Archive | April, 2013

Software Testing Dictionary

24 Apr

Acceptance Testing: Testing conducted to enable a user/customer to determine whether to accept a software product. Normally performed to validate the software meets a set of agreed acceptance criteria.

Accessibility Testing: Verifying a product is accessible to the people having disabilities (deaf, blind, mentally disabled etc.).

Accuracy – Capability of software product or application to provide the agreed results or effectswith specified degree of precision.

Actual Result – Behavior produced or observed when a component or system is tested.

Ad Hoc Testing: A testing phase where the tester tries to break the system by randomly trying the system’s functionality. Can include negative testing as well. See also Monkey Testing.

Adaptability – is the capability of software product to be adapted for specified multiple environments without applying actions other than those provided for the specific purpose for the software considered.

Agile Testing: Testing practice for projects using agile methodologies, treating development as the customer of testing and emphasizing a test-first design paradigm. See also Test Driven Development.

Automated Software Quality (ASQ): The use of software tools, such as automated testing tools, to improve software quality.

Alpha Testing – Operational testing by intented users / customers or an independent test team at the developer’s location. Alpha testing is often employed for off the shelf software as a form of internal acceptance testing.

Analyzability- capability of the software product or system to be diagnosed for deficiencies or causes of failures in the software or for the parts to be modified to be identified.

Automated Testware – Testware used in test automation such as tool scripts etc.

Back to Back Testing – Software Testing in which more than one variants of a software system are executed with the same inputs and the outputs compared & analyzed in cases of discrepancies.

Basis Path Testing: A white box test case design technique that uses the algorithmic flow of the program to design tests.

Basis Set: The set of tests derived using basis path testing.

Beta Testing: Testing of a re-release of a software product conducted by customers.

Benchmark Test – A test that is be used to compare components or systems to each other or to a standard.

Big Bang Testing: Type of integration testing in which software elements and hardware
elements are combined all at once.

Binary Portability Testing: Testing an executable application for portability across system platforms and environments, usually for conformation to an ABI specification.

Black Box Testing: Testing based on an analysis of the specification of a piece of software without reference to its internal workings. The goal is to test how well the component conforms to the published requirements for the component.

Blocked test case – A test case which cannot be executed because the pre-conditions for its
execution are not fulfilled.

Bottom Up Testing: An approach to integration testing where the lowest level components are tested first, then used to facilitate the testing of higher level components. The process is repeated until the component at the top of the hierarchy is tested.

Boundary Testing: Test which focus on the boundary or limit conditions of the software being tested. (Some of these tests are stress tests).

Boundary Value – Input value or output value which is on the edge of an equivalence
partition or at the smallest incremental distance on either side of an edge. The example can be
minimum or maximum value of a range.

Boundary Value Coverage – %age of boundary values that have been exercised by a test suite.

Branch Coverage – %age of branches that have been exercised by a test suite. 100% branch coverage implies both 100% decision coverage and 100% statement coverage.

Bug: A fault in a program which causes the program to perform in an unintended or unanticipated manner.

Boundary Value Analysis: BVA is similar to Equivalence Partitioning but focuses on “corner cases” or values that are usually out of range as defined by the specification. his means that if a function expects all values in range of negative 100 to positive 1000, test inputs would include negative 101 and positive 1001.

Branch Testing: Testing in which all branches in the program source code are tested at least once.

Breadth Testing: A test suite that exercises the full functionality of a product but does not test features in detail.

Business Process Based Testing – An approach to software testing in which test cases are designed based on descriptions and knowledge of business processes and components.

CAST: Computer Aided Software Testing.

Capture/Replay Tool: A test tool that records test input as it is sent to the software under test. The input cases stored can then be used to reproduce the test at a later time. Most commonly applied to GUI test tools.

CMM: The Capability Maturity Model for Software (CMM or SW-CMM) is a model for judging the maturity of the software processes of an organization and for identifying the key practices that are required to increase the maturity of these processes.

Cause Effect Graph: A graphical representation of inputs and the associated outputs effects which can be used to design test cases.

Changeability – capability of the software or system to enable specified modifications to be implemented.

Classification Tree Method – Black box test design technique in which test cases, described by means of a classification tree which are designed to execute combinations of representatives of input and output domains.

Code Complete: Phase of development where functionality is implemented in entirety; bug fixes are all that are left. All functions found in the Functional Specifications have been implemented.

