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Becoming a Better Software Tester. Bernie Berger Test Assured, Inc. www.testassured.com bernie@testassured.com. Pace University “Code Detectives” Student Seminar Series Tuesday, October 17, 2006. Becoming a Top Software Tester. Software Testers are in high demand

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becoming a better software tester

Becoming a Better Software Tester

Bernie Berger

Test Assured, Inc.

www.testassured.com

bernie@testassured.com

Pace University

“Code Detectives”

Student Seminar Series

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

becoming a top software tester
Becoming a Top Software Tester
  • Software Testers are in high demand
    • Especially on Wall Street
  • Top Testers are well compensated
  • You can learn how to become a Top Tester
  • My Background
immediate lasting benefits
Immediate & Lasting Benefits
  • Better tested programs are more valuable
  • Good testers make better developers
  • Better marketability
key point 1
Key Point #1

Average Testers only consider simple, happy users when testing.

Top Testers consider multiple stakeholders of the product.

multiple stakeholders
Multiple Stakeholders
  • Different kinds of Users
    • Lazy
    • Impatient
    • Stupid
    • Malicious
    • Disabled
  • Other Stakeholders
    • Deployment & Installation
    • Admin & Support
    • Bugs & Enhancements

“No one would do that”

really means…

“No one, who I like, would do that on purpose” - J. Bach

key point 2
Key Point #2

Average Testers use simplistic boundary checks in input fields.

Top Testers think about new and different ways to cross boundaries.

crossing boundaries
Crossing Boundaries
  • Are there boundaries within a range?
  • Example: Stock Price Alert
    • Up/Down?
    • Repeat?
    • Up/Up and Down/Down?
    • Which variable changes?
  • Example: Loops
key point 3
Key Point #3

Average Testers test sequentially.

Top Testers test concurrently.

concurrency testing
Concurrency Testing
  • Test Multi-Process Synchronization
  • Test for Atomic Operations
  • Deadlocks
    • When multiple actions are waiting for each other to finish, and thus none ever does (wikipedia)
  • Timing Issues
    • Just before, during, just after
key point 4
Key Point #4

Average Testers test per specification.

Top Testers construct market-triggered test scenarios.

market triggered scenarios
Market-Triggered Scenarios
  • Corporate Actions: Splits
  • Interest Rates
  • Unemployment Reports
  • Other News
key point 5 the biggest secret of them all
Key Point #5 THE BIGGEST SECRET OF THEM ALL

Average Testers learn what they are taught.

Top Testers challenge what they are taught and do not believe a word until they reconstruct the ideas for themselves.

the 7 principles of context driven testing
The 7 Principles of Context-Driven Testing
  • The value of any practice depends on its context.
  • There are good practices in context, but there are no best practices.
  • People, working together, are the most important part of any project's context.
  • Projects unfold over time in ways that are often not predictable.
  • The product is a solution. If the problem isn't solved, the product doesn't work.
  • Good software testing is a challenging intellectual process.
  • Only through judgment and skill, exercised cooperatively throughout the entire project, are we able to do the right things at the right times to effectively test our products.

Source: http://www.context-driven-testing.com/

summary
Summary
  • Consider Multiple Stakeholders
  • Think of new boundaries to test
  • Test Concurrently
  • Test Market-Triggered Scenarios
  • Rethink whatever you’ve been taught to believe about software in your own way. Be skeptical of everything.

Message: Top Testers Think Outside the Box

thank you
Thank You!!

Questions???

bonus slide recommended reading
Bonus Slide – Recommended Reading

Thinking like a tester means thinking “out of the box” and the first step in thinking out of the box is thinking, period. Here are some books and other resources I like that helped me think better.

Thinking and Deciding, by Jonathan Baron

The Logic of Failure, by Dietrich Dorner

Lessons Learned in Software Testing, by Cem Kaner, James Bach, and Bret Pettichord

How to Break Software, by James Whittaker

Read anything written by Gerald Weinberg

Study Lateral Thinking Puzzles

Play “20 Questions”

Watch the movie “The Pentagon Wars”