Friday, May 25, 2007

Question: What testing tool will help me test an Intranet application with lots of complex calculations?

I'm working for [omitted] software It is a very small comapny. We had developed an Intranet application which consists lot of complex calculation parts. We are looking for a Tool which helps in Testing most complex parts of our application i.e, It should have features of script developing/modifying for regression testing and it should also support Database Testing.

One more thing I would like to inform you that as ours is a very small company we are looking for a tool which comes under $500.00. If any OpenSource tools availble than it is well and good.

Your budget will exclude the larger commercial tools - particularly with ongoing licensing costs. I note that your company provides IT services, and you should consider whether any tool - and the skills acquired to support it - would provide ROI across the company, rather than on a single project.

An organisation's greatest investment in testing with any tool - licensed or open-source - is likely to be the cost of understanding the tool and developing+maintaining the tests. Open source is attractive not only because of its lower initial cost, but because the tools can be modified to suit your purposes. I've detailed some open-source tools below.

Although your email is more detailed than many, it doesn't address the most important question - the purpose of your testing. If you would like to discuss this, call me using skype.

For functional testing of your underlying complex calculations, your best bet might be to write a simple test harness to supply input and check output, avoiding the user interface. This approach allows you to automate testing using powerful design techniques that can go far beyond simple regression scripts, and would potentially give you rather more confidence in the face of change. Look into ideas around combinatorial testing, fuzz testing, and model-based testing.

For testing a web interface, and some functional testing of the software accessed through a browser, I would suggest watir. If by database testing, you mean testing for the purpose of assessing performance or scalability of a database, I would suggest looking at jmeter or grinder.

Watir :

Question: How do I get into testing?

I completed my graduation in Bachelors of science in 2005.And I have good solving skills in C- language. and I would like to interest to software testing because of that I completed testing tools course also. Actually I am a chemistry graduate. Give any suggestion for entering to testing field.please give reply to this mail.

Are you actively working in IT at the moment?

i am ready to working in software testing and development organisations

Sadly, I didn't reply for a while, until politely nudged a week or so later:

Please give a good suggestion to me

"ready to work", I assume, means that you're not currently working in the industry. The issue then is how to identify organisations that need testing skills, and how to persuade them that you have the appropriate skills and experience.

It's worth considering that organisations that make software have different requirements from those that buy software. However, technical and business skills are necessary in both, and without direct working experience in testing, you will need to persuade such organisations to consider you for a position on the basis of your technical and business knowledge.

You should make a start by identifying those organisations within your area of business that buy software - and the companies that supply those systems. Once you've got a good sense of the software and systems that make up that area, you can concentrate on those which match your technological skillset.

Organisations that make software need new testers toward the end of a project, or at the point where they are customising software for a new client. They may draw their test team from the technical resources, and as a new hire, you would be expected to be able to know enough about the technical stuff to talk to the existing team, and potentially to know more about the business than many of the people you would be joining. You would typically be doing Functional Testing.

Organisations that buy software typically test the systems that they buy only if the system has been customised (or built) for them - this most often happens in large organisations buying 'enterprise' software. These organisations may draw their test teams from current business users and add testing skills. You'd be expected to know enough about the business stuff to talk to the existing team, and potentially to know more about testing and IT than many of the people you would be joining. You would typically be doing User Acceptance Testing.

Qualifications can help - in some [organisational] cultures, you would not be considered for a testing role without a testing qualification, an appropriate business qualification, security classification, or a background in the relevant technology. If you don't have any of these, concentrate on businesses that won't require one.

Put together a CV that details you're relevant experience and shows some understanding of the area you're interested in, and send them off. You can also, if lucky and charming, make great headway networking with people in the business and technical areas.

Question: Does the test strategy vary?

My question is that does the test strategy vary for both software testing applications and mobile application testing.
Or is it the same followed for all.

And also the test plan and Test matrices are same for mobile application testing or not?

Every good software test strategy I've seen has been influenced by its context. I would expect the strategies to be different - and to reflect the difference between the two contexts you give.

The plan - the list of what happens when - follows from the strategy, inasmuch as the typical purpose of a strategy is to give structure to decisions about what to plan and how to plan.

I've no clear idea what you mean by a test matrix. If I can second-guess for a moment though, I would assume that a test matrix is some combination of individual tests. Different systems may well share a subset of tests. The difference would be in the importance of those tests, and how the information they produce is understood in the context of the project as a whole.

Question: Can you give me a Test Strategy Template?

I get this a lot, and thought I'd deal with these as a group. For the record: a strategy helps you plan. Good ones tend to arise either from a closely involved team, or after plenty of deep questions from some sort of expert. There are no genuine templates, only examples. Strategies - testing or otherwise - are as different and unique as the projects they serve. The more all-encompassing the strategy, the shorter it should be; no-one needs a 50-page strategy. There is always a strategy, and you can find it by following the decisions - the written strategy may not be the same as the actual strategy.

