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Friday, February 24, 2012

What is meant by error guessing methodology?

Errors and bugs are perhaps the worst enemy of a software system or application and of course cause a lot of nuisance in the programming and give nightmares to the program developers and testers. Till date several methodologies have been developed to cope up with these errors and bugs but, the problem of errors is something which cannot be rooted. It can only be controlled.

Error guessing and error seeding are two such technologies about which we will be discussing in this article.

- Error guessing is a self explaining term.
- It can be thought of as a software testing methodology or technique that employs test cases to dig out the bugs buried in the software program.


Then what is the difference between error guessing and other software testing methodologies? Though they may seem similar, there is a considerable difference which lies in the composition of the test cases.

- The test cases used in other types of software testing methodologies are based up on the requirements specifications of the software system or the application. - But, in error guessing, the test cases involved are based up on the past experiences of the testing as well as on the experience of the program that is to undergo testing.

- These test cases are created by the tester who has been involved in the whole programming of the software system or application.
- The tester has a past experience of the older versions of the programs so that he can easily put forth the situations and conditions that can cause the system failure or give rise to errors like null pointers, division by zero or use of parameters that are invalid.
- Error guessing methodology like exploratory testing does not follow any explicit rules or regulations.
- The tester is free to choose the basis to base the test cases on whether be it on functional or non functional requirements, experience, and situation and so on.

Testers who have an experience of using error guessing make use of the below mentioned aspects:

1. Knowledge about the methods and techniques used in the AUT like implementation technology and designing method etc.
2. Past experience of software testing in different phases. Such experience is required during the phase of the regression testing.
3. Past experience of testing similar software system or applications and a knowledge of the factors that caused defects in them.
4. Knowledge of typical errors like those mentioned above in the article which are implemented unknowingly in the code.
5. General Thumb rules of heuristics.

- Error guessing when implemented properly can gradually increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your software testing life cycle.
- The error guessing skills of a tester gradually improve with the gradual experience of software testing.
- Error guessing is the easiest software technology that a tester can ever use.
- It is just like a guessing game, you guess where all the errors might be hidden.
- This methodology does not require any specially designed tools.
- Error guessing involves seeding out of errors.
- Error guessing methodology can be applied while carrying all other software testing techniques so as to get much better outcomes since the error guessing helps a great deal in improving the quality of the test cases.
- Error guessing is a technique that roots those defects that appear to be an intuition in the AUT.

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