Notes from SoftTest “Kick Starting Automated Testing”

Belfast 19 Sep

Paul Gerrard’s talk was a call to review requirements.
He distinguished definitions of Check vs Test.
In Safety tests, they speak of a check for the part being “in good working order”
Look up Behaviour Driven Devt – a requirements driven structured language eg Cucumber, and DefoSpam.
You don’t want to end up with a long, brittle chain of unmaintainable test scripts.
Alternative: robot framework, write your own interface
See, SP.QA free story platform

John McHale, Storm tech, presented Microsoft ALM, VS Ultimate 2012
MS Test Center for manual testing with recording and playback.
Test Impact: What LOC were tested, to see what tests might be impacted by a change in code.

Dorothy Graham and on
Efficiency of finding bugs:
Regression testing 9%
Manual testing 28%
Exploratory testing 58%

See BCS Grove report “Experience-driven Test automation”
High maintenance cost of testware leads to abandonment. What happens to all your scripts if you change tools?
Solution: Separate tests from scripts. (I am reminded of the saying that there is no problem in computer science that cannot be solved by another level of indirection / interface)
Tools don’t replace testers, they support them.
Tester don’t need to learn coding: lose a good tester and gain a poor programmer.
Test automation is a developer’s job.
Deadline pressure usually pushes you back into manual testing.

David Evans, Neuri:
Attitude of learning from mistakes
Testing is never finished, merely stopped; defend your stopping heuristics.
Choosing which features to test = What do we have to let out that we assume is not working?
A bug report does not necessarily cause a bug fix to be added to a work queue.
Every bug (discovered in exploratory testing) is evidence of a missing (unit) test.
Value of a test is speed – timeliness to take action.
He is not fond of end-to-end testing – but I think a counter-example might be the Wobbly Bridge.
Transport analogy: the speed of the bus is never the point, but the service. So, neither is the speed of testing (goes against value argument?)
“Testing is slowing down development” –> Slowing the production of non-functioning code.
Coverage: lines of code are not paths.

About Patrick O'Beirne, Excel/VBA developer

Patrick provides consultancy and training in spreadsheet automation, data analysis, testing and model review; and the Excel spreadsheet auditing addin XLtest
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