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Lessons in Test Automation

Elfriede Dustin has worked on many projects at various companies where automated testing tools were introduced to a test program lifecycle for the first time. In reviewing these projects, she has accumulated a list of "Automated Testing Lessons Learned," taken from actual experiences and test engineer feedback. In this article, she will share examples of this feedback, hoping that this information will help you avoid some typical false starts and roadblocks.

Elfriede Dustin's picture Elfriede Dustin
Testing Web-based Applications

To be most effective in analyzing and reproducing errors in a Web environment, you need to have a command over the operating environment. You also need to understand how environment-specific variables may affect your ability to replicate errors. With the application of some of the skills covered in this article, your Web testing experience should be less frustrating and more enjoyable.

Hung Nguyen's picture Hung Nguyen
Designing Useful Metrics: Using Observation, Modeling, and Measurement to Make Decisions

First-order measurement can help you understand what's going on, make decisions, and improve results. Observation, modeling, and simple data gathering are things that you can implement in your work group without a big measurement program or big funding. Start by modeling your system and working out on paper how different measures will affect your system. Then involve your team, expand your model, and try some simple data gathering. This approach to measurement is one more tool in your toolkit, and it will move your organization toward better quality.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
The Influential Test Manager

Test managers often feel that while somebody might be in control of schedules or resources, they certainly are not. An experienced test manager shares ways to develop and use professional influence to help the test group.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Retiring Lifecycle Dinosaurs: Adaptive Software Development

Adaptive Software Development (ASD) is one of a growing number of alternatives to traditional, process-centric software management methods. Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Development, SCRUM, and Crystal Light methods—although different in many respects—are tied together by a focus on people, results, minimal methods, and maximum collaboration. They are geared to the high speed and high change of today's e-business projects.

Jim Highsmith's picture Jim Highsmith
Software Installation Testing: How to Automate Tests for Smooth System Installation

Installation testing—especially manual testing—can sometimes be grueling. Here are several aspects of installation testing that are best suited to automated methods.

Chris Agruss's picture Chris Agruss
Cem Kaner on Rethinking Software Metrics

The theory underlying a measurement must take into account at least nine factors. This article defines these nine factors (e.g., the scope of the measurement, the scale of the instrument, and the variation of measurements made with the instrument) and applies them to a few examples.

Cem Kaner's picture Cem Kaner
Avoiding Scalability Shock

Web application scalability tops the list of challenges for those designing and developing e-commerce sites. Here are five steps to managing the performance of e-business applications: architecture validation, performance benchmarking, performance regression testing, performance tuning and acceptance, and continuous performance monitoring.

Billie Shea's picture Billie Shea
Testing in the Dark

How can you test software without knowing what it should do? Here is a step-by-step approach to overcoming undocumented requirements, including how to discover the requirements, how to define "quality" for the project, and how to create a test plan including release criteria.

The Test Matrix: How to Keep a Complex Test Project on Track

When testing needs to account for different user environments and installation configurations, the possible combinations can add up quickly. Read how one company used a simple data organization method to keep everything on track.

Mark Pawson's picture Mark Pawson

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