During every project, test managers face many issues and challenges and often have to make difficult judgement calls. From his thirteen years of experience in testing and management at a large bank and the past seven years as a consultant to test managers, Clive Bates shares the five key areas he believes are the cornerstones for success.
STAREAST 2004 - Software Testing Conference
How are you going to develop and run 1000 test cases automatically and unattended? Commercial test automation tools often get a bad rap because many organizations never get past the record/playback/fail cycle of frustration. These tools, however, can contribute to your testing needs; first you have to understand what has to be done to make them work. Jamie Mitchell outlines several automation architectures that are being used successfully today and discusses the pros and cons of each.
What can we learn from Sherlock Holmes, Quincy, Joe Friday, Dick Tracy, Lt. Colombo, MacGyver, and other famous detectives to help your team become great testers? Holmes used deductive reasoning-a must for bug isolation and exploratory testing. Quincy’s forte was forensic analysis-perfect for cause-and-effect testing. Friday was persistent and regimented-practical for process-oriented software QA. Dick Tracy would employ a head-on attack to find nasty bugs. Colombo would trick the system into revealing a defect by acting naïve.
Marketing may set the schedule for software delivery. Product management may create the budget. But as a test manager, how do you know when your product is ready to ship? Based on his experiences from managing small Web projects to General Manager in the Windows Division of Microsoft, Sanjay Jejurikar discusses the critical factors all test managers face making that judgement. Learn to deal with the challenges of an unmanageable test matrix (applications, hardware, browsers, OS platforms, etc).
Testing a risky software-intensive system is sometimes just as difficult as creating the system itself. And developing unit tests for each path or object individually is not sufficient testing for most applications. The more complex the system, the more varied the required skills needed for testing, including analysis, design, and programming.
One strategy for assuring testable software is to assure testable requirements, i.e., requirements that are clearly and precisely specified and cost-effectively checkable. David Gelperin describes two specification techniques, action contracts and Planguage quality specs, which both support testable requirements. Functionality can be precisely defined with pre- and post-conditions using action contracts. The measurement of non-functional characteristics can be precisely specified with Planguage specs.
API testing is difficult, even with automated support. However, with traditional automated testing solutions, the cost to create and maintain a test suite can be more than the savings realized from automated test execution. By creating a model of the API to test and generating the test scripts automatically from the model, test automation becomes more cost-effective.
As a tester you might wonder if automated testing tools are capable of supporting exploratory testing. Based on her experience as a test engineer and an automated tools specialist, Mieke Gevers introduces the basics of exploratory testing and then discusses the support from and limits of automation tools when doing this type of testing. She demonstrates how automated testing used with exploratory testing can provide quality improvements and cost savings at the same time.
How can Test Managers present information about test results so that the correct message is received by decision-makers? Testing generates a huge amount of raw data, which must be analyzed, processed, summarized, and presented to management so the best decisions can be made quickly. Lloyd Roden shares his experiences as a test manager and as a consultant about communicating with and disseminating information to various levels of senior management.
Today's complex software systems access heterogeneous data from a variety of back-end databases. The intricate mix of client-server and Web-enabled database applications are extremely difficult to test productively. Testing at the data access layer is the point at which your application