Design for Testability: A Tutorial for Devs and Testers

Peter Zimmerer, Siemens AG

Testability is the degree to which a system can be effectively and efficiently tested. This key software attribute indicates whether testing (and subsequent maintenance) will be easy and cheap—or difficult and expensive. In the worst case, a lack of testability means that some components of the system cannot be tested at all. Testability is not free; it must be explicitly designed into the system through adequate design for testability. Peter Zimmerer describes influencing factors (controllability, visibility, operability, stability, simplicity) and constraints (conflicting nonfunctional requirements, legacy code), and shares his experiences implementing and testing highly-testable software. Peter offers practical guidance on the key actions: (1) designing well-defined control and observation points in the architecture, and (2) specifying testability needs for test automation early. He shares creative and innovative approaches to overcome failures caused by deficiencies in testability. Peter presents a new, comprehensive strategy for testability design that can be implemented to gain the benefits in a cost-efficient manner.


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