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Monthly Archives: March 2016

LogiGear Magazine – MAR 2016 – TEST DESIGN

Cover-March-2016

MARCH 2016_ TEST DESIGN ISSUE

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Letter from the Editor – March 2016

michael

I once consulted for a company to give a week-long course on testing and QA. It was a survey course covering a wide range of topics. I was setting up and chatting with students in the room. One man came over to me and said: “I have been testing for 6 months and I am completely bored. I plan on getting a different job in software, either in the company or outside—but it won’t be in testing. I know testing is important—very important—but it’s so boring. It’s not for me. This is my last chance: I hope I can learn something from this class that makes testing more interesting or challenging.”

This exchange is atypical—although I have met people in testing who find no challenge in what we do, meeting someone at that breaking point is rare.

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Making the Case for Better Test Design

The No-Nonsense Guide for How to Write Smarter and Low Maintenance Test Cases

By Michael Hacket

TD1

Test design is a phrase that is often used when planning testing and test efforts, but I do not believe it is well understood. Also, opinions vary widely about the importance of test design ranging from irrelevant to the crucial ingredient for success.

Recently, I was at a company where they are throwing out their entire test automation suite and starting over. The regression suite they had been building for a few years was bloated and verbose. To make matters worse, the pass-rate (percentage of automated tests passing each run) kept dropping, and the team had long ago lost confidence that the regression suite even gave much assurance.

Their idea two years ago was to invest a bunch of money in a new tool and hire more technical staff. Next, take the manual test cases and automate them since they seem to work, and automating is better than manual. Good idea? Eighteen months later they had a large number of automated scripts, but the tests were poorly designed in the first place.

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Are Test Design Techniques Useful or Not?

An Overview of Four Methods for Systematic Test Design Strategy

By Hans Schaefer

Many people test, but few people use the well-known black-box and white-box test design techniques. The technique most used, however, seems to be testing randomly chosen valid values, followed by error guessing, exploratory testing and the like. Could it be that the more systematic test design techniques are not worth using?

I do not think so. When safety-critical software is produced, it is tested very systematically using tried and true techniques: standards recommend or require doing so. Therefore there must be some value. What kind of value?

HANS1

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Infographic: 3 Key Practices of Test Design

By Christine Paras

CHRISTINE INFOGRAPHIC

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TestStorming™: Build a collaborative approach to software test design in 11 easy steps

By Randy Rice

TS1

There are many ways to approach test design. These approaches range from checklists to very precise algorithms in which test conditions are combined to achieve the most efficiency in testing.

There are situations, such as in testing mobile applications, complex systems and cyber security, where tests need to be creative, cover a lot of functionality, and go beyond what may be described in a requirements document, use case or user story.

Over the last thirty years or more, a variety of test design techniques have been described in books and training courses. These techniques include boundary-value analysis, decision tables, requirements-based testing and so on. Each of these approaches has upsides and downsides which require the test analyst to fully understand the limitations and requirements of the techniques used in a particular situation.

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Data-Driven Testing: How to Design Data-Driven Tests to Increase their Scope

By TestArchitect Staff

When automated tests are well-organized and written with the necessary detail, they can be very efficient and maintainable. But designing automated tests that deal with data can be challenging if you have a lot of data combinations. For example, let’s say we want to simulate a series of 20 customers, along with the number of products they buy, their locations, etc. From the point of view of test design, it is cumbersome to create 20 test cases that have the same workflow for different 20 customers. TestArchitect offers some alternatives to meet these needs.

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Book Review: Elizabeth Hendrickson’s Explore it!

By Justin Hunter

exploreit

Explore It! is one of the very best software testing books ever written. It is packed with great ideas and Elisabeth Hendrickson’s writing style makes it very enjoyable to read.

Hendrickson has a well-deserved reputation in the global software testing community as someone who has the enviable ability to clearly communicate highly-practical, well-thought-out ideas. Tens of thousands of software testers who have already read her “Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet” no doubt already appreciate her uncanny ability to clearly convey an impressive number of actionable ideas with a minimal use of ink and paper. A pdf download of the cheat sheet is available online.

If you’re impressed by how much useful information Hendrickson can pack into one double-sided sheet of paper, you should see what she can do with 160 pages.

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MindMaps: A Killer Way to Increase your Test Coverage

Plan your Test Cases with these Seven Simple Steps

By Prashant Hegde

MM1

What is a mind map?

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. It can be called a visual thinking tool. A mind map allows complex information to be presented in a simplified visual format. A mind map is created around a single concept. The concept is represented as an image in the center to which the associated ideas are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.
Mind mapping is great for note taking, planning, studying, brainstorming etc. The term “mind map” was first used by Tony Buzan in 1974. In school, I preferred visual mind mapping over traditional note-taking, and it proved to be a great aid to revise and recall the concepts quickly. This is because the information in a mind map is structured in a way that mirrors exactly how the brain functions — in a radial rather than linear manner. A mind map literally maps out your thoughts, using associations, connections and triggers to stimulate further ideas.

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Pushing the Boundaries of Test Automation: An Overview of How to Automate the UX with Heuristics

By Julian Harty

One of my current responsibilities is to find ways to automate, as much as practical, the ‘testing’ of the user experience (UX) for complex web-based applications. In my view, full test automation of UX is impractical and probably unwise; however, we can use automation to find potential UX problems, or undesirable effects, even in rich, complex applications. I, and others, am working to find ways to use automation to discover these various types of potential problems. Here’s an overview of some of the points I have made. I intend to extend and expand on my work in future posts.

In my experience, heuristic techniques are useful in helping identify potential issues. Various people have managed to create test automation that essentially automates different types of heuristics.

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