Software Testing FAQ's-Online Software Testing Tutorial


Software Testing FAQ'S

In this section we go through the list of FAQ'S.

Q1. What is verification?
A: Verification ensures the product is designed to deliver all functionality to the customer; it typically involves reviews and meetings to evaluate documents, plans, code, requirements and specifications; this can be done with checklists, issues lists, walkthroughs and inspection meetings.
Q2. What is validation?
A: Validation ensures that functionality, as defined in requirements, is the intended behavior of the product; validation typically involves actual testing and takes place after verifications are completed.

Q3. What is a walkthrough?
A: A walkthrough is an informal meeting for evaluation or informational purposes. A walkthrough is also a process at an abstract level. It's the process of inspecting software code by following paths through the code (as determined by input conditions and choices made along the way). The purpose of code walkthroughs is to ensure the code fits the purpose. Walkthroughs also offer opportunities to assess an individual's or team's competency.
Q4. What is an inspection?
A: An inspection is a formal meeting, more formalized than a walkthrough and typically consists of 3-10 people including a moderator, reader (the author of whatever is being reviewed) and a recorder (to make notes in the document). The subject of the inspection is typically a document, such as a requirements document or a test plan. The purpose of an inspection is to find problems and see what is missing, not to fix anything. The result of the meeting should be documented in a written report. Attendees should prepare for this type of meeting by reading through the document, before the meeting starts; most problems are found during this preparation. Preparation for inspections is difficult, but is one of the most cost-effective methods of ensuring quality, since bug prevention is more cost effective than bug detection.
Q5. What is quality?
A: Quality software is software that is reasonably bug-free, delivered on time and within budget, meets requirements and expectations and is maintainable. However, quality is a subjective term. Quality depends on who the customer is and their overall influence in the scheme of things. Customers of a software development project include end-users, customer acceptance test engineers, testers, customer contract officers, customer management, the development organization's management, test engineers, testers, salespeople, software engineers, stockholders and accountants. Each type of customer will have his or her own slant on quality. The accounting department might define quality in terms of profits, while an end-user might define quality as user friendly and bug free.
Q6. What is good code?
A: A good code is code that works, is free of bugs and is readable and maintainable. Organizations usually have coding standards all developers should adhere to, but every programmer and software engineer has different ideas about what is best and what are too many or too few rules. We need to keep in mind that excessive use of rules can stifle both productivity and creativity. Peer reviews and code analysis tools can be used to check for problems and enforce standards.
Q7. What is good design?
A: Design could mean to many things, but often refers to functional design or internal design. Good functional design is indicated by software functionality can be traced back to customer and end-user requirements. Good internal design is indicated by software code whose overall structure is clear, understandable, easily modifiable and maintainable; is robust with sufficient error handling and status logging capability; and works correctly when implemented.
Q8. What is software life cycle?
A: Software life cycle begins when a software product is first conceived and ends when it is no longer in use. It includes phases like initial concept, requirements analysis, functional design, internal design, documentation planning, test planning, coding, document preparation, integration, testing, maintenance, updates, re-testing and phase-out.
Q9. Why are there so many software bugs?
A: Generally speaking, there are bugs in software because of unclear requirements, software complexity, programming errors, changes in requirements, errors made in bug tracking, time pressure, poorly documented code and/or bugs in tools used in software development.
1. There are unclear software requirements because there is miscommunication as to what the software should or shouldn't do.
2. Software complexity. All of the followings contribute to the exponential growth in software and system complexity: Windows interfaces, client-server and distributed applications, data communications, enormous relational databases and the sheer size of applications.
3. Programming errors occur because programmers and software engineers, like everyone else, can make mistakes.
4. As to changing requirements, in some fast-changing business environments, continuously modified requirements are a fact of life. Sometimes customers do not understand the effects of changes, or understand them but request them anyway. And the changes require redesign of the software, rescheduling of resources and some of the work already completed have to be redone or discarded and hardware requirements can be effected, too.
5. Bug tracking can result in errors because the complexity of keeping track of changes can result in errors, too.
6. Time pressures can cause problems, because scheduling of software projects is not easy and it often requires a lot of guesswork and when deadlines loom and the crunch comes, mistakes will be made.
7. Code documentation is tough to maintain and it is also tough to modify code that is poorly documented. The result is bugs. Sometimes there is no incentive for programmers and software engineers to document their code and write clearly documented, understandable code. Sometimes developers get kudos for quickly turning out code, or programmers and software engineers feel they cannot have job security if everyone can understand the code they write, or they believe if the code was hard to write, it should be hard to read.
8. Software development tools , including visual tools, class libraries, compilers, scripting tools, can introduce their own bugs. Other times the tools are poorly documented, which can create additional bugs.
Q10. How do you introduce a new software QA process?
A: It depends on the size of the organization and the risks involved. For large organizations with high-risk projects, a serious management buy-in is required and a formalized QA process is necessary. For medium size organizations with lower risk projects, management and organizational buy-in and a slower, step-by-step process is required. Generally speaking, QA processes should be balanced with productivity, in order to keep any bureaucracy from getting out of hand. For smaller groups or projects, an ad-hoc process is more appropriate. A lot depends on team leads and managers, feedback to developers and good communication is essential among customers, managers, developers, test engineers and testers. Regardless the size of the company, the greatest value for effort is in managing requirement processes, where the goal is requirements that are clear, complete and testable.
Q11. Give me five common problems that occur during software development.
A: Poorly written requirements, unrealistic schedules, inadequate testing, adding new features after development is underway and poor communication.
1. Requirements are poorly written when requirements are unclear, incomplete, too general, or not testable; therefore there will be problems.
2. The schedule is unrealistic if too much work is crammed in too little time.
3. Software testing is inadequate if none knows whether or not the software is any good until customers complain or the system crashes.
4. It's extremely common that new features are added after development is underway.
5. Miscommunication either means the developers don't know what is needed, or customers have unrealistic expectations and therefore problems are guaranteed.
Q12. Do automated testing tools make testing easier?
A: Yes and no. For larger projects, or ongoing long-term projects, they can be valuable. But for small projects, the time needed to learn and implement them is usually not worthwhile. A common type of automated tool is the record/playback type. For example, a test engineer clicks through all combinations of menu choices, dialog box choices, buttons, etc. in a GUI and has an automated testing tool record and log the results. The recording is typically in the form of text, based on a scripting language that the testing tool can interpret. If a change is made (e.g. new buttons are added, or some underlying code in the application is changed), the application is then re-tested by just playing back the recorded actions and compared to the logged results in order to check effects of the change. One problem with such tools is that if there are continual changes to the product being tested, the recordings have to be changed so often that it becomes a very time-consuming task to continuously update the scripts. Another problem with such tools is the interpretation of the results (screens, data, logs, etc.) that can be a time-consuming task.

