Effective Software Testing: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Testing
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.
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.