Code Coverage: An analysis method that determines which parts of the software have been executed (covered) by the test case suite and which parts have not been executed and therefore may require additional attention.

Code Inspection: A formal testing technique where the programmer reviews source code with a group who ask questions analyzing the program logic, analyzing the code with respect to a checklist of historically common programming errors, and analyzing its compliance with coding standards.

Code Walkthrough: A formal testing technique where source code is traced by a group with a small set of test cases, while the state of program variables is manually monitored, to analyze the programmer’s logic and assumptions.

Compatibility Testing: Testing whether software is compatible with other elements of a system with which it should operate, e.g. browsers, Operating Systems, or hardware.

Compliance – Capability of the software product to adhere to standards or regulations in laws and similar prescriptions.

Compliance Testing – Process of testing to determine the compliance of component or
system.

Component – minimal software item that can be tested in isolation.

Component Integration Testing – Software Testing performed to expose defects in the interfaces & interaction between components.

Compound Condition Testing – Testing tTwo or more single conditions joined by means of a logical operator.

Concurrency Testing: Multi-user testing geared towards determining the effects of accessing the same application code, module or database records. Identifies and measures the level of locking, deadlocking and use of single-threaded code and locking semaphores.

Conformance Testing: The process of testing that an implementation conforms to the specification on which it is based. Usually applied to testing conformance to a formal standard.

Context Driven Testing: The context-driven school of software testing is flavor of Agile Testing that advocates continuous and creative evaluation of testing opportunities in light of the potential information revealed and the value of that information to the organization right now.

Conversion Testing: Testing of programs or procedures used to convert data from existing systems for use in replacement systems.

Cyclomatic Complexity: A measure of the logical complexity of an algorithm, used in white-box testing.

Daily Build – It is a development activity where a complete system is compiled and linked every day so that a consistent system is available at any time including all latest changes.

Data Driven Testing: Testing in which the action of a test case is parameterized by externally defined data values, maintained as a file or spreadsheet. A common technique in Automated Testing.

Data Flow Testing – White box test design technique in which software test cases are designed to execute definition and use pairs of variables.

Database Integrity Testing: Testing the methods used to access and manage the data or database to ensure that during access to the database, data is not corrupted or unexpectedly deleted, updated or created.

Decision Condition Testing – White box test design technique in which test cases are designed to execute condition outcomes and decision outcomes.

Decision Table Testing – Black box test design techniques in which test cases are designed to execute the combinations of inputs put in a decision table.

Defect: Nonconformance to requirements or functional / program specification

Defect Management – Process of recognizing, investigating, taking action and disposing
of defects. It involves recording and tracking of defects by classifying them and identifying the impact.

Defect Masking – Occurrence in which one defect prevents the detection of another.

Dependency Testing: Examines an application’s requirements for pre-existing software, initial states and configuration in order to maintain proper functionality.

Depth Testing: A test that exercises a feature of a product in full detail.

Design Based Testing – Approach to test in which test cases are designed based on architecture and detailed design of the system.

Development Testing – A Formal or informal testing conducted by developers during the implementation of a component or system.

Documentation Testing – Testing of the quality of the documentation.

Dynamic Testing: Testing software through executing it. See also Static Testing.

Efficiency Testing – Process of testing to determine the efficiency of a software product.

Elementary Comparison Testing – Black box test design technique in which the concept of condition determination coverage is used to design the test cases are to execute combinations of inputs.

Endurance Testing: Checks for memory leaks or other problems that may occur with prolonged execution.

End-to-End testing: Testing a complete application environment in a situation that mimics real-world use, such as interacting with a database, using network communications, or interacting with other hardware, applications, or systems if appropriate.

Equivalence Class: A portion of a component’s input or output domains for which the component’s behavior is assumed to be the same from the component’s specification.

Equivalence Partitioning: A test case design technique for a component in which test cases are designed to execute representatives from equivalence classes.

Error Guessing – Test design technique where the experience of a tester is used to identify what defects might be present in the component or system under test.

Error seeding – Process of intentionally adding known defects to a component or system for the purpose of monitoring the rate of detection, removal and estimating the number of remaining defects.

Exhaustive Testing: Testing which covers all combinations of input values and preconditions for an element of the software under test.

Exploratory Testing: It is an informal test design technique where a tester actively controls the design of the tests as those tests are performed while testing to design new and better tests.

Functional Decomposition: A technique used during planning, analysis and design; creates a functional hierarchy for the software.

