Test Design


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
Wizardry and Requirements

Illusion and reality. Challenges and fear. These are just a few of the elements that go into requirements gathering and management. Being aware of what you know and what you don't know can ensure getting the right requirements. Read on as Harry Potter fan Becky Winant shares some insight and survival tips for requirements analysts.

Becky Winant
Do You Know What They Want?

When you're testing software, you've got your priorities, right? Find as many of the worst bugs you can in the shortest possible time, of course. But what if the project manager has different priorities, such as reliability of a particular feature, or overall stability of the software under load? In this column, Elisabeth Hendrickson explains why it's best to ask a few questions before embarking on your bad-bug-hunting trek, or you might find yourself on a wild goose chase.

Elisabeth Hendrickson's picture Elisabeth Hendrickson
Load Testing with Real-World Modeling

If you want to get an accurate idea of how your Web site is going to perform in the real world, it pays to create a load profile that closely models conditions your site will experience. This article addresses nine elements that can affect Web load.

Steve Splaine
The 11th Hour

Testers are often on the critical path for getting a software release out. They must plan carefully in order to minimize the critical path, while still doing a complete job of testing. This schedule pressure is taken to an extreme when a production server must be taken offline in order to deploy the software, and everyone is waiting for the final test results before the system can go live again. Karen Johnson describes her company's carefully planned and orchestrated method for doing a final check of an installed system. Her story is relevant to e-commerce companies as well as IT shops that are under pressure to keep systems updated while minimizing downtime.

Karen N. Johnson's picture Karen N. Johnson
Five Ways to Think about Black Box Testing

Have you ever seen a software testing discussion erupt into a debate over the definition of black box testing, or the difference between black box and white box testing? It seems lots of people have lots of ideas about what the terms really mean. Columnist Bret Pettichord uses the five dimensions of testing to examine black box and white box testing. And he leaves you with a few puzzles to consider.

Bret Pettichord's picture Bret Pettichord
Stateful Web System How to Test Cookies in a Stateful Web System

The protocol used for exchanging files on the Web is stateless, but maintaining state is essential for most Web sites. To maintain state, one option that Web developers have is to use cookies. So what happens when you delete a cookie in the middle of an e-commerce site? Rich Brauchle provides a technical background and real-world examples to help you understand how cookies work and how to test systems that employ cookies; and has some fun along the way.

Richard Brauchle


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