Synopses & Reviews
Effective Software Testing
explores fifty critically important best practices, pitfalls, and solutions. Gleaned from the author's extensive practical experience, these concrete items will enable quality assurance professionals and test managers to immediately enhance their understanding and skills, avoid costly mistakes, and implement a state-of-the-art testing program.
This book places special emphasis on the integration of testing into all phases of the software development life cycle--from requirements definition to design and final coding. The fifty lessons provided here focus on the key aspects of software testing: test planning, design, documentation, execution, managing the testing team, unit testing, automated testing, nonfunctional testing, and more.
You will learn to:
- Base testing efforts on a prioritized feature schedule
- Estimate test preparation and execution
- Define the testing team roles and responsibilities
- Design test procedures as soon as requirements are available
- Derive effective test cases from requirements
- Avoid constraints and detailed data elements in test procedures
- Make unit-test execution part of the build process
- Use logging to increase system testability
- Test automated test tools on an application prototype
- Automate regression tests whenever possible
- Avoid sole reliance on capture/playback
- Conduct performance testing with production-sized databases
- Tailor usability tests to the intended audience
- Isolate the test environment from the development environment
- Implement a defect tracking life cycle
Throughout the book, numerous real-world case studies and concrete examples illustrate the successful application of these important principles and techniques.
Effective Software Testing provides ready access to the expertise and advice of one of the world's foremost software quality and testing authorities.
-- Easily digestible lessons for software testers, gleaned from the author's years of valuable experience.
-- Helps testers avoid making costly mistakes and oversights that can delay -- or even derail -- a project.
-- Timely! With the advent of agile methodologies, testing is becoming the responsibility of more and more team members.
The knowledge of what constitutes a successful, end-to-end software testing effort is typically gained through experience. In this new book, noted testing expert Elfriede Dustin imparts the best of her collected wisdom. She presents fifty specific tips for a better testing program. These fifty tips are divided into ten sections, and presented so as to mirror the chronology of a software project. Using this book as a guide and reference, quality assurance professionals will be better able to insure the quality of their next application. While testing has historically been viewed as an afterthought in the grand scheme of software engineering, the success of an application, and possibly an organization, can rest on the shoulders of the testing team. That's because the testing program functions as the final "quality gate" for an application. Testing allows or denies the transition of an application into the market. There are a multitude of seemingly minor tasks that must be performed and managed by the testing team.
With the advent of agile methodologies, testing is becoming the responsibility of more and more team members. In this new book, noted testing expert Dustin imparts the best of her collected wisdom. She presents 50 specific tips for a better testing program. These fifty tips are divided into ten sections, and presented so as to mirror the chronology of a software project.
About the Author
is the lead author of Automated Software Testing (Addison-Wesley, 1999), and Quality Web Systems (Addison-Wesley, 2002). An acknowledged expert in software engineering and testing practices, she has assisted numerous companies in the definition and implementation of QA and testing processes. For more information, please see her Web site at www.effectivesoftwaretesting.com.
Table of Contents
I. REQUIREMENTS PHASE. 1. Involve Testers from the Beginning.
2. Verify the Requirements.
3. Design Test Procedures as Soon as Requirements Are Available.
4. Ensure That Requirement Changes Are Communicated.
5. Beware of Developing and Testing Based on an Existing System.
II. TEST PLANNING. 6. Understand the Task at Hand and the Related Testing Goal.
7. Consider the Risks.
8. Base Testing Efforts on a Prioritized Feature Schedule.
9. Keep Software Issues in Mind.
10. Acquire Effective Test Data.
11. Plan for the Test Environment.
12. Estimate Test Preparation and Execution.
III. THE TESTING TEAM. 13. Define the Roles and Responsibilities.
14. Require a Mixture of Testing Skills, Subject Matter Expertise, and Experience.
15. Evaluate the Testers' Effectiveness.
IV. THE SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE. 16. Understand the Architecture and Underlying Components.
17. Verify That the System Supports Testability.
18. Use Logging to Increase System Testability.
19. Verify That the System Supports Debug vs. Release Execution Modes.
V. TEST DESIGN AND DOCUMENTATION. 20. Divide and Conquer.
21. Mandate the Use of a Test Procedure Template, and Other Test Design Standards.
22. Derive Effective Test Cases from Requirements.
23. Treat Test Procedures as "Living" Documents.
24. Use System Design and Prototypes.
25. Use Proven Testing Techniques When Designing Test Case Scenarios.
26. Avoid Constraints and Detailed Data Elements in Test Procedures.
27. Apply Exploratory Testing.
VI. UNIT TESTING. 28. Structure the Development Approach to Support Effective Unit Testing.
29. Develop Unit Tests in Parallel or before the Implementation.
30. Make Unit Test Execution Part of the Build Process.
VII. AUTOMATED TESTING TOOLS. 31. Be Aware of the Different Types of Testing Support Tools.
32. Consider Building a Tool Instead of Buying One.
33. Be Aware of the Impact of Automated Tools on the Testing Effort.
34. Focus on the Needs of Your Organization.
35. Test the Tools on an Application Prototype.
VIII. AUTOMATED TESTING—SELECTED BEST PRACTICES. 36. Do Not Rely Solely on Capture/Playback.
37. Develop a Test Harness When Necessary.
38. Use Proven Test Script Development Techniques.
39. Automate Regression Tests Whenever Possible.
40. Implement Automated Builds and Smoke-Tests.
IX. NONFUNCTIONAL TESTING. 41. Do Not Make Nonfunctional Testing an Afterthought.
42. Conduct Performance Testing with Production Sized Databases.
43. Tailor Usability Tests to the Intended Audience.
44. Consider All Aspects of Security, for Specific Requirements and System-Wide.
45. Investigate the System's Implementation to Plan for Concurrency Tests.
46. Setup an Efficient Environment for Compatibility Testing.
X. MANAGING THE TEST EXECUTION. 47. Clearly Define the Beginning and the End of the Test Execution Cycle.
48. Isolate the Test Environment from the Development Environment.
49. Implement a Defect Tracking Life-Cycle.
50. Track the Execution of the Test Program.