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Further Adventures in Session-based Testing. James Lyndsay Workroom Productions jdl@workroom-productions.com www.workroom-productions.com. ?. What?. Session-Based Testing?. Manages and controls unscripted testing Limited Duration Directed Exploration Recorded Activities

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further adventures in session based testing

Further Adventures in Session-based Testing

James Lyndsay

Workroom Productions

jdl@workroom-productions.com

www.workroom-productions.com

slide2

?

What?

session based testing
Session-Based Testing?
  • Manages and controls unscripted testing
    • Limited Duration
    • Directed Exploration
    • Recorded Activities
  • Supports ‘Agile’ Process
  • Allows quick metrics
  • Has wider uses
adventures
Adventures?
  • Two case studies
    • Permanent team -
      • 20 coders, 4 testers
      • Inexperienced and under-motivated
      • Internet-based product, ASP model
    • Part-time team
      • 2-6 coders, 0-3 testers bought in from pool of 6-8
      • No permanent test team
      • Windows client / server product around known application
  • Shared business context
    • Rapid change
    • Commercial constraints; budget, time-to-market
further
Further?
  • Paper - Adventures in Session-based Testing
    • Contains detailed methods
    • Contains problems and (some) solutions
    • Now a year old
  • STARWest 2002 -Further Adventures . . .
    • Methods
    • Tools
    • Training, Coaching
strategy
Strategy
  • Stay within business constraints
  • Deal with change rather than enforce stasis
  • Rapidly transfer knowledge to allow independence
  • Four goals
    • Control the scope
    • Control the work
    • Measure risk and coverage
    • Promote ongoing improvement
slide7

1

Methods

methods overview
Methods: Overview
  • Control and recording
    • Control Scope
    • Control Work
    • Recording a Session
  • Assessment and Measurement
    • Assessing Risk
    • Assessing Coverage
  • Infrastructure
    • Real-time Metrics
    • Social techniques
methods control
Methods: Control
  • Scope - made of Test Points
    • Test Point - piece of work
    • Risk, Estimated cost
    • Four groups
      • New tests
      • Regression tests
      • Retests for fixes
      • Investigatory tests
  • Work done - made of Test Sessions
    • Test Session - piece of time
    • Actual cost, Coverage
methods control1
Methods: Control
  • Recording a Test Session
    • Plan: Approach, Scope, Expectations
    • Record: Conditions, Actions, Observations
    • Bug details
    • Actual Cost
    • How done are we?  Coverage
  • Allows
    • Review, coaching
    • Forgetting
    • Retrospectives
methods assessment
Methods: Assessment
  • Risk
  • Coverage
    • Ask the Experts - the testers!
    • How done are you? How much is left?
    • Collect many subjective  few objective assessments
    • Overall figures can go down as well as up
    • Ongoing learning - estimates improved
methods support
Methods: Support
  • Real-time metrics
    • Immediate feedback
    • State of testing, not of system
    • Fast, frequent, informed re-planning
  • Soft skills/Social Techniques
    • Experimental Approach
    • Ongoing learning
    • Communication
    • Empowerment
slide16

2

Tools

tools
Tools
  • Freely available - under GPL
  • Excel spreadsheet
    • Single-user, single location
    • Download from:
  • Web: PHP/MySQL
    • Multiple user
    • Download from:
slide18

3

Training and coaching

ongoing learning and development
Ongoing learning and development
  • Training - from unskilled to skilled
    • Skilled involvement - pair expert / novice
    • Show - practice - challenge
    • Careful choice of sessions
  • Coaching - from good to great!
    • Peer involvement, neutral assessment
    • Challenge - innovate
    • Discussion, metrics, personal investigation
supporting the learning process
Supporting the learning process
  • Session-based testing
    • Introduces discipline and framework
    • Helps overlap training and testing
    • Helps match challenge to individual
  • Experts, managers - get involved!
  • Sometimes compromise:
    • Good bugs found quickly, or
    • Better testers long-term
  • Feedback is integral
    • Before testing - techniques, planning, charter
    • After testing - session log, bug log
    • Stats and metrics - not just for management
encouraging the team
Encouraging the team
  • Involve the test team
    • Allocate responsibility / ownership for tests
    • Allow direct influence on clear, open metrics
    • Relate metrics to business decisions
  • Share successes, failures
  • Reward discovery
  • Discourage blind faith, boredom
  • Step away - look at the wider picture
changes case study 1
Changes: Case Study 1
  • Active learning process is encouraged
    • Feedback has improved estimating skills
    • Session review has improved test techniques
    • Test Point ownership has improved planning and scoping skills
    • Weekly 2-hour self-training session as a team
    • Greater interest in testing, greater motivation
  • Useful, visible, up-to-date metrics
    • Increase openness, reduce surprise, blame
    • Joint ownership of decisions, successes, failures
slide23

!

Conclusion

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Communication
    • Sessions gave us the tools to communicate
    • Better communication improved trust and effectiveness
  • Ongoing improvement
    • Sessions allow directed and disciplined approach
    • Feedback improved techniques and estimation
    • Empowerment increased morale and confidence
  • Openness
    • All figures available, all of the time, always current
    • Encouraged trust and interest
    • Allowed neutral feedback
conclusion1
Conclusion
  • Test sessions provide:
  • Control of unscripted testing
  • Framework for ongoing improvement
  • Overall lessons
    • Simple measures are the best
    • Favour effective communication and involvement over knee-jerk documentation
    • Unobtrusive, immediate metrics allow real-time control and feedback
slide26
More
  • Further details:
    • Paper, updates, references etc.
      • www.workroom-productions.com
    • Contact:
      • James Lyndsay
        • Jdl@workroom-productions.com