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Friday, June 3, 2011

Some best practices that contribute to improved software testing Part III

There is always a search for best practices going on. Some are well known and some hidden. Testing does not stand alone. It is intimately dependant on the development practices. These practices have come from many sources. These practices can be divided in three parts:
- Basic Practices
- Foundation Practices
- Incremental Practices

The incremental practices include:
- Teaming Testers with Developers
This practice should understand the kinds of teaming that are beneficial and the environments in which they are employed. This practice should be more than just a concept.
- Code coverage
Code coverage is the numerical metric that measures the elements of code. this practice should include the information about the tools and methods of how to employ code coverage and track results.
- Automated Environment Generator
Setting up test environments to execute test cases is the most difficult task. This practice should capture the issues, tools and techniques that are associated with setting up the environment, the break down and automatic running of test cases.
- Testing to help ship on demand
Testing process should be viewed as one that enables changes that occur late and handles market pressures and still do not break the product or ship schedule. This practice should identify how to work this concept in organizations.
- State task diagram
State transition diagrams are used to capture functional operations of an application. It allows you to create test cases automatically. This practice has more than one application and one need to capture the tools, methods and uses.
- Memory Resource Failure Simulation
This practice addresses loss of memory because of poor management or lack of garbage collection. It should develop methods and tools for use on different platforms and language environments.
- Statistical Testing
the concept of statistical testing is to use software testing as a means to assess the reliability of software as opposed to a debugging process. It needs to work on the software along an operational profile and measuring interfailure times used to estimate reliability.
- Semiformal Methods
A semi formal method is one where specifications that are captured may be in state transition diagrams or tables that can be used for even test generation.
- Check-in tests for code
Check-in tests couple an automatic test program with the change control system. the chances of the code breaking the build are minimized.
- Minimizing regression test cases
To minimize regression tests, several methods are there out of which one method looks at code coverage and distill test cases to a minimal set. Sometimes, it does confuse a structural metric with a functional test.
- Instrumented versions for MTTF
Mean time between failures(MTTF) can be measured if the failures are recorded and returned to vendor. It enhances the quality of the product that is meaningful to user. It also captures first failure data that benefits the diagnosis and problem determination.
- Benchmark Trends
This practice could be initiated by benchmarking and then advance the practice to include a large pool with customers and competitors.
- Bug Bounties
These are the initiatives that charge the organization with a focus on detecting software bugs.

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