Functional Specification: A document that describes in detail the characteristics of the product with regard to its intended features.

Functional Testing:

· Testing the features and operational behavior of a product to ensure they correspond to its specifications.

· Testing that ignores the internal mechanism of a system or component and focuses solely on the outputs generated in response to selected inputs and execution conditions.

Frozen Test Basis – Test basis document that can only be modified or amended by a formal change control process.

Gorilla Testing: Testing one particular module,functionality heavily.

Gray Box Testing: A combination of Black Box and White Box testing methodologies: testing a piece of software against its specification but using some knowledge of its internal workings.

High Order Tests: Black-box tests conducted once the software has been integrated.

Independent Test Group (ITG): A group of people whose primary responsibility is software testing.

Inspection: A group review quality improvement process for written material. It consists of two aspects; product (document itself) improvement and process improvement (of both document production and inspection).

Integration Testing: Testing of combined parts of an application to determine if they function together correctly. Usually performed after unit and functional testing. This type of testing is especially relevant to client/server and distributed systems.

Installation Testing: Confirms that the application under test recovers from expected or unexpected events without loss of data or functionality. Events can include shortage of disk space, unexpected loss of communication, or power out conditions.

Localization Testing: This term refers to making software specifically designed for a specific locality.

Loop Testing: A white box testing technique that exercises program loops.

Monkey Testing: Testing a system or an Application on the fly, i.e just few tests here and there to ensure the system or an application does not crash out.

Negative Testing: Testing aimed at showing software does not work. Also known as “test to fail”.

Path Testing: Testing in which all paths in the program source code are tested at least once.

Penetration testing: Evaluating the security of a computer system or network by hacking. it is the process of actively evaluating your information security measures. For more datails, please see my other post on Penetration Testing

Performance Testing: Testing conducted to evaluate the compliance of a system or component with specified performance requirements. Often this is performed using an automated test tool to simulate large number of users.

Positive Testing: Testing aimed at showing software works. Also known as “test to pass”.

Quality Assurance: All those planned or systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service is of the type and quality needed and expected by the customer.

Quality Audit: A systematic and independent examination to determine whether quality activities and related results comply with planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve objectives.

Quality Circle: A group of individuals with related interests that meet at regular intervals to consider problems or other matters related to the quality of outputs of a process and to the correction of problems or to the improvement of quality.

Quality Control: The operational techniques and the activities used to fulfill and verify requirements of quality.

Ramp Testing: Continuously raising an input signal until the system breaks down.

Recovery Testing: Confirms that the program recovers from expected or unexpected events without loss of data or functionality. Events can include shortage of disk space, unexpected loss of communication, or power out conditions.

Regression Testing: Retesting a previously tested program following modification to ensure that faults have not been introduced or uncovered as a result of the changes made.

Release Candidate: A pre-release version, which contains the desired functionality of the final version, but which needs to be tested for bugs (which ideally should be removed before the final version is released).

Sanity Testing: Brief test of major functional elements of a piece of software to determine if its basically operational.

Scalability Testing: Performance testing focused on ensuring the application under test gracefully handles increases in work load.

Security Testing: Testing which confirms that the program can restrict access to authorized personnel and that the authorized personnel can access the functions available to their security level.

Smoke Testing: A quick-and-dirty test that the major functions of a piece of software work. Originated in the hardware testing practice of turning on a new piece of hardware for the first time and considering it a success if it does not catch on fire.

Soak Testing: Running a system at high load for a prolonged period of time. For example, running several times more transactions in an entire day (or night) than would be expected in a busy day, to identify and performance problems that appear after a large number of transactions have been executed.

Software Testing: A set of activities conducted with the intent of finding errors in software.

Static Analysis: Analysis of a program carried out without executing the program.

Static Analyzer: A tool that carries out static analysis.

Static Testing: Analysis of a program carried out without executing the program.

Storage Testing: Testing that verifies the program under test stores data files in the correct directories and that it reserves sufficient space to prevent unexpected termination resulting from lack of space. This is external storage as opposed to internal storage.

Stress Testing: Testing conducted to evaluate a system or component at or beyond the limits of its specified requirements to determine the load under which it fails and how. Often this is performance testing using a very high level of simulated load.

Structural Testing: Testing based on an analysis of internal workings and structure of a piece of software.

System Testing: Testing that attempts to discover defects that are properties of the entire system rather than of its individual components.

