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.

The problem he faced was multi-faceted: The company was seriously underusing their testers—the testers were restricted to doing simple happy path validation checking, rather than including tasks for quality improvement and focusing on customer experience. Also, the more technically interesting automation was given “in-your-spare-time” priority, meaning it never got done. However, where this company was most deficient, was in encouraging their test team to find interesting bugs and design issues. What they needed to do was embrace the test team as software development engineers who test.

The team had no knowledge of the efficiency of data driven testing. There was no optimization of tests by parameterizing expected results to be able to more efficiently drive more data through a minimal number of tests and get greater coverage. There also was a lack of knowledge of Soap Opera testing and its unique goals, or its superiority to other types of tests to find certain classes of issues such as race condition and concurrency issues.

The company above was deficient in training as well as failing to give the necessary time budget required to do so. It also needs to be stressed that the individuals on the team also bear responsibility in not knowing our craft to the degree where they’d be able to advocate for smarter, higher-quality testing, more responsibility and the necessary allotment of time to improve quality.

Blame perspectives on quality, the intrinsic value of the test team, time budgeting, or care for customers, but all that aside—this team needed an entire course just on test design. They really were clueless as to what was involved in test case design and test development.

Simply put, test design is the engineering of a test to accomplish your quality goal. It takes knowledge, intelligence, understanding, vision, business acumen and a certain variety of mental sharpness that most people usually do not associate with testing.

If someone is going to find engineering “boring,” then perhaps they are not cutout for a career in testing. Consider this, testing leads directly to customer satisfaction. Test teams are increasingly collaborating on design, UI, UX, product capabilities and time estimates. All of these factors are crucial to product success! Testing can be interesting and exciting in a variety of ways, and a key factor of this is test design. Test design is central to both effective, efficient testing and the engineering of tests, as well as a crucial element of every successful test automation project.

In this issue, I have written “Making the Case for Better Test Design,” and our blogger of the month, Julian Harty, talks about pushing the boundaries of test automation. Justin Hunter has written a great book review on Elizabeth Hendrickson’s book, Explore it! Randy Rice’s article, “TestStorming™—A collaborative Approach to Software Test Design,” delves into the nuances of Test Design techniques and Han’s Schafer’s “Are Test Design Techniques Useful or Not?” focuses on the importance of black-box and white-box testing. I’m pleased to announce that we also have a new feature series, TestArchitect Corner, which explores different ways to use our flagship product.

We hope you find this issue of LogiGear Magazine useful and a great reference over time for excellent test design.

 

LogiGear Corporation

LogiGear Corporation provides global solutions for software testing, and offers public and corporate software-testing training programs worldwide through LogiGear University. LogiGear is a leader in the integration of test automation, offshore resources and US project management for fast and cost-effective results. Since 1994, LogiGear has worked with hundreds of companies from the Fortune 500 to early-stage startups, creating unique solutions to exactly meet their needs. With facilities in the US and Vietnam, LogiGear helps companies double their test coverage and improve software quality while reducing testing time and cutting costs.

For more information, contact Joe Hughes + 01 650.572.1400

LogiGear Corporation
LogiGear Corporation provides global solutions for software testing, and offers public and corporate software testing training programs worldwide through LogiGear University. LogiGear is a leader in the integration of test automation, offshore resources and US project management for fast, cost-effective results. Since 1994, LogiGear has worked with Fortune 500 companies to early-stage start-ups in, creating unique solutions to meet their clients’ needs. With facilities in the US and Viet Nam, LogiGear helps companies double their test coverage and improve software quality while reducing testing time and cutting costs.

The Related Post

Continuous Testing… what is it? When we first decided to do a magazine issue dedicated to the DevOps practice of Continuous Testing, I joked with someone: “It’s about testing continuously.” And their reply was: “Yeah. What else would it be?” I was joking, but clearly the joke didn’t land. Continuous Testing is about testing continuously, ...
Every organization goes through times when the internal, or home team, cannot execute the testing project easily or quickly enough. The reasons are many, from the lack of an effective test strategy to low automation engineering skill, to staff positions going unfilled due to a great job market. With everyone working and very few people ...
I spend about half my work time in the role of a consultant assessing, auditing and examining software development team practices and processes for the purpose of process improvement. I am regularly surprised to find teams that lack basic skills, management support, tools, information, access to users, Product Owners and to developers. And yet they’re ...
For everyone still celebrating holidays: Happy Lunar New Year! At this time of the year many teams and companies are starting new projects, new initiatives, and hiring new staff. LogiGear Magazine will continue to be the resource for you for better testing with much less stress! We are excited about the focus of this month’s ...
Our plan for the December LogiGear Magazine was to have a forward-looking Trends and Challenges issue. However, whilst assembling our September issue on SMAC, we realized the momentum SMAC was gaining in the industry. We had a large amount of content on our hands from a range of excellent contributors. Thus, we decided to split ...
A lot has changed since I began staffing test projects. From hiring college students and interns for summer testing programs, to building networks of offshore teams around the world, and from having 24-hour work schedules to having instant crowdsourced public beta or bug bounty testing—things have changed.
This is LogiGear magazine’s first issue on the big world of DevOps. DevOps is a very large topic. Just when you thought you were safe from more process improvement for a while—not so fast. There’s DevOps, Continuous Testing, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment. In this issue, we are focusing on Continuous Testing, the part most ...
Testing the Software Car. As usual with the LogiGear Magazine, we are tackling a big subject. With our goal of having single-topic issues, we have the ability to grab and disseminate as much information as we can related to a current topic that is interesting and also on the frontier of Software Testing.   Some ...
Change is constant. What’s different today is the rate of change. Moore’s law resulted from the observation that that the rate of change in computing power is exponential. The products, services and software landscape appears just as dynamic. At the same time, we pretty much take for granted the ubiquitous presence of software running our ...
“Why do we need to understand a bunch of test methods? I write test cases from user stories or requirements, automate what I can and execute the rest manually, and its fine.” If this is your situation: good for you. If you are time crunched, if your automated tests have lost relevance, are hard to ...
This is a very special issue of LogiGear Magazine. When we were putting together the Editorial Calendar for this year, we decided that instead of a technology issue, we would focus on the human side of quality and test engineering. We want to focus on individual Test Engineers and their jobs. We talked to a ...
If you are reading this issue, you are probably aware of the impact on the business world of cloud computing. Most people do not have a good grasp on what the cloud is or how people and products can use it. BTW, you are already a cloud user. If your email is stored somewhere “on ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news

Subscribe