Testing

Better Software Magazine Articles

How Testers Think

People think in models and metaphors, which help us make sense of the world and deal with new things. Citing material from the book "How Doctors Think", Michael draws a comparison between how doctors diagnose illness in patients and how testers find problems in software.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Test Automation Grows Up

Can software test automation ever replace manual software testing? Dion Johnson says no, but he does think it’s time that test automation is recognized as a mature discipline with its own body of knowledge. This ABOK allows test-automation professionals to hone their skills and provides organizations wishing to automate a pool of able resources from which to hire.

Dion Johnson's picture Dion Johnson
McLuhan for Testers

If a tester is "somebody who knows that things can be different," then Marshall McLuhan was a tester par excellence. According to McLuhan, the English professor who proposed the Laws of Media, the message of a medium is not its content but rather its effects. Find out how this translates to software testing and how we evaluate requirements.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Developing Your Sense of Smell

With all of the resources available these days—books, blogs, Webcasts, training,—that aid us in our design, are you one of those programmers who lacks the "olfactory gene" needed to detect refactoring odors in your code? Unit testing helps you refine your sense of smell and improve your code design.

Tod Golding's picture Tod Golding
Four Tips for Technique Seeking

From an experience with a testing buddy in a large organization, Julie Gardiner had a career-shaping epiphany. She discovered that understanding and applying formal testing techniques can help you grow as a testing professional, and she has incorporated that knowledge into her management repertoire ever since. Learn four ways you can get started using formal testing techniques with your team.

Julie Gardiner's picture Julie Gardiner
Transform Your Software

Bring out the best in your code. Systematic code transformations are an important tool for test-driven development. Refactoring and generalization—common code transformations in TDD—improve the code while preserving its behavior and broaden the capabilities of the software. Each technique has its place, and together they help make TDD effective.

William Wake's picture William Wake
Pairwise Testing

One of the testing challenges we face is how to handle the large numbers of test cases we sometimes need to create and execute. We can't test everything, but pairwise testing using orthogonal arrays or an all-pairs algorithm can help generate pair combinations that reduce the number of test cases we run while still finding a large percentage of bugs.

Lloyd Roden's picture Lloyd Roden
Navigating the Installation

If you've ever popped a CD into a drive and run an install for software you're about to test, then you might be performing installation testing indirectly. If not properly installed, an application could give false results for all other testing. A better strategy is to test the install process directly, which will give you greater confidence in the quality of your software.

Karen N. Johnson's picture Karen N. Johnson
Ready, Aim, Release

Think you know what your customer wants? Can you afford to be wrong? Based on the concept of tracer ammunition, which allows a shooter to follow the path of a bullet toward its target and adjust his aim as needed, tracer bullet software development can help you better understand your users’ wants so you can build a product that hits the mark.

Jared Richardson's picture Jared Richardson
Users We Don't Like

Mom always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." But Michael Bolton made an interesting discovery when he asked testers to talk about users they don't like. While nobody likes a complainer, listening to what your users are saying--even if you don't like it--can help you spot problems you may have overlooked.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton

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