Test Design


Warm and Fuzzy

Automated tools are essential to software development. Tools can take the drudgery out of the more tedious development and testing tasks and let us get back to what we love: writing code (or in the tester's case, breaking code). This is especially true for security testing where the goal is not to prove that the software does what it is supposed to do, but rather that it doesn't do what it's not supposed to do. This is a much more difficult, if not actually an impossible, but, thankfully, we have some great tools to help us out. In this week's column, Bryan Sullivan covers one of the most valuable of these tools: the fuzzer.

Bryan Sullivan's picture Bryan Sullivan
Secrets to Automated Acceptance Tests

Has your team been on the search for a fully automated acceptance test? Before you set out on that adventure, check out some of the accomplishments and perils behind the quest for complete automation, as explained by Jeff Patton in this week's column. Fully automated acceptance tests may seem like the solution to many problems, but you should know that it comes with a few problems of its own.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
dynamic path handling chart Training Test Automation Scripts for Dynamic Combat: Strikes

Dion Johnson use the martial arts metaphor four common issues with automated tests and how test automation specialiasts can "train" their scripts to identify, capture, and handle these problems. In this week's column, Dion talks about how to make develop test automation scripts that handles dynamic paths within an application—which he call "strikes."

Dion Johnson's picture Dion Johnson
performance testing curve Peeling the Performance Onion

Performance tuning is often a frustrating process, especially when you remove one bottleneck after another with little performance improvement. Danny Faught and Rex Black describe the reasons why this happens and how to avoid getting into that situation. They also discuss why you can't work on performance without also dealing with reliability and robustness.

Danny R. Faught's picture Danny R. Faught
Architectural Envisioning on Agile Projects

One of the common misperceptions with agile software development is that agilists don't "do architecture." This completely ignores the 11th principle of the Agile Manifesto which states that the best architectures evolve over time. In this article Scott Ambler overviews an agile practice called "architecture envisioning" which enables you to gain the value from modeling without the cost of needless documentation.

Scott W. Ambler's picture Scott W. Ambler
Multi-user, Multi-process Test Automation

There is a saying about how to make software: First you make it work; then you make it good; then you make it fast. If you have working test automation, and if your test automation is finding bugs, then the next step is to make your tests run fast. This article talks about handling two things you will need to address to make that happen: users and processes.

Chris McMahon's picture Chris McMahon
Security Testing: What Fresh Hell Is This?

Testing an application or code for security vulnerabilities is downright difficult—sometimes almost impossible. That is why Linda Hayes, a QA expert, is always searching for new tools that can help her test like a security expert. Linda discusses some of the challenges developers, QA analysts, and testers face when trying to ensure that software is secure. She also offers some solutions that simplify security testing.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
Hidden Messages

A defect management system contains data such as how many defects have been raised, the priority and severity of individual defects, and even who is raising them. This information is regularly used by program and test management to guide decision making. In this article, Dan Minkin proves that an experienced test manager can gather useful information by looking at more than just the defect management system's data.

Dan Minkin
table differentiate analysis results from design results How Early Interface Analysis Reduces Risk

Analyzing a project's interface requirements often starts late and focuses--sometimes exclusively—on creating a snazzy user interface. But failing to conduct interface analysis in a early increases the risk of project delays, overruns, and even failure. In this column, Mary Gorman makes the case for investing in interface analysis by explaining what it is and how it reduces the risk in software projects.

Mary Gorman's picture Mary Gorman
The Case for Cooperation between White-Box and Black-Box Test Tools

Although white box and black box testing both produce good results, they are more reliable when done together. Bryan Sullivan lists the strengths and weaknesses of each testing approach and how gray box" testing should be in your testing strategy.

Bryan Sullivan's picture Bryan Sullivan


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