Testability: The degree to which a system or component facilitates the establishment of test criteria and the performance of tests to determine whether those criteria have been met.

Testing:

· The process of exercising software to verify that it satisfies specified requirements and to detect errors.

· The process of analyzing a software item to detect the differences between existing and required conditions (that is, bugs), and to evaluate the features of the software item (Ref. IEEE Std 829).

· The process of operating a system or component under specified conditions, observing or recording the results, and making an evaluation of some aspect of the system or component.

Test Bed: An execution environment configured for testing. May consist of specific hardware, OS, network topology, configuration of the product under test, other application or system software, etc. The Test Plan for a project should enumerated the test beds(s) to be used.

Test Case:

· Test Case is a commonly used term for a specific test. This is usually the smallest unit of testing. A Test Case will consist of information such as requirements testing, test steps, verification steps, prerequisites, outputs, test environment, etc.

· A set of inputs, execution preconditions, and expected outcomes developed for a particular objective, such as to exercise a particular program path or to verify compliance with a specific requirement.

Test Driven Development: Testing methodology associated with Agile Programming in which every chunk of code is covered by unit tests, which must all pass all the time, in an effort to eliminate unit-level and regression bugs during development. Practitioners of TDD write a lot of tests, i.e. an equal number of lines of test code to the size of the production code.

Test Driver: A program or test tool used to execute a tests. Also known as a Test Harness.

Test Environment: The hardware and software environment in which tests will be run, and any other software with which the software under test interacts when under test including stubs and test drivers.

Test First Design: Test-first design is one of the mandatory practices of Extreme Programming (XP).It requires that programmers do not write any production code until they have first written a unit test.

Test Harness: A program or test tool used to execute a tests.

Test Plan: A document describing the scope, approach, resources, and schedule of intended testing activities. It identifies test items, the features to be tested, the testing tasks, who will do each task, and any risks requiring contingency planning.

Test Procedure: A document providing detailed instructions for the execution of one or more test cases.

Test Script: Commonly used to refer to the instructions for a particular test that will be carried out by an automated test tool.

Test Specification: A document specifying the test approach for a software feature or combination or features and the inputs, predicted results and execution conditions for the associated tests.

Test Suite: A collection of tests used to validate the behavior of a product. The scope of a Test Suite varies from organization to organization. There may be several Test Suites for a particular product for example. In most cases however a Test Suite is a high level concept, grouping together hundreds or thousands of tests related by what they are intended to test.

Test Tools: Computer programs used in the testing of a system, a component of the system, or its documentation.

Thread Testing: A variation of top-down testing where the progressive integration of components follows the implementation of subsets of the requirements, as opposed to the integration of components by successively lower levels.

Top Down Testing: An approach to integration testing where the component at the top of the component hierarchy is tested first, with lower level components being simulated by stubs. Tested components are then used to test lower level components. The process is repeated until the lowest level components have been tested.

Total Quality Management: A company commitment to develop a process that achieves high quality product and customer satisfaction.

Traceability Matrix: A document showing the relationship between Test Requirements and Test Cases.

Usability Testing: Testing the ease with which users can learn and use a product.

Use Case: The specification of tests that are conducted from the end-user perspective. Use cases tend to focus on operating software as an end-user would conduct their day-to-day activities.

Unit Testing: Testing of individual software components.

Validation: The process of evaluating software at the end of the software development process to ensure compliance with software requirements. The techniques for validation is testing, inspection and reviewing.

Verification: The process of determining whether of not the products of a given phase of the software development cycle meet the implementation steps and can be traced to the incoming objectives established during the previous phase. The techniques for verification are testing, inspection and reviewing.

Volume Testing: Testing which confirms that any values that may become large over time (such as accumulated counts, logs, and data files), can be accommodated by the program and will not cause the program to stop working or degrade its operation in any manner.

Walkthrough: A review of requirements, designs or code characterized by the author of the material under review guiding the progression of the review.

White Box Testing: Testing based on an analysis of internal workings and structure of a piece of software. Includes techniques such as Branch Testing and Path Testing. Also known as Structural Testing and Glass Box Testing.

Workflow Testing: Scripted end-to-end testing which duplicates specific workflows which are expected to be utilized by the end-user. Click here to continue Reading this post.

