Rob Kuijt's Testing Blog
Finding bugs AEAP (As Early As Possibly) 
Saturday, June 7, 2008, 07:56 PM - ALM, Quality, Testing, TMap®
Posted by Rob Kuijt
Analyzing and fixing a bug is, without doubt, a loss of time. And the later the bug is found, the greater are the losses. Finding bugs AEAP (As Early As Possibly) becomes more and more important, especially in the complex systems we make nowadays. So, let's join the knowledge of the Developer, the Tester and the Designer and tackle this challenge!


Of course we can train the individual team members to test their own work....but, I know from my own experience, you can be blind for your own short comings.

In the Application Life Cycle we should stimulate Developers, Testers and Designers to work together in the challenge to Find Bugs AEAP (As Early As Possibly). Join their knowledge and they will accomplish better systems in less time!
For instance, let's look into the creating of Unit Test cases. The Unit Test mechanism is great, but if you don't know anything about test coverage it's almost impossible to get the advantages you want.
Let me give an example how the Developer, the Testers and the Designers can work together....

Case
Let’s say a Developer must create a component that contains the following decisions:
if C1 and (C2 or not C3)
then
        if C5 or C4
        then
                "Result_1"
        else
                “Result_2"
        end if
else
        if C3 and C4
        then
                "Result_2"
        else
                "Result_3"
        end if
end if


We want to create Unit Test cases which will Find the Bugs AEAP....That's why we must choose for the best test coverage: Modified Condition/Decision Coverage (MC/DC)


Modified Condition/Decision Coverage
Every point of entry and exit in the program has been invoked at least once, every condition in a decision in the program has taken on all possible outcomes at least once, and each condition has been shown to affect that decision outcome independently. A condition is shown to affect a decision’s outcome independently by varying just that decision while holding fixed all other possible conditions. (wikipedia.org)


It is not easy to create the test cases for the test coverage MC/DC, especially if you want a minimum amount of test cases. Here the Tester comes into the play. With the help of TMap® test specification techniques, he/she creates the (logical) test cases. In this case the Tester delivers the Developer the following 7 (logical) MC/DC test cases.



Depending on the risks, and with the help of Equivalence classes and Boundary value analysis, the physical test cases are derived.
Now, the Developer can start building the test cases into his/her component.

So, by joining their knowledge, the Developer and Tester did create, for this phase in the life cycle, the best test coverage to Find Bugs AEAP . The effect of collaboration can even be greater if the Unit Test cases, before implementing in the code, are reviewed by the Designer.

Reviewing the test cases gives the Designer insight in the assumptions and interpretations of the Developer and Tester.

Finding Bugs during this review is the ultimate AEAP!!!

Creating these test cases manually is, even for experienced testers, pretty difficult. Within Sogeti we use a tool (I made) for this work. (The generation of the test cases of this example took me 5 minutes).



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The Interface with Camano is working! What's next? 
Tuesday, May 27, 2008, 09:39 AM - Testing, Rosario
Posted by Rob Kuijt
We (the Sogeti Rosario TAP team) managed to generate test cases directly from Rosario Activity Diagrams and automatically wrote them into Camano!

In previous articles I already wrote about the generating part of this coupling (see Generating Test Cases part 1 and part 2 ).
My wish to write the test cases directly into Camano triggered Clemens Reijnen to dive into the code. Clemens managed to create a "Generate Test Cases" button within the Activity Diagram functionality of Team Architect!
After pushing on this button, the Test Cases pop up like magic in Camano. Ready for use!
See his video about this!

So…..What's next?

I started already some thinking about Unit Testing Support.
Designing test cases for the Unit Test is mostly done manually.

I don't like manual work……I think that this work can be automated to!!

It would be great if we could create another Magic Button!
Preferably: a button that can create "ready for use" Unit Test cases.


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On-the-fly testing with Camano 
Monday, May 5, 2008, 04:20 PM - ALM, Testing, TMap®, Rosario
Posted by Rob Kuijt
Generalist Testers (Manual Testers) do like on-the-fly testing! It feels good to be creative and impulsive!! Let's react on the behavior of the system!........... Maybe it's not as efficient and/or effective as structured testing, but it is fun!

... what about "Non Reproducibility"?


Too much fun brings also disadvantages. In complex systems, with many dependencies under the surface, on-the-fly testers aren't able (most of the time), to write reproducible bug reports. And that's a nightmare for the project manager. Non reproducible bugs are time consuming and expensive, so "on-the-fly testing" is banned out of the life of the Generalist Testers and replaced by structured test methods.

"Reproducibility refers to the ability of a test to be accurately reproduced,
or replicated, by someone else working independently" - Wikipedia



On-the-fly Testing...


Nowadays testers must work in formal structures, of course for efficient testing, but especially for generating reproducible bug reports. Writing an accurate bug report is NOT easy. It takes relatively much time, and even then they are not accurate enough, so developers may call for more information, or even worse, they close the bug report with the state "non reproducible". And believe me...That's not funny at all!


Why do I care?


I care because I want to improve the way testing is implemented in the complete application lifecycle [ALM], and besides that,...it's my job! I am process manager of the Managed Testing Services of Sogeti. If I see chances to improve our services, I go for it!
The new test suite of Microsoft (codename Camano) is in my opinion a great chance for improvement. Instead of converting Generalist Testers into technical skilled testers, Microsoft has chosen to support the way Generalist Testers like to work: "Manual Testing"!
Camano (part of Rosario) is the code name given to the Microsoft standalone testing suite for General Testers. Camano supports planning, creation and executing of manual test cases (CTP April 2008: for testing websites). See the blog entry of Randy Bergeron for some of the latest screen dumps.


