Archive for May 2007

The Role of Software Testing

May 22, 2007

This is my first post in the Bug Life Cycle Series. I need to talk about this because when it comes to the role of testing, it’s not clear. The Role of Software Testing is often mis-understood across the different stake holders of the application development & this list includes testers too.

Testing is considered to be part of Quality Assurance activity since the initial days of Software Development and the same trend is happening as of now too. Even most of the titles like QA Engineer / QA Lead are associated with Testers even though they are not performing the role of QA.

It’s good to capture the mission of Testing & align your test teams in that direction. Every one in the team must be clear on his / her role and see how the same is helping to achieve the mission of the team.

 

 It’s good to note that

  • Testing is not about assuring quality into the systems because theTester is not a Quality Police.
  • Testing is not about targeting for Bug Free Product. It’s just impossible since you can’t build human brain into systems (Of course humans do commit mistakes).
  • Testing is not about fighting with the Development Teams. Don’t act like the enemy of developers.
  • Testing is not about just looking at the documents (so called BRS, SRS, FRS) and writing the test cases.
  • Don’t fight with Developers on the issues need to be fixed for the release instead write good report that reduce the time to reproduce and debug.

 

Testing is a process followed to make things better. It helps to take informed decision by providing the relevant information based on the context.

My teachers made me better by giving the relevant feedback at every stage on my performance. This includes nurturing the concepts, performance in the tests & week areas in the subject. This information helped me to identify the areas missed / uncovered and to improve upon.

Testers need to identify the critical issues with the system as soon as possible and make sure that the information supplied is sufficient to reproduce the issue. We need to supply the information on the presence of bugs in the system to the stake holders. The information should help the stake holders to take informed decisions.

The following list helps

  • Identify the different end users of the system and their interaction with the same.
  • Capture the important scenarios for each end user. It’s good to note that we need to capture the story around the scenario and not just steps.
  • Talk to different stake holders including the customers (incase if you have access) on how the feature might be used & capture the scenarios.
  • Plan towards uncovering the critical issues of the system as early as possible

Final Thoughts

Focus towards what is import for the decision making. Try to uncover important issues first and provide the required information to reproduce and debug the same problem.

The Bug Life Cycle Series

May 11, 2007

I have been talking about Bugs in the Software Applications in my recent posts. They play an important role in Software Development & Testing. The biggest value addition is to uncover the critical issues of the system at the early stage.

I have already written some posts on the Bug Tracking front and find the list below. They talk about how to handle the Bugs, avoid conflicts & the lessons to be learned for the testers.

 

The above posts doesn’t cover all aspects of a Bug.  I feel that it’s better to write more on the Bug Life Cycle & explore the same.

The Bug Life Cycle series will have the following posts and i will be writing them in frequent intervals.

  1. The Role of Software Testing

  2. An insight into Bugs in the Software Applications

  3. Context driven information for Bug Reports – It’s the need of the hour

  4. Life Cycle of a Bug – Different Stages in it

  5. Communicate the Value of Bug Reports

  6. The End Game

Stay tuned & check out the blog for upcoming articles.

Non Reproducible Bugs – How to deal with them ?

May 7, 2007

Last week, i had reviewed the bug reports submitted by my team & found that some of them are not reproducible. I am curious about where things went wrong & checked with the team.

Some of the Responses:

  • Look Venkat, this bug is not-producible always. So we have captured the log.

  • It does occur if we re-start the application

  • It takes good amount of time for the investigation

As a Tester, i have come across of situations where some bugs won’t reproducible again and i infer that many of the testers might have gone through the same episode atleast once.

But then, Non-Reproducible Bugs are errors of the testers even though we may not agree. More over this is true for Technical Support & Testing functions.

It’s tough for the Developers to work with such bugs and testers used to get lot of objections over such bugs. If the count is more, then it might spoil the relationships between testers and developers.

An Insight

I infer from my experiences that systems doesn’t have the powers of human brain. It’s tough to repeat the same mistake again from people since they are conscious. Systems doesn’t have that much capability interms of thinking and they do perform the sequence in which they have coded for. 

How do deal with Non Producible Issues

Testers need to improve their skills inorder to reproduce such issues. The following might be a help.

  • Try to capture the story around the issue and not just steps.

  • Capture the complete Test Enviroment

  • Capture all the available Test Execution Results. This includes your test data, screen shots, applications logs, system logs, server logs

  • Need more patience (they won’t occur easily)

  • Need more observation skills on the application behavior under test.

  • Narrate the story around the issue to the stake holders and to corner the issue.

  • Resources & Time Contraints might be an issue (More true for Tech Support). Bargain for the same

Conclusion

They are bound to take lot of time & resources in the process. It’s suggested to reproduce each & every issue. We must explore more for the critical issues & re-produce them asap. In the process, we learn more too.  

Happy Testing.

Software Testing Courses and Certifications

May 4, 2007

My friend Mallikarjun of Code Inspections compiled a list of  Software Testing Courses &  Certifications available in the Universities and some professional certifications around the world on testing.

This is useful information for Testers and that’s the reason for this post.

Some more useful resources to explore on software Testing are listed below.

Hope this helps to explore more on the Testing Front for the new comers as well as the experienced ones.

Happy Testing.


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