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Exploratory Testing

24 Apr

Table of Content

1.Introduction
2.All testers do this…
3.Study the new project
4.Choosing Approach
5.Choosing the Executors
6.3 stages of Exploratory Testing
7.Summarizing and evaluating: merits and demerits
8.Conclusion

Introduction
When you first meet the concept of the exploratory testing you can think that its name fully exposes the sense of this sort of activity. But if you get a little bit deeper – this confidence weakens and disappears. Especially clear it can be seen when balancing between the concepts of the exploratory and wild testing, which in one hand are synonyms in QA industry, and in another  (from the good sense point of view) – contrary one to another. It’s because what can have in common the exploration – serious, responsible and well-organized process – and something wild and chaotic, that is wild testing?

And nevertheless I would say that these two types are much interconnected. It is possible even to say that the wild testing is a subset of the exploratory testing, as the last one is very powerful tool, which is used for any software product, as probably no other type of testing is. You can’t start working with any application without it. Even without realizing that, a tester makes first steps in working with a product according to the written and unwritten rules of the exploratory testing.

So what is exploratory testing, when and how it is utilized, what are its goals, approaches,  benefits and penalties?

We’ll discuss everything that in this article.

All testers do this…
The exploratory testing is the only type of testing which does not have a certain scenario. There are no documented Test Plan and test cases. All of scenarios are born in the tester’s mind just in the process of testing and are executed at once. Here is the main difficulty of the process – you should have a considerable base of knowledge and experience.

The main purposes of the exploratory testing are study of the software product (if it’s the first time when tester works with it) and search for the cases untaken into account in the test documentation (if it’s not the first session of work). Watching the program, you hypothesize about its possible behavior, the variants of its responses to your actions and then check up these hypotheses.

And however you can’t do it without a plan. To make the testing more effective it is recommended to create the check-list which will guide you. It’s not obligatory to have it written down but it’s strongly recommended to bear it in mind.

The ideal variant of realization of the exploratory testing is drafting and passing user-cases or tests, which are maximally close to the actions usually performed by user.

If it is the first time when the program is tested, then putting yourself on the user’s place you can find out the most critical bugs for the application functioning. And even if it’s not the first time you work with an application it’s useful to think like a user. The more time tester spends with developers the more he adopts their way of thinking and move away from user. The situation is aggravated by the shortage of time for testing. The more systematic character has the execution of test sets and the less time team has for it the less fantasy is shown by the tester. It’s hard to meet the schedule when you find an «interesting» situation and start to experiment. As the result the vision of the project stiffens, associations become very specific and linked to the concrete steps and terms. It is difficult to find something new or do the same in other way with such adaptation.

So, performing the exploratory testing always try to think in the way a user thinks!

During the testing you should not limit yourself by some rational scopes or paradigms – in fact users very often perform very inefficient actions which can have some unpleasant results.

Try to analyze, what functionality is utilized more frequently and what is touched much rarer. This information will help you to distribute your attention among different features.

The important initial stage of the exploratory testing is formulating the goal. Ask yourself: «Why do I do it? For what purpose?» After completing the testing try to measure your success.

The list of the most widespread goals

  • Study of the new product;
  • Exposure of omissions in the test-plan. The result is to add non-standard tests to the test coverage;
  • Performing the testing of the project with incomplete or inexact specification or when the specification is absent;
  • Research of the specific defect;
  • Improvement of the product quality after completion of the basic (for example, functional) testing.
  • Study the new project

Mostly common the exploratory testing is used as the tool for the study of the new project or functionality.

In this situation you should try to learn all accessible information before starting the testing process.

Documentation is on the first place, as usual. If it’s present, of cause… Specifications, requirement specifications will always remain the faithful helpers of tester.

If consider the process of the exploratory testing as the building of a house, then the documentation is its reliable foundation.

The second step is to ask developers and project managers. They always possess necessary knowledge about the project, therefore do not ignore ANY useful information, ask them questions. My experience shows that this meeting can considerably change your priorities and add new test cases.

Choosing approach
The next stage in building of our house is to choose a project. How we will build? What materials will be used? Where will windows and doors be?

