Test Design


Modeling Practice and Requirements

Models are useful in different settings in different ways. Models can test facts, ideas and understanding, simulate operation, and aid coordination between systems and people. In this column, Becky Winant lists six model patterns she has seen in practice in software development organizations, talking about where each is appropriate, and the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Becky Winant
An informal Quality Risk Analysis for a Hypothetical Word Processor Key Risks to System Quality

Before we can build a high-fidelity test system, we have to understand what quality means to our customers. Test professionals can avail themselves of three powerful techniques for analyzing risks to system quality. Targeting our testing investment by increasing effort for those areas most at risk results in the highest return on investment.

Rex Black's picture Rex Black
Hellandizing: Using Test Points in Server Programs

In 1984, Pat Helland invented a technique to help test server programs. We called the method Hellandizing a program to be tested. It involves placing test points at all significant locations in a program. When the program reaches a test point, it consults a master debug-mode switch to see if testing is enabled, and just continues if not. I had the privilege of working with Pat Helland at Tandem in the 1980s.

Tom Van Vleck
Risk Analysis to Prioritize Testing Table 1 Risky Business: Using Risk Analysis to Prioritize Testing

Many of us think about system risks when deciding what to test, but it seems that few have a standardized way to assess the risks of a given system. In this week's column, Rick Craig shares a simple method you can use to target your test efforts according to risk. This method comes from, and is developed more fully, in Systematic Software Testing, of which Rick is lead author.

Rick Craig's picture Rick Craig
Web Application Test Case (template)

The Web Application Test Case template is a simple Excel spreadsheet for developing, maintaining, and executing manual test scripts. It is for less complex environments that lack testing automation and defect tracking tools.

Bojan Vojinovic's picture Bojan Vojinovic
the UML notation for use cases Use Cases and Testing

This article introduces you to the most important diagrams used in object-oriented development and describes the UML notation used for these diagrams. It also provides practical questions you can ask to evaluate the quality of these object-oriented diagrams: Three sets of questions (complete, correct, and consistent) under three areas of testing (syntax testing, domain expert testing, and traceability testing).

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Bug Counts vs. Test Coverage

Occasionally, we encounter projects where bug counts simply aren't as high as we expect. Perhaps the product under test is in its second or third release cycle, or maybe the development team invested an inordinate amount of time in unit testing. Whatever the reason, low bug counts can be a cause of concern because they can indicate that pieces of functionality (which potentially contain bugs) are being missed. When low bug counts are encountered, management may begin to wonder about the quality of testing. This article covers techniques for dealing with low bug counts, and methods for reassuring management that coverage is being achieved.

Andrew Lance
Comparative Defect Removal Costs Calculating the Economics of Software Inspections

Without return on investment (ROI) calculations for the software inspections process, you cannot know the true benefit of those inspections. In this article, Ed Weller makes some assumptions about the cost of inspections and tries to estimate the savings from reduced test cost. He also provides a spreadsheet for doing "what-if" analysis of different savings based on inspection effectiveness, and how much defect removal in test might cost.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
Giving the Human Touch to Software

Yogita works as a QA/testing professional with Mindfire Solutions, and has written a number of articles on QA and testing strategies. Yogita is currently exploring thoughts of beauty as an area of testing and its relation to usability. Her role at Mindfire has been to implement Quality processes throughout the organization and build a dedicated testing team. The team recently published a White Paper “Porting projects: Test techniques,” downloadable from www.mindfiresolutions.com. Yogita can be reached at [email protected].

Yogita Sahoo's picture Yogita Sahoo
Avoiding the Script Cemetery

It's frightening how many companies are on their second, third, or even greater attempt to automate their testing—each time junking months or years of effort and work product. Here, test automation advisor Linda Hayes shows the way to avoid having to bury your automation project.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes


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