Here are some examples of the genre . . .

Can you please send me few examples and templetes for Test Strategy....

Thanks for getting in touch. Could you tell me a little more about your project and your goals?

About my project... The project is Retail management(Web-Based Application) and its new project... the development area is J2EE. Now we are in Functional Designing phase... hope after finishing the functional design spec. we are planning to come up with Test Strategy and Test Approach and Plans...

My Ultimate goal is to deliver a Quality product to my Client...

So, can you please send me few sample Test Strategy Templates for it... hope you will do needful to me...

Thanks for this information. It sounds as though you are at a good point in the project to be developing a test strategy. You may already have a workable idea of the technical constraints and potential patterns of failure that could drive aspects of your test design. However, what will be more important to your test strategy are the values that inform your test decisions, and you've not included information about what they might be.

Technical environment and business context are important to a strategy, and it might help to see a strategy for another project in the same environment. However, there are no publicly-available examples I know of that cover this particular pairing.

I've worked on products that have a fair fit with your description. The test strategies for the projects were very different, reflecting the values and priorities of the organisation. For commercial and copyright reasons, I can't supply copies of those strategies to you.

I feel strongly that a test strategy is something that should *not* be created from a template, and I don't supply test strategy templates - either for free, or during a paid interaction. I try to make my position clear here: . The page does include a checklist, which may serve as a stimulus for discussion within your team.

I'm sorry not to be of more help. If you would like to speak with me on this, please call me.

I am working as a Test Manager for one of the big program has teken up my company. Program contains number of projects and applications on different technologies like Java, ATG, Web Services, Data Stage, Mainframe COBOL etc... and it has nearly 250 inbound and outbound systems. Can you please provide inputs for test strategy for these kind of programs? and it will be grate if you provide any sample or template for test strategy.

Thanks for your enquiry. Your project sounds substantial, and I don't think it can be dealt with in an simple email exchange. If you would like to speak with me on this, please call me during London business hours.

Please note: I don't supply test strategy templates - either for free, or during a paid interaction. I try to make my position clear here: . The page does include a checklist, which may serve as a stimulus for discussion within your team.

I'm having a self study training on test strategies and going through your website was wondering if you had Knowledge of examples or references for Test strategies of payroll based systems of which I am conversant with a few. Any help will be appreciated

I can't give you any examples that are specifically tuned to payroll systems. The purpose of a system is important to a strategy, but so are the values of the organisation, the technology of that system, the power and constraints of the potential resources.

If you're working on a self-study course, you could do worse than study the test strategies used on the payroll systems you are familiar with. You are likely to find the actual strategy is very different from the stated strategy - if one even exists. You could also write two or more *different* strategies for the *same* product and context, to expose potential alternatives and underlying rules. Try to keep such strategies short; less than 3 pages or so. I have a rule-of-thumb - the higher-level the strategy, the shorter it should be.

I am a Senior software tester and working for a consultancy company called [obscured supplier]. I am trying to prepare a Test Strategy document for the client [obscured client].Is this any free consulation given by the Work room Productions based on test strategy document .Please let me know this.

Thankyou for your enquiry. Please let me know your ideas so far - and what you might require from consultancy. I notice that [obscured client] are a US-based healthcare company.

A use for my blog

I can't say I'm a big fan of blogs - their immediacy lends itself to half-baked ideas, and facilitates breathless ranting. Yet they're anything but ephemeral, or private. As an occasional half-baked ranter myself, I much prefer the cut-and-thrust of a conversation.

However, my email address is in the public domain, and I wonder if I can't make use of a blog to communicate some of the questions I receive about software testing, and some of the answers I give. This would be in the nature of an FAQ, although perhaps the F in that acronym is misleading. I get one or two a month, and sometimes wonder what motivates a stranger to ask me for advice.

The questions that are sent to me are typically short, and seem to need a long answer. It's all too easy to put far more information in the answer than is got in the question - a sign that one may be building one's half-baked rant on sand. I try not to let myself get carried away.

Usually, one would need more details to have a decent stab at a good answer. I'll try to engage the questioner; handing out my skype details and looking forward to clarifying emails. It's rare treat when someone actually responds.

My answers are offered for free, with all the attention to quality and detail that implies - but I also see them as a puzzle, and try to write something cogent. I offer them here in a more public forum, to share ideas and invite comments.

I've not got explicit permission to use people's questions, and so I have obscured, cut and amended their words and my answers to suit. I have a small backlog of such questions. I'll post the first shortly. You're welcome to add comments of your own.