothman's column, we get a glimpse at what happens when a company doesn't value its people.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

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