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Erik Boelen - Testing the Next Level

Erik Boelen - Testing the Next Level

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Published by: Andries Poepjes on Feb 26, 2012
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 TESTING, THE NEXT LEVEL
7 AUGUSTUS 2008
PAGE 1
Based on all this information, I started building my own view on ‘Where are we in testing?’ And evenmore important, what are some of the challenges that we are currently facing. I would like to ask you
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asa reader
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to apply this white paper to your situation and what you see happening in the fascinating worldof testing. I’m very curious about the results. Perhaps we can start a discussion within the testing community.Remember playing a computer game, or any other game? The first level or round is always some kindof boot camp that you have to go through. Through on
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screen instructions, you are guided through allthe basic actions and situations that you might encounter throughout the rest of the game. “Use the E
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key to open doors. If they are locked, it will be indicated on the top right of your screen”. Or, when youhold your first hand of cards in a poker game and in order to decide upon you’re first move, you have toshow your cards. These are typical examples of the instructions that you would get during such a practicelevel or round.Erik Boelen is a testprofessional since 2000. As a test manager andtest consultant, he hashelped already a largenumber of companies insetting up a test process,often within an agileenvironment. He is a frequent speaker on nationaland international forums. This EuroSTARpresentationis his fourth,after histracksessions in2003 and2006 and2007. He has recently established his owncompany called QA ConsultServices.
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 Erik Boelen
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 The theme for the EuroSTAR2007 was ‘Defining the profession’ and the discussion was ‘Are we a profession at all?’ Isabel Evans mentioned during here keynotesession that testing is not yet as professional as we might think.She emphasized the areas of improvement we need to gothrough in order to become professional as a tester. As a resultof this, I use every occasion to ask testers about where they feeltesting is at the moment. I get many diverse answers, going from “In the starting blocks”, over “We’re finally getting somestructure in our profession” to “The future is looking very bright for testers!”
 
SO WHERE ARE WE NOW?
 Testing, the next level
 A closer look at some of the cha
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enges in testing 
!
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QA Consult Services Acaciadreef 163140 KeerbergenBELGIUM+32 486 394 573erik.boelen@qaconsult.eu www.qaconsult.eu
 
 TESTING, THE NEXT LEVEL
7 AUGUSTUS 2008
PAGE 2
 This reflects my thoughts on where we are in testing. The basic instructions have been defined anddocumented and we are being guided by them while running through our boot camp for testers. Noproblem to be seen here. For most of the situations that we encounter, we try to adopt the basicinstructions in order to move on to the next step. Problem is of course that we run into challenges thatare not basic and therefore cannot be solved by applying the basic rules as such.Let’s refer to the computer games again. During the practice level, you were told how to lookaround the corner, how to open a door and how to activate a switch, all in separate actions. During thefollowing levels, you will be expected to open a door while looking around the corner in order to activatea switch. You need to combine solutions and instructions. In other words, we need to challenge theprovided solutions and instructions in order to face the situations we encounter in the next levels.
CHALLENGES IN SOFTWARE TESTING
Of course, it’s possible to challenge a lot of testing models, methodologies principles and aspects. Ipicked the most relevant in my current situation for this white paper.USE THE V
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MODEL INSTEAD OF APPLYING IT The V
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Model is currently taken for granted by most of us. We are practically born and raised in thetesting world using this model. But is it always appropriate for us? Can we always apply it in our daily situation?
 
If not, we can do two things. We can either just ignore the principles and ‘just test’. Or wecan challenge the V
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Model as it is currently presented, without changing the basic principles. We canadapt it to our concrete situation. During the last few years, I’ve seen many exotic variances against theoriginal V
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Model, but I’ve seen even more test organizations give up on using it since the original for isnot the one they can use. This is how we currently know the V
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Model
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based on TMapNext.
Wish,legislation,policy,opportunity,problemRequirementsFunctionalDesignTechnicalDesignRealisationOperations &Management
EvaluateagainstEvaluateagainstEvaluateagainstEvaluateagainst
Accepting PartySupplying Party
DevelopmentTestsSystemTestsAcceptanceTests
Input forInput forInput forInput forInput forInput for
 
 Picture 1
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 Model as we know i 
t
!
 
 TESTING, THE NEXT LEVEL
7 AUGUSTUS 2008
PAGE 3
 A possibility is to go back to its roots
 – 
the mapping of test types to each stage of development.
 
 Test types are the drivers in testing. Together with the strategy, they decide upon the test techniques tobe used and the test environment to be tested in. Performance testing, functional testing and security testing are some of the test types that will often return in a test process. They will also be done against a certain test basis, documented or not. Test levels are the labels that group these types of test together.
 
By extracting the test types and their test basis from the V
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Model and put those on a timeline weprovide ourselves with the flexibility we need to solve our testing process.
Test TypesDev TestTest TypesSystem TestTest TypesAcceptance TestTest Stage 1 TS 2 TS3 Test Stage 4TTest Basis
 Picture 2
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The V 
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 Model broken down to its essence and fit for purpos
BUILD, MAINTAIN AND SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE ON TESTINGWhen looking at computer games, there are a massive amount of walkthroughs, guides and othersupporting material available on the web. All these have been produced by players in order to share theirknowledge with others.I did a very quick research for this challenge, based on the results from a Google search.
 
Imagine you are coding a webpage in JavaScript and you want to know what the code is to go backone page in your browser window. You open Google and type in the search string “JavaScript go back”and check your results. Afterwards, you would like to stress test the logon functionality, and use Google with the search string “Stress testing logon functionality”.Both will give you a large list of resources, but have a look at the di
ff 
erences in the following table.
JavaScript Testing
Search StringJavaScript Go BackStress testing logon functionalityPractical results10NoneLinks to forums/blogs7NoneLinks to vendors14
Table 1
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Search results
!

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