What Is a Good Test Case?

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Summary:

Designing good test cases is a complex art. The complexity comes from three sources. Test cases help us discover information. Different types of tests are more effective for different classes of information. Test cases can be "good" in a variety of ways. No test case will be good in all of them. People tend to create test cases according to certain testing styles, such as domain testing or risk-based testing. Good domain tests are different from good risk-based tests.

Designing good test cases is a complex art. The complexity comes from three sources. Test cases help us discover information. Different types of tests are more effective for different classes of information. Test cases can be "good" in a variety of ways. No test case will be good in all of them. People tend to create test cases according to certain testing styles, such as domain testing or risk-based testing. Good domain tests are different from good risk-based tests.

About the author

Cem Kaner's picture Cem Kaner

Cem Kaner is Professor of Computer Sciences at Florida Tech. He is senior author of three books, Lessons Learned in Software TestingBad Software, and Testing Computer Software. He's also an attorney (a former prosecutor) whose idea of a good time is holding companies accountable for releasing defective software. Work towards this article was supported by the National Science Foundation grant EIA-0113539 and by Rational Software.

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