Returning to the QA industry terminology we should choose testing approach. There exist a lot of them, we will consider a few basic ones:

Basic functionality. It is especially important when we have tough time constraints. In this case we shouldn’t get into details and get stuck in some little things. First of all it is necessary to check up main functionality and make sure in its capacity for work.
Places where bugs appear the most frequently. Such places can be the new functionality or those parts of the program which are the most frequently rebuilt. Certainly, this approach is applicable only in case if it’s not the first time you work with the program, and already know its thin places.
The simplest use-cases (for the new build validation). If you’ve got the new version, or version after the deep refactoring then don’t be too lazy to check up the most ordinary use-case, and if it fails return this version to the developers with confidence.
Set of the “favorite” bugs. It will work if the tester knows the programmer well. Each developer has the set of the “favorite” bugs – and each software solution has. When there is much experience of testing even the exploratory testing can be performed by the algorithm.
Concentration on everything and on nothing concretely.  This approach is slightly philosophical. Begin to work with the application as a user and concentrate your attention on everything and on nothing concretely. It’s just like you watch from the outside what is going on. Don’t try to analyze anything while working but be ready to start the analysis at any moment and reproduce all of the steps.
Vulnerability. Those who know the design and UML will get it easier. The schematic model of the project is created, and the weakest place is determined using different methods and approaches. Analysis can be performed from the position of user, architecture or realization. Unlike the usual test design here we analyze the specific model – mixture of architecture of business processes and human perception.

Choosing the executors
So we chose the project for our house J. Next question is about the workers. Who will be assigned to this responsible task?

The first are QA specialists. When choosing the responsible tester you should estimate his experience. It is not inconceivable that assigning an inexperienced man to perform the exploratory testing of the new product you will spend time for unavailing mouse clicking.

It is good to get not only QA specialists to take part in the exploratory testing but also other team members, for example developers. Frequently a tester thinks deeper than a user usually does and so sometimes he complicates a task while not seeing the most obvious errors. The exploratory testing will be good here with its fresh look to the situation.

After performing the regression testing of the product many companies invite independent experts who perform the exploratory testing, simulating the behavior of end users. Expenses on such testing usually justify themselves, as far as critical bugs will be found and fixed before the release.

3 stages of exploratory testing

Watch Out! Construction Work!

Many sources describe the process of the exploratory testing as the following cycle of actions:

study of the product -> planning of tests ->  implementation of tests

And everything this, as already mentioned higher, is not fixed in documents but takes place only in the tester’s mind. It is another argument in behalf on that the exploratory testing should be performed by really experienced specialists: it is the only type of testing, which includes 3 stages of testing of software product simultaneously.

The following questions can help in the process of planning of tests:

  • And what will happen if …?
  • And how the program will respond on such my actions?
  • What data can I get?

Summarizing we can say that the slogan of the exploratory testing is: «Imagine the problem, and then find it».

Summarizing and evaluating: merits and demerits
Walls are ready. Just one small thing is left to do– to construct the roof.

In this section we’ll sum up and, as a result, describe pluses and minuses of the exploratory testing.

Merits of the exploratory testing:

1.Exposes functionality, uncovered by tests;
2.Helps to find the skipped bugs;
3.Allows to look at the product from the end user point of view;
4.Helps to realize the mission of the tested product, improves understanding of it;
5.Requires little preliminary work as far as it’s not too formalized;
6.Helps to find out the majority of critical bugs almost at once;
7.It is acceptable in terms of lack of resources;
8.Discovers usability bugs.

Demerits of the exploratory testing:

1.It is impossible to estimate time for this testing, and, consequently, to set the terms of project completion;
2.It is hard to estimate the project if only exploratory testing is used – it is impossible to make statistics of passed and to failed tests, which is one of basic indexes of product quality.
3.There is no other possibility to check up results but just fully retest the project;
4.It’s impossible to review test cases;
5.The exploratory testing never can be performed identically for several times. Some tests will slip out each time, and so there is a risk to skip some bugs;
6.Results depend much on the experience of tester.
Conclusion
You can read music and you can improvise. Any skills suppose, foremost, that you master some basic techniques and also have certain framework to use as a ground of improvisation.

The same is true for the testing. The exploratory testing is improvisation, the highest degree of tester mastery. It is a complex creative process requiring significant efforts. To perform really qualitative exploratory testing tester should have a lot of experience.

Perform the exploratory testing for the first acquaintance with a product, and it will help to study and understand your application.

Execute the exploratory testing simultaneously with the regressive testing – you will promote the quality of your product, discovering the serious non-standard errors just on the testing stage.

Perform the exploratory testing after basic one and you will be able to discover and remove bugs that slipped out before.

SDLC – Systematic Software Development Cycle

24 Apr
SDLC is a systematic and orderly approach to solving problems related to software systems or in other words, we can say it is a structure imposed on the development of a software product.

