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Surviving the Top Ten Challenges of Software Testing: A People-Oriented Approach

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Surviving the Top Ten Challenges of Software Testing: A People-Oriented Approach

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Description

  • Copyright 2014
  • Pages: 216
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-348860-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-348860-9

This is the digital version of hte printed book (Copyright © 1997).

Software testers require technical and political skills to survive what can often be a lose-lose relationship with developers and managers.

Whether testing is your specialty or your stepping stone to a career as a developer, there's no better way to survive the pressures put on testers than to meet the ten challenges described in this practical handbook.

This book goes beyond the technical skills required for effective testing to address the political realities that can't be solved by technical knowledge alone. Communication and negotiation skills must be in every tester's tool kit.

Authors Perry and Rice compile a "top ten" list of the challenges faced by testers and offer tactics for success. They combine their years of experience in developing testing processes, writing books and newsletters on testing, and teaching seminars on how to test.

The challenges are addressed in light of the way testing fits into the context of software development and how testers can maximize their relationships with managers, developers, and customers.


In fact, anyone who works with software testers should read this book for insight into the unique pressures put on this part of the software development process.

"Somewhere between the agony of rushed deadlines and the luxury of all the time in the world has got to be a reasonable approach to testing."—from Chapter 8

The Top Ten People Challenges Facing Testers

Challenge #10: Getting Trained in Testing
Challenge #9: Building Relationships with Developers
Challenge #8: Testing Without Tools
Challenge #7: Explaining Testing to Managers
Challenge #6: Communicating with Customers—And Users
Challenge #5: Making Time for Testing
Challenge #4: Testing What's Thrown Over the Wall
Challenge #3: Hitting a Moving Target
Challenge #2: Fighting a Lose-Lose Situation
Challenge #1: Having to Say No

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Surviving the Top Ten Challenges of Software Testing: Challenge #5: Making Time for Testing

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Table of Contents

Chapter One • How Testing Tests Testers 1

THE TESTER'S WORLD 2

TESTER 1 VERSUS TESTER 2 3

THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE TESTER'S PEOPLE CHALLENGE 4

THE TOP TEN PEOPLE-RELATED CHALLENGES 7

ROAD MAP THROUGH THE BOOK 11


Chapter Two • Does Testing Test You? 13

WHY DO A SELF-ASSESSMENT? 13

THE THREE NECESSARY INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS 14

SELF-ASSESSMENT INSTRUCTIONS 15

SUMMARIZING THE SELF-ASSESSMENT RESULTS 16

INTERPRETING SELF-ASSESSMENT RESULTS 22

Conclusion 1: Overall Assessment 22

Conclusion 2: Criterion Assessment 24


Chapter Three • Challenge #10: Getting Trained in Testing  25

OVERVIEW 25

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 26

What Went Wrong in This Scenario? 26

IMPACT ON TESTING 27

Skill Categories and Descriptions 28

Knowing What Kinds of Testing Should Be Performed 29

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 36

Raise Management Awareness of Testing 36

Make Time for Training 38

Develop Your Own Skills 38

Certify Your Testing Skills 41

SOLUTION IMPEDIMENTS 41

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 42

PLAN OF ACTION 43

Chapter Four • Challenge #9: Building Relationships with Developers 45

OVERVIEW 45

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 45

IMPACT ON TESTING 47

The Impact on Testing Progress 48

The Impact on Group Morale 49

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 51

Adopt a Win-Win Approach 51

Widen Your View of Testing 52

Move from "Us versus Them" to "Us and Them" 52

SOLUTION IMPEDIMENTS 53

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 55

PLAN OF ACTION 56

Chapter Five • Challenge #8: Testing Without Tools 57

OVERVIEW 57

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 58

IMPACT ON TESTING 59

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 66

Educate Management on the Use of Test Tools 66

Perform a Tool Survey 68

Define Your Requirements 68

Perform a Cost/Benefit Analysis 69

Investigate Tools Available 69

Integrate Test Tools with an Effective Testing Process 70

SOLUTION IMPEDIMENTS 70

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 71

PLAN OF ACTION 73

Chapter Six • Challenge #7: Explaining Testing to Managers 75

OVERVIEW 75

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 76

IMPACT ON TESTING 77

An Unsupportive View of Test Management 78

A Strategic View of Test Management 81

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 82

Identify the Stakeholders at the Management Level 84

Raise Awareness of the Testing Function 85

Network with Other Organizations to Learn How They Deal with Management 85

Establish a Testing Charter to Define the Purpose of Testing in Your Organization 86