Camano fights the non reproducible bugs


Generalist Testers must write accurate bug reports, but now they can stop detailed manual logging of their actions. Because the bug reporting of Camano is great! Camano can keep track of the complete manual (structured or not) behavior of the Generalist Tester. So if a tester is a bit enthusiastic and performs more, better or other tests than originally planned, Camano don't mind, the Microsoft Test Runner records everything in the background for the later uses:
  1. Regression testing: the whole script or part of the script.
  2. Export to Visual Studio for the creation of automated scripts (to be performed by technical skilled testers before releasing).
  3. And for bug reporting!! If a tester runs into a bug, the bug report contains not only all the configuration parameters, it also contains all the steps taken before the bug did occur! Combined with the possibility to capture the window, this support of bug reporting is very strong!!

By combining Camano with the flexibility of our structured test approach TMap®, I can re-introduce on-the-fly testing in our test projects!

Structured "on-the-fly" Testing


Also, with Camano it is possible to have the fun of on-the-fly testing and still report reproducible bug reports. Combining Camano with TMap® makes it possible for us to do result driven test assignments (agreements with the project management concerning time, budget and/or test coverage) and still enjoy testing.
To explain the test teams the balance between structured and on-the-fly testing and how to use Camano in the test project, I've written a fictitious case .
The case contains (a description of):
  1. The case specifications: Course Administration application.
  2. Creating the basis structure for test coverage
  3. The choices concerning freedom versus more structure in the Camano steps


Developers gonna like Camano


I'm sure the developers will like Camano. Especially if they find out that the bugs are reported accurately!
Because: Fast bug fixing is almost as good as making no bugs at all!




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What's In the Box? 
Sunday, April 27, 2008, 05:35 PM - Quality, Testing, TMap®
Posted by Rob Kuijt
Today I read a nice article: "What's In the Box?" by Mary Altman.
This article, about speculative fiction, started with a recognizable explanation of the term "black-box theory":
"The term is typically used to describe a device of which we know or care very little about its inner workings. The entire focus is on its input/output behavior—the result rather than the reasoning."

In the article, also Sociologist Bruno Latour gives a description of the "black-box theory":
"The way scientific and technical work is made invisible by its own success. ... Thus, paradoxically, the more science and technology succeed, the more opaque and obscure they become."
....
Mary ends her article with the conclusion:
"Most simply: it doesn't matter how it works. It only matters that it works."

...and what about the "black-box theory" in the software industry?


I know that many colleague testers believe this conclusion is also valid in the software industry. So, when they organize an Acceptance Test, they rely completely on the testing target: "It only matters that it works". From the perspective of the end-user they are probably right....because the end-user is not interested in (and has no knowledge of) the inner workings. So many Acceptance Tests rely on a complete black-box strategy!

I’m not one of them!


I think the test target: "It only matters that it works" is too thin. It gives no answers for: "When it works, will it keep on working?", or "How about vendor dependency?", or "Is this software maintainable?", or "Are there any hidden features?", and so on...

I think an Acceptance Test must, besides the testing "that it works", find assurance that the inner workings are validated. I agree that it should not be tested in the Acceptance Test, but still it MATTER HOW IT WORKS!!!
So how can we find assurance that it is tested? Is it possible for the software industry to give the Acceptance Test team the assurance the inner workings are validated and correct?

On these questions I am convinced that the testing community can help the developers. I believe, much effort is already done in delivering software of good quality.
But those efforts are hidden and not tuned into an efficient and effective process. Again: I think the testers can help! When testers and developers join together in describing all the quality measures (they already perform), it will be clear if enough measures are taken and/or what additional actions are needed. Chapter 7 of TMap® Next (Development Tests) gives for this inventory a small, but effective model.
The so called "Basic Quality model" describes the quality measures from four points of view:
  1. Depth of test coverage;
  2. Clarity (description how and when the test coverage is reached);
  3. Provision of proof (what deliverables give proof of the agreed test coverage);
  4. Compliance monitoring (how does the development process perform its internal monitoring).
Together, developers and testers can fill in these four points of view.

Combined with the quality measures of the requirements and design processes, this gives the Acceptance Test team the opportunity to get a "glass-box" impression how the inner workings are validated.

The glass-box effect gives also the possibility for implementing learning cycles. Implementing the "Basic Quality model" makes it possible to investigate the origin of defects, learn from it and help each other to do it better the next time!....I know...that's a little too optimistic...

So let's do it step by step: Creating a kind of glass-box by giving the Acceptance Testers the possibility to be a virtual witness of the development process would be a great first step!

pictures: www.vuurwerkboer.nl

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Test cases generated from Activity Diagrams part II 
Saturday, April 26, 2008, 11:39 AM - Testing, TMap®, Rosario
Posted by Rob Kuijt
In a previous post, I showed a simple example of a Rosario Activity Diagram and the Test Cases I directly generated from the XML-file. After the post I got some requests for a better example....
so today I made a more complex Activity Diagram (click on figure 1 to see it bigger).


Figure 1 More complex Activity Diagram (Thanx Angelina!)


And again, I generated the Process Cycle Test cases:
The steps:
1. Get the XML-file from the Activity Diagram,
2. Generate the TMap® Process Cycle Test cases (see the output ).

Do you like it? I Do!!

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