Mutating Automated Tests

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Summary:

Most automated tests are used as regression tests - doing the same exercises each time the test is run. This paper and talk describe a powerful type of automated test - one that does something different each time it runs.

Most automated tests are used as regression tests - doing the same exercises each time the test is run. This paper and talk describe a powerful type of automated test - one that does something different each time it runs.

These tests can augment traditional manual and automated regression tests to expose unexpected software under test (SUT) behaviors. The paper goes into the organizational issues and typical organizational evolution that are precursors for these tests and presents the idea of mutating tests. The approach doesn't apply to all situations of automated tests, but the author presents some pros and cons for mutating automated tests and provides several examples based on experience.

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