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Test Planning in a Fluid Environment

As a test manager, I know the product needs to be released on schedule. I'm trying to stay on schedule, but there are changes in the software. I have to keep my test team apprised of the changes and revise the test plan…again. Now it's time to plan for the next test cycle. This article offers four keys to a successful test plan: Involvement of Test Team from the Beginning, Integration Testing, Identification of Handoff Criteria, and Interaction Among All Players.

Chris DeNardis's picture Chris DeNardis
Using GUI-based Automated Test Tools to Test Legacy Applications

A great many companies today are currently running numerous legacy (character-based or "green screen") applications on a variety of platforms (Mainframe, AS/400, Tandem, Stratus, etc.). Furthermore, there is an increasing trend toward integrating these systems with front-end GUI, Internet, and intranet applications, and using the Mainframe and AS/400 type computers for back office processing. Some companies are using AS/400s as Internet and Network servers. Most companies are opting to access their Mainframe (etc.) computers via Terminal Emulation from PC Workstations, rather than use "dumb terminals."

Keith Zambelich
Where Should Moderators Come From?

Moderators surface by "natural selection" sometimes. They are often project members whose ability to facilitate a meeting sets them apart. Sometimes they fall into that role simply because they have the most credibility, for a variety of reasons. This article explores different organizations' and different individuals' experiences in how moderators were selected for their respective projects--and offers insight into where moderators should come from.

Gerald M. Weinberg
Identifying Critical Requirements Using FMEA

Engineers in other specialties have adopted the FMEA to analyze all sorts of manufacturing processes and products. The FMEA process allows a development team to identify potential product related process failure modes and assess the effects these failures might have.

Edith Maverick-Folger
How to Write Better Test Cases

What is it worth to improve test cases? What risk would impel you to invest in better test cases? As long as they cover the software requirements, isn't that good enough? The answer to these questions is that poor test cases do indeed expose you to considerable risk.

Dianne Runnels
Using The "ICED T" Model to Test Subjective Software Qualities

Quality software—that is what we are seeking. While this is clearly a goal of any software tester or quality engineer, what exactly is the definition of quality software? Part of the answer is easy. There are many aspects of software that we can test and measure and to which we can assign a number. Some examples are how often the software crashes, how long it takes to complete a given task, or how much memory is being used. We can also look at how many of our tests pass and how many fail. While these quantifiable measures are important, they do not provide a complete picture of software quality. There are other more qualitative aspects of the software that also need to be considered.

Andy Roth
What Do You Manage?

You're a test manager. But do you manage only the testing? A frustrated test manager recently said, "With my SQA hat, I want to focus on finding defects and discovering risk in the product. With my support hat, I want to solve problems. With my tech pubs hat, I'm trying to get the documentation written. But last week, everyone needed my help at once. I'm only one person—how the heck do I do all that?" Well, maybe you shouldn't have to.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Design Thinking Design Thinking: 4 Steps to Better Software

Design thinking points out several missed steps in software development. And, while some may believe ideation and iteration to be wasteful, they're easy to add to the development process at low cost and, in the end, result in substantially more valuable software. In this article, Jeff Patton describes the four basic steps of design thinking.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
You Want It When?—Negotiating Test Schedules

The biggest obstacle in the software industry is lack of time to do the job well. Negotiation can buy valuable time and help management avoid blunders. This paper is about estimating and negotiating test schedules.

Gregory M. Pope
Why Software Fails (And How Testers Can Exploit It)

This paper summarizes conclusions from a three year study about why released software fails. Our method was to obtain mature-beta or retail versions of real software applications and stress test them until they fail. From an analysis of the casual faults, we have synthesized four reasons why software fails. This note presents these four classes of failures and discusses the challenges they present to developers and testers. The implications for software testers are emphasized.

James Whittaker's picture James Whittaker

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