Domain Analysis: This phase is very important. The more knowledgeable you are about the domain, less the work required. Another objective of this phase is to make the analysts who will later try to elicit and gather the requirements from the area experts or professionals. So, this phase is an important prelude to extracting and gathering the requirements.

Requirement Analysis: The most important task in creating a software product is extracting the requirements. Customers typically know what they want, but not what software should do, while incomplete, ambiguous or contradictory requirements are recognized by skilled and experienced software engineers.
 
Scope Analysis: Once the requirements are gathered from the client, an analysis of the scope of the development should be determined and clearly stated. This is often called a scope document. 
 
Specification: It is the task of precisely describing the software to be written, possibly in a rigorous way. In practice, most successful specifications are written to understand and fine-tune applications that were already well-developed, although safety-critical software systems are often carefully specified prior to application development. Specifications are most important for external interfaces that must remain stable. A good way to determine whether the specifications are sufficiently precise is to have a third party review the documents making sure that the requirements are logically sound.
 
Software Architecture/Design: Architecture is concerned with making sure the software system will meet the requirements of the product, as well as ensuring that future requirements can be addressed. The architecture step also addresses interfaces between the software system and other software products, as well as the underlying hardware or the host operating system.
 
Coding: The design must be translated into a machine-readable form. The code generation step performs this task. If the design is performed in a detailed manner, code generation can be accomplished without much complication. Programming tools like compilers, interpreters etc… are used to generate the code. Different high level programming languages like C, C++, Pascal, Java are used for coding. With respect to the type of application, the right programming language is chosen.
 
Testing: Once the code is generated, the application / software testing begins. Different testing methodologies are available to unravel the bugs that were committed during the previous phases. Different testing tools and methodologies are already available. Some companies build their own testing tools that are tailor made for their own development operations. 
 
Implementation: After the code is appropriately tested and approved, it is made available for business use i.e. moved into production environment.
 
Documentation: An important task is documenting the internal design of software for the purpose of future maintenance and enhancement.
 
Software Training and Support: As a part of the deployment phase, it is very important to have training classes for the software user. Users will have lots of questions and software problems which leads to the next phase of software.

Maintenance: Maintaining and enhancing software to cope with newly discovered problems or new requirements can take far more time than the initial development of the software.

Comparison of different development models

24 Apr

Different Software Development models have different features and properties. Selection of the software development model depends on the nature of project and client. Here, I will try to give a comparison of various software development models with three parameters:

 1. Contribution to Quality

2. Risks Associated

3. Context of adoption

 Model Name: Waterfall Model

Contribution to Quality: Phase End Checks

Risks Associated: Expects a task to be well done in the first go

Context of adoption: When the requirements are structured and competence is high

 Model Name: Software Development Lie Cycle Model (ETVX Model)

Contribution to Quality: Entry task verification exit definition and quality control through feedback.

Risks Associated: Final Product available only after the complete cycle

Context of adoption: When the requirements are quite structured, but scale is large. One may need to go back for rework if required.

 Model Name: Prototype Model

Contribution to Quality: 1. Seeing is believing. 2. Go iterative and involve customer. 3. Produce working models to give faster delivery and have concrete feedback.

Risks Associated: The scrap may go uncontrollable

Sponsored Links: Context of adoption: When needs to try out things before making a commitment to deliver.

 Model Name: Spiral Model

Contribution to Quality: 1. Avoid scrap as well as rework – do right the first time. 2. Analyze risks before undertaking the next enhancement.

Risks Associated: Inadequate experience and subjective method of risk management

Context of adoption: When the scale is large and planned; passed development would give confidence to move ahead or stop as suited.

 Model Name: V-Model

Contribution to Quality: Plan for testing of artifacts much before their actual completion

Risks Associated: Testing techniques applied may remain subjective

Context of adoption: It is a philosophy that can be applied with any other models you choose.

 Model Name: Unified Process Model

Contribution to Quality: 1. Iterative evolutionary use case centric development. 2. Defines workflows and milestones for better project management.

Risks Associated: Identification of phases needs experience.

Context of adoption: When the scale of project is large.

 Model Name: Agile Models

Contribution to Quality: Anytime delivery through flexible design, limited scope and quick reviews.

Risks Associated: Flexible design techniques not well established. The designers lack an understanding of business need for agility.

Context of adoption: When business needs are dynamic and need to be fulfilled immediately.