Testing: A Streamlined Approach

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Summary:

Thanks to the many emerging highly technological fields, testing has carved a niche for itself. Constructive destructivism is perhaps this. Testing on a broader perspective has many facets. Be it product testing, Web Testing (add another type), manual intervention is indispensable, Onus lying on the Tester. The article deals with the different scenarios one comes across during an end to end testing of a web based application using manual effort.

Testing??????
In October of 1999 the $125 million NASA Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft was believed to be lost in space due to a simple data conversion error. It was determined that spacecraft software used certain data in English units that should have been in metric units. Among other tasks, the orbiter was to serve as a communications relay for the Mars Polar Lander mission, which failed for unknown reasons in December 1999'

Thanks to the many emerging highly technological fields, testing has carved a niche for itself. Constructive destructivism is perhaps this. Testing on a broader perspective has many facets. Be it product testing, Web Testing (add another type), manual intervention is indispensable, Onus lying on the Tester. The article deals with the different scenarios one comes across during an end to end testing of a web based application using manual effort.

Having taught us the joy of taking responsibilities, do we really own it when a missed bug is reported? Many a nights have we spent to find an excuse…was that really my fault? Was it working fine before? How did the scripts miss it? ...a few of the many questions that would run through our mind...Did we really find an answer and did we have the nerve to accept the truth??? Had we admitted the truth and proceeded with the next set of execution without corrective action we go wrong and in the process fortuitously make ourselves susceptible to more such unreported bugs where more streamlined approach would do the trick.

We are in a stage where the project proposal, estimation, Coding is done and the Requirements are sent to the Software testers for clearing the ambiguities. Clearing ambiguities at the right phase and at the right time is very vital for increasing one's test efficiency. Be it automation or manual testing one has to have the aptitude to come up with clear ambiguities to find bugs at an earlier stage. Clearing ambiguities might be more challenging in situations where the application is yet to be developed while Test scenarios needs to be identified and test cases to be prepared while the coding is still in its nascent stage unlike and testing an enhancement. Visualization of the requirement accords greater importance here and congruous thoughts needs to be established. Good Testing skills also require the ability to be prepared for the answers for the queries asked to complete the task effectively.

Often referred to as the Quality Assurance team, on a note of retrospection do we actually improve quality? Tests designed before coding begins can improve quality. We can inform the developer of the kinds of tests that will be run, including the special cases that will be checked. The developer can use that information while thinking about the design, during design inspections, and in his own developer testing. That indeed is a value add.

Early test design can do more than prevent coding bugs. The process of designing them can find user interface and usability problems before expensive rework is required. However one should be wary of the fact that involving testing early feels unnatural to many programmers .There may be feelings that we are intruding on their turf or not giving them the chance to make the mistakes that are an essential part of design. Care can be taken, especially at first, not to increase their workload or slow them down. It may take one or two entire projects to establish your credibility and usefulness.

To cite an example for this case, if we were to test a text box, ambiguities might include the number of

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