Define Measurable Testing Objectives 86

Dedicate a Manager of Testing Who Understands the Issues and Challenges 86

Make Testing a Process 88

SOLUTION IMPEDIMENTS 88

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 89

PLAN OF ACTION 90


Chapter Seven • Challenge #6: Communicating with Customers—And Users 92

OVERVIEW 92

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 93

IMPACT ON TESTING 94

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 96

Teamwork 98

Communication 98

Continuous Involvement 101

SOLUTION MPEDIMENTS 104

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 105

PLAN OF ACTION 106

Chapter Eight • Challenge #5: Making Time for Testing 107

OVERVIEW 107

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 108

IMPACT ON TESTING 111

Reduced Test Coverage 112

Increased Risk of Regression Defects 112

Fatigue, Burnout, and LowMorale 113

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 114

Control the Scope of Testing 114

Control Management Expectations 114

Base Test Cases on an Independent Set of Criteria 114

Perform Risk Assessments 115

Reuse Your Testware 115

Estimate the Testing Effort Based on Measurable Criteria 116

Use Automation 116

SOLUTION IMPEDIMENTS 117

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 119

PLAN OF ACTION 121

Chapter Nine • Challenge #4: Testing What's Thrown Over the Wall 122

OVERVIEW 122

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 123

IMPACT ON TESTING 125

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 126

Get Management Support to Define Roles and Responsibilities 126

Establish Standards and Processes for Testing 126

Establish Ownership and Accountability at the Developer Level 128

Train Developers to Be Excellent Testers 128

Improve Communication Between Developers and Testers 129

Measure and Refine the Processes Continually 129

Establish Ground Rules 130

SOLUTION IMPEDIMENTS 130

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 131

PLAN OF ACTION 132

Chapter Ten • Challenge #3: Hitting a Moving Target 133

OVERVIEW 133

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 134

IMPACT ON TESTING 136

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 137

Rework of Testware 138

Regression Testing of Previously Tested Software 139

Backlog Created by Rapid Change 143

SOLUTION IMPEDIMENTS 144

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 146

PLAN OF ACTION 147

Chapter Eleven • Challenge #2: Fighting a Lose-Lose Situation 149

OVERVIEW 149

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 149

IMPACT ON TESTING 152

Keeping an Organization at a Low Level of Process Maturity 152

Trivializing and Undermining the Testing Process 152

Demoralizing Testers 153

Fostering a False View of Testing 153

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 154

Communicate the Role of Testing to the Rest of the Organization 154

Identify What Testers Can Reasonably Accomplish 154

Set and Manage Customer Expectations of Production Software 155

SOLUTION IMPEDIMENTS 157

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 158

PLAN OF ACTION 159

Chapter Twelve • Challenge #1: Having to Say No 61

OVERVIEW 161

STATE OF THE PRACTICE 162

IMPACT ON TESTING 163

Test Reporting Is Your Friend! 165

SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGE 165

Standardize Test Reports 165

Make Test Reporting Part of the Testing Process 166

Manage Your Audience's Expectations 166

Use Creative Reporting Techniques 168

Focus on the Facts 168

Be Truthful 168

Document Your Tests 169

Build a Mature Culture 170

SOLUTION IMPEDIMENTS   171

GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS 172

PLAN OF ACTION 173

Chapter Thirteen • Plan of Action to Improve Testing 175

BUILD THE WILL TO IMPROVE 176

USE THE WAY TO CHANGE THE TESTING PROCESS 178

Step 1: What Needs to Be Changed 180

Step 2: How Much Change (The Goal) 182

Step 3: How to Make the Change (The Plan) 183

Step 4: How to Build Support 183

Step 5: How to Monitor and Measure the Change 186

Step 6: How to Reward Participants 188

TESTING IMPROVEMENT IS A NEVER-ENDING PROCESS 189

Resources 191

RELATED READING 191

CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS FOR SOFTWARE TESTING 192

LOCAL QUALITY ASSURANCE GROUPS 192

Index 195

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