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What Is Exploratory Testing?

Exploratory software testing is a powerful and fun approach to testing. In some situations, it can be orders of magnitude more productive than scripted testing. I haven't found a tester yet who didn't, at least unconsciously, perform exploratory testing at one time or another. Yet few of us study this approach, and it doesn't get much respect in our field. It's high time we stop the denial, and publicly recognize the exploratory approach for what it is: scientific thinking in real time. Friends, that's a good thing.

James Bach's picture James Bach
Getting a Late Start on Test Automation

Successful test automation requires team commitment, teamwork between testers and developers, and getting an early start. That's what Bret Pettichord said in a previous column. Bret notes that a reader, Jack Baseley, replied with a very good question: "How do you propose to deal with late starts?" Do we just give up? Bret picks up where he left off and devotes this column to answering that question.

Bret Pettichord's picture Bret Pettichord
Functional Reliability

This paper describes a software metric "Functional Reliability" used since January 1995 by the Food Service Management division of the CBORD. Functional Reliability combines an assessment of reliability with operational analysis. We use Functional Reliability to organize and prioritize faults, monitor progress towards targeted reliability goals, for estimation of release dates and for product support. The success of Functional Reliability is built (1) upon its design (2) from the support of senior management (3) by an effective implementation program, including integration with other metrics.

Mike Wills
Software Estimation Model Shoot-Out

Within the domain of software estimation tools, two popular models emerge: PRICE-S from Price Systems and SLIM-Estimate from Quantitative Software Management. Here, the two models are investigated to determine their strengths and weaknesses. A side-by-side analysis is then revealed.

James Heires
Using Pre-Oracled Data in Model-Based Testing

This document describes what is meant by "pre-oracled" data and how Semantic Test proposes to use it in testing search functions.

Harry Robinson's picture Harry Robinson
Software Quality Management

Every once in a while someone will ask me what I do for a living. When I tell them I am a software quality management consultant, I usually get a blank stare and something like "Oh, that's nice." Politeness keeps them from asking what SQM is.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get...Gentle?

Software projects are filled with productivity needs and deadline pressures. As a project manager, you may feel responsible for project deliverables yet highly dependent on others to complete their work. It's common to push, prod, and heavy-handedly coerce your team to go faster. Sometimes this has the desired effect. And even if it doesn't, you can at least claim you pushed as hard as you could. But is that really all that can be done? Eileen Strider suggests another tool at your disposal.

Eileen Strider
Test Team Dynamics

As your part of supporting your company's latest product, you've researched testability, created test cases, developed test plans, and included all of this in a Test Tracking System. But, how do you get your Team to be excited about Testing? The Testers are the ones that execute all of your plans, yet they feel left out of the big picture. The Test Team Dynamics approach introduces a management style that helps to motivate the entire Test Team. This is done through a comparison of a Football Team Approach.

Charlie Williams
Looking for What's Not There

This column asks the all-important question, "What isn't there that should be?" The same idea for spotting black holes also applies to spotting "holes in designs and requirements." For example, there are often connections between the quantity of bugs filed against an area and whether the area is thoroughly tested. There can also be holes in what KIND of bugs have been reported. Hendrickson lays out the territory for the search and goes on to suggest how to "look for where there's a lot of nothing."

Elisabeth Hendrickson's picture Elisabeth Hendrickson
A Day in the Life of a Test Engineer

Testers and developers require unique skills, which are very complementary in nature. Both the test teams and development teams should understand this to be more productive and to reach our common goal of producing quality products. By demonstrating the value of the test teams and development teams to each other, we gain mutual respect for each other. As we are seeing now, testing is being recognized as a profession by itself. It continues to grow stronger and finally reaches a stage where it is inseparable from development.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor

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