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Testing and Quality?

Software testing and quality are vitally important topics--but they are also deadly dull, real yawners the way most people talk about them. In this column, the author explains why that is so, and offers some suggestions on how to overcome the problem. Basically, he says, people are trying to make a managerial sow's ear out of a technical silk purse.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Counting Defects

Defect counts are often considered as measurements of product quality. However, the most important defect count in that respect is by definition unknown; the number of undiscovered errors. Defect counts can be used as indicators of process quality. In doing so, one should avoid assuming simple causal relations. Defect counts can provide useful information but have to be presented with care.

Bert Wijgers's picture Bert Wijgers
The Open Source Test Tool Paradigm

Testing is often seen as an effort to determine the quality of the product at the end of a project, so it needs to be executed when development has finished instead of being a means to deal with risks at the earliest stage possible. Therefore, project budget, is in most cases spent on the processes that actually produce tangible products, at the expense of the testing budget. Whatever budget is left for testing will be spent on people rather than on test tools, especially since most of the mainstream tools are often perceived to be too expensive. A solution to this may be found in the use of open source test tools. With no license fees, the use of open source tools can provide a customer some of the benefits of test automation, without the costs.

Reinder Otter's picture Reinder Otter
Software Development Lifecycle: Defect and Test Case Measurement

This article focuses on how to manage the defect and test case measurement during the software development lifecycle. This should be a practical resource for software developers and project managers.

Steve Miller
Software Inspection Master Plan (template)

This Software Inspection Master Plan template is a revised version from the original in Gilb & Graham's book, Software Inspection. This template is partially filled out to give you an exmple of how to use it.

Steve Allott
Test Case Checklist (template)

This checklist will help you develop better test cases. It includes sections on quality attributes, structure/testability, and configuration management of test cases.

Dianne Runnels
Defect Depletion and Cost Analysis (template)

You can use this spreadsheet to demonstrate the value of early defect removal. It includes defect depletion curves or phase containment effectiveness calculations.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
Definition of Defect Density

This brief paper by Linda Westfall defines the defect metric of Defect Density and gives two examples of how it can be reported and utilized.

Linda Westfall
Are Templates Dangerous?

When we mindlessly use templates to give easy answers, we're trying to play chess with a checkers mentality. That's David Gelperin's warning in this article. Templates related to context-sensitive issues require a lot of analysis. As he aptly suggests, "Perhaps every test doc template should come with a warning label: 'Not a Substitute for Thinking.'"

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Scalable Test Design Using Ultra-Understandable Decision Tables

This technical paper describes a scalable strategy that integrates multiple techniques into a pragmatic test-design approach that honors budget and schedule constraints. The strategy is most appropriate for large sets of behavior rules and logical interpretations, where exhaustive testing is not feasible. Ultra-understandable decision tables and their supporting entity profiles are used to describe behavior, but the design strategy can be applied to any equivalent information model. The scalable design process comprises five steps.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor

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