Q13. Give me five solutions to problems that occur during software development.
A: Solid requirements, realistic schedules, adequate testing, firm requirements and good communication.
1. Ensure the requirements are solid, clear, complete, detailed, cohesive, attainable and testable. All players should agree to requirements. Use prototypes to help nail down requirements.
2. Have schedules that are realistic. Allow adequate time for planning, design, testing, bug fixing, re-testing, changes and documentation. Personnel should be able to complete the project without burning out.
3. Do testing that is adequate. Start testing early on, re-test after fixes or changes, and plan for sufficient time for both testing and bug fixing.
4. Avoid new features. Stick to initial requirements as much as possible. Be prepared to defend design against changes and additions, once development has begun and be prepared to explain consequences. If changes are necessary, ensure they're adequately reflected in related schedule changes. Use prototypes early on so customers' expectations are clarified and customers can see what to expect; this will minimize changes later on.
5. Communicate. Require walkthroughs and inspections when appropriate; make extensive use of e-mail, networked bug-tracking tools, tools of change management. Ensure documentation is available and up-to-date. Use documentation that is electronic, not paper. Promote teamwork and cooperation.
Q14. What makes a good test engineer?
A: A good test engineer should have
1. Has a "test to break" attitude,
2. Takes the point of view of the customer,
3. Has a strong desire for quality,
4. Has an attention to detail, He's also
5. Tactful and diplomatic and
6. Has good a communication skill, both oral and written. And he
7. Has previous software development experience, too.
Good test engineers have a "test to break" attitude. We, good test engineers, take the point of view of the customer, have a strong desire for quality and an attention to detail. Tact and diplomacy are useful in maintaining a cooperative relationship with developers and an ability to communicate with both technical and non-technical people. Previous software development experience is also helpful as it provides a deeper understanding of the software development process, gives the test engineer an appreciation for the developers' point of view and reduces the learning curve in automated test tool programming.
Q15. What makes a good QA engineer?
A: The same qualities a good test engineer has are useful for a QA engineer. Additionally, Rob Davis understands the entire software development process and how it fits into the business approach and the goals of the organization. Rob Davis' communication skills and the ability to understand various sides of issues are important. Good QA engineers understand the entire software development process and how it fits into the business approach and the goals of the organization. Communication skills and the ability to understand various sides of issues are important.

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