Test Design


Testing is Essential to Agile SCM

Rather than being an afterthought for SCM, an appropriate testing strategy is what enables an SCM in an agile environment. To be more agile, you need to avoid the silo-based perspective of development, SCM, and testing being three different disciplines. Instead, think about how the processes in one part of your development ecosystem affects what you can do in the others.

table for test execution Planning the Endgame

What can a test manager do when a project manager says, "Test faster!" or tries to cut the amount of testing to meet a project release date? Fiona Charles says that you can argue for the time and resources you need by incorporating the endgame into your estimations. In this week's column, Fiona details how to structure a winning argument by paying close attention to all the activities that occur during testing.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Changing the QA Mindset for Rich Internet Applications

Today's Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) bear about as much resemblance to the early Web sites of the 1990s as today's cars bear to a Model T. While the principle may be the same, the underlying technology is radically different. While safety testing for automobiles has improved significantly in the past hundred years, though, Web-application testing remains stuck in a 1990s mindset. In this week's column, Bryan Sullivan explains that QA must change its testing approach in order to maintain the security of the code.

Bryan Sullivan's picture Bryan Sullivan
What Not to Test When It's Not Your Code

This article is a continuation of a previous write-up on "What to Test When It's Not Your Code." As mentioned previously, test strategies should be radically different and flexible when it comes to testing code delivered by any vendor external to an organization. Similarly, the rationale behind deciding what does not need to be tested or what is given the lowest testing priority for external software products should be radically different from the rationale practiced for in-house software products. The reason for the differences has a lot to do with the risk posed by the third-party application on the daily operations of the organization. Also, the credibility of the vendors can play a major role when deciding what takes a lower priority in testing.

Ipsita Chatterjee
A Game Plan for Rapid Test Planning

Rapid test planning is a process of cultivating test ideas within minutes, rather than days. It's opposed to rigorous test planning, which may strive to document every test possibility. The mission is to get testing on the road now, finding critical things to test, and getting important information to stakeholders quickly. In this article, Jon Bach explains how easy it can be to tackle a rapid test plan once you've got a strategy in mind.

Jon Bach's picture Jon Bach
Looks Do Matter

In a previous article published on this site, "Testing the Bold and the Beautiful" (May 2001), the author received many thoughtful comments and questions about the importance of aesthetics in software. This paper was inspired in part from those questions. It clarifies the difference between aesthetic testing and usability testing. The paper makes the business case for "beauty testing" and argues that an ugly UI can undermine the bottom line. It offers methods and a survey-template for successful aesthetic testing. The paper concludes with a list of "Facts and Myths, Dos and Don'ts."

Yogita Sahoo's picture Yogita Sahoo
Improving the Accuracy of Tests by Weighing the Results

Test automation is often hard to do well, especially when testing a complex system where the results may be dynamic and hard to predict precisely. For instance, how would you test a price finder for highly volatile products such as airline tickets, where the data comes from live, third-party systems? While manual testers can interpret such results to decide whether a system is working correctly, the interpretation may be much harder to codify in an automated test. In this week's column, Julian Harty describes an approach that may help you to improve the accuracy of your automated testing even in these volatile environments.

Julian Harty
class/object illustration Object of My Desire

Object orientation, the least talked about component of test automation, might be the most important factor. In this column, Dion Johnson explains how effective test automation is heavily reliant on objects.

Dion Johnson's picture Dion Johnson
Why You Need to Be Specific about Agile Practice Adoption

Amr Elssamadisy presents one way to share our knowledge that is more specific than full methodologies and processes, more general than war stories, and will help new agile adopters get beyond the mantra "It depends!"

Amr Elssamadisy's picture Amr Elssamadisy
Write a Blockbuster Using User Scenarios

Big projects require many little user stories. But if these scenarios don't add up to one good story, then you're probably missing out on the big picture. In this week's column, Jeff Patton describes how his team weaves many small tales into a single strong report by identifying key characters and themes.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton


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