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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Steps to become a better software tester - can do these over a period of time - Part 7

In previous posts (improve your testing skills), I have been mentioning tips that can help you improve your testing skills and become a much better tester. Some of these items will take time to happen, while others can be done much faster.
- Learn about techniques such as code coverage. Code Coverage is a technique that is famous when anybody talks about White box testing. If you are a white box tester, you should learn about what code coverage is, and why it is necessary and useful for white box testers to learn about. Code coverage actually is the way of defining how much of the source code of a software has been tested, using measures such as function coverage, statement coverage, decision coverage, condition coverage, and condition / decision coverage. You also need to learn how much of code coverage is possible (one measure is that 90% of code coverage is a good enough indicator of how much to cover).
- For white box coverage, a white box tester needs to ensure that they have detailed knowledge of the code structure and design of the software. As a part of this, it is required to have knowledge of programming languages, architecture, and design concepts. However, this is not a static field. Anybody who wants to be a good white box tester needs to ensure that they are upgrading their skills, attending trainings, learning new languages that come up, and be in close touch with the development team.
- For the regular white box testing, the tester needs to have gone through the actual design documents for the software, and ask questions where something is not clear. Better to ask rather than to not know something and make a mistake. Further, if there are mailing lists within the team where the developers talk about design issues, a white box tester should join such lists and get informed about all such changes.

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